Winter is here, and Dom Dwyer wishes he was, too.
Adrian Winter notched his first two career goals in Major League Soccer with Orlando City, and Bryan Rochez also netted his first career MLS goal, as Orlando City knocked off Sporting KC, 3-1, at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Sunday night.
Dom Dwyer's return to his "spiritual home" didn't end the way he may have wanted it to, when he was sent off with a straight red card in the 87th minute -- see, he still likes to do good things for Orlando City.
All in all, it was a positive night that Orlando City and its fans needed heading into the final stretch of the regular season.
Our player grades for the match...
G, Tally Hall -- 6: Sporting only put three of their nine shots on target against Tally, but didn't force him to sweat on shots very often. KC's goal wasn't much of his fault, given the quality strike and finish from Krisztian Németh.
D, Rafael Ramos -- 6.5: Ramos did well moving up the field on the right side. He was working well to attempt crosses getting forward, even if every one wasn't met by a teammate.
D, David Mateos -- 6.5: Everyone's going to be talking about the play that got Dom Dwyer kicked out of the match, but overall, Mateos played a solid game, earning a slightly above-average rating.
D, Aurelien Collin -- 7.5: Collin obviously enjoyed playing against his former team on Sunday night. He was arguably Orlando's best defender, and came up big on several plays inside the penalty area.
D, Luke Boden -- 6.5: Boden wasn't that noticeable for the Lions. He did get credit for the perfect service on Winter's free-kick goal, so bonus points for that.
M, Cristian Higuita -- 8: As usual, Higuita was one of the best players on the field for Orlando City in this one. He was a force in the midfield from the start, challenged Sporting players on the ball all night, and won a game-high eight tackles. Another promising start for the young lad.
M, Servando Carrasco -- 7: This was probably Carrasco's best game in an Orlando City uniform since he was traded from, who else, Sporting KC. Maybe a little revenge? Maybe just finally getting comfortable with regular playing time? Who knows, but he, alongside Higuita, was fun to watch in this one.
M, Adrian Winter -- 9 (MOTM): Winter is here. The Swiss winger opened up his MLS account with a beautiful far-post header on a Luke Boden free kick on the outside-right of the penalty area, and then added to his tally in the second half with another blast into the net from close range. Two goals, a ton of hustle.
M, Lewis Neal -- 5: When setting up player grades, a lot of people like to set the median standard at 6 and play from there. Lewis Neal's median standard this season has been maybe a 4. Just as he did against Chicago a couple weeks ago, Neal missed a wide-open net, six yards out, and whiffed it. In all, he just wasn't that good in the CAM role either, although his assist on Winter's second goal was a nice piece of work.
M, Carlos Rivas -- 6.5: His speed made an impact, and also helped set up what should have been a tap-in goal for Lewis Neal. Not the best of nights for Rivas, but not terrible, either.
F, Cyle Larin -- 5: Larin only made 13 touches in the first half, and hardly made much of an impact for the Lions before being subbed off after 56 minutes.
F, Bryan Rochez -- 7: Rochez came off the bench to replace Larin in the 56th minute and netted his first career MLS goal nearly 10 minutes later. The young Honduran showed off his skillsin a brief sub stint last weekend in New England, and again on Sunday. More of Rochez down the stretch will be good for Orlando City.
M, Brek Shea -- 6.5: Playing in his first since coming off with an injury against the Colorado Rapids back in June, Brek made an immediate impact for the Lions -- which he almost never did before the injury -- assisting Rochez on his goal. Welcome back, Brek.
M, Eric Avila -- N/A: He replaced Winter in the 73rd after capturing his brace, but didn't really do much to make a mark on the game. I'll play it safe by not giving him a grade this time.