After the first three months of mixed results, Orlando City had another mixed bag for the month of June. In league play, the Lions drew 2-2 against the San Jose Earthquakes and won 3-2 over Toronto, while in the U.S. Open Cup they won against the Jacksonville Armada, 1-0, and lost in their most recent game to the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, 2-1. The month also marked the end of Adrian Winter's tenure with the club, due to family matters back home in Switzerland.
As the calendar is set to turn to July, it's time for The Mane Land staff's picks for the Lions' best goal, save, and player from the month that was.
Goal of the Month: Júlio Baptista vs. San Jose Earthquakes
In one of the most emotional games in Orlando City's history, Brazilian striker Júlio Baptista scored one of the most memorable goals the team has ever had.
After Carlos Rivas got the ball on the left wing, the Colombian crossed the ball in to Baptista, who flicked it up just inside the 18-yard box. The Beast then blasted it into the back of the net, just off the fingertips of goalie David Bingham. If only the Earthquakes hadn't scored on the other end right at the end of the game, this goal would have gone down as one of the biggest goals in the club's history.
Kevin Molino's goal against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers gets an honorable mention, after he took on six defenders and the goalkeeper and beat them all for Orlando's only goal of the match.
— Austin David (@AustinDavid22) June 30, 2016
Save of the Month: Joe Bendik on Jordan Hamilton
There weren't too many "highlight saves" in June for Orlando City, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. The only save that was memorable was against Toronto FC in the 74th minute, where the initial wide open effort that Toronto's Jordan Hamilton had on goal was blocked by Joe Bendik. The second effort probably could be considered a penalty, but luckily for Orlando, nothing was called.
Player of the Month: Kevin Molino
The Trinidadian has come alive over the past few games for Orlando City. With a goal and two assists in the two matches preceding last night's loss at FC Dallas (Open Cup and MLS play), Molino is becoming a catalyst for Orlando's offense. He is second on the team in goals scored in league play and is tied for first in assists. With Adrian Winter now having left the club, more responsibility will fall on his shoulders to produce offensively and with his recent play, he should be up to the task.
Also receiving votes: midfielder Adrian Winter. Sadly, he won't be with Orlando anymore after family issues arose back home, but this past month he was able to tally a goal and an assist, helping Orlando go undefeated in league play. His heart and hustle was huge for the Lions' productivity in the final third and will be a huge hole that will need to be filled.
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The month of July gets incredibly cluttered from here on in. After last night's "match" against FC Dallas, the Lions have six more games (three of them away from home) this month, as well as a friendly against Stoke City. Check back at the end of the month for our next installment of The Mane Land monthly awards.
Also, be sure to weigh in with your thoughts for each category in the comments section.