It took late game heroics to secure a point (I'm noticing a theme there), but Orlando City drew 2-2 with New England Revolution thanks to a stoppage time goal from substitute Carlos Rivas.
All three of Adrian Heath's subs influenced the game positively, and a hard fought 95 minutes is rewarded with a well earned point in hand.
And, if you ask me, the ref didn't suck. So that was nice. Now how about some grades?
G, Joe Bendik, 7 - Cut off a good cross in 13th, cleaned up the mess again following an immediate turnover. Bendik was very assertive in the first half hour, taking command of the box and getting out to reach every ball possible. Great job disrupting a strong chance in the 31st. Saved the point in stoppage with a fantastic save when the Revs had a clear look just feet in front of goal.
D, Brek Shea, 6 - Was destroyed off the dribble by Diego Fagundez leading to the first goal allowed. Consistently attacked by the defense, did a solid job recovering but the Revs made his side of the pitch a target throughout the first half. Was chewed up on the Revs' second goal, allowing two passes to beat him and leave Bendik exposed.
D, Seb Hines, 6 - Failed to block the first goal and really should have been able to get in the way. Struggled with Fagundez early, but did show good effort in clearing out in the first half. Beaten to the ball by Juan Aguedelo in the 72nd, leading to New England's second goal. Just missed heading in Nocerino's free kick in the 79th.
D, David Mateos, 7.5 - Solid first half, disruptive defensively and passed deep with confidence. Was active clearing New England chances all night, although was just a half step too slow in covering for an over extended left side of the back line when a glancing deflection still found the goal. Cleaned up a frenzied late attack by the Revs, who nearly took the lead back in the 92nd before Mateos cleared out.
D, Rafael Ramos, 6.5 - Got forward well to play a strong cross to Nocerino in the 9th. Worked well with Winter early, springing him forward to threaten. Pestered the Revs throughout the match offensively, putting together his second consecutive positive effort in that facet of the game. Earned a solid yellow card disrupting Agudelo in the 93rd.
MF, Antonio Nocerino, 6 - Poor try at a corner in the 6th, finding nothing but blue shirts. Blew a shot on net in the 9th following a solid cross from Ramos that he should have been able to convert. Still seems to be a bit off, though he did flash signs of solid two-man play with Molino.
MF, Cristian Higuita, 6.5 - Good job tracking back in the 57th to prevent a scoring chance for Fagundez, earning a goal kick when disrupting the play. Passed crisply and efficiently, linking up with the attack as well as you could ask for. Not quite as active as usual defensively -- the ref was letting both sides be physical, you'd think of all people Higuita would be the one to take advantage attacking the ball.
MF, Darwin Ceren, 6 - Worked well with Higuita and Ramos, boasting the highest passing percentage on the club. His goal saving block in the 20th minute proved huge, though received a yellow card shortly afterwards in the 24th.
MF, Kevin Molino, 8 (MotM) - Played very well off Brek and Nocerino early, showing the confidence on the ball and in his teammates that was missing last week. His hard work eventually paid off when he found himself in prime position to play Larin's missed header into the back of the net to equalize in the 29th.
MF, Adrian Winter, 6 - Sprung Ramos with a good lead ball for cross in the 9th that ultimately amounted to nothing. Hustled to be in position, but was tangled up in the box on a chance in the 14th. Showed his skill on the ball when he beat two off the dribble to play the cross that led to Molino's equalizing goal. Seemed to pace himself better, as he was still pressing forward deep into the match, but failed to influence any big plays.
F, Cyle Larin, 7 - Just missed a header in the 18th off a Nocerino pass. Consistently worked hard to win headers throughout the match, in fact, but couldn't quite seem to get his head on the ball. The defense was clearly focused on Kid Fantastic, which did turn into great scoring chances for both Molino and Nocerino at the back post, though only The Original was able to convert. Completed just six of ten passes on the match, but he did manage to get the ball to Rivas for the equalizing goal.
MF, Servando Carrasco (62'), 7 - Active defensively, leading the team with four tackles despite playing just half an hour. Carrasco played his usual style -- aggressively chasing the ball on defense, and looking to spring the speedsters with long passes after gaining possession.
MF, Carlos Rivas (80'), 7.5 - Immediately worked to make his presence felt, pressing forward and looking to create chances. Raced to catch up to a Baptista through ball, Rivas was yellow carded for leaving a foot in when colliding with New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. Great job sticking with the play late to make a run across the front of net, leading to him scoring the equalizer in the first minute of stoppage and get the Lions a point.
MF/F, Julio Baptista (80'), 6.5 - Tried getting a little too cute in the box late, costing the Lions an opportunity to attack the net in the 88th. Started the sequence that led to Rivas' equalizer by playing over the top to Cyle Larin. Showed flashes of creativity and a flair for playmaking, Baptista is an exciting player to watch.
Be sure to vote for your man of the match and head to the comments section to sound off on my worst grades.