Well, 2017 is in the books. Or should I say 2017 is finally in the books. I wish Orlando City’s entire October could just be erased from the history books but it cannot, so here we go with the final monthly awards of 2017.
The Lions only played two games but lost them both by a combined score of 7-1. However, with nothing to play for in the final game, Head Coach Jason Kreis rested key players in the finale. Instead, younger guys and players that needed to prove their worth were inserted into the lineup leading to an embarrassing 6-1 loss in Philly. The other game in October was Kaká’s final game, and the home finale, where the Lions lost in a close one, 1-0, to Columbus.
Goal of the Month: Dom Dwyer vs. Philadelphia Union
Well, this was the easiest pick because it was the only candidate. Orlando City nearly failed to score in a month for the first time in history, but Dom’s goal with 18 minutes left in the season — which came with Orlando five goals down — provided small relief.
The Lions’ lone goal of the month came off a set piece. Yoshimar Yotun took a one-step run up and his left-footed cross was hit perfectly onto the head of Dwyer. All Dom needed to do was redirect it to spoil Philly’s shutout.
Save of the Month: Earl Edwards vs. Philadelphia Union
Earl was not good in Philly, but then again, neither was anybody else. This season, he was fantastic in the USL, making acrobatic saves that Lions’ supporters are used to seeing Joe Bendik make. While The Landlord did not look like he did with OCB, his lone save of the match reminded us of what he is capable of.
After a terrible turnover from Antonio Nocerino and even worse defending from Leo Pereira, the Union went on the counter. A one-touch give-and-go led to Chris Pontius one-on-one with Edwards. The former third-round MLS SuperDraft pick stood up strong and held his position. He cut down the angle so Pontius had nothing to shoot at and made a quick reflex save to keep the ball out.
Scroll to 3:15 in the video below to see the save.
Player of the Month: Yoshimar Yotún
Signing Yoshi may just have been the highlight of 2017 for the Lions. His touch, vision, and passing is far above anyone else on the team, and October was no different. After two poor games from the Lions, Yoshi was the lone bright spot. He was the Man of the Match against the Crew, and was second-best against Philly.
Yotún provided an assist on Orlando’s only goal of the month, and it was a perfect ball to Dwyer. He took five of Orlando’s eight corners, and this is sure to increase in 2018. He was also just one of three players to play every minute of both games — Dwyer and Scott Sutter being the other two — and without the Peruvian, the Lions’ defeats could have been worse.
Dom’s lone goal also caused him to receive votes. He was not always great in the two games, but that had much to do with the poor service from the midfield. He played well, if not fantastic, and his goal was a classic Dwyer goal.