Orlando City may have failed to score for the third consecutive game, but at least the Lions got a point for this one. A good defensive effort went largely to waste due to a lack of attacking precision but at this point it’s at least better to draw than lose.
It wasn’t a match most people that the supporters will be singing about for years to come and now the Lions have only one win in 20 matches (1-16-3). However, the performance was actually pretty decent and miles better than last Sunday’s game at Chicago.
Let’s get to the grades.
GK, Adam Grinwis, 7.5 — Grinwis made his MLS debut and got a clean sheet, though truthfully he didn’t have to do a lot. But what he did have to do, he did well. Grinwis made a crucial 1-v-1 save in the 58th minute to stop Romell Quioto. That was easily the most difficult of his three saves on the night. It nearly turned into a nightmare just 15 minutes in. He took a ball played by Houston and tried to play it into the area to pick up. Quioto took it from him and scored into an empty net but video review ruled that the Houston attacker had kicked it out of Grinwis’ hands. He made his first MLS save on a Tomas Martinez shot in the closing minutes of the first half. Even his distribution was good, as he connected on eight of his 10 long balls and passed at an 84% rate.
D, Mohamed El-Munir, 5.5 — Mo had a tough first half in many ways, losing the ball out of bounds and over the end line a few times. It seemed he didn’t trust his speed and several of his attacks slowed down and allowed Houston to get behind the ball. He finished with a decent 87% pass percentage but a lot of the attacks up his side broke down as he couldn’t quite get on the same page with his attacking teammates. He created only one chance in the game. Defensively he was pretty good, making two tackles, leading the team with four interceptions, and adding a clearance.
D, Lamine Sané, 7.5 (MotM) — It was good to see Sané back in the lineup and he helped stabilize the defense. His five clearances were a team high and he did well to help provide cover for the few times El-Munir got caught up field or beaten down the wing. He added two tackles, three interceptions and a blocked shot, but, more importantly, he always seemed to pop up in the right spot with a crucial tackle to prevent Houston’s attack from getting into dangerous spots. He also passed well (94%), hitting three of his four long balls.
D, Jonathan Spector, 7 — Although Baldomero Toledo ruled it a foul, Specs made a vital challenge in the 24th to dispossess Quioto on the break. The play looked clean but there may have been contact in the follow-through. Toledo gave Houston a free kick but it could have been much worse. He made a vital clearance with his head after Grinwis stopped Quioto in the 58th, nodding away a shot by Martinez. His 93% passing rate was good and he connected on four of six long balls. Defensively, he put in a good shift, blocking two shots and notching two clearances. He didn’t register an interception or a tackle, but some of that is due to the overall team defense keeping Houston quiet and the tackle he made was ruled a foul. I vehemently disagree with the call.
D, Scott Sutter, 6.5 — His clearance late in the first half prevented a goal at the back post by Quioto and he overall did a good job of keeping Houston’s assist leader from getting dangerous crosses in, often forcing Quioto to play negative balls. He had a tackle, an interception, and two clearances, but his passing wasn’t quite as sharp (83%) as it could have been. He attempted one shot but it was no trouble for Joe Willis.
MF, Uri Rosell, 6.5 — Although his passing was pretty sharp in the first half (89%), he also put himself in jeopardy a few times by touching the ball into an area where he could be closed down and dispossessed. Uri did a solid job of helping funnel the Houston attacks wide and keeping the middle trouble free for the center backs. He created three scoring chances and finished with an 86% passing accuracy (on the most attempts, with 73). He connected on eight of his 12 long balls. After the match, James O’Connor and Spector each praised Rosell and our next player in the list for their efforts at helping keep a clean sheet.
MF, Carlos Ascues, 7 — The Peruvian international made a nifty drop pass to Sacha Kljestan in the 31st minute that led to Orlando’s first shot on target. His passing was spot on in the first half, finishing the first period at 97% and although there weren’t a lot of difficult ones, he always seemed to pick out the right one. Ascues attempted one shot and created two scoring chances, while passing at a 93% rate and finishing with one tackle, two interceptions, and three clearances. He definitely looks the part at defensive midfielder.
MF, Yoshimar Yotún, 6 — I thought it was a mixed bag for Yoshi on the evening. He once again led the team in touches and his three chances created tied Rosell for the team lead. However, he seemed a bit off in the attacking third, seeing many of his final balls into the area cut out or not be on the same page as his runner. His 82% passing rate could have been better and only two of his 12 crosses were accurate. He made one tackle on defense. After the game, he picked up an unnecessary yellow card. Still, if anything was going to happen offensively on the evening, it looked like it was going to come through Yotún. He just lacked the final quality. Neither of his two shots were on target, although his inside-out attempt didn’t miss by much in the 56th.
MF, Sacha Kljestan, 5 — Kljestan hasn’t quite seemed himself since returning from injury, but he did have two shot attempts and got both on target, forcing a couple decent saves. His passing was decent overall (88%) but he created only one scoring chance. His shot in the 31st forced Joe Willis into into a diving save. Defensively, he had a clearance on a Houston corner. He didn’t get credit for for a shot but he did get his foot on a cross in the 47th minute that skipped just wide of the far post.
MF, Will Johnson, 5 — It was Johnson’s 50th appearance with Orlando and it was a solid, if unspectacular, outing. Will tried for the spectacular in the 32nd with a long-range effort that didn’t miss the near post by much. A minute later, he made a nice midfield steal and then drew a yellow card foul on Andrew Wenger. He sent in a dangerous shot in the 41st that forced save. Johnson led the team in shot attempts (3), getting one on target. Defensively, he had a clearance and a blocked shot. He was accurate on 91% of his passes and he drew five fouls, although he also committed three himself.
F, Dom Dwyer, 5 — Dom has seemed a bit off of late, missing three 1-v-1 opportunities in the last two matches. Tonight he had one such chance and again saw his shot saved although it didn’t matter since he was offside anyway. He was fouled a lot and he allowed the ones that didn’t get called to get into his head a bit and took a yellow card as a result. He attempted two shots, got one on target, and only attempted seven passes, connecting at just a 71% rate. Defensively he registered a clearance.
F, Stefano Pinho (79’), N/A — The Brazilian was the only substitute on the night but he didn’t do much and I’m not sure he had an opportunity to really make an impact so I’m not giving him a grade. He did attempt one shot that got blocked. He was three of five on his passes (60%), was dispossessed once and had two unstable touches. Not much impact, really.
That’s the way I saw it. Tell me what you thought and vote in our poll below.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the Lions’ 0-0 draw with the Houston Dynamo?
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