Orlando City came out looking for three points and got only one for the second time in a week and the Lions have no one to blame but themselves. Even with Chicago down to 10 men, poor touches in the final third and shockingly bad service from out wide doomed City to just a 1-1 draw at the Citrus Bowl against a feisty Fire club.
The less said about the result against a 10-man team that gave up four goals last week, the better. Here are my player grades from the match.
GK, Joe Bendik, 6 -- In fairness, there wasn't much for Bendik to do. He couldn't do much with Accam's breakaway and other than that he didn't have much to do. He faced two shots on target and stopped one.
D, Brek Shea, 5.5 -- Aside from a few good crosses and a good run or two, there wasn't much quality from Brek. He had a few unsure moments in the back, but did well for the most part to keep crosses from out wide from getting into the box, aside from a few early ones.
D, Seb Hines, 5 -- Mixed bag from Seb, who got absolutely toasted by David Accam on the goal, but that's not really his fault. Goossens played a terrific long ball and Hines (and pretty much anyone else) is no match for Accam's pace. Could have taken a card perhaps to keep from giving up the chance. Had a few nervy moments in defense and wasn't as dominant as usual in the air. Did make one saving tackle to prevent an Accam breakaway after the speedy forward got past Tommy Redding.
D, Tommy Redding, 5.5 -- Did a bit better handling Igboananike than Hines perhaps, and made a few desperate challenges to break up some attacks at the last minute, including a saving touch on a cross that was labeled for Igboananike. The touch was just enough to send it off the Fire player and out for a goal kick. Still, there were a few too many nervy moments.
D, Rafael Ramos, 4.5 -- A few too many uncharacteristically heavy touches and some really rough crosses for the Portuguese youth international. Ramos created space out on the right but did precious little with it and was hesitant to challenge defenders to the end line. Had a step a few times and still got his cross blocked by hesitating.
MF, Servando Carrasco, 4.5 -- Sat behind his two defensive midfield teammates and mostly did OK breaking up plays but his passing wasn't as sharp as it was Sunday and his long balls were just a touch long a few times. Took a needless yellow card on a silly challenge that gave Chicago a free kick in a good spot. He finished with a good passing rating but won only one tackle and conceded three fouls.
MF, Cristian Higuita, 4 -- Miserable night for Higuita in his first game of the season in terms of heavy touches and poor passes in the attacking half. Ruined a number of promising attacks with a poor pass that was left far too close to a defender, particularly when City was up a man. Was again a bit reckless in his challenges and too hotheaded and confrontational, but he mostly did a good job in the defensive half and will likely be better with a game under his belt.
MF, Antonio Nocerino, 5 -- I'll give the newcomer a neutral grade for his first competitive match since August. Early on he was a factor in the attack, working well with his teammates on the left side. As he tired, teammates bypassed him or couldn't find him. Lost the ball that led to Chicago's goal, but he lost it at the top of the Fire box, so it's hard to blame him for the longball counter. Looks much better than most of his teammates at controlling the ball at his feet in traffic. I look forward to seeing more of the Italian.
MF, Kevin Molino, 6 -- Again the Trinidadian was dangerous but his final product left a lot to be desired, completing only 76% of his passes but still created a game-high four chances. He got too cute in the attacking third on multiple occasions. Did well to set up Larin for the Orlando City goal, nearly had one of his own with a shot that forced a diving save from Matt Lampson and came close to sending in Larin, Winter and Hadji Barry. Unfortunately, for every one of those, there were two or three balls off the legs of the defender in front of him, or an attempt to thread a perfect ball through traffic, when a safer option was available. Earned a late free kick with a nifty run.
MF, Adrian Winter, 5.5 -- The Energizer Bunny is less effective over a full 90 minutes than he is in a super sub role. Winter was perhaps the best player in purple in the first 45 minutes but he completely disappeared after the break. In the opening half, he worked well to send Ramos forward out wide to the right, and yet was still dangerous in the middle of the pitch, working with Molino and Larin.
F, Cyle Larin, 6 (Man of the Match) -- Opened the scoring with a good goal and his movement early in the game was a real problem for Chicago. Nearly scored the winner late but hit the post and also was pulled down in the box in the dying moments but was never going to get a penalty call up a man at home like that. Had some issues in hold-up play at times on the night but continues to be a danger man on a weekly basis.
MF, Pedro Ribeiro (63'), 4.5 -- Fired a stunning laser that got the woodwork in the late going but other than that he was poor off the bench, completing just 68.8% of his passes. Had two tackles and drew a foul but not the best of nights for Ribeiro.
F, Hadji Barry (73'), 3 -- He's fast, but what else does Barry do well at this point? He had just seven touches in his 21 or so minutes and didn't attempt a pass. Was slotted in by Molino and just tried to shoot immediately when a chip would have netted a game winner. It's unfair to expect such a savvy play from a rookie, perhaps, but that was an opportunity to shine. Did not officially get a shot for that chance and did not create a chance or win a foul.
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So, those are my grades and I'm sure you'll waste no time telling me how wrong they are. Feel free to vent below in the comments section and don't forget to vote for Man of the Match.