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The Mane Land Monthly Awards: Orlando City’s Best Goal, Save, and Player of July 2018

A look back at the July superlatives for the Lions in James O’Connor’s first month in charge.

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

July was Orlando City’s best month since May, although that’s not saying a lot. After losing nine straight games, the Lions finally picked up a win and scored in all but one game. They finished with a record of 1-4-0 and have now fallen to eighth place in the Eastern Conference, but at least there was one win there.

Since we are now in August, it’s time for The Mane Land staff’s picks for the Lions’ best goal, save, and player from the month that was.

Goal of the Month: Dom Dwyer vs. Toronto FC

The unanimous pick for Goal of the Month is Dwyer’s game winner, and rightfully so. For one thing, the goal gave Orlando its first win in 10 games. It was also just a brilliant strike from about 25 yards out. If none of that is impressive enough, then the perfect pass from Chris Mueller better be. With a little bit of time, Mueller picked up his head and found Dwyer alone. Mueller put a curling pass in the perfect place for Dom to turn, and the striker did the rest.

Save of the Month: Earl Edwards Jr. vs. Toronto FC

The Lions’ only win brought the best save of July as well as the goal of the month. Edwards had been an afterthought under Jason Kreis, but O’Connor saw what the young keeper could bring to the team. Edwards has good shot-stopping ability and excellent distribution, and Joe Bendik was due for a rest. How has Edwards fared in his opportunity? This stone-cold stop against one of the league’s best players speaks for itself.

Any time Sebastian Giovinco is one-on-one with a keeper in the box, it should be assumed that he will find the back of the net. However, Edwards stayed big and cut down the angle, and the Italian’s strike hit the keeper in the shoulder.

Edwards’ double save on Maxi Moralez was runner-up.

Player of the month: Yoshimar Yotún

Yoshi did not provide any goals in July, but he did manage an assist at Columbus, with a slick pass behind the defense that allowed Sacha Kljestan to provide a tap-in goal for Stefano Pinho. He had three shots in July and a plethora of chances created throughout the month. He is clearly the best player on the team. Yotún links up the defense with the attack and is a workhorse in the middle. His ball-playing ability is second to none on Orlando City and can be highlighted in the video below. The only thing missing from his game right now is more goals.

Dwyer also received votes for best player after finishing with two goals.

The Lions drew their first game in August against New England. They play two more games this month — at D.C. United on Aug. 12 and home against Atlanta United on Aug. 24. If Orlando can quickly turn things around and get six more points this month, then it will be right back in the playoff hunt.

Check back at the end of the month for our next installment of The Mane Land monthly awards.

Also, be sure to weigh in with your thoughts for each category in the comments section.