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Orlando City vs. Seattle Sounders FC: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions rate in a 1-1 draw at Seattle? Vote for your OCSC MVP in our poll.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City has a knack for dramatic last-minute goals to turn losses into draws. On this night it was Scott Sutter’s first goal as a Lion as he used his head to knock in the equalizer in the 94th minute at Seattle, one game after Jonathan Spector did the same exact thing against Montreal.

The Lions didn’t play a great game but they also didn’t play that poorly. There was a noticeable lack of quality in the final third but Seattle is a good defensive club at home and they can do that to teams. The important thing is that Orlando hung around all night and can move on to Chicago with another point.

Let’s get to our grades:

Starters

GK, Joe Bendik, 8 (MotM) — Terrific night for Joe, who kept the Lions in the game long enough for Sutter’s goal to matter. He finished with five saves and few of those were easy. He was alone against Will Bruin on the 19th-minute goal and the shot had too much power for him to stop. He read the game well and was quick off his line a few times to keep shots from happening, taking the ball off Jordan Morris’ foot in the 57th on one such occasion. His back-to-back stops of Clint Dempsey and Osvaldo Alonso in the 59th minute will likely be up for MLS Save of the Week and he denied Deuce again on a break in the 62nd minute. Great bounce-back game for Bendik.

D, Donny Toia, 6 — Spent much of the night blocking crosses and was unable to get forward much with Cristian Roldan and Nicolas Lodeiro working his side of the field. Finished with a tackle, two interceptions, and four clearances but he did get beat wide once by Morris on a play that led to the back-to-back Bendik saves. Passed at only a 75% clip, which was lowest on the back line. Made way for PC in the 85th minute.

D, Jonathan Spector, 7 — His step in the 19th minute nearly prevented the first goal but unfortunately he missed the ball and it fell perfectly for Bruin to score the opener. Other than that, Specs had the usual outing you’d expect, for the most part. He led the back line with a 91.2% passing accuracy and three of his four long balls were accurate. Tallied two tackles, three interceptions, a blocked shot, and a team-high eight clearances. His repeated sliding challenges prevented even more danger from Seattle.

D, Tommy Redding, 7.5 — Tommy may literally have only put one foot wrong all night and that was on the Morris run in the 57th minute, when he tried to stab at the ball and whiffed. Other than that, it was quite a solid night from the U.S. youth international. He even won a few aerial balls, which isn’t always his strongest skill. Finished with two tackles, a team-high six interceptions, a blocked shot, and three clearances. His passing was a robust 81.6% and he even got a shot on target with a glancing header in the second half.

D, Scott Sutter, 7.5 — Even before scoring the game-tying goal on the last touch of the ball, it was a good night for Sutter. He had two key passes and six crosses, one of which nearly found Will Johnson late. He was accurate passing (82.9%), and defensively held his ground well, finishing with a pair of interceptions and two clearances. He tried to set up Kaká in the 54th minute with a nice pass but the captain had his shot blocked. His first goal as a Lion was a memorable one.

MF, Kaká, 6.5 — It was another mixed night for the captain, who did a lot well, but also had some curiously bad turnovers and a few poor decisions. His delivery on the game-tying goal was superb, though. Sent Carlos Rivas in 1-v-1 with a great through ball early. Was set up at the top of the box by Rivas in the 37th minute but opted not to shoot and that decision led to a Seattle break. He picked out the wrong pass in the 41st minute, ignoring Giles Barnes and lifting a cross that was cut out by the defense. He passed at a 77.6% clip and notched two key passes, leading the team in touches (73) and finishing second in pass attempts (58).

MF, Antonio Nocerino, 6 — The Italian had a quietly solid night (again) but added several runs forward, getting into the box more than we’ve seen much of lately. Unfortunately, he went largely ignored by his teammates when he did so, but those runs did open up some space at the top of the box for others at times. He was the most accurate passer of all Lions with a minimum of 10 attempts (96.3%) and was often able to move the ball quickly to avoid Seattle’s pressure. Because Seattle played mainly down the wings and on balls over the top, he didn’t rack up any real defensive stats, but he was accurate on four of five long balls and his lone cross.

MF, Cristian Higuita, 4 — The Colombian lacked sharpness on this night, turning the ball over needlessly and carelessly far too many times. He started the night with a 14th-minute shot that was well off target from a good spot juts above the box. He had three bad turnovers in the first half. The first at 27’ broke up an offensive buildup; the second in the 30th led to a Seattle counter attack that eventually broke down; and the third forced Toia to clear it out for a throw. In the 43rd minute he worked a nice attack with MPG up the right but then didn’t pick his head up and crossed blindly to the back post where no one was. His passing turnovers continued through the second half, igniting a pair of Seattle counter attacks. Neither of his two shots threatened goal. Defensively, he did provide five tackles, an interception and a clearance. His overall passing accuracy was good (85.3%) on a team-high 61 passes but most of his success came on square or backward balls and much of his attacking play was poor.

MF, Matias Perez Garcia, 5.5 — MPG lacked the sharpness we saw on Saturday but it wasn’t a bad performance, so much as he just kind of got lost at times. He had a shot on target in the 56th minute on a pretty decent rip. His passing accuracy was good (81.6%) with one key pass but he was dispossessed a team-high five times. His set piece service was also lacking, with none of his four crosses finding its target. Contributed two interceptions and a clearance on defense. Subbed off in the 64th minute for Luis Gil.

F, Carlos Rivas, 5.5 — Not the best of nights for the Colombian, who had Orlando’s two best scoring chances but failed to bury either, but also not the worst. Had a chance to start the game off perfectly with a 1-v-1 against Stefan Frei five minutes in, but his right-footed shot was too close to the keeper, who made the save. His 35th-minute turnover led to a Nicolas Lodeiro shot on goal. Did well to find Kaká two minutes later but the chance went awry when the captain didn’t pull the trigger. He was fairly active defensively, with a tackle and four interceptions. His passing was accurate (88.2%) but only on 17 attempts. At least both of his shots were on target — no sky shots in this game.

F, Giles Barnes, 5.5 — The Jamaican worked hard as usual but not much came from his efforts in the final third. His one shot was off target. Passing accuracy was good (80%) but like Rivas, had few attempts (20) and didn’t create any chances off of them. He did draw a couple of fouls, earning an early set piece in a good spot. Finished with one tackle and an interception defensively. He came off in the 74th minute for Will Johnson.

Substitutes

MF, Luis Gil (64’), 6 — It was quietly a good game for Gil, who helped set up the late free kick that ended up tying the game. His interplay down the left with PC sent the Brazilian left back forward and down the Seattle flank. His passing was spot-on (94.4%) and he tallied one blocked shot and an interception.

MF, Will Johnson (74’), 6 — I thought Will’s night was kind of a mixed bag. He seemed to struggle to find his footing in the game but he nearly got onto Sutter’s late cross just ahead of Stefan Frei, and he also lashed a shot on target that forced a diving save. He managed to help provide some late energy and notched one interception but also picked up a yellow card for dissent.

D, PC (85’), N/A — Victor “PC” Giro came on late for Toia and his last-second run up the left side set up the game-tying goal. It’s probably unfair to give him a grade for about eight minutes of work, so I’ll give him an “N/A” but his actions definitely impacted the game and he completed all eight of his passes.

That’s the way I saw the individual performances from the match. What did you think? Let me know in the comments below and vote for your OCSC Man of the Match in our poll.

Poll

Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match from the Lions’ 1-1 draw at Seattle Sounders FC?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Tommy Redding
    (22 votes)
  • 7%
    Jonathan Spector
    (12 votes)
  • 11%
    Scott Sutter
    (20 votes)
  • 62%
    Joe Bendik
    (107 votes)
  • 5%
    Other
    (10 votes)
171 votes total Vote Now