Orlando City tossed away more home points tonight in a loss that should at least have been a draw if not for a bad penalty take in the first half. The team has completed yet another horrible May stretch (1-4-0) and will now go on the road for the entirety of June (although that’s only three total matches), making these lost points even more painful.
Let’s take a look at how everyone performed.
GK, Brian Rowe, 6 — It’s difficult to really give a grade to a guy who was largely a spectator in the match, as the Orlando goalkeeper was rarely called into action. Rowe had a great outlet pass to Nani in the 15th minute to send the team on the counter in his fist notable involvement of the game. I’m not sure he could have done much about the dos Santos screamer that beat him with extreme power. That was the only shot he faced in the first half and the only one to find the target all game long as LA’s other three attempts missed.
D, Joao Moutinho, 5.5 — The Portuguese youngster left a pair of crosses too close to David Bingham early on, which could have been dangerous chances for Tesho Akindele. He got caught inside on an LA cross in the buildup to the opening goal. In the 23rd minute he had a good opportunity to cross on the break and put the pass behind the end line. He made his best cross at the end of the 72nd minute that led to a corner. Moutinho grew into the game somewhat, becoming more dangerous as the second half wound down. Though he was officially 0-for-7 in crossing accuracy, he did put the ball into some dangerous spots after halftime but no one got to them. He closed the game with just 75% passing accuracy, a tackle, and a clearance.
D, Robin Jansson, 6 — The beefy Swede sent a powerful free kick over the net in the 18th minute. He had some bad luck clearing a cross a minute later that fell perfectly for Jonathan dos Santos to open the scoring and a giveaway with a loose touch in the 25th that nearly led to an LA counter. Made a big stop to cut off a counter attack in the 66th minute with a sliding tackle. He took a tactical foul yellow late to quell an LA counter. His 90% passing rate was behind only Sebas Mendez among those with at least nine attempts. He made one tackle and had a team high three clearances.
D, Lamine Sané, 5.5 — Lamine had a bit of a quiet first half with perhaps his most memorable play being a missed tackle on Emil Cuello that led to a dangerous attack. He was culpable on a scoring chance early in the second half by not stepping up but was bailed out by a shot over the bar. In the 61st, he failed to communicate with a backtracking midfielder — something that we’ve seen happen repeatedly in recent weeks — and as a result no one played the ball that luckily rolled where only Rowe could get it. He made one tackle with two interceptions and two clearances, with an 87% passing rate.
D, Ruan 6.5 — The Brazilian speedster drew a yellow card in the 17th minute as Emil Cuello was afraid he might beat Bingham to the ball, setting up a set piece. He sent a fantastic cross to Mueller in the 21st that should have led to a scoring chance. His 71st-minute cross led to a shot on target from Nani after he mesmerized the defense. His 71.4% passing rate wasn’t great but six of his eight incomplete passes came in the congested final third. Defensively, he made three tackles and one clearance, with three dribbles, and drew two free kicks. He unfortunately just about disappeared from the game once Kyle Smith was introduced.
MF, Cristian Higuita, 6 — The Colombian made his second straight start and had a bit of a quiet first half despite three tackles, an interception, and a passing rate of 89%. He didn’t get forward much and managed to get dispossessed twice when he did. His giveaway in the 51st sent LA on the break and he was lucky not to concede a free kick in a good spot after contact with Sebastian Lletget. He finished with five tackles and a passing rate that dipped to 84.8%, while connecting on five of seven long balls.
MF, Sebas Mendez, 6.5 (MotM) — Mendez did well to win a penalty in the 31st minute by taking the ball from dos Santos in the area. Moments later he sent a sky ball header that was easy for Bingham on a counter in which the cross may have been intended for Mueller behind him of whom he was unaware. He led all starters with a 93.7% passing rate, with one key pass and went five out of six on long ball accuracy. He tied Higuita for the team lead in tackles, with five, and made two interceptions and a clearance. He still has moments where he fails to track trailing runners and sometimes gambles a bit, but he was the team’s best player on this night in my opinion.
MF, Will Johnson, 6 — Will’s early shot in the fourth minute was one he’ll want back, sending it well over the bar from just outside the area. He drew a free kick just outside the area late in what was his typical workmanlike first half. Did well to steal a ball in the 64th but then split Nani and Mueller to give it right back at the top of the box. Defensively, Johnson had two tackles and a clearance to his credit. His 88.5% passing accuracy was good and he had one key pass, going four of five on long balls.
F, Nani, 4.5 — It wasn’t the sharpest night for Nani. The captain’s passing was a bit off in the first half — including getting a cross blocked out for a corner on a 15th-minute counter attack with numbers — though he did connect well with the flanks. His first-half passing chart showed green around the edges but everything toward goal was red. For the second consecutive game he missed a penalty with a stutter-step approach when he could have simply gone for power. He did get a free kick on target in first-half stoppage time to force a Bingham save but it wasn’t a difficult one. He missed the net early in the second half with Bingham out of position. He made a good cross in the 66th but it was cut out for a corner. He did well to get on a deflected cross in the 71st minute to get a shot on target but he didn’t hit it solidly enough to get it by the goalkeeper. In the end, Nani sent eight shots toward the net, getting three on target, made two key passes on an overall 81% passing night, with one tackle and an interception. The grade may look harsh, but this wasn’t a good enough performance on a night when Dom Dwyer was unavailable to help the offense. although he admittedly didn’t get much help from his fellow forwards either.
F, Tesho Akindele, 4 — The Canadian striker had a bit of a quiet first half and his most notable play may have been a loose touch that wrecked a late counter attack. He was initially sent in behind but lost his advantage taking possession and then lost it with an unforced error at the top of the area. He made a good play early in the second half to keep the ball from Bingham, feeding Nani who unfortunately couldn’t hit the empty net. His quiet night ended in the 56th minute with just 32 touches and a 75% passing rate, though he did make two key passes and four tackles. He failed to record a shot and had five unstable touches — the most on the team.
F, Chris Mueller, 5 — Mueller was a bit sloppy with his first touch several times and faded a bit during the game, almost as if he’d played four games in 13 days, on both sides of the continent. He started strong by forcing a good save from Bingham in just the second minute. He went back to refusing to shoot in the 21st minute when Orlando had a chance to pull the goal right back, then got dispossessed without even getting off a shot attempt. Moments later he had a heavy touch on the attack and was forced to play wide for Moutinho instead of getting into the area. Mueller’s header off a corner in the 73rd minute forced a great save from Bingham on his best shot of the night. He got two of his three shots on target and passed at a 79% rate with one key pass and chipped in a clearance on defense.
D, Kyle Smith (56’), 3.5 — The danger on the right side faded as soon as Ruan started moving around the pitch when Smith was introduced. His 86% passing is deceptive as he got no accurate crosses into the danger zone (on three attempts) and in fact struggled to even get one into the area without being blocked. He made one clearance and a tackle and bundled a shot on target on a set piece but he knew little about it and the trickling ball was cleared off the line easily.
MF, Sacha Kljestan (67’), 5 — The former Red Bulls captain was put on to try to connect more passes in the final third, and he did manage two key passes in his abbreviated stint but his overall passing was just 72.4% as the Galaxy parked the bus and Orlando couldn’t break them down.
F, Josué Colmán (83’), N/A — Another late cameo from the Paraguayan didn’t amount to much. It wasn’t bad, but he was only on the pitch about 11 minutes counting stoppage time. He took a weak shot that trickled slowly in for an easy scoop by Bingham. He completed all eight of his passing attempts and two were key passes but perhaps he should have come on earlier for an obviously tired Mueller.
That’s how I saw the individual performances against the Galaxy. What did you think? Please tell us in the comments section and vote for your Man of the Match in our poll below.
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