A road win in Montreal, that was a statement. What turned out to be a not-so-close game after Evan Bush got the red card, this was what Orlando City needed. The team is back above the red line and that’s where the Lions need to be.
Let’s see how the guys graded out tonight, shall we?
GK, Joe Bendik, 6.5 – Man, that first goal was really tough to see. You know what, though? Joe Cool kept his head and made a huge save at the end of the first half and a few challenges to bail out his defense. Then he got his revenge and stoned Drogba on the penalty kick. Solid game for the man between the sticks despite the rough start.
LB, Luke Boden, 6 – Not much for him to do on the left side this night. And that’s not a bad thing either. The few times the action came to Bodz, he played the ball solidly and got the offense moving forward.
CB, David Mateos, 6.5 – The center of the defense did its job tonight with the ultra-talented Montreal offense. Mateos also got in on the other side of the field with a good chance on the end of an MPG free kick. As for the penalty in the box, that was highly questionable and a few minutes later, he made an awesome tackle to keep Montreal off the board.
CB, José Aja, 6.5 – I like José Aja a lot. He played tall tonight and, along with Mateos, kept the Montreal attack pretty quiet all night. This combination is really coming together and I hope to see them more together in the games to come.
RB. Kevin Alston, 7 – Of the two fullbacks, he played the best. Alston was all over the right side of the field, marking men and moving the ball forward. Fullbacks who hustle and don’t let their men get behind them are the kinds of fullbacks that make it in this league. Alston is playing at that level right now.
MF, Servando Carrasco, 6 – Carrasco and Nocerino are turning into quite the pair aren’t they? Carrasco supported the fullbacks well and pushed the ball into the attack when he had the chance. When your defensive midfielders aren’t being called upon, it is a good game.
MF, Antonio Nocerino, 6.5 – Along with Carrasco, he kept the ball moving and hustled all night. Man, what a turnaround for our Italian friend as he’s turned into a high quality connecting midfielder.
MF, Matías Pérez García, 7 – MPG is our engine at this point. He’s everywhere, making passes and harassing defenders. On this night, he was a terror in the midfield, setting up two goals and never letting up. On any other night, he’s probably the man of the match.
MF, Kaká, 7.5 – The captain puts two more goals in tonight and gets an extra half point for that fun fishing celebration. With Molino and Larin out on national team duty, Kaká turned more into an attacker tonight as opposed to a distributor and I think that’s a role he plays so well. He should do that more often.
MF, Brek Shea, 6.5 – A goal and a yellow card? That’s just another day at the office for Shea. He got the equalizer about a minute after that weak goal from Drogba and he continued his physical play the rest of the night. Every team needs that guy, the one not afraid to take a foul and rough up the opposition. That was Shea tonight.
FW, Carlos Rivas, 8 (MOTM) – This was the Rivas we wanted. This was the Rivas we deserved. He played a very helter-skelter game tonight and was rewarded with a late goal to go along with his two helpers. With Larin out, he played the forward position to perfection and showed the kind of game that will help the playoff push tremendously.
MF, Júlio Baptista (61'), 6 – Came in for Shea and kept the ball moving. He didn’t have much to do, but when he had the ball, he made positive plays. This is the perfect role for the Beast: late substitute.
MF, Tony Rocha (65'), 6 – He was hustling and holding the ball late when Orlando City was up big. He did what was needed and contributed to a key road win with some heady play.
CB, Seb Hines (80'), NA – Really didn’t have much to do so it is hard to grade the performance. Just came in to spell Mateos for Sunday more than likely.