Orlando City claimed its second MLS is Back Tournament win on Tuesday as the Lions defeated New York City FC 3-1 at Disney. The win, coupled with Philadelphia’s win over Inter Miami, means Orlando will move on to the knockout round of the competition that marks the return of soccer in the country.
Unlike the debut against Inter Miami, the Lions built an early two-goal lead within the first 10 minutes with a brace by Chris Mueller. Orlando withstood NYCFC’s pressure to get all three points after substitute Tesho Akindele scored the third goal with just nine minutes to the final whistle.
Here’s how each of the players performed:
GK, Pedro Gallese, 7.5 — The goalkeeper had the upper hand on his personal battle with Valentin Castellanos as he denied the Argentinean forward at least three clear opportunities during the match, including an impressive one in a point-blank finish right before the halftime whistle. There was nothing he could do on Jesus Medina’s goal, though.
D, Joao Moutinho, 6 — The Portuguese provided great service for Mueller to score the first goal with an inch-perfect cross from a free kick early in the match. He continued pushing forward and was more active than usual, but he struggled to get to the end line and crossed the ball way too early at times. On NYCFC’s goal, it seemed he was a few steps too many from Jesus Medina.
D, Robin Jansson, 6 — The center back did a good job in containing Castellanos and even drew a yellow card on him in the first half. On the flip side, he got a caution himself in an absolutely unnecessary way when he got into a little scuffle with the Argentinean with the ball out of play. Replays showed Castellanos should perhaps have been sent off with a second yellow for simulation.
D, Antonio Carlos, 6.5 —The Brazilian was not bothered for most of the match and had a quiet night overall. He contributed defensively with a few clearances in the box and was calm and efficient in building out of the back.
D, Ruan, 6.5 — The right back found plenty of space to explore behind Ronald Matarrita’s back and wasn’t shy in taking advantage of it. He had a couple of dangerous crosses, including one that found Dwyer to set up the second goal and one that Mueller headed onto the crossbar. In the second half, he had to deal with the Costa Rican in his defensive half, but he did a fine job.
MF, Uri Rosell, 5.5 —The Spaniard had a decent performance. He distributed the ball well in the center of the field and helped protect Orlando’s back line with simple, but important actions. He also helped with some clearances inside the penalty box
MF, Junior Urso, 6 — The Brazilian covered a lot of ground in the midfield and helped Rosell in protecting the team’s defense with his energy. With the ball on his feet, he managed to find some good passes in the offensive end, including the one that helped set up the third goal.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6.5 —The Uruguayan seems to have found his spot on the field as he’s connecting a lot better with his teammates. He found Ruan in good spots on the right side quite a few times and combined well with Nani too.
MF, Nani, 6 — The captain was very dynamic roaming around the opposition’s penalty box, but he wasn’t really dangerous in the first half. He should have done better with his 36th-minute shot inside the area, but leaned back a bit and fired it over the bar. In the second part of the game, with Orlando more focused on counter attacking, he found more space to operate and had a dangerous run down the left flank. His pass to Benji Michel helped lead to the third Orlando goal.
MF, Chris Mueller, 8 (MotM) — The winger started the match on fire and scored twice within the first 10 minutes. While Mueller showed his typical energy to attack the ball after a free kick on the first goal, on the second he displayed impressive composure in front of the goal. He almost got a first-half hat trick, but his header ricocheted off the crossbar. His production fell in the second half, as did his energy, but he got four of his team-high five shots on frame and also drew a free kick and yellow card on Alexander Ring.
F, Dom Dwyer, 5 —The striker indicated he would bounce back from a subpar performance in the tournament’s first match when he fed Mueller with a fantastic headed assist. He had a good chance to score at the 35th minute but couldn’t send Mueller’s low cross in the goal’s direction. He wasn’t very involved in the second half and was subbed off at the 60th minute after sustaining a knock.
F, Tesho Akindele (60’), 7 – The forward came off the bench and sealed Orlando’s victory with a goal in the 81st minute in which he fought for a loose ball and sprinted to the penalty box to follow up on Michel’s shot.
MF, Sebas Menzez (64’), 5.5 – The Ecuador international helped keep Orlando’s midfield cohesion and intensity during his time on the field. He didn’t do anything remarkably positive or negative, which is probably what head coach Oscar Pareja expected from him.
MF, Andres Perea (78’), 5.5 – The Colombian brought good energy with limited time to affect the game. He did help the defense fend off NYCFC’s last ditch efforts, and he looked to break on the counter whenever he had the opportunity.
F, Benji Michel (78’), 6.5 – The forward entered the match with just over 10 minutes to play but still found the time to have an impact as he was directly involved in Orlando’s third goal.
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