Undefeated feels so good. Orlando City maintain its perfect record at home with a grind-it-out 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls. Servando Carrasco, of all people, provided the only goal of the match — the first non Cyle Larin goal for Orlando this year.
Let's get to the grades:
GK, Joe Bendik, 7.5 – Overall, a solid performance once again from Bendik. Came up with a great save on a Bradley Wright-Phillips shot in the 8th minute. Had multiple big stops, mostly on Wright-Phillips, but still was not great on distribution to create attacks.
D, Scott Sutter, 7.5 – A solid shift for his first ever MLS start. Read the game well and was able to bomb forward in the attack as well as track back on defense. Had an effort on goal that barely sailed over in the 22nd minute and had another good effort in the 42nd that just rolled past the post.
D, Jonathan Spector, 8 (MotM) – The most consistent player so far this season for Orlando City came up with a huge defensive performance. Not only on an individual level, but the commanding of the back line and the teamwork with youngster Tommy Redding provided the framework for the team's second shutout in four games. Had the great goal-line clearance in the 12th minute to save a goal after Bendik got the initial save.
D, Tommy Redding, 7.5 – A decent game for the 20-year-old defender. Struggled a bit to win balls in the air against stronger and taller players, but was able to make up for it on the ground. Played well in tandem with Spector and together they were able to communicate well on the back line to knock out most of the Red Bulls’ chances. Led the team in interceptions and clearances. Mistimed a challenge on BWP in the 51st, almost letting in a chance.
D, Donny Toia, 7 – Solid job on the left fullback side. Didn’t have too much to deal with defensively, but broke up some promising attacks when they came his way. Third on the team in interceptions and tackles and fourth in clearances.
MF, Will Johnson, 7.5 – Struggled to make an impact through the first half the game, but along with Carrasco he managed the midfield well and helped create chances going forward. Had more impact as the match went on and finished the game second in tackles. Had the perfect set piece on the corner to Carrasco for the only goal.
MF, Antonio Nocerino, 6 – Looked solid in the beginning of the match, but a calf strain forced him to be subbed out in the 17th minute. He’ll be evaluated on Monday.
MF, Cristian Higuita, 7 – An impressive performance from the Colombian. Was strong on the ball and used tight, close dribbling to get around defenders, which created attacking chances. Was his usual self on the defensive end and even got his usual yellow card in the 61st minute. Was fouled the most (5 times) out of any Orlando player. Slipped Rivas in on goal in the 58th but his Colombian counterpart muffed the opportunity.
MF, Matias Perez Garcia, 7.5 – Looked much more dangerous as the center attacking midfielder than on the wing. Led the team in key passes and tackles. Head Coach Jason Kreis pointed out his defensive work rate through the match. Excellent opportunity in the 24th minute, with his shot curling just past the post. Had the perfect pass up field to Larin in the 67th minute, which led to a one-on-one chance with Robles.
F, Carlos Rivas, 6.5 – His pace caused problems for the Red Bulls, but overall, he was just okay. Solid effort in the 14th minute after good combination passing and forced a tough save from Robles. Had a good nutmeg pass to MPG in the 24th to get an effort on goal. Made a good run in the 38th minute, forcing his way past defenders to get into Red Bulls territory. Good back-post cross to find Larin in the 51st minute, but the chance wasn’t converted. Missed a good chance in the 58th minute after Higuita slipped him into the box and he lost the ball. Had two free kicks, but both went over goal — albeit not into lunar orbit, as can sometimes happen with him.
F, Cyle Larin, 7 – The big striker put himself in good space and made some good, strong runs towards goal, but the finishing touch was off today. Missed a good chance in the 51st minute on a back post cross from Rivas. Went 1-v-1 with Robles off MPG’s long pass in the 67th minute but couldn’t beat the New York keeper.
MF, Servando Carrasco (17’), 7.5 – Came in for Nocerino and provided good midfield depth. Scored the only goal in the 34th minute off a corner kick from Johnson, proving to be the eventual game winner. His forward passing and long balls were a bit off today, but his defensive coverage on the ground was solid.
MF, Giles Barnes (68’), 6 – Played some solid defense after coming on for MPG and helped Orlando preserve the lead. Earned a free kick in a good spot in the 80th minute and was strong on the ball in the limited opportunities he had.
MF, Luis Gil (83’), 6 – Made his first appearance for Orlando City and was shown a yellow card after only two minutes after coming on. Other than that, he didn’t get a chance to do too much. Did have a good defensive play in the 87th minute.
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.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match from the Lions' 1-0 win vs the New York Red Bulls?
This poll is closed
Matias Perez Garcia
Other (Tell us in the comments)