Shockingly, when two teams play in the afternoon Florida sun after playing Wednesday night, the game is not played as crisply as you’d like. Both Orlando City and FC Dallas came into a Saturday afternoon match at Orlando City Stadium on short rest and both coaches opted to play basically the same side as the midweek team. The result was sloppy and final balls were hard to come by — impossible, in fact — as the Lions have still never scored a goal against FC Dallas and the only goal Orlando has against any Texas MLS team is a Tyler Deric own-goal in 2015 against Houston. Weird.
Tired legs make for poor soccer, and both teams were guilty of it, but let’s get to the player grades from a less-than-satisfying 0-0 draw:
GK, Joe Bendik, 7.5 — He wasn’t called on often but Bendik played well in making five saves and controlling his area throughout the game. It took only four minutes for Joe to make a play, as he got a hand to a Carlos Gruezo shot to knock it over the bar. He made a good save on Tesho Akindele in the 12th minute. Joe was quick off his line to beat Dallas players to entry balls throughout the first half. Made a diving stop in the 30th on a Mauro Diaz free kick. He did spill a Gruezo shot in the 46th but it was nearby and he was able to re-gather. His last big save was probably in the 53rd, when a cross found Diaz at point-blank range and Bendik made himself big to make a sprawling save. His service was even good, connecting on seven of 11 long balls and 81% of his passes.
D, Donny Toia, 7 — It was a good game for Toia, who ran more of the attacking play than usual, playing on Yoshimar Yotun’s side. He led the defense in touches (69) and his 73% passing rate was good considering how many were in the offensive half. He finished with three clearances, one tackle, one interception, and a blocked shot, and committed only one foul. If there was a weakness in his game it was service but everyone’s passing seemed off in this game.
D, Jonathan Spector, 7.5 — With Specs being one of the more rested players on the pitch, he looked a little sharper than many of his teammates. He led the back line with an 85% passing percentage and seven clearances. He also finished with two tackles, two interceptions, and attempted a shot that was deflected in the box. His best moment was knocking the ball away from Maxi Urruti in the 72nd minute on a dangerous cross. Good return for Jonathan.
D, Seb Hines, 7 — Did just enough against Akindele in the 12th minute to keep him from getting in behind. He led the back line and tied for the team lead in shots (3), getting one dangerously on target on a set piece and forcing a good save from Jesse Gonzalez in the 76th minute. He made a vital tackle in the box in the first half to snuff out a chance and defensively he finished with two tackles, an interception, two clearances, and two blocked shots. He could have been called for a handball in the box at 74’ on a Kellyn Acosta shot but the ball was blasted hard and Hines was close to the shooter. The arm was a bit out from the body but not in an unnatural position. It didn’t warrant a review, per VAR Sorin Stoica and later Matt Hedges got away with one from further away and with his arm in a less natural position, so maybe those evened out in the end.
D, Scott Sutter, 6.5 — Of all the players who started three times in seven days, Sutter showed maybe the most wear and tear. His game wasn’t as sharp as we’re used to seeing. He mishit his cross in the 38th minute after Carrasco sent him down the right flank. He made two tackles and three clearances but no interceptions and the more dangerous Dallas crosses seemed to come from his side. He managed only 46 touches and 72% passing accuracy, going 1-for-3 on long-ball accuracy and 1-for-3 on cross accuracy. Worked his way into the box late in the first half and went down with some contact but no foul was awarded.
DM, Servando Carrasco, 6 — After a good match Wednesday, Servando struggled to make a mark in this match. He passed well (94% on 17 attempts) but managed only 19 total touches before being subbed out for Richie Laryea in the 55th minute. He gave up a free kick in a dangerous spot in the 29th minute with a clumsy challenge on Diaz, sweeping the FC Dallas star’s legs. Hit a nice ball over the defense to send Sutter down the right at the 38-minute mark. His lone defensive stat was a single interception. It wasn’t necessarily a bad effort, but Serva just didn’t find much success linking up with his teammates.
LM, Yoshimar Yotun, 8 (MotM) — Like most of the team, Yoshi didn’t seem to have a lot of jump in his legs and it kept him from being dangerous throughout the first half, although he came on strong at the end of the game. He had a shot attempt seven minutes in but it was nowhere near the goal. In the second half he found more freedom and dialed in his passing more. In the 62nd minute he picked out Giles Barnes’ run up the middle and would have sent him in alone on goal had Atiba Harris not been holding the Jamaican’s left arm with both hands (it wasn’t called). Great free kick service in the 77th minute led to a good chance. His 90th-minute corner delivery found Kaká but the captain’s flick on was inches out of Cyle Larin’s reach. Yoshi’s shot in the 93rd went off Gonzalez and hit the post, and three minutes later he crushed one that Gonzalez saved with his face. He finished with three shots (two on target) and a game-high four key passes, drew three fouls, passed at an 84% clip, three tackles, one clearance, and had a game-high 94 touches.
RM, Antonio Nocerino, 6 — The Italian’s game was similar to Carrasco’s in that link-up play was lacking and passing wasn’t always sharp (79%). His 32 touches were more than Serva’s but he also was on the pitch 12 more minutes. Like Carrasco, Noce finished with one interception and had no shot attempts. His work rate was fine but he didn’t accomplish a lot.
AM, Giles Barnes, 5 — The Jamaican had a tough game, especially in the first half, losing the ball repeatedly in traffic and impatiently firing straight at Jesse Gonzalez from distance in the 36th minute as the Lions broke on a 4-on-4, rather than holding up play for his teammates to make runs into the area. His shot in the 77th minute was nowhere near the target. His passing was 76% on only 21 attempts and he had only 35 touches, but just lacked some of the quality he’s shown over the past few matches.
F, Kaká, 5 — Like others, the captain was a bit sloppy. Had a chance to serve up a cross for Dom in the 41st minute but left his pass too close to Gonzalez. His cross in the 71st was over the near-post runner and nowhere near the back-post run. Neither of his two shots were on target, though he did have a nice flicked header on a corner that Larin couldn’t quite reach. His passing accuracy was just 75% on just 35 touches and defensively he made one interception.
F, Dom Dwyer, 6 — While he was active and his work rate was high, as usual, Dom didn’t make too much of a mark on the game and many of his passes to try to send in teammates didn’t quite come off as the defender would often get just the slightest touch to send it off target. He finished with one shot (off target) and one key pass, no defensive stats, and just 60% passing on 20 touches. He wasn’t getting great service regardless of how much pressure he put on the back four for Dallas.
MF, Richie Laryea (55’), 6.5 — The Canadian came on for Carrasco to provide fresh legs in the midfield, taking the right side of the diamond and sending Nocerino back to defensive mid. He was active, getting 25 touches in his appearance, with a shot and a key pass, but had trouble linking up with teammates, passing at a 71% clip. He finished with a tackle, a clearance, and an interception, slotting into the middle of the midfield in a 4-3-3 after Carlos Rivas came on late.
F, Cyle Larin (67’), 4.5 — I was surprised Cyle started on the bench after he did the same in the midweek, considering the short rest. He made little mark on the game with nine touches, although he completed all four of his passes. He was just offside on a promising build-up where he could have played Kaká in on goal. He didn’t register a shot or a key pass and no defensive stats, drawing one free kick. Larin theoretically could have made more of his fresher legs but it just never happened.
F, Carlos Rivas (84’), 5.5 — If the Lions ever needed Rivas’ speed, it was today, but the Colombian didn’t get much of a chance to use it. He made one key pass and sent in the great cross to Larin on the offside play, but he was also dispossessed three times in a short outing and couldn’t do much with the ball in his 12 touches.
That’s how I saw the individual performances. How did you see it? Leave your thoughts below and vote for your Man of the Match in our poll.
Who is your Orlando City Man of the Match from the Lions’ 0-0 draw against FC Dallas?
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