Orlando City didn’t win. While that’s not news, at least the Lions fought back and made a game of a match that began looking like it was going to be another lopsided blowout loss. The team started slowly and at times seemed to not even care but after falling behind 2-0, the lads in purple showed some resolve and some pride in fighting to the end, scoring in the second half pressing until the final whistle.
The positives? Well, the club snapped a 507-minute scoreless drought through Dom Dwyer and there were opportunities to tie things up but the shots didn’t go in. The negatives? There are many, starting with the team setting a new MLS record for goals conceded in a season (72 and counting) and only one win in the last 23 games.
Let’s just get to the grades before the tears blur my vision.
GK, Adam Grinwis, 5.5 — The young keeper got caught on the first Sounders goal — too far off his line but not close enough to Victor Rodriguez — and looked bad as a result. There was nothing he could do about the second, which took a deflection off his teammate. Grinwis wasn’t as sharp with his passing in this match as in his first two but generally speaking he held his positioning well and had to come out of his box a few times in the second half with his teammates pushed up the pitch to avoid trouble.
D/MF, Will Johnson, 6.5 — It was just another night at the office for Will, who worked hard, passed well (91%), created three chances, attempted one shot, and had two tackles, an interception, and a clearance. He tracked back well although he nearly put a ball in his own net sneaking in from behind to deny a Seattle scoring chance. He played all over the pitch, starting at left back and moving into the midfield after a halftime shape change. He led the team with 88 touches on the night — 10 more than the next highest total.
D, Lamine Sané, 6 — The big man started a bit slowly with a couple of wayward pass attempts but he settled into the game nicely, ending at 96% pass accuracy, a team high four clearances, one tackle, and three interceptions. He commanded the back line well, especially when the team went to a three-man line. His biggest issue came early when Victor Rodriguez split the two center backs and headed in the first goal but it was difficult for me to see which player was responsible for him.
D, Shane O’Neill, 6 — O’Neill had a bit of a bad break when the ball deflected into the goal off of him in the 13th minute. He and Sané should have communicated better on the first goal when Rodriguez split the two on a run and headed over Grinwis. He finished with a tackle, two interceptions, two clearances and a blocked shot. He played a more advanced role in the second half, often getting forward to help with the attack. He passed at a 91% rate and had one cross in the match.
D, Scott Sutter, 6 — It was a mixed night for Sutter who got roasted on the first Seattle goal and allowed players in behind multiple times in the first half. But he was great in the attack and the Orlando goal wouldn’t have happened without his service. He had a blistering shot in the first half that forced a good diving save from Stefan Frei and created three chances on the night. His 92% passing rate was good and he had one tackle, two interceptions and a clearance. If not for the early defensive issues, he would have definitely been a clear cut Man of the Match.
MF, Oriol Rosell, 6 — Uri returned after an ankle injury and put in a full shift with mixed results. He looked like he could have done better closing down Rodriguez on the opening goal after Sutter lost him. He did well in the middle of the pitch, with three tackles and a team high five interceptions. He created two chances, had one shot attempt (off target), and passed at a 91% rate. It was a decent night for the Spaniard.
MF/D, Carlos Ascues, 5.5 — The Peruvian started at defensive midfield but shifted to the left side of the three-man back line in the second half. His 86% passing rate was the worst of anyone who played on the back line through the night and position didn’t matter because it was 85% at halftime when he had played only in the midfield. He had one key pass, two tackles, and two interceptions, and took an unnecessary yellow card late in the match.
MF, Cristian Higuita, 4 — The Colombian was poor on this night in my view — not terrible but certainly below what we’re used to from him this season. His passing rate of 79% wasn’t great but more than that he seemed not to care much. Most of his forays into the attacking third didn’t end well, with poor passing, backing out of a promising attack, or just a lack of ideas. Then again, that’s not his skill set. He produced no tackles and had only one interception, so even his usual good defense wasn’t on display, and he was slow tracking back in transition several times in the first half.
MF, Sacha Kljestan, 4.5 — While his 88% passing rate (on a team high 70 passes) and two chances created were good, Sacha was wasteful with his chances, getting none of his four shot attempts on frame, including a golden opportunity late to tie the game on a sweet give-and-go with Josué Colmán.
MF, Chris Mueller, 5.5 — If anyone could turn Mueller’s work rate into tangible success, it would be nice to see. Once again he ran his tail off, won a couple corners, but didn’t have much to show for it. He attempted one shot that was off frame, and passed at a 96% rate, but did not create any scoring chances. There were a few opportunities for him to make runs but he held his position at the top of the area and it took away options in the attack for his teammates. That’s something he’ll learn to do better with as he develops. A good example of that was when he picked up the secondary assist on the Lions’ goal. He dished off to Sutter and then stood and watched as the ball went in to the only Orlando player in the area instead of giving Sutter a second option. Defensively he had one tackle.
F, Dom Dwyer, 6.5 (MotM) — Dom finally broke the 507-minute drought and for that he edges out Johnson and Sutter for game MVP honors. He beat Kelvin Leerdam with a good back post run and put a difficult bouncing ball into the net past Stefan Frei. Like Johnson and Mueller, he ran and worked all night, and with Seattle’s defensive posture, he had to work that hard just to get touches. His passing rate was only 60% but several times he tried passing into the box from wide areas expecting runs from teammates that never came. He led the team with five shot attempts and had two of Orlando’s three shots on goal.
MF, Josué Colmán (58’), 5.5 — As usual, the Paraguayan had a couple individual moments of brilliance but there was a whole lot of nothing in between, including some loafing on plays where he could have made a difference. His back heel to Kljestan in the 73rd minute on a give-and-go was spectacular and should have resulted in an equalizer. Neither of his two shots were on target but he did pass well at 94%, creating two scoring chances. Defensively he had one tackle.
MF, Richie Laryea (74’), 4 — With 18 touches, the Canadian should have done better than no shots, no chances created, and just a 72% passing rate. He got into the area in the 85th minute and had plenty of room to pull back a pass but opted instead to hold onto it and then went down looking for a penalty and instead gave Seattle a goal kick. He did draw a free kick from distance after a good run through traffic shortly after coming on.
Those are the individual performances as I saw them. Who stood out to you? Don’t forget to vote in the poll below.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the Lions’ 2-1 home loss to the Seattle Sounders?
This poll is closed