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Orlando City vs. LA Galaxy: Player Grades and Man of the Match

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How did the Lions rank individually in the 4-3 slugfest against the LA Galaxy?

MLS: Orlando City SC at Los Angeles Galaxy Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City gave up a lead on the road again, this time falling to the LA Galaxy, 4-3 in a tough loss. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a hat trick to lead the Galaxy to victory as Orlando just was not able to keep up in the slugfest. In spite of not getting a result, the Lions played well offensively and here is how each Lion rated individually in the match.

Starters

GK, Earl Edwards Jr., 6.5 — Started the match strong and had his first real taste of the Galaxy attack in the seventh minute on an Ibrahimovic shot directly at him. Earl had an amazing cross-hand save in the 43rd minute on a header from Ola Kamara. He had numerous great saves against Zlatan, but possibly none better than the one-on-one save after Zlatan striped the ball away from Chris Schuler in the box and ended up alone with just Edwards to beat. Not a lot Earl could do on most of the goals as the back line left him high and dry.

D, Victor “PC” Giro, 5.5 — Starting at the left back position again, PC looked extremely shaky in the first half. He did get forward on the wings and was able to track back when required, the chaos of the back line left him isolated numerous times with Zlatan, who he stood up well once but could not out-jump him on the Galaxy’s second goal. His defensive positoning was questionable, but I am not sure if it was all on him, or simply a byproduct of the lack of cohesion on the back line. Also, 93% passing.

D, Amro Tarek, 5 — Tarek was beaten in the air on the buildup to Zlatan’s second goal and then got beat in a race into his own area by Ibrahimovic, who finished a diving header off of Kamara’s cross. Had a great chance in the later stages of the match on a set piece, but could not get his header down. Unfortunately, his clearance header in the 71st minute went to a wide open Zlatan for his third, and the goal that gave the Galaxy the 4-3 lead.

D, Chris Schuler, 5 — Rough night for the defensive line, and Schuler certainly showed it. Although he finished the match with an 88% passing success, he was slow to recover on the dangerous Galaxy counters, was out of position too often, and the failed pass attempts were in dangerous positions and most led to LA chances. He also failed to get much distance on his headed clearances, leading to more sustained LA pressure in the second half.

D, Scott Sutter , 5.5 — It is certainly good to have Sutter back in the starting XI, but his lack of minutes was apparent. It was a bit quiet on the right side for the Lions, in fact the match, as most of the action was focused on the Lions’ left. He was the typical workhorse we have come to expect, but he started to look a bit tired after about the 65th minute.

MF, Cristian Higuita, 7 — How long will we be discussing that 18th minute passing and goal? Higuita was a man possessed on the pitch, leaving little open in the middle, with his one misstep seen in the challenge on Giovani Dos Santos at the top of the box in the 63rd minute It is amazing to watch his growth and progression, and you could certainly see the positive strides he has made in skill and attitude, plus a goal, 91% passing, and two shots.

MF, Tony Rocha, 6 — Played very well in the middle, completing 93% of his passes and three successful tackles. As with many of the other defensive-minded players, there were moments of being caught out of position and Rocha was not immune to this. Also, Rocha had a shot blocked in the 67th minute when he should have pushed the ball out to the left into wide open space. That block allowed a dangerous LA counter.

MF, Mohamed El-Munir, 7 — Although he has openly said it is not his favorite position to play, El-Munir looked like a natural playing the left midfield spot. Between the overlaps with PC, the interchange with Kljestan and Yoshi, and driving the end line, looking for Dom, as well as getting back to help the defense, it was also refreshing to see a Lion have no problem taking a shot on goal, and El-Munir ended the match with four shots, one on target with two blocked, and an assist.

MF, Sacha Kljestan, 7.5 (MotM) — As stated above, how long will we be talking about the interplay between Kljestan and Higuita on that first goal? That is what we have been waiting for from the league assist king, and he certainly showed up. Cannot argue that he got a bit lucky on the Michael Ciani own goal as he honestly should have put his laces through the ball and taken the shot, but if not for Ciani’s own goal, his pass would have hit Yotún in stride. He finished with just 81% passing accuracy, but held almost six percent of the Lions’ possession, and certainly helped to drive the offense. This was easily his best match in a long time, even on those tired legs.

MF, Yoshimar Yotun, 7 — Still running around on the pitch like a man with a chip on his shoulder, Yoshi started this match on the right side of the midfield, but didn’t play there the entire match. In fact, he seemed to be on the left infinitely more than on the right. His passing accuracy was a bit lower than normal at 83%, but he also held almost seven percent of the Lions’ possession. He was easily one of the most dangerous players for the Lions and it was obvious that the Galaxy were marking him closely.

F, Dom Dwyer, 7 — Dwyer was barely mentioned or seen in the first half, but the second was a completely different story. In the 54th minute, Dom was able to get that separation he is known for, rising for a cross from El-Munir, and burying a header in the back of the net, leaving David Bingham flat-footed. Possibly the biggest moment for Dom was in the 85th as he was pulled back in a two-armed bear hug trying to get under a ball in the box with no call. It was the perfect opportunity for a review, as it certainly looked like Dom was fouled.

Substitutes

M, Will Johnson (74’), 6.5 — Johnson came on for Huigita and had the same tireless work ethic we have come to expect. Completed all eight of his passes and made one tackle.

F, Stefano Pinho (79’), 5 — Pinho came on with about 10 minutes left in the match to try to inject some energy in the offense. He had a great chance in the 88th on a cross from Yoshi that should have been on frame, but he headed it over the bar. The hustle was there, but the quality just has not surfaced yet.

M, Josué Colmán (84’), N/A — Dangerous from the moment he stepped on the pitch. It is almost impossible to grade him in the time allowed, but he certainly made every effort to positively affect the match, and certainly made the right side dangerous despite flubbing a late cross from Kljestan that he should have been able to send back across the box.


That is how I saw it, with a little help, and suggestions, from fellow contributors. It was an exciting match, and one that the Lions should have secured points in, but the hectic July schedule may have just caught up to them in the second half. How would you rate the players this match, and who was your Man of the Match? Vote below, and let me know how you rated the squad in the comments.

Poll

Who was Orlando City’s Man of the Match in the 4-3 loss to the LA Galaxy?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Dom Dwyer
    (1 vote)
  • 35%
    Cristian Higuita
    (45 votes)
  • 22%
    Earl Edwards Jr.
    (28 votes)
  • 27%
    Sacha Kljestan
    (35 votes)
  • 5%
    Yoshimar Yotún
    (7 votes)
  • 7%
    Other
    (10 votes)
126 votes total Vote Now