In a 4-1 defeat on the road against the New England Revolution, Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor stuck with the same back line used in Orlando’s previous loss to the New York Red Bulls but shifted things around in the midfield. Neither Chris Mueller (illness) nor Will Johnson made the trip and Sacha Klejstan was deployed in a more forward position than usual
Here is how each player performed in the lopsided loss and my pick for Man of the Match.
GK, Brian Rowe, 5 — A lopsided scoreline overshadows an honestly decent outing for Rowe. He guessed wrong on the penalty and couldn’t come up with a great save on the opening goal, but he had good reads throughout the night when coming out to put out fires and got his fingers on Fagundez’s goal. Regardless, four goals conceded is far from ideal although his defense left him out to dry on occasion.
D, João Moutinho, 4.5 — It was far from a terrible performance for Moutinho as he dealt with Carles Gil and Brandon Bye on the left side. He benefited from having Mendez and Nani on his side to help stabilize pressure, but he was beaten a few times over the top and was taken off at halftime for medical reasons after a quiet time on the field.
D, Robin Jansson, 4 — The center back had a poor performance against the Revolution offense to say the least. The Revs walked all over him and he struggled to make an impact or put a stop to attacks. He looked sluggish and had a hard time judging runs and balls into the box. His performance felt like an anomaly as Jansson normally does better in one-on-one situations.
D, Lamine Sané, 4 — The other half to O’Connor’s center back pairing, Sané did marginally better than Jansson as he comfortably cleaned up loose balls. Of the night’s defenders, he probably had the best performance but that isn’t saying much. His marking was absolutely nothing to write home about and with Jansson withering beside him he didn’t do enough to be a leader on a defense that was hammered for 90 minutes.
D, Ruan, 3 — The Revolution offense went after his side of the pitch from the start and never really stopped. He was beaten by Cristian Penilla all night long, including on the Revolution’s second goal. Offensively, he made good runs and made the defenders work but it was his struggle on defense that said the most. While having a right back who can really turn on the jets on offense is valuable, it matters less when he was a complete liability on defense.
MF, Dillon Powers, 4.5 — The early goal came from Powers losing Gustavo Bou in an admittedly good series of runs and passes by the Revolution. Perhaps he expected Rosell to shift and pick Bou up, but it led to the opening goal regardless. However, Powers bounced back well by creating turnovers and he had a nice block in the first half to stop a chance.
MF, Uri Rosell, 4.5 — He was involved in the early goal conceded as the Revolution simply worked around him to score and that seemed to be the theme of the night. The Revolution had plenty of time to sit on the ball and pick out passes with time and space in the midfield as Rosell just could not close down on attackers. He just couldn’t do enough on either end and a hard tackle ended his night.
MF, Sebas Mendez, 4.5 — It was a roller coaster of a game for Mendez who coupled a decent performance with turnovers, a yellow card, and a handball that caused a penalty. Of all players who played 90 minutes, Mendez led in both successful passing percentage (92%) and total passes (79). But his most impressive stat was a whopping 8.6% of total possession as he tried to get things going for Orlando. It was a tough night for all three midfielders, but Mendez arguably did the best out of the bunch. Regardless, his handball helped seal Orlando’s fate.
F, Nani, 5.5 (Man of the Match) — Orlando City remains most threatening when Nani has the ball at his feet and it’s certainly entertaining watching him direct the offense. It’s equal parts frustrating as well when the pieces around him can’t execute and the chances go by. It wasn’t his best performance by any means but the offense relied heavily on him for a majority of the match.
F, Tesho Akindele, 4 — The Canadian forward was in on goal a few times and just could not capitalize on the opportunities given until the 77th minute when he scored a tap-in for his seventh of the season. Overall, it was a poor performance that left a lot wanting as he still lacks the killer instinct you want to see from a big target on offense.
F, Sacha Kljestan, 4.5 — It’s hard to fault Kljestan when he suffered the most from the 4-3-3 formation O’Connor deployed, but I’m going to anyway as he struggled to step up offensively and lacked hustle on defense. He looked uncomfortable with the ball at his feet in the box, either coughing it up or searching for a run that never came. He had a few opportunities and a shot but finished fourth on the team in total passes (43) as he could not impose his will on the defense.
D, Kamal Miller (46’), 5 — Miller had a crash course entry into the game as it took a matter of two minutes after coming on at halftime for the Revolution to work down the left side and cross in to score. Miller isn’t to blame for the goal, but it certainly wasn’t what O’Connor wanted from the new addition. He deserves some praise for not letting the goal affect morale as Miller was a needed presence on the left and he has proven that he can fill voids regardless of preferred position.
F, Dom Dwyer (69’), 5.5 — With Mueller at home, it was Dwyer who served as an injection of energy that was desperately needed. He had a fantastic night, causing trouble for the Revolution and finding Akindele for Orlando’s lone goal of the game and his third assist of the season. I would’ve liked it if he started or came on early and he seems hungry after dealing with suspension the past couple of weeks.
F, Robinho (87’), N/A — The newest Lion came on a bit too late to earn a grade but still found the ball a few times and did well with it. It’s nice to see O’Connor using Robinho as this marks his third straight appearance as he works his way into the team.
The Lions had a rough night to say the least as they return to Orlando with no points and a lot to fix. Do you agree with my choice for the game’s Man of the Match or did someone else deserved the honor? Have your say by voting in the poll or letting us know in the comments!
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the Lions’ 4-1 road loss to the New England Revolution?
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