That was an ugly one.
Orlando City took an early lead on the road for the third week in a row, but were tied with the New York Red Bulls heading into halftime and a slow start to the second half cost them as the Lions ended up falling to the Red Bulls, 3-1. Kaká saw himself being sent off in stoppage time thanks to video review, and the club ended its string of three straight on the road with just one point from three games as the Lions head back home to take on the Columbus Crew next Saturday, Aug. 19.
Anyway, on to grades.
GK Joe Bendik, 6.5 — It was a tough night overall for Bendik. Not only did he allow three goals, but he suffered a slash on his right cheek on Bradley Wright-Phillips’ goal in the second half — it wasn’t the first time he’s taken a hit to the face playing at Red Bull Arena, by the way. But Bendik did make a couple of big saves not much earlier, making a stop on Alex Muyl in the 47th minute, then an even bigger diving stop on the ensuing corner kick, ranging down to his right to save the ball off the line.
D, Donny Toia, 5.5 — The first thing that jumps out about Toia’s night is his 54% passing accuracy, which is pretty poor. But it’s reasonable that his passing would suffer from lack of chemistry, playing next to the inexperienced Leo Pereira and behind Yoshimar Yotun in his first MLS start. Still, it was a mixed night. Toia was more active getting forward on the offensive end than we’ve seen from him lately, with one key pass. Defensively, he led all players with eight interceptions and added two clearances. However, the second Red Bulls goal came from his side, as did the cross for Wright-Phillips’ near-miss on a bicycle kick.
D, Tommy Redding, 6 — Redding finally cracked his way back into the starting lineup with Jonathan Spector sidelined, and he did what he had to do. He made a strong, clean first-half tackle on on Wright-Phillips in the penalty area in the 29th minute to clear the area of danger, but did get beat by Muyl on BWP’s second-half goal; Muyl ran right between him and Donny Toia, Redding could get to Muyl in time and he sent in the cross to BWP, who was just to Tommy’s left, for the goal.
D, Leo Pereira, 4 — Leo was responsible for the Red Bulls’ first goal of the night when his attempt to clear Sacha Kljestan’s cross into the box instead went into his own net. He was also tied for a team-high three fouls on the night. In fairness, it was his first MLS match since June 4.
D, Scott Sutter, 6.5 — Sutter played a sound game defensively, as he often does, and on the offensive side of the ball finished with 84 percent passing, four crosses, and five accurate long balls forward. A quietly exceptional night for the right back.
MF, Will Johnson, 7 — Johnson was very much himself throughout the night. He brought passion and energy early on, and his fight for the ball started everything off for Orlando City on the goal, winning the ball in midfield and getting it to Cyle Larin, who quickly found Kaká before he passed off to Rivas. Johnson passed for 86 percent on the night, had a game-high four tackles and three interceptions. All in all, a good night.
MF, Antonio Nocerino, 6 — Nocerino was six inches away from finally opening his MLS account, bending a shot around the outside post in the 70th minute, but outside of that it was a pretty meh night for the Italian midfielder, who got the start in the holding role over Cristian Higuita. Nocerino finished with 74 percent passing, two interceptions, and just one tackle, but he did make a solid play in the 14th minute to save Orlando from danger, taking the ball away from a Red Bulls player before they could dribble into the box.
MF, Yoshi Yotun, 8 (MOTM) — A very solid debut for the team’s newest Designated Player. Yotun looked comfortable, collected, and nothing like a guy playing his first game with a new team. He was active on both ends in the first half, and was clearly making a noticeable impact, but the second half was much different, and probably not his fault, as he struggled to spread the first like he did in the first half, and was mostly contained to the left side of the midfield. He did have a long-range ball down the field in the second half to find Carlos Rivas, who split the defenders to reach it, but the Colombian’s shot attempt was blocked. He was fouled three times, was credited with one key pass, and finished with an 83 percent overall in the passing game. He also should have scored the equalizing goal for in the 77th minute, hitting a shot off of the crossbar. An unlucky break in his debut.
MF, Kaká, 7 — All things considered, it was a good night for the captain. Kaká’s fifth assist of the season helped put Orlando up in the first half. He was credited with three key passes, two tackles, one interception, and had a great run from midfield all the way into the penalty area in the 73rd minute that ended with winning his side a corner kick. The red card in stoppage time shouldn’t do anything to put a damper on his otherwise solid outing.
F, Carlos Rivas, 6.5 — Rivas missed a golden opportunity to score in the 17th minute; with nobody but Luis Robles to beat, and he sailed the shot over the bar. But he made up for it not even a minute later, finishing off an assist from Kaká for his fifth goal of the season. Rivas was a menace throughout the first half, doing a great job of making runs in behind the Red Bulls’ defense; they couldn’t contain him. But the second half, again, was a different story, and he struggled to make an impact.
F, Cyle Larin, 6 — Larin looked dangerous in the first half, and had a couple of really good opportunities to put the ball in the net. In the 24th minute, he received a throw-in in the box on the near side, turned and forced Robles into a acrobatic save to keep the Lions off the board. A couple of minutes later, he got loose in the box on a Kaká free kick from roughly 40 yards out but flat out missed the ball in the air. A golden opportunity wasted. Story of the day, he was active in the first half but disappeared in the second as New York choked off the Lions in midfield. He did have 27 touches and drew four fouls before being subbed off in the 86th minute.
F, Giles Barnes (81’), N/A — Barnes entered for Will Johnson late and didn’t have enough time to make an impact.
MF, Cristian Higuita (81’), 1 — Higuita came on for Nocerino at the same time Barnes did, right after New York’s third goal, and didn’t have enough time to make an impact, but he did stay on the field long enough to get a yellow card in stoppage time during the scuffle that also included Kaká’s red card. Peak Cristian Higuita move to earn that yellow right before the whistle.
MF, Richie Laryea (86’), N/A — Richie got into the game in the final moments, and while he did get a shot off in the 87th, moments after coming on for Cyle Larin, it wasn’t enough to earn him a grade.
That’s how I saw the individual performances. What did you think? Let us know in the comments and vote for your MotM in our poll below.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the 3-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls?
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