Before even taking the pitch this evening, the Lions were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, although I am sure we all knew that making the playoffs was something to look forward to next season. With the 23rd different back line of the season, how did the Lions fare tonight?
Fair warning, I was in Scotland all week and watched a ton of Scottish football, so I might be looking at this match through slightly different eyes.
GK, Joe Bendik, 5.5 — Bendik had a solid first half. His ball distribution was much better, but the communication issues between him and the back line were on display. I still think Joe needs to come off his line a bit earlier. There wasn’t much he could do about either goal. The first was roofed from just inside the top of the area on a blast and the second he had to play the runners and the flick placed the ball perfectly into the corner. He made a couple of good saves on Carlos Gruezo and Michael Barrios and a couple others that wouldn’t have counted because Dallas was offside.
D, Mohamed El-Munir, 6.5 (MotM) — Sitting on the left behind Yoshimar Yotún and Chris Mueller, El-Mo took every opportunity to state his case as the starting left back. After a great pass from Dom Dwyer, El-Munir hit the post on a great shot. He was physical, relentless, and did not let the ref, and the fouls he was calling, affect his game.
D, Lamine Sané, 5.5 — It was an up and down night for the Orlando back line, but a mostly solid night for Sané, until he stepped up to intercept a pass, missed, and allowed the lead up of play for the first FC Dallas goal. He finished with an impressive 10 clearances on the night, taking charge of the defense in Jonathan Spector’s absence. He also won four aerials to lead Orlando.
D, Shane O’Neill, 6.5 — O’Neill had a pretty darn good match, cutting off streaking Dallas players, and showing a controlled physicality that flew under the radar for most of the match. He had the best passing rate on the back line (83.7%), and finished with two tackles, an interception, five clearances, and a blocked shot. He made an underrated play when a long ball was played forward by Dallas and walled off Dominique Badji so Bendik could come off his line and collect it.
D, Scott Sutter, 6 — Working just like El-Munir on the left, Sutter played well on the right. He did not push as far forward, as often as El-Mo, but certainly played the position he was asked to play. He had a tackle and an interception but only attempted one cross as he wasn’t involved much in the offense.
MF, Yoshimar Yotun, 6 — The Peruvian will miss the Seattle match due to yellow card accumulation on what was a very soft yellow card, in my opinion. Overall he played well, but held onto the ball a bit too long sometimes, and he was trying to force things in the second half which led to errors and loss of possession. His foul set up the set piece for the second goal. He led the team in shots, with three, but got just one on frame. He created one chance. Playing in the defensive midfield, he made two tackles and had one clearance.
MF, Carlos Ascues, 5.5 — The “other” Peruvian is still an amazing acquisition for team, but he had a bit of a rough night. I think the familiarity with Yoshi is apparent on the pitch, but the chaos of the rest of the squad is just as visible. He had two tackles, two interceptions and a clearance on the defensive end, passed at a 90% clip with one chance created, and attempted one shot, but it was blocked.
MF, Chris Mueller, 5 — Chris was looking to make a mark tonight, and played well, in the first half, but like many players, he looked a bit slow and frustrated before halftime, and couldn’t seem to find the same level of energy for the second. He attempted one shot (blocked), passed at an 81% clip, didn’t create any chances, and didn’t help much on the defensive end, with no statistics.
MF, Sacha Kljestan, 4.5 — Although the skill is still there, the speed and movement were not. It looked like he was to be marking Victor Ulloa prior to his header that was the second Dallas goal. Prior to that, he had a decent night, without some of the heavy touches we’ve seen in recent games. He had one tackle, a shot on target — on a sweet free kick that forced a Jesse Gonzalez save — and hit 91% of his passes.
MF, Will Johnson, 6 — The consummate workhorse is about the best description I can typically give Johnson. Right or wrong, he is still giving everything he has on the pitch. Tonight was an OK night for him, including two shots — both on goal. His passing rate was good, at 92%, and he tracked back to contribute three tackles, an interception and a clearance.
F, Dom Dwyer, 5 — Dwyer picked up a silly yellow in the seventh minute, which means he will miss the next match, and looked as though that stuck with him for the remainder of the game. Not a great match for Dom, who didn’t have a shot attempt, but did create three scoring chances. He hit 79% of his passes but only on 14 attempts. He was a bit weaker than usual with his hold-up play.
M, Cristian Higuita (76’), N/A — The Colombian came on for Johnson but wasn’t all that involved. He had 18 touches and passed well, at 92%, with one shot on frame but little else.
M, Richie Laryea (76’), N/A — The Canadian didn’t leave much of a mark on the game after entering for Mueller. though he did complete all four of his pass attempts. With only six touches he wasn’t really involved much.
M, Josué Colmán (81’), N/A — The young Paraguayan came on late and got involved a bit, with 10 touches, but attempted no shots, created no chances, and completed just 43% of his seven passes.
I admit I only got to see Higuita and Laryea for a couple minutes prior to the rain delay, and then my DirecTV went dark and there were no options for me to watch the match as it played out in the final minutes.
That is how I saw it. Who was your Man of the Match? Let me know how you think the boys should be graded in the comments below.
Who was your Man of the Match in Orlando City’s 2-0 loss to FC Dallas
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