Orlando City drew 2-2 against Vancouver Whitecaps FC to follow up on their 2-0 loss to New York Red Bulls last Wednesday. The Lions find themselves continuing to look for winning form amidst their search for a head coach (which has culminated in Jason Kreis, if you haven't heard). How does the Stock Watch see the Lions' individual performances?
Kevin Molino - Pretty much everyone was awful in last Wednesday night's 2-0 loss. Molino did what he could to create, dishing out four key passes, but was clearly lacking something -- as were the rest of the Lions -- on that night. He followed it up with a strong performance against the Whitecaps, assisting on Cyle Larin's goal and bending the defense as he usually does when Kaká isn't on the pitch.
What was especially encouraging about his assist was that The Original didn't panic as the defense shaded heavily on him. We've seen him take an extra touch with his head down far too many times in his MLS career when the pressure is high, but he was as cool as could be on that play.
Joe Bendik - This could look weird on the surface, considering he allowed two goals in each game we saw over the course of the last week. The thing is -- there should have been many, many more. Over the course of this season, poor Bendik looks more and more like John Francis Daley from Freaks and Geeks when he realizes every line of defense is gone and it's just him vs. dodge balls bearing down on him with unforgiving fury.
Godspeed, Joe. We appreciate all that you do.
Kevin Alston - We need fullbacks. Alston is doing the best he can (I assume...that's a fair assumption, isn't it? Results aside, surely the guy is trying...right?) as he fills the hole left by Rafael Ramos. He was unable to connect on his crosses in both of this week's contests, and while he generally performs (relatively) well, he seems to have this nasty habit of committing at least one giant error per game that leads to a scoring chance.
This week, those chances were converted.
Here's to hoping Alston can weed out the bad and put together 90 minutes of the good.
Luke Boden - No really, we need fullbacks. And let me be clear -- as a fan, I absolutely love Luke Boden. I've plugged the @Bodenators in a few of my pieces before because I feel, in general, the man doesn't get enough respect for the quality play he usually delivers.
That quality play was missing this week.
We know that Luke is slow. We also know that his left foot is a gift from Olympian god Hermes himself. Usually, the awesomeness of the latter overshadows the severity of the former. That was not the case this week, as Boden's crosses continually found nothing noteworthy of reception.
Rumors will certainly be swirling around the fullbacks now that Kreis is in charge. Here's to hoping that, no matter what, everything works out well for these two in the end, purple or not.