Well, it wasn’t a loss. Orlando City fought hard against a hot Philadelphia Union side and even when an unfortunate deflection gave the visitors a late lead, the Lions didn’t quit. Scott Sutter’s strike leveled things in stoppage time and gave the Cardiac Cats a point.
The Lions looked much better in the first half, and James O’Connor wasn’t happy with the team’s second-half energy for the second straight week, but Orlando City will take the point and keep trying to move forward.
Now let’s get to those performances.
GK, Joe Bendik, 5.5 — Joe was a bit shaky early on his passing. He couldn’t do much about Burke’s goal in the 32nd minute. He wasn’t tested too often in the first half, as Philadelphia got only three on frame in the opening period, of which Joe stopped two but neither were difficult. In the second half, Bendik continued to have issues trying to play out of the back and he and his defenders seemed at odds over it at times. The deflection off of Shane O’Neill wrong-footed him a bit on the late goal that briefly put Philly ahead.
D, Jonathan Spector, 7 — Specs got a run-out at fullback and although he added some much-needed stability to the back line on that side, his lack of pace created a bit of a gulf in the attack at times. Yoshimar Yotún simply had nowhere to go to on the left most of the time in the attack and had to look to cut balls back inside toward traffic. Spector led the team in tackles (4), with two interceptions, and one clearance. He also created a scoring chance, fired in two crosses, and passed at 89% — not bad for a fullback.
D, Carlos Ascues, 6.5 — The Peruvian got his first start on the back line and had a mixed night. He had a pair of defensive-half turnovers while trying to dribble the ball forward, putting his teammates under pressure and forcing Bendik to punch away a shot from Haris Medunjanin on one occasion. Ascues had a tackle, two interceptions, four clearances and a pair of blocked shots and passed at a 95% clip. He also made a few crucial 1-v-1 plays that prevented Philadelphia scoring chances.
D, Shane O’Neill, 6 — O’Neill appeared to lose his footing as the cross came in from Borek Dockal on Burke’s goal and was on his way to the ground, helpless to do much about it. It’s debatable on whether he was out-muscled or simply slipped, but either way he was culpable. He was an unfortunate victim on the second goal, trying to block Fafa Picault’s shot but only succeeding in deflecting it to a spot where Joe couldn’t get it. He had a good passing rate (94%), with three tackles, an interception, and a team-high five clearances.
D, Scott Sutter, 7.5 (MotM) — Sutter looked to get into the attack often in the first half, and nearly earned himself a penalty early in the match. He had a pinpoint cross-field switch to Yotún midway through the first half that was like porn for passing enthusiasts. Sutter’s late game-tying goal was vital, of course, and he finished with two shots (one on goal) and a passing rate even better than Spector’s (95% — he was accurate on all six of his long-ball attempts). He also produced two tackles and two clearances and mostly kept his side of the pitch quiet when the Union were attacking.
MF, Oriol Rosell, 5.5 — Uri played a quietly solid game in the defensive midfield, finishing with two tackles, three interceptions, and three clearances. His 90% passing rate was pretty good but at times he tried to force some passes into difficult spots. Overall, I thought Rosell was mostly solid but we’ve seen better from him in a few recent games.
MF, Will Johnson, 5.5 — Will combined well early on the right with Sutter. He drew the free kick that led to Orlando’s opening goal. Tracked back well in the 61st minute to break up a Union attack. His 83% passing rate was a bit average, his one shot was off target, and he didn’t create any scoring chances. He produced an interception and a clearance defensively, and gave his usual blue collar work rate, but even that waned in the second half before he was subbed off.
MF, Yoshimar Yotún, 7.5 — The Peruvian provided excellent free kick service on Dom Dwyer’s header goal. He created four chances in the first half alone, as his passing was deadly accurate, even when he was trying something audacious. After halftime, he created three more scoring chances and practically had to hold down the left-sided attack by himself most of the night. His 88% pass percentage was decent and five of his 11 crosses were accurate. His one shot was off target. Defensively he made two tackles. He’d surely have been Man of the Match if not for tiring noticeably over the last half hour and he just had nothing left in the tank to give. This was evident in trying and failing to tackle Picault prior to the second Philadelphia goal. Still, it was a good night overall for the Peruvian and if he hadn’t had the last three weeks off — one via bye week and two via suspension — he may have had more left in his tank in the second half.
MF, Sacha Kljestan, 5 — I’ll give Sacha credit for trying to come back after only a few training sessions but the rust was evident on this night. He created no chances, attempted one shot, which was off target, and only completed 77% of his pass attempts. He contributed one clearance on defense.
MF, Cristian Higuita, 6.5 — Cristian was a surprise return from an adductor injury and was all over the pitch in the first half. His 24th-minute effort from a tight angle could have made it 2-0, but he hit the far post. He had a terrible giveaway in the 52nd minute and then had to foul to concede a free kick. His passing and play in the second half wasn’t nearly as crisp and he was subbed off for Josué Colmán in the 57th minute.
F, Dom Dwyer, 7 — He scored his 12th goal of the season in the ninth minute, shaking free of his marker and placing his header where Andre Blake couldn’t get to it. He generally created mayhem throughout the first half with his runs in behind the defense. Dom could have gotten a second goal late in the first half but missed the target with his header. He led the team in shots (3) but only the goal was on frame. His 65% passing rate isn’t great but he raised it from 50% at halftime and was one of the few players who was active throughout the entire 90 minutes. He also helped out on defense with an interception and a clearance.
MF, Josué Colmán (57’), 6.5 — The Paraguayan disappeared at times but he also had several moments of individual brilliance. He assisted on the game-tying goal, created two scoring chances, passed at an 88% clip, and attempted a shot. He didn’t repeatedly dribble into dead ends in this match as he’s done often in the past (though he did so a couple of times). He even came up with a tackle.
F/MF, Stefano Pinho (76’), 4.5 — The Brazilian didn’t do a lot in his 14 minutes. He did manage a weak header on goal that forced a Blake save and probably could have drawn a penalty since he was undercut by Jack Elliott on the play. He generally hustled and tried hard, bringing some much-needed energy onto the pitch where it was severely lacking. He also blocked a shot. However, he only got six touches on the ball and attempted one pass, which he completed.
MF, Chris Mueller (76’), 5 — As usual, the rookie worked his tail off and provided energy. His passing was OK, at 80%, (4/5) but he only got in eight touches. He didn’t attempt a shot but he did make a tackle defensively. It’s fair to say that he brought some energy into the attack, and he gave the Philadelphia back line something extra to worry about, but he didn’t accomplish a great deal in his 14 minutes.
That’s how I saw the match. What did you see? Please give us your vote for Man of the Match below and provide your arguments in the comments section.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the Lions’ 2-2 home draw vs. the Philadelphia Union?
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