Orlando City traveled to Georgia to take on their northern rival, Atlanta United FC. With so many injuries and international absences, Óscar Pareja was forced to make numerous changes to his preferred starting lineup. Pedro Gallese, and Sebas Méndez are away on international duty. João Moutinho, Uri Rosell, Mauricio Pereyra, Tesho Akindele, Dom Dwyer, and Ruan are all out with injuries. With a potential 10-match unbeaten streak on the line, Pareja needed the youngsters to step up. Let’s see how they did!
GK, Brian Rowe, 6.5 — Brian Rowe is exactly the backup keeper any team would want. He lost the starting job, but continued to work hard and was ready when called to start. He made a huge reaction save in the 18th and 71st minutes to keep a clean sheet. He finished with three saves, attempted 19 passes, had an 89.5% passing rate, and completed one long ball.
D, Kamal Miller, 7 — Miller did a very good job dealing with Brooks Lennon on the left side all match. He deservedly earned a yellow card in the 77th minute on a late challenge, but otherwise played very solid defense. He had four tackles, two clearances, five interceptions, and committed the one foul. He attempted 75 passes and had an 86.7% passing rate.
D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — Jansson put in his usual solid shift leading the defense. He also made a point perfect long pass to Nani that almost resulted in a goal. He recovered well when in defensive transition throughout the match. He made three clearances, one tackle, and committed one foul. Jansson attempted 71 passes at a 91.6% passing rate, and completed two long balls.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6 — Schlegel has grown into his role as one of three center backs for Orlando City. In conjunction with the Beefy Swede, Schlegel helped keep Atlanta off the scoreboard. Defensively, he made one tackle, one interception, two clearances, and committed one foul. Schlegel attempted 77 passes, with a 90.9% passing rate, and completed one long ball.
D, Kyle Smith, 6.5 — Smith has been Pareja’s multi-purpose tool this season. He again showed a willingness to get forward into the attack even if he couldn’t do it as quickly as Ruan. As such, he had a perfectly placed cross in the 11th minute that Daryl Dike got a diving header on, but was unable to finish. Smith also took a long distance shot in the 30th minute though Brad Guzan was up to the task. Defensively he made one tackle, one clearance, and committed one foul. Smith attempted 29 passes, had an 89.7% passing rate, and put in a total of three crosses.
MF, Joey DeZart, 6 — DeZart got his first start for the Lions, thanks to the number of injuries Orlando City is dealing with at this point in the season. The rookie did well given the amount of playing time he’s had. His performance wasn’t mistake free, but he accorded himself well. He took one shot at goal in the 91st minute but Guzan was able to grab it. He attempted 61 passes with an 83.6% passing rate, and attempted one long ball.
MF, Junior Urso, 7 — Urso put in a good shift, and battled Franco Escobar the entire time he was in the match. The Bear drew three fouls, including one just before being subbed off. He attempted 32 passes with a 93.8% passing rate, made two key passes, and attempted two long balls. Urso attempted two shots, with one on target, nearly scoring late in the match. On defense he made three tackles, one interception, and one clearance.
MF, Andrés Perea, 7.5 (MotM) — Perea had one of his best shifts as a Lion. He took five shots with one on goal. Perea made a nice run into the left side of the box after taking it off the foot of an Atlanta player, but with no help available he turned it into a corner kick. He made two tackles, two clearances, and committed one foul. He attempted 23 passes, had a 91.3% passing rate, and put in three crosses.
MF, Robinho, 4 — It was quite obvious that Robinho has not had a ton of minutes so far this season. While he started the game brightly, hitting the post on a good scoring opportunity, he fell off pretty quickly. He had a muffed corner kick attempt that went high and behind the goal and then he had a cross that also went high and behind the goal. He held onto the ball too long too many times, and just didn’t seem to be able to get into the flow of the match. Robinho was credited with two shots, with one on target, seven crosses, committed two fouls, and suffered two fouls. He attempted 25 passes with an 80% passing rate, and completed one long ball.
F, Daryl Dike, 6.5 — Dike might have gotten the start since he’s the only striker available, but he again showed that even when he doesn’t score he’s putting in the work. He almost made a massive header from a Smith cross in the 11th minute, but Guzan was able to make the save. He continued his excellent hold-up play, using his size to his advantage, including drawing three fouls. Statistically, he took one shot (on target), made one tackle, and committed no fouls. Dike attempted 16 passes with a 62.5% passing rate, and one key pass. Defensively, he made one tackle, two clearances, and committed two fouls.
F, Benji Michel 5 — It was a quiet night for Michel, as he only had 23 touches. He had one shot, was dispossessed three times, and committed one foul. It’s rare that Michel disappears quite as much as he did, but it was that kind of game. He only attempted nine passes with a 66.7% passing rate, and attempted one long ball, often struggling with his first touch.
MF, Chris Mueller (59’), 5.5— Mueller came on for the struggling Robinho. He only managed 18 touches despite coming on with nearly 30 minutes to play. Statistically, he made two clearances, and attempted 10 passes with a 90% passing rate, one key pass, and three crosses.
D, Alex De John (59’), 6.5 — De John came on for Smith. He made a great block in the 85th minute, and also had one clearance. He made 12 passes with an 83.3% passing rate, with one key pass.
MF, Nani (70’), 6.5 — Nani’s woodwork woes continued when a shot in the 78th minute deflected off an Atlanta defender and bounced off the crossbar. The captain took two total shots (neither on target), and made one key pass. He made eight passes with an 87.5% completion rate. Despite coming on late he still had an impact on the match.
MF, Antônio Carlos, (87’), N/A — Carlos came on late, and only had five touches, each of which was a pass for a 100% passing rate.
That was how I saw it. Vote for your Man of the Match in the poll, and comment below.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the Lions’ 1-1 draw at Atlanta?
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