In the second meeting of the two clubs this season, Orlando City finally got the better of the Montreal Impact. The starting XI may not have shocked many people, as it was the same one as the last game, but what may have shocked folks was the fact that the team was able to finish chances and limit the Impact across the pitch. Without further ado, how did the Lions rate in the first of four road trips for the month of June?
GK, Brian Rowe, 7 — A clean sheet is a fantastic thing, especially on the road. It also helps when your defensive line limits your opponents to only nine shots. What makes the night even better is when the one shot that is put on target gives you the opportunity for an epic save to maintain the clean sheet and you oblige in fantastic fashion.
D, Joao Moutinho, 7.5 — Moutinho was an absolute terror on the left side all match. His work rate on both the offensive and defensive sides was outstanding. His 76% passing rate is a bit deceptive, but his four tackles and two dribbles certainly are not. Let’s also not forget his ball into the box that Will Johnson jumped on to put the Lions up by three. I still think he deserves an assist for that pass, but the official box scores disagree as Evan Bush got a touch on the ball.
D, Robin Jansson. 7 — It was another absolutely solid outing for Jansson. The communication across the back, especially between Jansson and Lamine Sané, is becoming obvious to the observer, as well as becoming obvious through statistics. No major mistakes, and he even ended the match with a shot attempt.
D, Lamine Sané, 7 — The other half of the back line duo mentioned above likewise had a solid outing. As with his counterpart, he ended the match with a shot, as well as two aerials won, one tackle, and of course, the attack on the kick in the first half that led to the award of a penalty kick. I have to say, his demeanor with the referees is also something to be modeled. He never loses his cool, and always appears to get his thoughts across, even when the ref seems to be shooing him away.
D, Ruan, 7 — The speedster had a solid match, although maybe not his best. Orlando appeared to have better luck on the left all match, but that does not mean that things did not happen on the right. Ruan’s ability showed up a bit more on the defensive side this match, with two tackles and not giving Montreal any room to move down their left side on the pitch.
MF, Will Johnson, 8.5 (MotM) — If you needed any more reason to be a fan of Johnson, he just gave you a number of them. His goal pretty much sealed the deal for City, although scoring three goals in the first 42 minutes would drive any fan insane as they watch and hope for a win, let alone a shutout. Will was all over the pitch, going forward and dropping back to defend. He had two total shots, the second being a shot from outside the box that wasn’t far off at all, 83% passing, a chance created, as well as four tackles, two interceptions, and a clearance on the defensive side and just being a menace on the pitch from box to box. Did we mention that goal, a hustle header buried in the back of the net?
MF, Cristian Higuita, 7 — Higuita had a solid match, and his two tackles and 91% passer rating and secondary assist on Tesho Akindele’s goal speak for themselves. He also had two clearances and two blocked shots. Surprisingly, he might be the one player on the pitch who was quietly doing his job the entire night. No flash, no outrageous mannerisms. Higuita just played box to box and did his job, and did it quite well.
MF, Sebas Mendez, 7.5 — I think no one has any complaints that Mendez played with Orlando rather than appear with Ecuador in a friendly tonight, as once again he was an anchor for a defensive midfield that frustrated Montreal all match. He also led the Lions with a 93% passer rating, and finished with five tackles, an interception, and a clearance. If Ecuador makes a deep run in the Copa America, and Sebas is gone from the 18 for an extended time, someone is going to have some big shoes to fill to take his place.
F, Nani, 7.5 - When the whistle blew, and the referee pointed to the spot, I can only imagine what the rest of the City faithful were thinking when Nani grabbed the ball. He buried the shot with authority, and set the Lions up early. Once again, the captain was just that, the leader on the pitch, although there were moments when it seemed like he was trying to do a bit too much. It was all still a very positive collection of moments. He finished with one shot, two aerials won, a key pass, an interception, and three tackles.
F, Tesho Akindele, 8 — Here is the crazy stat of the week: The Lions are undefeated when Tesho scores a goal. His hold-up play was good — not great, but good — but where he excelled was he took advantage of his chances (mostly). There was that one chance in the second half that he did not put on frame. Of his three shots, two were on target, and one went into the net on an absolutely perfect cross from Chris Mueller. He had one key pass and four interceptions to go with one clearance.
F, Chris Mueller, 7.5 — The first 35 minutes looked a bit rough for Cash, but the run up the left and deft pass across the mouth of goal to a streaking Akindele looked to finally calm him into the player we all know he can be. He was, as always, a terror to the Impact, creating chances and helping to keep defenders honest. He ended a great night with two shots and a 91% passer rating — the second highest on the team for the night. He had one assist, two key passes, an interception, a clearance, and two shots (one on target).
MF, Sacha Kljestan (76’), 6 — Kljestan came on and the middle of the field somewhat lost its luster and dominance for a few minutes. The squad was playing and clicking so well, it should surprise no one that it sputtered just a bit with the substitution. Sacha had a few bright moments, but compared to the starting XI, it was a bit of a rough 14 minutes of play (plus stoppage). However, he helped to keep the clean sheet, and that was of utmost importance. Pay no mind to the 44% passer rating.
D, Kyle Smith (82’), N/A — Not too much time or run of play to truly grade Kyle, but he was on the pitch and helped to keep a clean sheet on the road.
MF, Oriol Rosell (86’), N/A - Same as Smith — not enough time to truly rate Uri for this match. However, I have a feeling we will be rating Uri at the end of the month as he is sure to be filling one of the midfield slots being left open by players leaving for international duty.
That is how I saw it. How did you rate the players in the 3-0 road win over the Impact? Let me know who your Man of the Match was in the poll below, and how you rated the players in the comments below.
Who was your Man of the Match in Orlando City’s 3-0 road win in Montreal?
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