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Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire: Player Grades and Man of the Match

Welp, let’s get this over with.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Chicago Fire Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

I can’t sugarcoat this performance. You can point to the short rest and tired legs compared to Chicago’s full week of rest. You can talk about playing on the road against the hottest team in the league and their 7-0-1 home record. You can even mention the missing presence of Cyle Larin, who has played well at Toyota Park.

But in the end, the result is all that matters, and — tough task or not — the Lions simply weren’t good enough and the performance was unacceptable if not inexplicable.

So...about those grades...

Starters

GK, Joe Bendik, 5.5 — Joe made three saves on seven shots on target but he was under fire all night, facing 17 total attempts and constantly having the Chicago attack coming at him. He had zero chance on Accam’s hat trick of goals (honestly, he had a better shot at stopping the penalty than either of the first two), or Nemanja Nikolic’s 1-v-1 opportunity. Solid stop on Nikolic at 14’ and alertly off his line at 24’ to deny Accam 1-v-1 although the offside flag had gone. Made a huge reaction save to deny Nikolic from point-blank range in the 31st minute. Distribution was poor at times and may have done better in terms of being alert to Accam’s speed.

D, PC, 5 — Victor Giro wasn’t able to put any kind of pressure on Matt Polster out wide throughout the night, allowing the Chicago midfielder to make crosses rain into Orlando’s penalty area. He also wasn’t able to get forward too much, although he did have one of the Lions’ three shot attempts, but only two cross attempts of his own. His passing wasn’t great at 70.5%, but he did lead the team in interceptions (5) and finished with two tackles.

D, Jonathan Spector, 5.5 — Spector kept it from being even worse. Made a good play to disrupt Michael de Leeuw in the 34th minute to throw off a potentially dangerous header. Had two vital clearances in the second half to prevent easy tap-in goals in the 50th and 74th minutes. One of his worst passing performances, at just 66.7% though. Defensively, he had one tackle, one interception, a blocked shot, and four clearances.

D, Tommy Redding, 6 — Left Accam unattended on the first goal and was one of several players caught flat-footed on Accam’s run on the second. However, Redding put in a solid defensive shift, tallying two tackles, four interceptions, six clearances, and a blocked shot. He was one of the few Lions who could control the ball and his 88.5% passing led the back line and was second among all starters.

D, Scott Sutter, 4.5 — It looked like a tired Scott Sutter out there on this night. His usual energy was lacking and he seemed a step slower than usual. He managed only two crosses (one accurate) in the attack although his 84.4% passing accuracy was decent. His foul in the box on Accam seemed unnecessary and added a goal against to the team’s tally. His only defensive statistic was a single clearance — no tackles or interceptions on the night.

MF, Luis Gil, 4 — No defensive or offensive statistics of note and just a 66.7% passing night. Gil was mostly invisible for 57 minutes before being subbed off for Barnes. When looking for a positive, the best I can come up with is that it looked like he was trying and he was running while others weren’t. That’s about it.

MF, Cristian Higuita, 3.5 — Repeatedly lost the ball and conceded dangerous free kick opportunities in the 32nd and 34th minutes, getting booked on the latter. Finished with four tackles but no interceptions or clearances and more turnovers than tackles, with two unstable touches and dispossessed three times. His 84.6% passing accuracy seems decent until you look at the passing chart and everything is sideways or backwards. Just a horror show of a road trip for the Colombian. I don’t mean to be harsh on Cristian, because I like him as a player, but he has not been good the last couple of matches.

MF, Antonio Nocerino, 5.5 — With a 94.7% accuracy, Nocerino was the team’s best passer among all starters, and on the most attempts (58). He also had a key pass, which was in short supply on this night. In fact, it was the only one the Lions registered. He had three tackles and a clearance defensively and was about a half yard offside or he’d have scored his first MLS goal in the 66th minute. He ran hard all night despite having played 90 on Wednesday in Seattle.

MF, Will Johnson, 5 — Usually you notice Will Johnson during a soccer match. He gets into passing lanes, forces attackers back, and generally just makes a nuisance of himself. He didn’t do that at Chicago. He passed pretty well (85.1%) and had good long ball accuracy (4/5), and was never dispossessed. However, he didn’t do much that was memorable from a good perspective either. He had two tackles and an interception on defense but was booked for a tactical foul at 22’ and wasn’t really able to connect the back line with the attacking tandem, on a night when Jason Kreis deployed almost a full midfield of DMs.

F, Kaká, 4.5 — I’ll admit, I had to double check to make sure Kaká had a passing accuracy of 83.3%, because it sure didn’t seem like it. He was more careless than usual with the ball against the Fire. Playing as a second forward with Carlos Rivas, the Brazilian didn’t add a lot to the attack. He had zero shot attempts, three crosses (but none found the target), and registered no defensive statistics. Had an awful turnover in the 42nd minute that ignited a Chicago counter and several others throughout the match that didn’t produce quite as much danger. He was dispossessed three times and was forced to tackle Accam and endure a booking in the second half before being subbed off.

F, Carlos Rivas, 4.5 — The most notable thing Rivas did was get stomped on by goalkeeper Matt Lampson on the Colombian’s best scoring opportunity of the night in the 75th minute. He did manage two of Orlando’s three shots in the game but neither was troublesome, with one well wide of the target — on an impatient long-range effort during a promising attack — and the other a free kick into the wall. He attempted only 13 passes and completed 61.5% of them. The stomp ended his night early and he may miss some time with an ankle injury that will be evaluated when the team returns to Orlando.

Substitutes

MF, Matias Perez Garcia (57’), 5 — MPG was able to add a little bit of energy and hold-up play where none was previously present. He should have shot instead of feeding in an offside Nocerino at 66’ but it’s hard to fault unselfish play and the Italian did have a better angle. He was able to draw a couple of free kicks, as usual, but passed at only a 75% clip and didn’t register any defensive statistics.

MF, Giles Barnes (57’), 4.5 — The Jamaican didn’t offer a lot on this night, although he did work hard in his 33 minutes. He drew a couple of free kicks and had an interception but he offered no shots and little in the way of offense at all — just one cross and a 72.7% passing rate. Got an elbow up on a late challenge which may get looked at by DisCo but it didn’t look intentional.

F, Richie Laryea (64’), 6 (MotM) — Came on for Kaká and didn’t accomplish a lot but brought good energy to the team in his MLS debut. Didn’t have many glaring errors either. The moment didn’t seem too big for him and he was able to work well with his teammates to try to create around the top of the box. Completed all six of his passes. On a night when most of the team looked either bad, lethargic, or both, this performance was good enough for Man of the Match, in my book, although that says more about Laryea’s teammates in this game than it does about Richie.

That’s the way I saw the individual performances on this night. Vote for your Lion of the Match in the poll below.

Poll

Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match from the Lions’ 4-0 loss at Chicago Fire?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Joe Bendik
    (10 votes)
  • 4%
    Tommy Redding
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Jonathan Spector
    (2 votes)
  • 8%
    Antonio Nocerino
    (12 votes)
  • 13%
    Richie Laryea
    (19 votes)
  • 61%
    The liquor cabinet
    (89 votes)
  • 4%
    Other
    (6 votes)
144 votes total Vote Now