The Lions got an important win at home in Exploria Stadium with a 3-1 victory over the Red Bulls, extending their streak to nine games unbeaten. With Pedro Gallese and Sebas Mendez getting ready to miss matches for international play, the three points are more than welcome.
So how did the Lions’ individual performances rate in the win over the Red Bulls?
GK, Pedro Gallese, 6.5 — The Red Bulls had a chance in the 36th with a header on target but El Pulpo saved it comfortably. He did well to save a blast in from Marc Rzatowski that could have brought the Red Bulls onto level playing field late in the game.
D, Kamal Miller, 6.5 — Kamal Miller had a bit of a messy match to start, with missing a clearance and conceding a corner in the opening minute of play. He had a nice play to break up the attack but then turned the ball right back over to help Florian Valot bring the Red Bulls back into the match in the 54th minute. He did well to clear New York corners and break up attacks down his side multiple times to keep the Red Bulls at bay. He had two tackles, two interceptions, and four clearances on the night.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6 — The Argentinian had a 79% passing accuracy in the match, one tackle, one interception, and four clearances, helping the Lions secure the win. Not as flashy or wild on the field as in past games, but a solid performance.
D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — The Beefy Swede was solid on the back line in his performance against the New York Red Bulls. He had an 85% passing accuracy on 66 passes, one tackle, two interceptions, four clearances, and four blocked shots.
D, Kyle Smith, 7 (MotM)— Kyle Smith had another great night getting the assist on Dike’s goal and sending several nice crosses into the area but failing to connect on anymore of them. He also made a huge defensive play in the 83rd minute when New York was looking to counter and possibly tie the match. With a 74% passing rate, seven tackles, a clearance, five crosses, and the assist, I’m giving him the slight edge over Junior Urso as this week’s Man of the Match.
MF, Andres Perea, 6.5 — Andres Perea got the start against the Red Bulls in place of the suspended Mendez. He ended the night with one shot, five aerials won, four tackles, three interceptions, two clearances, and an 81% passing rate. More importantly, the Lions didn’t seem to miss Mendez or Uri Rosell, which speaks to how well the youngster played.
MF, Junior Urso, 7 — The Bear got a shot off in in the 33rd minute forcing a save out of Jensen. Urso did well to get onto a Mueller pass, shrug Jason Pendant off, and score what would ultimately be the game winner on the breakaway in the 50th minute. He was visibly upset to be taken out after what appeared to be a knock to the head. Understandably so, as he was having one heck of a match. He went down on the play that should have been called and stayed down in pain while the referee allowed the game to play on. Urso had two shots on target, a goal, a tackle, one interception, two shots (both on target), and an 82% passing accuracy on the night.
MF, Nani, 6.5 — The captain had a quieter night than normal, but ended the night with one tackle, three interceptions, and a 79% pass rate on 52 passes. He picked up a secondary assist on Antonio Carlos’ late insurance goal and moved the ball all night in the attack.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6.5 — Mauricio Pereyra left holding his hamstring at the half but proved to be the solid piece in midfield he usually is. It was his pass to Smith out wide that led to the opening goal and shortly after that he sent Mueller in alone on goal, but the shot was saved. Before leaving at the half, Pereyra had one tackle, a key pass, a yellow card, and a 71% pass rate. He switched play to the right on Dike’s goal by finding Smith and picked up the secondary assist.
MF, Chris Mueller, 6 — It seems Chris Mueller was a bit off his game in the first half. A great attack was building but Chris opted not to play in Pereyra during a 2-v-1 in the 23rd minute and he lost possession trying to beat his man. Cash had a chance quickly after Dike’s goal when he went 1-v-1 with David Jensen but seemed to have too much time to think about it and his shot was saved. In the second half Mueller came out more like himself, getting an assist on Urso’s goal and getting into the attack in the 76th minute but fired his shot over the bar. He ended the night with two shots, an assist, two tackles, an interception, a clearance, and an 87% pass rate.
F, Daryl Dike, 7 — It would seem a few games out of the starting XI was just what the Zombie, (or was it the Mummy...what was finally decided?) needed. Daryl Dike opened the scoring with a beautiful header off Smith’s cross in the 24th minute. Dike was headed for a second when the flag came up in the 67th, as he was called for a foul as he rounded his defender and got in behind. Head Coach Oscar Pareja was so angry about the call he got a yellow card. Dike ended the night with one goal on his only shot attempt, one tackle, and a 68% pass rate.
F, Benji Michel (46’), 6.5 — Benji Michel came on for Pereyra to start the second half. It was in the 70th minute Michel had the chance to put the Lions even further ahead when he was sent in by Urso but he fired way off target. He made up for it by serving up an easy goal for Carlos, picking up an assist. Michel could have tried scoring on Jensen himself, but instead he played the Jamie Tartt role and made the extra pass for an easy team goal. He ended his half with an assist, two tackles, one shot, two key passes, and and a 92% pass rate on his 12 passes.
D, Antonio Carlos (79’), 6.5 — After being out for a while with an injury, Antonio Carlos came in for Kamal Miller. Then, in the 95th minute he scored his first MLS goal, sealing the win at home for the Lions. The play went under review for a possible offside call, but the goal was good. The Brazilian actually started and finished the play, winning the ball in the air and passing off to Nani before continuing his run up field, where he completed the play.
MF, Joey Dezart (79’), N/A— The 22-year-old came on for Dike and didn’t really have much of a chance to make an impact, managing only six touches.
D, Alex De John (86’), N/A— The defender came on late in the match for Chris Mueller in an attempt to add to the defense. He was only in for about 10 minutes, making four touches.
D, David Loera (90’), N/A— David Lorea made his MLS debut for Orlando City when he came on for Urso in the dying minutes of the game. He only touched the ball twice but he provided energy and defended well in his limited minutes.
That’s how I saw things. Be sure to tell us what you thought of the players’ performances in the comments, and vote in our poll for Man of the Match.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the Lions’ 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls?
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