The home season is over and so are Kaká’s competitive matches for Orlando City. The Lions came into 2017 with a roar, and they finish the home schedule with a whimper, failing to get a single shot on target out of their 13 taken against the Columbus Crew.
Going out with a loss is not the storybook ending Kaká wanted, and his tear-filled eyes after the match showed the deep connection that he built with Orlando City fans in his three seasons in purple. He’ll reportedly not be making the trip to Philadelphia next week but will be part of the friendly to raise funds for Puerto Rico on Nov. 4.
But the club moves on now and so must we, so here are my player grades from a disappointing home finale.
GK, Joe Bendik, 6.5 — Joe saved three of the four shots Columbus put on target and could do nothing about the fourth. His distribution was OK, not great. His positioning was pretty good as far as I could tell. He’d probably have a higher score if he’d had more to do on the night.
D, Donny Toia, 6 — Despite having to deal with Pedro Santos and Harrison Afful, Toia looked to get forward and join the attack when possible, which admittedly wasn’t often. He did have a nearly catastrophic miscommunication with Yoshi that resulted in a Columbus counter attack but Seb Hines cleaned up the cross with his magic head. Toia was the lone defender on Orlando City to register a tackle on the night, but just one, to go with an interception and two clearances. He had one cross, but it wasn’t accurate, to go with just a 74% passing rate.
D, Jonathan Spector, 6.5 — Specs posted the team’s best passing percentage of anyone with at least 10 attempts (98%), although he didn’t really attempt a lot of difficult ones, so he should have a high passing rate. In fact, he didn’t attempt a single long ball. He led the team in interceptions (3) and clearances (3), with at least two of the latter preventing good scoring chances.
D, Seb Hines, 6 — Seb won a couple vital headers, with an interception, two clearances, and two blocked shots. His vital sliding block on Ola Kamara’s attempt in the 82nd minute kept the Lions within reach of Columbus. He connected on 93% of his passes. He was involved in the goal as he tried to get inside of Kamara but was a half a step late in getting there, but Hector Jimenez had absolutely no one marking him to try to disrupt his cross, as Scott Sutter had drifted inside. Neither man could get between the cross and Kamara, and honestly it looked like a forward pass to an offside player to me. Hines came within inches of knocking it away but it got through.
Interesting side note: For the first time in more than a full year — in games with both Orlando City and OCB — Hines suffered a loss in a game in which he started and played at least the first five minutes. Previously, the only loss in the last year in a Hines start was an OCB game in which he was injured three minutes in.
D, Scott Sutter, 6 — I thought it was a mixed night for Sutter. He was culpable on the Crew goal and seemed to get caught up field a few more times than usual. He had his hands full with Justin Meram at times but also came inside to help out when he could, including recovering to make a vital header to prevent a scoring chance. Sutter passed well (89%), created two chances, had eight cross attempts (three accurate) and defensively contributed a clearance, an interception, and a blocked shot. He seemed reluctant to take on Jimenez a few times on plays that could have seen him get in behind, though.
MF, Servando Carrasco, 6 — It was a solid but unspectacular night for the midfielder. Serva passed well (98%), recorded a tackle and an interception, and even created one scoring chance. But he also made a brutal turnover in the 64th minute that ended in a Federico Higuain shot that sailed high. He sometimes gave too much space to players on the ball, allowing dangerous entry passes that luckily the Crew weren’t able to capitalize on.
MF, Yoshimar Yotun, 7 (MotM) — It wasn’t Yoshi’s best night but he was still the most dangerous player on the pitch for Orlando City. His passing rate of 79% was rather pedestrian for him, but he had the most attempts, per usual. His corner kicks also weren’t as dangerous as usual. But still, the Peruvian created a game high three chances, fizzed his one shot over the bar, drew a game high five fouls and led the Lions in tackles (4).
MF, Antonio Nocerino, 6 — Noce had two of the more audacious shots we’ve ever seen from him — the first was a volley shot that went screaming over the bar in the 20th minute. The second was off a short corner when the Italian found the ball above the penalty spot and smashed it just high. He passed well (92%) and made one tackle, but like Carrasco he sometimes allowed Columbus’ attacking midfielders too much space on the ball in front of Orlando’s back line, allowing them to feed balls in to Kamara, Justin Meram, and Pedro Santos.
MF, Giles Barnes, 5.5 — I thought Giles struggled a bit to make an impact on the game. He got his header completely wrong on an early set piece and he wrecked an attack by opting not to play in Dom and it broke down. He did earn a free kick in a great spot in the 36th minute as he tried to split defenders and was knocked down by Jonathan Mensah. But Barnes got neither of his two shots on frame, created no chances, and finished with just 17 pass attempts and 28 touches. He had a tackle and an interception on defense but became less effective in the second half and came off for Carlos Rivas shortly after the restart.
F, Kaká, 6 — In his last Orlando City game, Kaká tried for all the world to make a positive impact. But it was far from his best game in purple. He sent a dangerous cross through the box at 22’ that deflected off Josh Williams’ knee and nearly found its way into the net. He buzzed the roof of the net with a free kick in the 37th minute. He had a chance to be a hero with a very late free kick just inches outside the penalty area but he missed it badly. His 81% passing rate was just OK, and he created just one chance, although he tied for the team lead in shots (3), but none were on frame. He was dispossessed a team-high four times.
F, Dom Dwyer, 5.5 — Hustled well throughout the first half, firing just wide at 17’ and just over the bar at 40’. He had a great chance to make an impact with Zack Steffen out of position but a heavy touch allowed the goalkeeper to collect the ball far from his net. He didn’t pass particularly well (63%) but he did manage three shots, though none were on target. Dom managed only 18 touches and just eight pass attempts.
F, Carlos Rivas (57’), 4.5 — Well, I guess the Colombian ran fast a lot. Other than that, I didn’t see a lot out of Rivas on this night. He attempted no shots, touched the ball just 16 times, and made nine passes (67% accuracy). Neither of his two crosses were accurate and he recorded no defensive statistics after coming on for Barnes.
MF, Will Johnson (57’), 5.5 — With two shot attempts and an 88% passing rate, Johnson contributed as much as any of the substitutes on the night. Defensively, he added a tackle, an interception, and a clearance, and you got about the usual work rate from the Canadian.
MF, Richie Laryea (70’), 5.5 — He completed all seven of his passes but managed only 11 touches over the final 20+ minutes of the match and picked up a yellow card for his troubles. He added a tackle and a clearance on the defensive end. Ultimately, he didn’t make too much of an impact in his time.
That’s the way I saw the individual performances in a thoroughly dissatisfying home finale at Orlando City Stadium. What did you think? Share your ratings below and be sure to vote in our poll.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match from the Lions’ 1-0 loss to the Columbus Crew?
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