Well, look at that. We won! While we may not have eliminated Philly from the playoffs, we did make their lives harder, and when you’re already out that’s about as much as you can ask for. Oh, and it was a shutout. Those are always nice. On to the grades!
G, Joe Bendik, 7 - Joe didn’t have much to do in the first half, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that he had five saves in the game, several of which came in the dying minutes as Philadelphia was pressing and trying to even up the score. He had a particularly good save in the 67th minute to preserve the shutout. Bendik has only given up one goal in the last three games, and has mostly been a bright spot all season. He certainly held up his end today.
D, Mikey Ambrose, 5 - Mikey didn’t make much noise during the game other than drawing the yellow on Fabian Herbers in the 44th minute. He was a mixed bag, as the back line didn’t give up a goal, but he was certainly beat more than a few times on his side.
D, Seb Hines, 5.5 - For the most part, Seb played a solid, if not great, game. He did give away a corner on a ball he should have cleared for a throw-in, but he also had an excellent save on one of Philadelphia’s breakaways, and another header back to Bendik when the Union were pressing. He was also active getting up the field and did get his head on the ball on a Philadelphia corner kick that led to Carlos Rivas' goal.
D, Jose Aja, 5.5 - Orlando’s newest defender had a pretty good game, despite drawing a yellow card for a foul on CJ Sapong in the 57th minute. He had two shots, one a header that went over the goal. He did a good job anchoring the center of the back line with Seb, and at the end of the day, he helped keep Philly scoreless.
D, Rafael Ramos, 4.5 - Rafa seemed to get beat, especially early in the game. The whole field was bunched up early, which might explain some of it, but even as the game opened up, he kept getting beat along the right side. However, even with two fouls committed, he did no harm, even if he wasn’t great. He also had one nice shot from long distance, but it didn’t find the back of the net.
MF, Cristian Higuita, 5.5 - Cristian did a good job pressing early, and Philly wasn’t able to completely own the midfield. He did even out on fouls by committing two and drawing two. One of those fouls was a dangerous play, but it did not result in a yellow.
MF, Antonio Nocerino, 6 - Antonio was solid, being where he needed to be and moving the ball forward. That being said, he didn’t amaze or stand out either. He did take a corner kick, but unfortunately it amounted to nothing.
MF, Kaká, 5.5 - Kaká is still Kaká, but not as much Kaká as he used to be. It might be harsh to grade him based on what he still shows flashes of, but he is the captain, and so I hold him to a higher level. While he did create some chances, he also gave away some balls you wouldn’t expect. Late in the game it was apparent that it’s late in the season, and he knows he can’t beat some of these younger guys to the ball. That’s fine since he is then able to make an adjustment and sometimes get the ball back. The three free kicks he took weren’t his best, and didn’t result in any chances. However, he did almost force an own-goal on Philly, but the post decided to be a homer.
MF, Matias Perez Garcia, 6 - MPG would have had a grade of 8 if he could have scored on any of the three chances he had. Two of the three should have certainly been in the back of the net. Chalk it up to someone jinxing him, or good play by Philly keeper, Andre Blake, but he couldn’t make it happen today. He did draw a foul on Richie Marquez that resulted in a yellow. I just feel that he was doing the right things, but just couldn’t finish it out.
F, Carlos Rivas, 7.5 (MOTM) - Head Coach Jason Kreis went with a 4-4-2 with Rivas and Larin up top. Carlos had five shots on the day. He drew four fouls, while only committing one, and took a shot on a free kick that went way long. Most importantly, he got loose on a breakaway, and despite putting the ball a bit too far out front, was able to deflect his shot over Blake and it dribbled into the goal. That was despite a determined effort by Keegan Rosenberry to try and save the goal. Those of us watching assumed it was an own-goal, but credit was given to Rivas for the score, and that is what sealed the Man of the Match for him this week.
F, Cyle Larin, 5 - Cyle is sitting three goals behind his rookie season total of 17, with only one more game to play. Before the game started, I expected him to come out strong and get at least one goal. It was not to be. To be fair, the Philadelphia defense marked him early and often, which opened up opportunities for Rivas. However, there were times when he seemed to give up on the ball. Don’t get me wrong, he has 14 goals on the season, with a chance to add to that total. There are plenty of forwards that would love to have his stats, but I was hoping for more from the young Canadian today.
F, Julio Baptista (72’), 7 - The Beast came on and immediately started pressing and pushing the ball forward. He was rewarded for his efforts when he timed a counter attack perfectly and scored to put Orlando City ahead for good. This is exactly how Baptista is supposed to be used for Orlando City, and today he delivered.
MF, Kevin Molino (81’), 5.5 - Molino was only in for about 15 minutes, and did do a pretty good job of trying to push the ball forward. He did commit one foul, though it didn’t affect the results.
MF, Servando Carrasco (87’), N/A - Servando didn’t have much to do other than try to lock down the midfield against a team fighting for a playoff spot. He wasn’t out there long enough to really warrant a grade, but he didn’t hurt the team either.
Well, there you have it. Orlando only has pride to play for, though the players might be playing for their jobs. There is still one more game for them to prove their worth before the end of the season. Vote for your player of the game below and let us know what you thought of the performances.