In a match that largely started off slowly and then picked up around the 60-minute mark, Orlando City looked largely content to search out the draw and one point until the match opened up after the first Toronto FC goal. A tough road match against a side that Orlando has always had issues against ended 2-1 after Orlando conceded a late goal in the 87th minute.
So, how did the Lions rate individually?
GK, Joe Bendik, 6 — Joe came out to claim through ball early, and made another fine save on Toronto’s first shot on goal. He came out quickly on the first goal and got enough pressure to have the shot go off the post, but there wasn’t much he could have done on the follow-up. Again on the second goal, there wasn’t much he could do on a half-volley from Ryan Telfer about 12 yards away.
D, Mohamed El-Munir, 5.5 — Very active in the attack and made some solid tackles. He did get beat again on a backside run —his Achilles heel — in the 32nd minute but it didn't come to any consequence. On the first goal he was found in no man’s land as the trailing attacker scored. It was his work going forward that did lead to the tying goal. But again he was involved in a conceded goal as he misplayed the winger and allowed the game winning cross.
D, Amro Tarek, 5 — Tarek had a quiet first half with some basic challenges. A quiet game from a center back isn't necessarily a bad thing but there was nothing memorable here. Just a solid match.
D, Lamine Sané, 5 — I feel as if he’s marking more space than man and it caused the first Toronto chance. He missed a header late in the first half that wasn't necessarily easy. But some good challenges and recovery at times. He was beat in that aforementioned manner for the 1-v-1 that led to the first goal.
D, Will Johnson, 4 — Defensively, Johnson seemed a bit off early in positioning and giving up some runs past him. Telfer pretty well abused him as he looked like Toronto’s best player. He was better in the second half but came in on an unnecessary challenge for his fourth yellow of the season. Telfer ultimately scored the winning goal as he was unmarked on the back side.
MF, Uri Rosell, 5.5 — Uri found the right ball to relieve pressure consistently. Had a nice 40-yard ball to Meuller in the 31st that was wasted. But in the second half he was largely quiet to the point he was subbed off in the 89th minute as he continues to build up to 90-minute fitness — his previous longest outing of the season was 45 minutes just five days ago.
MF, Cristian Higuita, 6.5 (MOTM) — Cristian made good challenges throughout the night but when he didn't play simple he got into trouble. A careless challenge, a typical Higuita move, in the 35th minute just outside the area could have been worse. He made a nice challenge in the 36th to take the ball from Michael Bradley, but he rushed the attack and made a poor shot. His goal was a great, low shot on a nice trailing run. A tough, physical game by him with a lot of quality, including one or two saving challenges in the penalty area.
MF, Justin Meram, 4.5 — Meram was very active early with a first-half chance down the wing and continually looking to drive forward. But whether due to no help or just on his own, he lost the ball frequently. Unforced errors plagued him continually in the second half, losing the ball in his feet and missing passes. He couldn't find a quality shot off a great ball from Colmán in the 85th minute.
MF, Sacha Kljestan, 5 — Nothing spectacular from Sacha on this night, but no memorable mistakes either. His first pass in the second half led to a decent Chris Mueller shot. But he often went backwards as he didn't seem to trust the attack. You can't have that from your No. 10 role.
MF, Chris Mueller, 6.5 — The rookie was active as usual. He found his way inside a bit more than normal and provided some good defensive work and counters late in the first half. He made some nice passes to Stefano Pinho that ended in nothing. He was arguably the team’s best player in the first half. His cross in the 68th minute led to one of the best chances in the second half but Alex Bono made a nice save on Meram’s header.
F, Stéfano Pinho, 3 — Pinho had a rough first half with nearly every touch being lost, losing physical battles, and not really being any factor. He was weak with his hold-up play, was easily knocked down or dispossessed, and failed to give his attacking teammates time to get into the final third to help out. He didn’t do much in the second half either before he was subbed out in the 64th minute, whiffing on a good opportunity in the penalty area.
MF, Josué Colmán (64’), 5.5 — He came in as a false nine and made an impact. One of his first touches was a cross to Kljestan for a shot on goal. He collected a deflection off Mueller and made a great layoff to Higuita for the Orlando goal. Josué gave a nice ball in the 85th minute to Meram on the counter attack that wasn't converted. Against a physical Toronto defense, he still found space to create opportunities.
MF, Richie Laryea (83’), N/A — The Toronto native came on for Chris Mueller late but ultimately had no effect on the match except a missed opportunity to find the right space in stoppage time on a pass from Colmán.
MF, Dillon Powers, (89’), N/A — In his first appearance of 2018, Powers didn’t have time to impact the match.
Vote for your Man of the Match or comment your thoughts on these game grades below.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in a 2-1 loss at Toronto FC?
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