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Orlando City vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did the Lions fare individually in the 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps?

MLS: Orlando City SC at Vancouver Whitecaps Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City lost 5-2 to the Vancouver Whitecaps in one of the more interesting three-goal matches you could watch. The match was 2-1 until the 85th minute, when the Caps scored three goals in five minutes on a 10-man Orlando squad. The game ended on a very rough note, but how did the Lions fare as individuals in the road loss in Vancouver?

Starters

GK, Joe Bendik, 4.5 — For any goalkeeper, giving up five goals is never a good thing. He allowed the five goals on nine shots on target, saving only 44% of the shots on target he faced. His save on Kei Kamara early in the second half was probably his best moment, but that was about it. Bendik also made 18 passes with only a 50% pass success rate. This was arguably the worst game Bendik has played all season even though his defense did not give him much to work with.

D, Will Johnson, 5.5 — Again being placed at right back, Johnson made an impact but also struggled on numerous occasions. On the good side, Johnson nearly scored in the first 25 minutes on a beautiful save from Brian Rowe. He also had another shot on target and had a few accurate long balls to spark attacking chances. On the bad side, his shot that was saved stacked up the wasteful chances the Lions had in the first half which played a major role in the loss. Johnson’s offensive contribution was overshadowed by his struggles against Alphonso Davies, but I will give Johnson some credit that he deserves for being on the pitch for 38 minutes.

D, Chris Schuler, 5.5 — Schuler is also to blame for the five goals due to being a part of the back line. He made a few nice tackles alongside Amro Tarek but was also responsible for the barrage of scoring chances in the closing minutes. He was the most disciplined player on the back line as well as being the only starting defender to not obtain a foul. Schuler also had a nice passing success rate at 90% which was not present in his teammates at all. Not a horrible game from Schuler, but not a great one either.

D, Amro Tarek, 4 — Tarek was just not great in this match at all. He struggled throughout and put a cherry on top of his struggles by slide tackling Yordy Reyna, resulting in Kamara’s second goal via penalty. The slide tackle play took away any hope of a win or draw away from the Lions. Tarek did nothing to help what was already a poor back line throughout the match. Hopefully the young defender can find his way after what was a lackluster performance and regain some of his confidence.

D, Mohamed El-Munir, 4.5 — Bad judgment call or not by the officials, El-Munir did not have a great match. He picked up a yellow in the first half that would become costly later, resulting in a red card in the 58th minute that put the Lions down a man. He was also beaten to the Davies cross by Kamara on the first goal. He did have a few good plays on defense with a few tackles and an interception, but when you obtain four fouls, none of that matters. Four fouls and poor judgment led to El-Munir’s worst game as a Lion.

MF, Cristian Higuita, 5 — Higuita had a rough match. He lost the ball in the midfield which led to the counter attack that put the Caps up 1-0 in the 35th minute. The midfielder failed to take a shot on goal and made zero contribution to the offensive attack. Higuita had three fouls, including a yellow card that also seemed to get into his head as the match continued. To be fair, Higuita did pass the ball well at a 91.7% success rate even though he only made 36 touches. This was not a usual game for Higuita after a strong last couple of matches.

MF, Uri Rosell, 6 — Rosell was arguably the quietest player on the pitch for Orlando City. He didn’t do much to impact the offense or defense in a positive or negative way. There honestly isn’t much to say about his performance as he made no major plays that turned the game in a different direction. No need to penalize Rosell or give him a boost in a conservative showcase that made him seem like he wasn’t even there.

MF, Chris Mueller, 6.5 — Mueller played his heart out in the match. He only took one shot but it was a solid one that almost ended up resulting in a goal. The rookie picked up an assist in stoppage time to Dom Dwyer to ease the pain a little after the flurry of goals from Vancouver. Mueller showcased his versatility in the midfield throughout the match as he kept himself involved through the full 90 minutes. He didn’t have many touches, at 38, but when he did he made something positive happen in what was an otherwise negative performance as a team. Good showcase of skill and grit from Mueller.

MF, Sacha Kljestan, 7.5 (MotM) — Kljestan was the major bright spot in this match. He put the Lions on the board shortly after El-Munir’s red card and continuously pressed the Vancouver defense. He had some accurate passes from short and long distances and he made some contributions on defense as well, clearing the ball out of the final third on three different occasions. Kljestan needed to be as good as he was to keep Orlando in the match for as long as possible but he could only do so much.

MF, Justin Meram, 5.5 — Meram was on the pitch for an hour before being subbed off and his impact was minimal. He made some solid passes but also had some undisciplined touches along the way. For being a goal scorer and an attacking mind, Meram did not attempt a shot in his time on the pitch. In my opinion, he played very passive instead of sticking with his aggressive nature which affected Orlando City in a major way.

F, Josué Colmán, 6.5 — Colmán had a solid game in an otherwise poor result. The young striker made numerous attacks on net with four shots and near goals on a few of them. Colmán also passed very well, creating chances for his fellow teammates as well, finishing with assists on both goals. A game like this for Colmán will help his overall confidence and how he plays in the future and I believe Jason Kreis will feel the same way.

Substitutes

D, RJ Allen (39’), 4 — Allen was brought on early in the match after Will Johnson left with a hamstring issue, but Kreis did not get nearly what he wanted from Allen. After the yellow card he picked up in the 50th minute, he made a tackle that was luckily not punished with a second yellow after a push of Davies near the sideline just minutes later.

D, Tony Rocha (61’), 6.5 — Rocha was the spark plug that got Orlando City back into this match for a time. Yes, the Lions lost 5-2, but without the beautiful cross he sent to Kljestan to tie the match 1-1 in the 64th minute, Orlando City would have had no fight to even attempt to get back into the match down a man. Rocha picked up the nifty assist and also played well defensively, picking up four tackles in his solid effort. Good game by Rocha coming off the bench.

F, Dom Dwyer (63’), 6.5 — Seeing Dwyer come back was a bittersweet feeling. After El-Munir’s sending off, the Lions saw Dwyer come onto the pitch and immediately flipped the tide of the game. He once again made the usual impact that he makes by making defenders focus on him completely, which allowed Rocha to find Kljestan to tie the match. He picked up a garbage time goal in stoppage time on the Mueller assist. Dwyer made his presence felt once again and had a solid match all around.


Agree or disagree with any of these grades or my Man of the Match? Let us know in the comment section. Also vote on your Man of the Match below.

Poll

Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Sacha Kljestan
    (19 votes)
  • 28%
    Josué Colmán
    (25 votes)
  • 12%
    Dom Dwyer
    (11 votes)
  • 16%
    Chris Mueller
    (15 votes)
  • 15%
    Tony Rocha
    (14 votes)
  • 5%
    Other
    (5 votes)
89 votes total Vote Now