The month of July was an eventful one for Orlando City. The club's only coach ever, Adrian Heath, was let go after the 4-0 loss against FC Dallas in the first match of the month. Assistant Coach Bobby Murphy guided the Lions through most of the month, including a scoreless draw against Houston, a 2-0 loss in New York against the Red Bulls, a 2-2 draw in British Colombia against Vancouver and another 2-2 draw in Ohio against Columbus. Jason Kreis was then hired as the team's new head coach, and after a 2-1 loss in a friendly to EPL side Stoke City , Orlando won an MLS match in the month of July for the first time ever, 3-1 over the New England Revolution.
As the calendar is has turned to August, 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: Cyle Larin vs. New England Revolution
In the process of scoring in three straight matches, Cyle Larin scored the best individual goal of the month. In the final match of the month and right after the second half began, Larin received a long ball from Servando Carrasco on the left wing. After playing it to Kevin Molino, a lucky deflection on the pass back to Larin put the ball in a perfect place for the striker to smash it with his weaker left foot and into the net.
Here it is, in its entirety. The buildup and passing combination leading to Molino's 2nd goal. pic.twitter.com/NGotdkY6OA— Austin David (@AustinDavid22) August 1, 2016
Also under consideration was Larin's game-tying goal against Vancouver, as the Canadian fought off a defender to head home a beautiful Molino cross.
Save of the Month: Joe Bendik on Gonzalo Veron
In a month where goalkeeper Joe Bendik won Save of the Week for MLS three times out of a possible four, his second winning save was the best. After a turnover by Orlando in what was already a 2-0 losing effort at New York Red Bulls, Gonzalo Veron was able to get free off a pass from Dax McCarty and, with some space, got a one-on-one against Bendik. In the end, Bendik made himself big, came out and blocked the effort from the midfielder to preserve the scoreline, and took a boot to the face for his troubles.
Player of the Month: Kevin Molino
How good has the Trinidadian been for Orlando City? With three goal and three assists in the month of July, Molino is the biggest offensive weapon for Orlando as it stands right now. He is second on the team in goals scored in league play and leads the team in assists. He is on pace to finish with double digits in both categories and is hitting his stride at just the right time for Orlando to make a playoff push over the next two months. #MolinoMania
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August will be tough for Orlando, with five games this month. The Seattle Sounders will be the first to come to Orlando, then two straight away matches in Chicago then Colorado. After that, the Lions will finish out the month against two of the top teams in the east: Toronto FC and New York City FC. 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.