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Orlando City at Houston: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions rate? Here are our player grades and man of the match from a 4-0 loss at Houston. Vote for your team MVP in our poll.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It was a game that is best just forgotten. A 4-0 loss in Houston and a game where there were no standout players. Three games in the last eight days had a drastic effect on the Lions and they seemed fatigued and slow the entire game.

Let’s see how each player did, but, just a warning, it is not pretty.


GK, Joe Bendik, 3 — This may just have been Bendik’s worst ever performance with Orlando City. He got beat near post on the first goal from a shot from distance. The second goal he let in went through his legs and trickled into the back of the net. There is not much he could have done with the last two goals, but the first two went in because of his mistakes. After that, the defense pushed up and the Lions got caught on the break. If Bendik takes care of those first two goals, they don’t go down 2-0, and Orlando does not push forward.

D, Donny Toia, 4 — Alberth Elis got the better of Toia all night. Defensively, Toia was slow and got beat way too often. On the first goal, he did not put much pressure on Elis, and Elis took advantage of it. He got beat in a two-on-one situation that led to a cross into the box and the second goal of the game. He picked up a yellow late in the game, as he took out Elis from behind on a restart. All in all he looked slow and tired throughout.

D, Tommy Redding, 6 (MOTM)— It is weird to give a defender the Man of the Match in a four-goal loss, but none of the goals were much to do with Redding. He made some crucial clearances in the box and, as always, was comfortable on the ball and distributed it well, which is reflected in his 87% passing accuracy. He was caught up the field on Houston’s final two goals, but the entire team was pressing to attempt a comeback.

D, Jose Aja, 5.5 — It was his first game back from injury but you could never tell it. In a game that his team let in four goals, Aja played well all night, especially when considering that he was not fully match fit. He was caught ball watching on the second goal and slow to get over to cover Mauro Manotas. Other than that it was a solid game from Aja.

D, Scott Sutter, 4.5 — Sutter simply looked exhausted all night long. His touch was spot on and he seems to always find an open player. He also had numerous defensive stops and was an offensive threat on the right hand side, but defensively he was too slow. It seems as if this 270 minutes in the past three games got the better of the Sutter, and he will do some good with a week of rest.

MF, Antonio Nocerino, 5 — Lasting 58 minutes, Nocerino was on the bad end of a turnover that led to Houston’s second goal. He was triple covered and tried to dribble out of harm’s way, but lost the ball and Houston scored on the play. He was caught in no-man’s land on Houston’s first goal, although it did not have an effect as Elis took the ball himself and beat Toia. Defensively, he made seven clearances and recoveries, his passing was overall good.

MF, Will Johnson, 5 — With Kaká on the bench and Jonathan Spector not in the 18, Johnson was the leader on the Lions and could be seen directing his teammates. He was one of the Lions to bring down Mauro Manotas in the 11th minute to draw the penalty. The penalty seemed harsh, but Johnson definitely made contact. His overall performance was exceedingly average, not doing any spectacular or awful, as he returned from an illness in the midweek that kept him out against Toronto. He had a chance to tie the game in the 47th minute as a ball fell to his feet on the top of the box. He did not get enough power on the volley, though, and it was a training ground save for Willis.

MF, Luis Gil, 5 — Gil had some pretty nice moments. First, half of Orlando City’s shots on target and 33% of the total shots came from Gil. He had a few nice dribbles, runs, and passes that broke Orlando City out into the attack. However, he also had some bad turnovers that led to Houston going on the counter. Most notably was his turnover in the 65th minute that led to the Dynamo going on the counter and scoring their third goal.

MF, Matias Perez Garcia, 5 — MPG was all over the field and was a workhorse all night. It seemed Houston had a game plan of stopping MPG no matter what it takes and the Argentine won five free kicks for the Lions. His set pieces were poor connecting on none of his three attempts. Just like most of the rest of his team, he had a few bad turnovers. While MPG did not have a terrible game, he will want to put it behind him and not look back.

F, Giles Barnes, 4.5 — In his first game against his old team, Barnes was substituted after 58 minutes in a disappointing outing. His only shot attempt of the game came in the 56th minute. It was a half-volley off a nice flick from Larin, but it was on his weak foot on a half volley and Barnes did not get his hips around, skewing it off target. He had 11 total passes — four of which came in the final third and all four were unsuccessful.

F, Cyle Larin, 4.5 — Larin did not necessarily have a bad game; he simply was invisible most of the time. It could be said that the reason for this was that the midfield failed to get him the ball, but that is not a good excuse at this level. He only managed to get one shot that was easily saved by Willis, and a few defensive stops around midfield. Other than that it was as if the Canadian was not even in the game.


M, Kaká (58’), 4.5 — When he came in Orlando City seemed re-energized, but it did not last long. He had only 16 passes and one shot (wide) in a little over 30 minutes. Orlando needed some flair off the bench and Kaká tried but failed to deliver. After the fourth Houston goal, Kaká did not do much at all and the game seemed all but over.

F, Carlos Rivas (58’), 4 — Rivas’ 44% passing accuracy is simply awful. Same as Kaká, he failed to provide flair off the bench and the team did not look much better from when he entered the game.

M, Cristian Higuita (71’), 5 — By the time Higuita got into the game, the ending was already written. He was pushed up the field almost the entire time, and was not impactful in the defense. Offensively he was good at distributing but it was all in the middle third of the field.

That’s how I saw it. What did you think? Vote for your City MotM below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.


Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match from a 4-0 loss at Houston?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Matias Perez Garcia
    (5 votes)
  • 18%
    Tommy Redding
    (30 votes)
  • 0%
    Jose Aja
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Luis Gil
    (0 votes)
  • 77%
    Anyone who watched the full 90 minutes
    (123 votes)
159 votes total Vote Now