It was another performance from Orlando City that was lacking that special something, as the Lions drew with the New York Red Bulls 1-1 in front of over 30,000 fans. It was a very physical game that saw nine cards shown to both teams and a possibility of even more being issued, the way the game was going.
With Orlando still gathering points from the game, the team sits only three points back of first place and still have a lot to play for going forward.
So, without further ado, take a gander at our grades from tonight's match.
G, Joe Bendik, 6.5 - Really didn't have much of a chance to do anything in terms of goalkeeping, but his distribution and long balls which helped get Larin and Kaka in dangerous positions were key in at least giving the Lions chances to score.
D, Brek Shea, 6 - Tried to get forward through most of the first half and had acres of space to work with, but he just couldn't get anything going in the attack. Was able to do more in the second half, but still looks like he's missing whatever he had one month ago against Portland. Was caught too far up on the Red Bulls goal and wasn't able to help defend Wright-Phillips. Received a yellow card in the 64th minute after tripping up Veron. Also made a great run in added time which he almost scored on. Only had a passing accuracy of 67% throughout the game.
D, Seb Hines, 5.5 - Looked completely lost on the Red Bulls' first goal and was backpedaling when Bradley Wright-Phillips made his run behind him, which he wasn't able to recover from. Made a challenge in the 52nd minute to stop a good counter attack after Shea was caught out of position. On the offensive end, he was able to get his head on a few balls, but his best chance came in the 88th minute off a corner kick which went just wide. Had the second worst passing on the team with 66% accuracy.
D, David Mateos, 6.5 - Much like last game, did well to clear his lines and get dangerous balls forward throughout the night. With the high pressing style of the Red Bulls, he was able to do well to relieve the pressure put on the back line. Received a yellow card in the 59th minute after trying to get the ball back and retroactively fouling Felipe in the process.
D, Rafael Ramos, 6.5 - It was a mixed bag for Ramos tonight. His attacking prowess on the night was imperative in getting forward and creating chances, although he got several crosses blocked. His right side with Molino was heavily used in the Orlando attack and Ramos was always able to get out of sticky situations. On the other hand, his temper continues to hurt the team. He received a yellow card in the 24th minute for dissent and could have done so again later in the second half when he kicked the ball when it was ruled dead. He did have a good look at goal in the 71st minute, but his low shot was palmed away by Robles.
MF, Antonio Nocerino, 6 - Nocerino continues to slowly improve in his play for Orlando, but is still lacking passing ability. On the night, he held the worst passing on Orlando, with 63% accuracy. He also showed a lack of effort on the New York goal by not getting to the ball after Ceren forced a turnover, which put the defensive midfield out of position and allowed Kljestan to get in on goal and thread the ball to Wright-Phillps for the goal. On the other hand, the Italian did a lot that will go unnoticed in this match. He was able to fill the space on the left side of the defense when Shea went up in the attack and by doing so, saved him a number of times from getting caught out of position. He also had a few one-touch passes that sparked some counters. Still, a lot more needs to come from the midfielder to be worth the salary that the team is paying him.
MF, Cristian Higuita, 6.5 - The Colombian had an incredible game in the midfield, up until the last five minutes of the game. His hustle, determination, speed and recovery ability helped keep the Red Bulls' attack in check and limited their opportunities to score. Led the team in interceptions on the defensive end and was sixth in passing accuracy with 72%. His grade would have been much higher, except for the two footed challenge which resulted in a red card in the 85th minute.
MF, Darwin Ceren, 7 - Much like Higuita, Ceren helped hold down the midfield and played more of a defender role than a midfielder. Sat back and helped deal with the counter attacks, while also distributing the ball out of the back. He led the team in passing with 86% accuracy and started the counter attack which led to the lone Orlando goal, which he got a hockey assist on.
MF, Kevin Molino, 8 (MOTM)- Molino looks to be back to his good form, now having scored four goals in the past six games. Molino was third in passing accuracy with 76%, was the most fouled player on the pitch, having been fouled six times by the opposition, and was able to work with Ramos on the right wing to get forward. His goal in the 67th minute came after making a beautiful run from the center circle of midfield, which put him in prime position to clean up the chance created by Larin and Ceren.
MF, Kaká, 6.5 - It wasn't the best of games back for the captain, but he definitely made an impact in favor of the Lions. Was second on the team in passing accuracy with 81%. Offensively, the defense keyed in on him often, which allowed Larin and Molino to get space to work with. He also led the team in key passes in the final third, shots on goal and crosses into the box. Had his best chance of the night in the 39th minute, after his shot was parried away by Red Bulls goalie Luis Robles. Also received a yellow card after arguing with referee Ted Unkel in the 25th minute.
F, Cyle Larin, 5.5 - Not the best of nights for the Canadian. Missed a golden opportunity early on in the third minute when he was able to get 1-on-1 with Robles, after Molino fed him through on goal. Then, in the 39th minute, had his rebound shot blocked by Robles after Kaká's initial effort was saved and put right at Larin's feet. Had another chance in the 62nd minute on a cross from Ramos, but after skying the volley, it was ruled a handball in the box. His run in the 67th minute, which ended up with Molino getting the goal, was the best thing that he did on the night.
MF, Servando Carrasco (88'), N/A - Came in after the Higuita red and helped preserve the draw.
Be sure to vote for your man of the match and head to the comments section to sound off on my worst grades.