That match definitely had its ups and downs. Congrats to Adrian Heath on picking up the victory in his first game back in his old stomping grounds. Also, prayers up to former Lion Kevin Molino who was injured in the second half and had an ice pack around his left knee, and to Stéfano Pinho of Orlando City, who went down earlier in the game. Both players were on crutches afterward.
Orlando scored its lone goal on a penalty kick from Yoshi Yotún. The defense was susceptible in transition, which led to the two goals from Minnesota’s Ethan Finlay. The Lions suffered their first loss of the season, and here is how I graded the starters and subs. Yours may vary, especially in a loss.
GK, Joe Bendik, 5.5 — Bendik, to be fair, saved Orlando from getting the brakes beat off of them, but regardless he still had a questionable night. Bendik’s goal given up in the 12th may have been to the lack of knowing Finlay was onside, but it also would’ve taken a very tough save to keep it out. Bendik could’ve done more as he was basically planted where he was on the 79th-minute goal, but again not much he could’ve done. A below average night for Bendik, who at the end of the game seemed to be the only player with any urgency.
D, Scott Sutter, 5.5 — Sutter sent in five crosses on the offensive side, but it seemed like he forgot he was a defensive player. His most notable debacle was being outrun and allowing the header that led to the Finlay goal in the 79th but he overall just had an off night on the pitch. He recorded two tackles and one interception while also only having one accurate long ball. Below average night for Sutter after a great game last Saturday.
D, Jonathan Spector, 7 — Spector was one of the better players on the pitch. He had five clearances out of the box, numerous blocked shots, and two interceptions. He completed three accurate long balls along with 86% passing, and he once again contributed to the offensive attack. He had a blocked shot on net in the 55th. Spector was one of the better players on the pitch, and I look for him to talk to his team and rebound with an even better game next week.
D, Amro Tarek, 6.5 — Tarek left Finlay onside on the first goal, but overall played a solid match. He had four clearances and numerous challenges that stopped Minnesota United attacks. He had a shaky second half, allowing Mason Toye to easily get past him in stoppage time in the second half, but he had an otherwise average performance. His clutch clearance in the 72nd minute led me to put him over a six point grade. He nearly opened his account with the tying goal but saw his effort cleared off the line by Ibson in stoppage time.
D, Mohamed El-Munir, 6 — El-Munir was everywhere on the pitch. He obtained a team leading seven interceptions and five tackles, while also sending in a team-high seven crosses. He had the second lowest passing accuracy on the team, posting a 76.9%, which is below par. El-Munir also got beat on the 79th-minute goal by Finlay, which ended up being the winner. He played solid defensively, but his poor passing and decision-making caused him to have a poor night.
M, Cam Lindley, 6.5 — Lindley played solid throughout the contest, and his passing was superb, creating numerous chances for Orlando City. Lindley posed an 81% passing rate, creating seven successful long ball passes, three of which kept Orlando attacks going. Lindley also had a tackle, an interception and a clearance, so I believe he played well on both sides of the ball by creating chances and stopping them from Minnesota with his accurate decision making. Good night for Lindley.
M, Will Johnson, 6.5 — Johnson’s crossing was amazing, creating chances for Spector and others. He only had 52 touches, but he did well when he did touch the ball. He was a physical force around the pitch, but it didn’t show in the stat line as he didn’t record any tackles. Johnson was a solid midfield player choice for Jason Kreis, and I believe he will be a reliable choice in the future as well.
M, Yoshimar Yotún, 8 — Yoshi had a great outing, scoring Orlando’s only goal on the penalty kick in the 42nd minute. He was roughed up a lot, being fouled five times. He contributed two interceptions on the defensive side. Yotún was the most physical player on the pitch, even ahead of Johnson, and he constantly made his presence felt on the Minnesota United midfield and strikers. Yotún once again proved his worth to the midfield, and he will continue to be a thorn in opposing sides for matches to come. Great night for Yotún.
M, Richie Laryea, 8.5 (MOTM) — I feel like this will spur some controversy, but this was the easiest decision I made on anything about this match. Laryea was the best player on the pitch for both sides, and him getting subbed off in the 66th for Tony Rocha upset me on a major level. Laryea had as many passes as Bendik — 21 — but he was 90% accurate on those passes. He earned the penalty kick that led to Orlando City’s only goal, and earned four fouls. He had a beautiful pass to Justin Meram in the 52nd minute that almost resulted in a goal, and he picked up a yellow card for time wasting. Laryea played with the most heart, passion, and resilience of any player on either side, and I believe if he would’ve stayed on the pitch, the outcome may have been different. Great match for Laryea.
F, Stéfano Pinho, 6 — Pinho suffered a weird injury in the 23rd minute after heading a shot wide after taking a shove from Francisco Calvo in the box. He had to be taken off the field on a stretcher and was replaced by Chris Mueller. Pinho didn’t do much that impressed, nor did he do anything drastically wrong. Let’s hope the injury isn’t as serious as it looked, but an average 23 minutes of play for Stéfano Pinho.
F, Justin Meram, 6 — Meram was just not on it, only getting one shot on target on his seven attempts (though one was deflected wide for a corner kick). He had a near miss in the 52nd minute on a great pass from Laryea, but his other chances just weren’t the usual that we see from him. He lost the ball seven times, which did cause some Orlando City attacks to halt quickly. Meram had an off night, but even the best players have an off night every once in a while.
F, Chris Mueller (28’), 5.5 — Mueller passed horribly on his 11 passes, so I won’t hound him too much on it. He was very physical and involved as he jawed with a few Minnesota players throughout the game, and came to teammate El-Munir’s defense when the fullback took a slide tackle that forced a corner. I personally believe Mueller was thrown off after having to come onto the pitch so early due to the Pinho injury, and he never really found a groove. Rough outing in the loss for Mueller.
M, Tony Rocha (66’), 6 — Rocha completed 100% of his passes, albeit only on nine of them. Rocha came on for Laryea and didn’t make nearly the same impact, but he didn’t make any major mistakes either. This was Rocha’s first appearance on the pitch this season, and he played average in his role and only had one shot that was way off target.
D, RJ Allen (83’), N/A — Allen came on for the struggling Sutter late, once again in the final 10 minutes. Allen only had six touches on the ball throughout his time on the pitch, and he did have a good ball placed in the 93rd minute that led to nothing. Allen once again didn’t have much time to do anything, but he once again made no major mistakes and arguably played better than Sutter. Due to coming on so late it would be a bit unfair to give him a grade.
Vote for your Man of the Match below! Also, we love to hear your comments on the team and individuals. Let’s hope the Lions bounce back vs. New York City FC.
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