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Orlando City vs. Toronto FC: Player Grades and Man of the Match

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How did your favorite Lions rate in a tough 2-1 home loss to the Reds? We grade the players and select our Man of the Match.

Carlos Romero, The Mane Land

After more than a year without a home loss, Orlando City has dropped two straight at Camping World Stadium after a crushing 2-1 loss to Toronto FC. The Lions probably deserved something from a game in which they missed a few early opportunities, fell behind on a play that perhaps should have been their free kick instead of Toronto’s throw, and then drew level early in the second half.

But that’s not how the 2016 script has gone so far and once again it was Jozy Altidore scoring on Orlando off a Sebastian Giovinco assist. This one came late enough for Toronto to hold the lead.

Let’s just get to the grades before I throw up in my mouth (again).

Starters

GK, Joe Bendik, 7.5 (MOTM) — Could Joe have done anything more to have kept either Toronto goal off the board? I don’t know. Being left one-on-one as a keeper in soccer is asking a lot. Conversely, he made plenty of saves he had no business making but made them anyway. He finished with five saves and all five were difficult. He was decisive in coming off his line to thwart several through balls and punched every cross he could get to. He kept Orlando in this game.

D, Luke Boden, 6 — Bodz got lots of help tonight defensively as Orlando shifted left to crowd the right side of Toronto’s attack – something Greg Vanney talked about after the game. His 82.5% passing was decent, his five interceptions quite good, and his cross on Cyle Larin’s goal was superb. He led the game with 115 touches, but a lot of that was short back-and-forth passing with Kaká in non-threatening spots. However, he overcooked a number of other crosses – one so badly that I swore it had to have been deflected – and his lack of pace continues to put Orlando in dangerous situations.

D, Seb Hines, 6.5 — Seb may have been the best player for Orlando the first half. He wasn’t quite as sharp the second half and it showed in the team-high four fouls conceded, as well as a booking. He took charge of the defense, finishing with two blocked shots, four interceptions, two tackles and two clearances, and passed at an 86.2% clip. Toronto looked more dangerous after Seb’s knee flared up and he was substituted off for David Mateos.

D, Tommy Redding, 5.5 — Three interceptions, three clearances and a tackle don’t tell the full story for Tommy, nor does his 90.2% passing accuracy, although they all helped. He seemed the easier defender to pick on all night, and got caught up field on the first goal. I will say that I took nothing off his grade for that because he cleared the ball out for a throw and then was taken out. A foul should have been given instead of a Toronto throw, in my opinion. Still, it wasn’t called and he not only got beat back, but tripped himself up in the process of trying to keep up with Tosaint Ricketts. Redding has a bright future but still must get better in the air (he won no aerials in the match) and in reading the play.

D, Kevin Alston, 6 — Kevin didn’t always accomplish what he set out to do, but he worked hard throughout the night, finishing with a blocked shot, three clearances and three interceptions. After completing all 11 of his first-half passes he finished with just a 78.9% overall accuracy, with too many careless attempts after halftime. He didn’t have a single cross attempt and was accurate on only three of eight long balls. You definitely can’t fault his work rate though, as exemplified on a play where he not only prevented a Toronto corner, but also earned a free kick through sheer hustle.

MF, Tony Rocha, 7 — Despite what seemed like a quiet night (which is usually a really good thing for a defensive midfielder), the youngster created a game-high four chances and a game-high 93.8% passing accuracy. That’s right. He created more chances than Giovinco, Kaká, or Michael Bradley. In fact Orlando as a team created eight chances and he had half of them. Seven of his eight long balls were accurate. Defensively he had three tackles and an interception against one of the best midfields in MLS.

MF, Antonio Nocerino, 6.5 — It was another nice night for the Italian, who is stringing together some good performances now, although not quite as good as he was at Colorado. Nocerino completed 885% of his passes, tracked back well, made two tackles, an interception, and a clearance, and five of his six long balls were accurate. I thought he did well linking play between the back line and the attacking midfield and moving the ball from side to side before coming off in the second half.

MF, Kaká, 5 — I thought the captain was better at Colorado and I didn’t think he was very sharp that night. His pass completion of 77.5% is still low for him. He took four shots and three were on target but all of them were directly at the goalkeeper. He didn’t register a single chance created or accurate cross. His set pieces were short, he had trouble beating defenders and there were at least two occasions where I thought he switched off and was late getting to a ball he might otherwise have won.

MF, Matias Perez Garcia, 6 — MPG showed flashes but it wasn’t a complete game by any means. He won a game-high five fouls, passed at an 85.4% accuracy, and created one of Orlando’s eight chances. He pitched in defensively with two tackles, three interceptions and a clearance. However, he wasn’t always sharp around the box, overcooking an early ball for Larin and another for Kevin Molino.

MF, Kevin Molino, 4.5 — He nearly scored a goal on his return but The Original pushed it just wide of the far post. Aside from that, Molino wasn’t his usual threatening self, registering the fewest touches of any of Orlando’s starting midfielders. His passing accuracy was low (74.2%) and seemed to get caught in between two possible runs a few times. He was somewhat active defensively, with three interceptions and a tackle. He created one of Orlando’s eight chances. Still the Trinidadian led all players in bad touches (4) and didn’t look his usual, confident self.

F, Cyle Larin, 4.5 — Although he managed to get on the score sheet with his 13th goal of the season, it wasn’t the best night for Kid Fantastic. After the match, Jason Kreis chalked it up to a day in the life of a striker, saying on another night he might have put four in. The problem was, he didn’t. Larin tied Kaká for the most shots on the team (4) but only two were on frame and one of those was straight at Alex Bono. His second golden chance was launched well wide of the goal frame and he had another great opportunity he didn’t even get a shot off as it flicked off his heel. He could have been a hero with a powerful late drive in stoppage time but he hit the outside of the right post. He completed just 69.2% of his passes and touched the ball just 30 times in 93 minutes. Hey, that goal was awesome, though. You‘ve got to give him that.

Substitutes

MF, Servando Carrasco (69’), 5 — Serva came on to spell Nocerino as Kreis wanted fresh legs on as he shifted to a single defensive midfielder to move Rocha into the attack. He put in his usual hard night’s work and completed a good percentage of his passes (88.9%) but only touched the ball 12 times. He posted one tackle and one clearance. Still, he didn’t leave much of a mark on the game.

MF, Brek Shea (75’), 5 — Brek came on for a gassed and largely ineffective Molino. He worked hard, making two vital defensive clearances in his own box, and completed all six of his passes. Still, he accomplished little in his 11 touches.

D, David Mateos (82’), 4.5 — It certainly wasn’t planned to bring the Spaniard on for Seb Hines. Kreis said after the match that changing a center back either means someone played poorly or there was an injury. In this case, it was the latter. Mateos’ introduction, or rather Hines’ departure, tilted the field in Toronto’s favor a bit. He quickly picked up a yellow card shortly after being introduced, although I question that decision. David touched the ball only six times and completed just four passes. He didn’t register a defensive statistic.

That’s how I saw tonight’s performances. Let us know what you thought below and be sure to vote for your Orlando City Man of the Match.