Well, August was ugly. The Lions went 0-3-1, were outscored 8-4, and hopes of making the playoffs are now under 1%. Orlando’s four goals in August came from three different players: Cyle Larin, Giles Barnes, and Carlos Rivas. However, the Lions also scored two own-goals and Kaká was given a red card.
August was clearly not the best month for Orlando, and The Mane Land staff did not have too much trouble in voting for last month’s awards. With just two wins since April, here’s to hoping the boys end a forgettable year with a good run, even if it will be too little, too late.
Goal of the Month: Giles Barnes vs. Columbus Crew
Barnes picks up the Goal of the Month unanimously. In the only game of the month in which the Lions earned a point, Cristian Higuita was arguably the best player on the field. He dominated the midfield, and showed what Lions fans have been waiting to see since 2015. In the 67th minute, the Colombian forced a turnover, beat a defender, and nutmegged Crew’s Lalas Abubakar, before feeding Barnes a perfect through ball. Barnes made a great run and his right-footed shot hit both posts before going in. It was a glimpse of what this team is capable of, and was enough to save a point at home.
Save of the Month: Joe Bendik vs. Montreal Impact
One of the only things that is certain when watching Orlando City is that Joe Bendik will make a spectacular save, and he did not disappoint in August. There were two saves that stood out from the rest, but this one-handed save on Blerim Dzemaili won by a slim margin.
With Ignacio Piatti drawing three defenders in Orlando’s 18-yard box, the Argentine had no trouble picking out a wide open Dzemaili. All alone at the top of the box, Dzemaili’s first-time left-footer was headed for the top corner. Bendik made a quick adjustment prior to reaching a full stretch to keep the game tied at 1-1.
Also receiving votes was Bendik’s quick reflex save against the Red Bulls. Michael Murillo’s beautiful header from a corner was destined for goal, but Bendik got down to punch the ball away.
Player of the Month: Yoshimar Yotún
The best part of August was the signing of Yoshi. Yotún has played in three games so far, but he’s played the full 90 in each of them. He did not score and managed just one assist, but early signs suggest that the Peruvian is the real deal. His pinpoint accuracy and playmaking ability provided many scoring opportunities, albeit the forwards failed to capitalize.
Giles Barnes also received votes for Player of the Month.
The Lions already got hammered in the first game of September, but play five more this month. With the playoffs gone, Head Coach Jason Kreis could make some changes and give some younger players opportunities. Hopefully, Dom Dwyer and Dillon Powers will contribute to the same effect as Yotún in September, but, looking on the bright side, the performances can only get better from here.
Be sure to comment below on your best goal, save, and player of August, and check back next month for the monthly awards.