Orlando City finally snapped a summer-long losing streak with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Toronto FC — just the club’s second victory over the Reds in 10 meetings. The Lions got on the board first and were able to double the lead before hanging on late to capture the win.
It was a good team win and one we’ve all been waiting for for quite a while. But how did the players rate individually? Let’s get to the evaluations.
GK, Earl Edwards Jr., 6.5 — “The Landlord” picked up his first ever MLS win and although his teammates helped him keep most of Toronto’s chances from less dangerous spots, he was still forced into a point-blank 1-v-1 save against the ever-dangerous Sebastian Giovinco in the 59th minute. His distribution could have been better — his throws were great but his kicks were sometimes a bit off — but there was little he could do about Hagglund’s late goal, as the Toronto defender came out of nowhere and tucked it in the far corner. Earl made three saves on Toronto’s four shots and probably gets a higher score here if he sees more shots. Great game to build on for Edwards.
D, Mohamed El-Munir, 6 — We saw a bit of a new side of El-Munir in this game. The left back played solidly on the defensive end and still gave us flashes of the attacking play he’s known for — but only flashes. He finished with two tackles, two interceptions, and three clearances, but more importantly he was better positionally than we’ve seen most of the season. The caveat here is that he failed to see the danger of Nick Hagglund on Toronto’s late stoppage-time goal and allowed the Reds’ defender to get inside of him. His 74% passing rate will need to be improved upon, but he was 2/2 on long balls and created a scoring chance.
D, Amro Tarek, 6 — The Egyptian played a mostly solid match but he did concede an unnecessary late foul that allowed Toronto to spoil the clean sheet. He finished with one tackle, two interceptions, and four clearances. His 84.6% passing rate was good but he wasn’t great on his long ball accuracy (3/9).
D, Chris Schuler, 7 — Schuler may never score an easier goal in his life but it was an important one, as the Lions got on the board first for the first time since April 21 and it allowed the team to settle into the game. His passing rate was 91.7% to lead the back line and his five clearances led Orlando. He also had two tackles and hit seven of his 10 long balls. He got abused by a Justin Morrow spin move in the first half but it was a mostly solid night for Chris and he’ll surely cherish his first goal as a Lion.
D, RJ Allen, 6.5 — RJ didn’t stuff the stat sheet, with one tackle, one interception, one clearance, and one block, but he kept a lot of the Toronto attack at bay and forced the Reds to play the ball backward a lot. He did a good job on Ryan Telfer, who had abused the Lions in Toronto, including fighting him to a stalemate in the 27th minute. He was 2/2 in cross accuracy and created a scoring chance, while completing 85.4% of his passes on the night. He came within a few feet of his first Orlando City goal in the 44th minute.
MF, Yoshimar Yotún, 7 — Yoshi probably would have a higher grade but he kind of faded from the game for about a 20-minute period of the second half. He created two chances, fired a shot on goal in the 20th minute — a screamer of a hopeful attempt from midfield that Alex Bono could only fight off for a corner — and drew five fouls on Toronto. He tied for the team lead in tackles (4) and made two interceptions. He completed 86% of his passes but his crosses (1/6) and long balls (6/12) weren’t up to his usual standards.
MF, Will Johnson, 7 — As usually happens with defensive midfielders, you barely notice them unless they do something wrong. Johnson did very little wrong on this night, completing 97.3% of his passes (2/2 on long balls) with a tackle and a clearance. He didn’t contribute a lot offensively, getting none of his three shots on frame, but his role was to stay home while Yotún roamed forward and he did a good job following Giovinco around the middle of the pitch and limiting the Italian’s influence on the game (as much as anyone realistically can).
MF, Tony Rocha, 7 — A surprise starter in the attacking midfield in JOC’s 4-2-3-1, Rocha had a solid match. He got an early shot blocked in the ninth minute and should have scored in the 42nd when his header sailed high after a terrific pass in from Sacha Kljestan, but he was influential all night on both ends. His terrific pass in the 44th found Dom Dwyer on a break and nearly led to a goal but Chris Mueller had his shot blocked and the follow-up from Allen was just wide. His four tackles matched Yotún’s total and he completed a solid 81% of his passes.
MF, Sacha Kljestan, 7 — It was another solid night for Sacha, who completed an impressive 89.6% of his passes, went 3/3 on long balls and 1/2 on crosses, with three key passes — a team high. He chipped in two tackles on defense and nearly scored on a late free kick that just missed the target but caught Bono flat-footed.
MF, Chris Mueller, 7 — If there’s a criticism for Mueller’s game it’s that he was probably a bit too unselfish. We got his typical hustle and work rate and he assisted on Dwyer’s second-half goal. He fired four shots, getting one on target, a 90th-minute effort that forced a good save from Bono. Defensively, he registered one clearance.
F, Dom Dwyer, 7.5 (MotM) — Dom was a menace all night, firing a team-high five shots and getting four of them on frame. He also created with two key passes on the night. His 60% passing rate isn’t much to write home about but with nearly all those passes coming in the final third, the degree of difficulty is higher. He essentially gifted Schuler a goal with his smash on target that Bono could only fight off and he doubled the Lions’ lead just three minutes after the restart on an unstoppable shot. Then he energized the crowd with his trademark back flip. It was a difficult decision to make him MotM, but so many players were fairly even and he was heavily involved in both goals, giving him the slightest edge for me.
MF, Dillon Powers (55’), 5.5 — The head-banded one subbed on for Rocha and was mostly solid if unspectacular. He completed 93% of his passes and created a scoring chance, while blocking one shot. He wasn’t terribly active, touching the ball only 16 times in his 35 minutes of work but he was mostly asked to gum up passing lanes, defend, and keep it simple.
D, Donny Toia (76’), 5.5 — Toia came on for Johnson but took up his customary left back spot as El-Munir pushed forward into the midfield. He completed all seven of his passes and won the team a late corner but was otherwise not involved much overall. He registered one clearance on defense.
F, Stefano Pinho (86’), N/A — Pinho came on for Dwyer and didn’t have a lot of time to influence the proceedings. He completed three of his four passes and didn’t register a shot.
Well, that’s the way I saw it. What did you see? Be sure to vote for your Man of the Match in our poll below.
Who was Orlando City’s Man of the Match in the Lions’ 2-1 win over Toronto FC?
This poll is closed
Earl Edwards Jr.
Other (comment below)