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Orlando City at New York City FC: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions rate in a thrilling come-from-behind 2-2 draw at Yankee Stadium? Here are our player grades and our pick for Man of the Match. Please vote for your MotM in our poll!

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City is starting to do this regularly and I'm not sure my heart can take it. The Lions are making a habit of rescuing points when there should be no points. It's crazy, dramatic, and wonderful. We'd all have liked a win, but when it was 2-0 and David Villa was lining up a penalty, who wouldn't have taken the point then?

I look at it this way: Orlando was the tired, depleted team, playing on the road. New York City FC was the angry, rested, home team with its star players on the pitch. They're ahead of Orlando in the standings Who was supposed to win this match? The Lions showed the heart of some kind of animal that I can't think of right now by coming from two goals behind to snatch a win away from their fellow 2015 expansion club. And it was amazing.

So, let's get to the grades from those who took part.


GK, Joe Bendik, 7 - Couldn't do much about the Brillant goal, as his defense on the back post let him down. Not much he could do on the chip by Villa either, as the play at Yankee Stadium can, and does, turn around in the blink of an eye. Not a lot of big saves for him this time, but he did a solid job all game. Distribution was spotty at times, but that is a product of the length and width of New York City's field.

D, Luke Boden, 5.5 - Bodz struggled to get comfortable in the first half. His service on corners wasn't great in the first half and his touch failed him a few times. In the second half, the poor service continued, as his crosses and free kicks continuously found their way in the air straight to Josh Saunders. His defense was fine but he didn't provide much in the attack up the left side, losing his footing on his one good opportunity for a cross in the run of play.

D, Seb Hines, 6 - Was beat by the late runner Brillant on NYC's first-half goal but was otherwise solid in defense on his return (again) from a knee injury. He put in a full shift trying to keep Villa, Shelton and McNamara at bay. Was unlucky to fall on the ball and concede a penalty, but the soccer gods were just and ball don't lie, with Villa slipping and missing the spot kick badly.

D, Tommy Redding, 7 - Had a strong defensive first half against David Villa, blocking the Spaniard's 41st-minute shot. In two matches at Yankee Stadium, Redding has done a great job of limiting Villa, who did get a goal on the break, but the 19-year-old had a good game, although I felt he kicked the ball wildly up field a couple of times when he had time and space to pass. That'll come with more experience.

D, Kevin Alston, 6.5 - Provided long throws, which is something we haven't seen this year, but the first two were too close to Saunders. Was solid if unspectacular in the first 45 minutes defending the right flank, but did allow a dangerous R.J. Allen cross that no one could get onto. Got revenge for that Allen cross by dispossessing the same player neatly in the 80th minute. A couple moments he'd like to have back in the 62nd and 64th minutes, taking a yellow for pulling down Villa, and heading out a wayward ball for a corner.

MF, Servando Carrasco, 6.5 - Took a silly booking eight minutes in blocking a quick free kick attempt. But he got under Villa's skin and did a pretty good job breaking up play in the midfield, not having Ceren or Higuita with him. He took charge of the defensive midfield and despite a couple of shaky moments he had a solid all-around game.

MF, Harrison Heath, 6 - Joined his defensive midfield counterpart by taking an early booking for pulling down Mix Diskerud in the open field 10 minutes in. Had a pretty solid season debut although he conceded a dangerous free kick from just outside the box late in the match that could have changed the outcome. A promising first match of the season for young H.

MF, Brek Shea, 6 -€” A mixed bag for Brek, who started the match in the midfield and finished at left back. His poor defending on Allen, allowing too much space, led to the cross for Brillant's goal late in the first half. He and Boden were the leakier side against the NYC attack in the first half, and he conceded multiple free kicks out on the wide left side. Sent Larin in with a great through ball in the 61st minute. He fizzed a few dangerous crosses into the box but none found a teammate. Took yet another unnecessary yellow card when he got into it with Villa in the 93rd minute when time was running out on the match.

MF, Kevin Molino 8 (MOTM), - He disappeared at times, but man did he show up when it counted most. His 94th-minute header rescued a point as he powered it off the underside of the bar. Set up Baptista's first MLS goal with a nice ball in. Played a beautiful ball in for Larin in the 35th minute. Missed a shot wide late in the first half on a play-in from Larin.

MF, Adrian Winter, 6.5 - Put a brilliant cross on Larin's head seven minutes in on the Lions' best scoring chance of the first half. Worked his tail off yet again, which was embodied when he sprinted 30 yards to provide high pressure and forced an errant pass. Didn't get himself into any dangerous areas, but was his normal, hard-working self for 59 minutes.

F, Cyle Larin, 7.5 - Made the mature decision to head Rivas' 94th-minute cross back across the six-yard box rather than try to score from a bad angle and got an assist on the game-tying goal for his reward. Did everything right in the seventh minute, heading down Winter's cross but Saunders was there to make the save. His opportunity in the 35th was blocked by the trailing defender after he moved around his marker. Made a great play on a long ball late in the first half to create a chance for Molino.


Julio Baptista (59'), 7.5 -€” Changed the dynamic by coming into the center and moving Molino to the right. Gave his team a lifeline with his first MLS goal, taking an extra touch in the box but that was OK because the NYCFC defense allowed it. Then he turned and powered a shot into the left corner that may have taken a slight deflection off the defender. Helped as a coach on the field, giving instructions to his defensive midfielders to come up and close space, and also worked well with both Molino and Rivas.

MF, Carlos Rivas (70'), 7 -€” In a reversal from his last outing, Rivas got himself in dangerous spots, didn't take many bad touches and nearly earned his team a penalty in the 90th minute. Made a perfect back-post cross to Larin to start the tying goal sequence. A much-improved performance by the Colombian.

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That's the way I saw the game. Your mileage may vary. Please vote in our poll below for your Orlando City Man of the Match and tell me how wrong I am in the comments section below.