I know better than to get my hopes up and really start to believe that last night could have been the night the Lions made history, but how could you not feel inspired after that wildly creative first half? Instead they fell 1-0 to Atlanta at home. Here’s how I felt the players rated individually.
GK, Brian Rowe, 5.5 — Things looked messy in the 80th minute when Brian Rowe gave Atlanta a 2-v-0 chance but he at least made a huge save to clean it up. Overall not a spectacular night for Rowe, but not a terrible one either. Pretty middle of the road in my opinion.
D, Kamal Miller, 5.5 — The defender made two tackles and three clearances. His 33 passes saw only a 60% accuracy, leaving a bit to be desired.
D, Robin Jansson, 6 — The Swede doesn’t stop. He can be from midfield tracking back so fast for such a large guy. He had one tackle, an interception, and four clearances in the fight, and his 24 passes saw an 88% success rate.
D, Lamine Sané, 6 —The defender finished with four clearances, an interception, and a shot on target. His 27 passes produced an 82% pass success rate. He did get caught upfield on the goal. Other than that, I felt like the night was pretty quiet for Sané.
D, Kyle Smith, 6 — A turnover from Smith in the ninth minute had everyone holding their breath as an offside Josef Martinez found the back of the net. Despite that, Smith is growing on me, I didn’t dislike him, I just didn’t have much of an opinion. He has had to really show up with Moutinho and Ruan out of the mix. His 54 passes produced an 89% pass success rate, the highest of all the starters. Additionally, he had two tackles, an interception, and a clearance.
MF, Uri Rosell, 5.5 — Uri may only be remembered in this match for the shot he fired over the bar after a nice setup from Nani. Rosell’s night produced two tackles, a clearance, and two shots.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6 — A beautiful pass from Pereyra in the 22nd minute to Ascues could have been something. Another beautiful pass from Pereyra found Ascues for an opportunity in the 44th minute. In the 56th minute we saw a pass from Pereyra, which was a touch too heavy for Tesho to reach. I think it’s safe to say it was a great debut in front of the home crowd, for Pereyra, I like the chances he’s creating, the creativity in the midfield, and I think he might be what Dom’s been missing — someone to serve him in the box. The newest Lion ended the night with one shot, three key passes, a tackle, and a 69% pass success rate on his 35 attempts.
MF, Carlos Ascues, 6 — Ascues got the excitement and hopes up in the first five minutes as he took a shot that was blocked, only to find himself at the other end of the field to block a shot to deny Atlanta. In the seventh minute he fired off a shot right to Guzan. Pereyra’s pass in the 22nd minute was clipped off Ascues’ foot by Atlanta’s Nagbe at the last second as he continued to get into dangerous areas. In the night of infinite chances for the Peruvian, Ascues fired wide on a chip from Nani. His 17 passes produced an 82% pass success rate, he had three tackles, an interception, and a clearance, with only two of his four shots on target.
F, Nani, 7 (MotM) — Nani fired one toward goal in the 38th minute, but it was deflected. He fired wide again in the 62nd minute. Then Nani stole a pass and chipped a gorgeous pass in to Ascues in the 65th, only to see him shoot it wide. Should I just be copy pasting at this point? In the 67th minute Nani had a chance again but sent it just wide. He took the free kick in the 79th minute, going for back post, but the ball didn’t get enough bend and he just missed it. In the end, the man created seven chances, but got none of his six shots on frame. Nani ended his time on the field at the whistle, angrily blowing past any and everyone in his attempt to leave. He also ended with a tackle and an 86% pass accuracy on 49 attempts. He didn’t stop trying to make something happen, but as is Orlando City’s luck, all chance, no finish.
F, Tesho Akindele, 6 — A nice play early in the half helped Akindele set up the Ascues shot in the seventh minute. Guzan stopped Tesho’s shot from a tight angle in the 10th minute after he made a nice move around Miles Robinson. He produced a 72% passing accuracy on 25 attempts, a key pass, two interceptions, and four shots (one on target).
F, Benji Michel, 6 — It could have been something in the eighth minute when Benji won the race to the end line but after cutting into the box he fired a cross in to no one. The short corner saw a half chance for Benji but his deflected shot was way too easy for Guzan to collect. Benji won a free kick just outside the penalty area to give some hope in the 79th minute. He finished with one shot, though not on target, a clearance, and a 57% passing rate on 21 attempts.
MF, Sacha Kljestian (61’), 5.5 — Can I give points to the man for taking a second to say hi to, and high fiving, the Special Olympics squad? No? OK. The man was in control of his passing last night. His 27 attempts were met with 93% accuracy. But he still looked outpaced, not lazy as some fans would say, just physically unable to keep up with Atlanta.
F, Dom Dwyer (67’), 6 — In another breath of hope in the dying minutes, Dom helped win OCSC a corner. He ended the night with one shot on target, and his six pass attempts were at an 83% success rate. He looked a bit more confident, and when he got tripped up on a run, he found his balance and got back up instead of looking for a foul. He seemed a bit more motivated last night.
F, Chris Mueller (74’), 4.5 — Not an impressive night for Mueller, albeit I’m not his biggest fan. Sure, the kid has heart, but at one point he was literally just standing there, two feet from his teammate that was being hounded by two Atlanta players and looking for some help. He dribbled a weak shot wide in the 80th. Michel passed one slightly behind Mueller in the 86th, where Chris stopped, got it, and fired well off target. His two off-target, shots are about all he seemed to offer up last night.
Agree or disagree? Be sure to vote in our poll and tell us what you thought about last night’s loss.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the 1-0 loss to Atlanta United?
This poll is closed
Other. Be sure to tell us who and why in the comments.