Orlando City looked lethargic, lifeless, leggy, and any other pejorative ‘L' word you can think of in tonight's 4-0 loss to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium. Of course, the Lions have still never scored in MLS play against the Hoops, after falling 2-0 at home last year, but this was the first time Orlando has been shut out in 2016.
The match was also lopsided enough to give the Lions a negative overall goal differential.
It seemed almost as if City's players decided to play along and compete against Joey Chestnut in the big Independence Day hot dog eating contest. The Lions looked tired and lacked energy almost from the first kick of the ball. It was a disappointing way to come out against one of the league's best teams.
Enough said, because there's not much good to say. Let's get to tonight's player grades.
G, Joe Bendik, 6.5 (MOTM) - The fact that the keeper gets Man of the Match in a 4-0 loss tells you all you need to know about this game, really. He wins the award by default as there is literally no outfield player who could even conceivably have earned the accolades. Bendik did make several key saves that kept the score line from being even more embarrassing, but a timely save early may have kept his team in the game. Not too much he could have done better on the goals but we've seen him stop some of those this season.
D, Luke Boden, 3 - Got turned inside out on the second goal and allowed Michael Barrios to slip in and chip Bendik to make it 2-0. Bodz didn't get forward much, although he did manage to earn a corner once, but on another occasion his penchant for avoiding his right foot like the plague got him trapped behind the ball as he couldn't beat the last defender on his crossing attempt.
D, Tommy Redding, 3.5 - The youngster wasn't necessarily any worse than anyone else, but on this night, that's not saying much. Was subbed out at halftime after a first-half performance that wasn't on par with some of his other recent displays. Earned a booking after being beaten in the 39th minute.
D, David Mateos, 3.5 - Was culpable on Hedges' goal, as he failed to stay with the Dallas center back, after failing to fight through a pick. Was caught up field on the Barrios goal but so was the entire rest of the back line as the long ball was headed well forward by a Dallas defender and the ball was quickly played behind the defense. Had a few decent moments cutting out crosses and played Diaz well in the 26th minute down the sideline to earn a goal kick but it was a tough night for the Spaniard (as it was for most), who earned a second-half booking that seemed unnecessary.
D, Kevin Alston, 4 - Alston did well to make a few vital saving deflections and cut out a few through balls but like most of his teammates, struggled to complete passes at times and wasn't able to get forward much at all.
MF, Darwin Ceren, 5.5 - His service wasn't great after taking over free kick duties in the second half, he gave away a dangerous free kick just above the box, and wasn't his usual energetic self in central midfield. Where the Salvadoran will typically break up play and make life miserable for the opposition, this was a night when he didn't impose his will on the game. However, he did manage to have one of the highest passing ratings on the night (87%) for the Lions and had three tackles and two interceptions.
MF, Cristian Higuita, 4 - A bad giveaway early led to a Dallas break and even though the Lions recovered from that, Higuita decided to fire a pass back to Mateos that was too hot to handle in that short a space, instead of simply turning into the open space in front of him. That bad back pass ended up going out for the corner kick that gave FC Dallas its first goal. In fact, Higuita often chose to make difficult back passes into traffic rather than turning and linking with the attacking midfielders.
MF, Brek Shea, 4.5 - His passing rate was too low at 72.7% and he attempted only two crosses, neither which found its target. But at least Shea was one of the few players that created occasional problems for the Dallas back line moving forward. He earned a few free kicks in dangerous areas and perhaps should have shot instead of trying to square a ball for Larin, because there wasn't much pace on the pass and Hedges closed and broke it up.
MF, Kaká, 4 - A forgettable 45 minutes for the captain, who hopefully was subbed out at halftime to save him for Friday's match against Houston rather than due to a knock. He completed 83% of his passes and touched the ball 26 times in the first half, but he wasn't able to really spring anyone for a chance at goal.
MF, Kevin Molino, 3.5 - The Trinidadian looked lethargic and seemed to lack passion and energy throughout. He completed 80% of his passes but was easily dispossessed and didn't track back well to help on defense. Seemed running in mud most of the night and on at least one occasion eased off his run, forcing a Kaká pass to miss him and be turned over.
F, Cyle Larin, 2.5 - The Canadian had only 12 touches in his 68 minutes in the game and it didn't even seem like that many. Part of it was the lack of quality of his teammates, but, like Molino, Larin didn't seem to have any real energy or movement. He got himself into a dangerous attacking position twice in the entire match. The first was nicked off his feet in the box in the game's opening moments, and the second was the opportunity when Shea crossed to him only to see it deflected out for a corner. He completed six of his nine passes and failed to register a shot.
D, Seb Hines (45'), 5 - With three tackles, an interception, two clearances, and a blocked shot in his 45 minutes, Hines was the most active of Orlando's defenders on the night. He nearly got to a corner kick but his collision with Seitz while both were going for a 50/50 ball drew a foul call.
MF, Servando Carrasco (45'), 5 - Serva came on at halftime for Kaká and completed 88% of his passes and gave the Lions a little more bite in the central midfield. He finished with a tackle, a clearance and a blocked shot.
F, Julio Baptista (68'), 4.5 - Like Larin, The Beast had trouble getting on the ball and late in the match, his teammates weren't really even trying to get it to him much. He had only eight touches but completed all six of his passes and registered one of the Lions' three shots on the night, although the effort from outside the box was well over the bar.
Well, like I said above, there's not much good to say about this performance. Vote for your Man of the Match in the poll below and let me know what you thought.