Orlando City's home unbeaten streak of more than a year came to an end in emphatic fashion, as the Lions fell 3-1 to Seattle on the strength of a Clint Dempsey hat trick. Missing starter Kevin Molino who tweaked his hamstring in training yesterday, according to Orlando Sentinel reporter Alicia Delgallo, Orlando's midfield never was able to get much control of the game.
So, Jason Kreis won't go undefeated as Orlando City's head coach. Apparently.
It hurts the Lions, who were poised to go above the red line with a draw or better, knocking New England below. Playing a team with only one road win on the season would seem to favor the undefeated home side but after an early goal by Seb Hines it was all Seattle and the chance to move up went wanting.
Let's get to the grades from tonight's 3-1 loss.
GK, Joe Bendik, 7 - Not the busiest night for Joe but he was left all by himself far too often. He made a vital save on Jordan Morris at the top of the box in the 44th minute and stopped a Dempsey flick in the 20th, finishing with two saves on five shots on target. Had some help from his goal posts late against Nelson Valdez.
D, Luke Boden, 5 - Bodz really missed Molino on the night, trying to combine with Brek Shea and later with Carlos Rivas, and not really being all that successful. His passing accuracy was 82.5%, besting only Seb Hines among the team's defenders. He took one curling shot from distance that missed wide and didn't create any chances. His crosses didn't find teammates.
D, David Mateos, 4.5 - Had a lot of trouble with Seattle's runners throughout the evening and he and his back line mate Seb Hines struggled with trying to maintain their high line. Nicolas Lodeiro and others were able to pick the central defenders apart by playing passes between and over the pair to Morris and Dempsey.
D, Seb Hines, 5.5 - Hines did well to get onto crosses on the night, including his opening goal, however, he missed a golden opportunity to throw the Lions a lifeline in the 71st minute, heading the ball down (as you're supposed to) but directly at goalkeeper Stefan Frei. The ball bounced off Frei and along the goal line only to hit the right post before it was cleared. He was only 75.5% accurate on passes, but he did try more long balls than his back line mates. He finished with a team high five shots. Nearly sent in Shea all alone in the 65th but put a tad too much weight on the through ball. Like Mateos, he got blistered by the Seattle runners.
D, Kevin Alston, 5.5 - Earned a corner with good hustle in the 12th minute to hound Joevin Jones into a mistake. Had a couple of crosses for Larin that were served just the slightest bit high, forcing the Canadian striker to only be able to get underneath them. Led the back line with an 83.6% passing percentage, creating three chances.
MF Servando Carrasco, 5.5 - An extremely quiet night for Servando, which is usually a good thing for a defensive midfielder. He completed a team-high 92.1% of his passes but he was at least partially culpable for allowing Nicolas Lodeiro too much room to operate.
MF, Antonio Nocerino, 5.5 - Although he continues to look more comfortable every week - completing 90.6% of his passes and getting a shot attempt off tonight - the Italian doesn't look comfortable defending in this formation. Even so, with a midfield of Dempsey, Lodeiro, and Ivanschitz to contend with, he led the team with four tackles.
MF, Brek Shea, 5 - Just 33 touches for Shea on the evening in 66 minutes of work, as he struggled to find space to play in and was often forced back rather than take on defenders. A switch to the right side helped some, as he started to come into the game more, but unfortunately it was just before he was subbed off. He created one chance and was one of the lowest rated passers on the team.
MF, Kaká, 7 (MotM) - The captain had to fight through heavy traffic all night. Without Molino to work with, he had Shea and Hadji Barry instead, and wasn't able to create as many good opportunities as usual. His cross on the goal was vintage Kaká for his seventh assist on the year. He created three chances and had one shot, which was on target, completing 88.9% of his passes. He just didn't have enough help in the attacking third. This is one of those "Man of the Match by default" things. He didn't have a great game by his usual standards but it was solid enough if he'd only had some help.
MF, Hadji Barry, 4.5 - A relatively ineffective night for the rookie, who wasn't able to use his speed much. A microcosm of his first half was standing and waiting for a pass, allowing Joevin Jones to run around him to reach it first and ignite a dangerous counter attack down the left flank. Had a team-low 15 first-half touches, showing an inability to find space where his teammates could give him the ball. He finished with the fewest touches of any starter. The rookie will have better nights.
F, Cyle Larin, 5.5 - The Canadian had trouble getting touches, as the Sounders paid particular attention to him, with both Chad Marshall and Brad Evans marking his every move. His passing percentage of 73.9% wasn't particularly high and he often failed to read what his teammates were about to do in the final third. Got his head onto a few crosses but they were a tad above the height where he could get on top of them and drive them on goal. His runs were good despite the service lacking a bit and he did manage to win four fouls.
MF, Matias Perez Garcia (55'), 6.5 - Making his debut, the Lions' diminutive new midfielder did make an impact in his time on the pitch after coming on for Barry and finishing with two more touches than the rookie. He made an impact, drawing three free kicks in good spots and creating two chances in his 35 minutes. For only having been with his new team for two days of training, he completed 87.5% of his passes, showing good awareness of space and movement.
F, Julio Baptista (67'), 6 - Although The Beast didn't get a lot of touches in his 23 minutes (just 12), he made them count. His header in the 71st hit the crossbar, which led to Hines' chance on the rebound. He drew a free kick in a dangerous spot and two free kicks overall in the attacking third down the stretch. He finished with two shots, which was second only to Hines. His passing rate was a tad low (75%) but he was involved.
MF, Carlos Rivas (78'), N/A - Wasn't really able to get involved much after being introduced. He completed both of his passes, but the fact that he attempted only two passes and had only 12 touches says a lot about how little involvement he had. He created no chances and took no shots and really didn't have much time to make an impression on the game.
That's the way I saw the match. Let me know what you thought and vote for your Orlando City Man of the Match below.