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Orlando City vs. New York City FC: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did Orlando City’s players fare in the 3-0 loss at Yankee Stadium?

MLS: Orlando City SC at New York City FC Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In a match that Orlando City held more possession against one of the best possession oriented teams in the league, New York City made the most of its chances and beat the Lions 3-0 in Yankee Stadium. Orlando is now 6-1-0 with Dom Dwyer on the field this year and a woeful 0-5-1 without him. It’s safe to say he needs to get back, or something needs to change.

Here’s how each of the Lions fared individually.


GK, Joe Bendik, 5 There’s not much that he could have done on any of the goals. The second one he could have done a little more with but ultimately it was not his fault has he looked to have been shielded and there were multiple defenders in front of him that should have cleared the ball. The biggest flaw in his game was a 60% passing accuracy. In a small field like Yankee Stadium the passing has to be better that normal and Bendik gave it up way too often, especially on poor goal kicks.

D, Donny Toia, 4.5 In the 10th minute Toia played a perfect pass to Josué Colmán that started an Orlando City attack. Nothing came of it in the end though. Toia could have used some help on the goal but ultimately should have done better. He had two players to mark and when Tinnerholm played the ball across to Tajouri-Shradi the left back overcommitted and Tajouri-Shradi cut the ball to the inside and easily powered the ball into the back of the net.

D, Tony Rocha, 5.5 Rocha was surprisingly one of the best players on the field, which is highlighted by his game-high five tackles and four clearances. He was confident on the ball and finished with an 87% passing accuracy. He made a few mistakes but overall did well. In the 32nd minute Rocha was caught ball watch and it nearly led to a New York goal. On New York’s second goal, Rocha should have attacked the ball. Instead he didn’t challenge it and the ball ended up in the back of the net. On the third New York City goal, Rocha, as was each of the back four, was caught ball watching as the ball hit the crossbar twice and NYCFC had three distinct chances.

D, RJ Allen, 5 Allen was pretty quiet on the night and was overall solid. His grade was improved because of the fact that he was playing out of position at center back. A couple of his biggest moments came against his old teammate, David Villa, and he held his own. He finished with no attacking stats at all, but three tackles, two interceptions, and three clearances. On the third New York City goal, Allen, as was each of the back four, was caught ball watching as the ball hit the cross bar twice and NYCFC had three distinct chances.

D, Will Johnson, 4.5 An overall solid night from Johnson. On the offensive side of the ball he did not do much but he added two tackles, one interception, and three clearances. His one big mistake on the night was ball watching on the final NYCFC goal. Had he run to help Bendik, he could have prevented it, and that drops his rating some.

MF, Oriol Rosell, 4.5 Uri made a goal-saving tackle in the 32nd minute. His sliding challenge cleared the attack out for a corner after Johnson slipped. He earned a yellow card on a hard tackle in the 78th minute in which NYCFC ended up scoring on the set piece. All Uri had to do was kick it out of bounds but he tried to be too fancy on the ball as no other Lion was near him.

MF, Cristian Higuita, 4 Higuita was surprisingly quiet tonight, not getting in on the attack at all. Defensively he finished with four tackles, two interceptions, and one clearance but the team needed some more from him on the attacking end. He was impressive on the ball, finishing with an 84% passing accuracy on 45 passes — which was the fourth most passes among Orlando City players.

MF, Chris Mueller, 4 Yet another player that did not do enough. The rookie failed to take a single shot, which is unacceptable from an attacking player. The best part of his night came right after half time. He made a great run to catch the NYCFC defense sleeping in the beginning of the second half. Kljestan played the ball over the top from a throw-in and Mueller was the first player to the ball and won a penalty kick. This seemed to energize Mueller and he won a ball back almost immediately after the missed penalty and then got into the right position down the line, unfortunately though he didn’t get to the ball. He then had a great ball in the 60th minute to feed in Kljestan, that did not end in anything.

MF, Sacha Kljestan, 2.5 Statistically, Kljestan was one of the best players on the field but his night will be remember by his missed penalty. Not only did he fail to tie the game but this was a turning point in the match that gave the hosts all the momentum. The first chance of the game came from a Kljestan turnover. He gave the ball up and NYCFC went on the counter and luckily Higuita was there to slow down the attack. Heads-up play in the beginning of the second half to quickly throw in the ball. He fed Mueller perfectly and won a penalty kick. He took the spot kick and hit the post. In the 60th minute Sacha had Colmán up top or he could have went to goal but he was too slow and ended up passing the ball to NYCFC instead, looking for Meram. The 32-year-old finished with three shots, none on target, and a game high 51 passes.

MF, Justin Meram, 3.5 Not an awful night from Meram but definitely one in which he should have done more with. Meram was selfish in the 31st minute. He had Colmán making a run down the middle but instead of playing him he kept the ball and killed the attack. He started the second half off strong. He took on two players and got a shot off that went over the bar. Good vision and ball skills in the 55th minute. He beat two players and put a cross in but it was too short and easily defended. In the 67th minute, Meram had a great turn to get free. He then took too long on the ball looking to get closer and closer to goal and get a shot off and luckily he won a free kick but he then took the kick and hit the wall.

F, Josué Colmán, 6 (MOTM) Colmán gets the player of the match for all of the work that he put in. He was not the best player statistically but when the rest of the Lions looked to have given up on the match he was still fighting hard to get a goal back. He had some fancy footwork in the 16th minute with three players closing in on him. He got free of them all and won a corner. In the 18th minute, Rocha cleared the ball all the way to the other end of the field and found Colmán wide open behind the New York defense. The Paraguayan cut inside and got his shot blocked but he should have went to goal with it and would have been one-on-one with Sean Johnson. The best chance in the first half for Orlando came from a shot from distance from Colmán that unfortunately hit the post. He hit the woodwork again in the 74th minute. It is questionable if he was shooting but his ball got deflected and he nearly got Orlando on the board from it. He finished with three shots, one on target, and an 88% passing accuracy.


D, Mohamed El-Munir (60’), 5 El-Munir was one of the best players on the field and brought some much-needed energy to the field when he came in. He got down into the final third a few times and tried to start an attack but he was not given much help from his teammates. His passing could have been much better (69% accuracy) but he tried to create opportunities.

F, Stefano Pinho (67’), 2.5 In the 23 minutes that Pinho was in, he got no shots off and touched the ball just four times. He had no attacking stats and just one interception on the defensive end. Being on the field for that long he needed to have done more, especially with the team being behind.

MF, José Villarreal (80’), N/A He got his first action of the season and immediately provided a good ball looking for Pinho, who could not do anything with it. He touched the ball four times, and made three passes, of which just two were accurate. Overall there was not enough time for Villarreal to make much of an impact in his first appearance.

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 3-0 loss in New York City?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Tony Rocha
    (22 votes)
  • 2%
    RJ Allen
    (2 votes)
  • 55%
    Josué Colmán
    (47 votes)
  • 3%
    Mohamed El-Munir
    (3 votes)
  • 12%
    (11 votes)
85 votes total Vote Now