Orlando City traveled west this year for its once-a-season meeting with Sporting Kansas City, and a sort of homecoming for two of our own. It was a return for both Dom Dwyer (2012-2017) and Uri Rosell (2012-2014) to the lights of Children’s Mercy Park.
So how did the Lions rate in tonight’s 1-0 loss?
GK, Joe Bendik, 6 — Not every play should be played out of the back, and that almost got the Lions in trouble again tonight. Joe had a good evening, with four saves, but there were some shaky moments, especially with the ball at his feet and two long balls straight out of bounds.
D, Jonathan Spector, 6.5 — Specs took a bit to warm up, but got moving towards the end of the first half. Not a left back by any means, but he played the position well, even moving forward into the attack (what little attack there was) especially after the Sporting goal.
D, Carlos Ascues, 7 (MotM)— Again, the newest Lion showed that the wait was well worth it. He helped to anchor a good defensive stand on the road. He finished with seven clearances, three tackles, four interceptions, and an 86% passing rate. He had a few opportunities to test himself 1-v-1 against Yohan Croizet, and did an excellent job of keeping him from goal.
D, Shane O’Neill, 6.5 — Again, as with the other classic center backs already mentioned, a solid night. He won one aerial, one tackle, and a 92% passing success rate. A quiet night, but solid, and he did well when trouble arose, as it did often. Like other Lion defenders, he did well standing up the offensive run of play until help could arrive.
D, Scott Sutter, 6.5 — Just another solid performance from Mr. Consistency. He made a great stand-up play in 25th minute at top of the box against Gerso Fernandes. He ended the night with one shot, an 87% passing rate, and five tackles.
MF, Oriol Rosell, 7 — Uri sent a lovely ball over the top to Dom to start the match, and continued to play both sides of the ball extremely well, but like everyone on the pitch, he had a few mistakes. He finished with a 90% passing rate, an aerial won and four tackles on the night, Uri was a bright spot on the pitch in a midfield swamped with defensive mids.
MF, Will Johnson, 6 — Will played as Will always plays, at 110%. He tracked back well to help cover a defensive hole in the box in the 30th minute as Sporting found holes in the back line. He picked up a yellow on a rather hard challenge on Gerso Fernandes, who may have reacted a little more than needed. Johnson finished with one shot, an 86% passer rating, and three tackles for the night.
MF, Cristian Higuita, 5.5 — Higuita had a good night — a bit mixed, maybe — but fairly solid. His 82% passing is a bit low for him, but then again, he is more of a defensive mid and he was asked to provide more in the attack. His through ball for Dwyer in the second half was sublime but there were too many errant passes. He finished with one shot, an aerial won, and two tackles.
MF, Sacha Kljestan, 5 — Sacha just looked a step behind everyone, and I mean everyone tonight. Leading passes that should have been on the feet of someone seemed to always be just out of reach for Sacha. He looked to be jogging while others were running. On a night when the offensive players on the pitch needed to have a solid night, it just was not a good night for the stache.
MF, Chris Mueller, 5.5 — The rookie attacked the sides well, but didn’t have much luck going straight at defenders. he picked up a silly yellow for dissent in the 38th minute after a soft foul call in the Lion’s defensive corner after what looked to be a good defensive play. He generally played well on both sides of the ball, but needed a bit more on the offensive side. Once again though, there is no doubt about where his emotions are when it comes to this team.
F, Dom Dwyer, 6 — I did not think a better chance would show up than the one in the fifth minute when Uri put an absolutely beautiful ball over the top for a streaking Dom, but he could not convert the opportunity. The next chance showed up when he earned a free kick just outside of the box in the 26th minute, and he put the kick just high. Dom still couldn’t beat Tim Melia on the through ball from Higuita. He had four shots on the night, two aerials won, and much better hold-up play up top, but he did not get much help for the majority of the match in terms of offense.
MF, Josué Colmán (65’), 6 — The Paraguayan came in and looked to spark some energy into a tired looking squad. Colmán certainly tried, including a decent shot on goal in the 73rd minute, but his efforts were a little forced.
MF, Stefano Pinho (80’), N/A — The Brazilian came in late, and didn’t do enough to earn a grade. He certainly came onto the pitch ready to run, and run hard, but there was not enough Orlando possession during his time on the pitch to grade his effort.
That is how I saw the match this evening. How would you grade the Lions? Let us know in the poll below who you think was the Man of the Match, and let us know your thoughts on grades in the comments.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the 1-0 road loss to Sporting Kansas City?
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