Orlando City’s run in the MLS is Back Tournament came to an end last night with a 2-1 defeat to the Portland Timbers. I would have to say not many people had the Lions making the final, which turned out to be a very physical match-up. Down in the match until Mauricio Pereyra scored the equalizer in the 39th minute, the Lions dominated possession, but it wasn’t enough and they came up just short in the end.
Let’s see how the Lions rated individually in the tournament final.
GK, Pedro Gallese, 7 — The Peruvian goalkeeper had four saves in the match but unfortunately the Timbers were able to get their first goal off a free kick as Larrys Mabiala got his header from a perfect Diego Valeri delivery past Gallese to take the lead. The second goal was off a corner kick and Eryk Williamson’s shot was deflected off of Jeremy Ebobisse to center back Dario Zuparic, who buried it for Portland. Gallese was able to keep Orlando in it with some big saves in the second half. One of them came in the 65th minute when he dove to the right side on a Valeri a free kick. I’ve got to give him credit for trusting his wall on that one. Gallese then made another big stop on Ebobisse on the ensuing corner He also made a 1-v-1 save on Valeri late to give the Lions a chance.
D, João Moutinho, 6 — The left back led Orlando with 91 touches and completed 92% of his passes, creating two solid chances in the game. Joao Moutinho was, for the most part, effective but he got out-muscled on Mabiala’s goal. A sloppy touch on a clearance attempt led to a turnover and a yellow card in the 63rd minute. He finished with an interception, a shot, and a clearance.
D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — For the night Jansson had one shot in the game and completed 95.4% of his passes. He was key in blocking a Sebastian Blanco shot in the 51st minute. He blocked three shots in total, with one interception and a clearance. He made a critical stop in the 58th minute to prevent Marvin Loria from breaking in alone on goal after Ruan got caught up field.
D, Antonio Carlos, 7 — Antonio Carlos had a busy, physical game. He finished with four clearances, four interceptions, a tackle and two fouls. He got a yellow card in the 47th minute for fouling Valeri, setting up a dangerous free kick. Of the two center backs, Carlos got forward more to assist the offense, completing 85% of his passes.
D. Ruan, 6 — Ruan created a couple of chances in the match with one coming in the 75th minute. He crossed the ball in to Akindele but Portland’s defense cleared it with a sliding challenge. He played a hard 87 minutes on the pitch but committed four fouls and also received a yellow card in the 85th minute before being subbed off. Only one of his four crosses was accurate on an otherwise good passing night (89.5%). He could have used his speed more to get to the end line to find better crossing lanes.
MF, Sebas Mendez, 5.5 — Mendez led the team in total shots, with three, but none were on target and his best opportunity was blocked by Mabiala in the 56th minute. Sebas completed 95.8% percent of his passes and avoided dangerous turnovers, getting dispossessed just once in the match. He surprisingly registered no defensive statistics at all, and committed three fouls. His foul in the 25th minute led to Portland’s opener on the ensuing free kick.
MF, Oriol Rosell, 5.5 — Rosell had no tackles, but had an interception and six recoveries on the night. He created one scoring chance on a 92% passing night and literally threw himself into passing lanes frequently to prevent Portland transition opportunities.
MF, Chris Mueller, 5 — Mueller started the game and although he wasn’t on the ball much he still managed two shots in the match, although neither was on target. One moment that summed up his night was his opportunity in the 41st minute — just moments after Pereyra’s goal — when he got the ball at the top of the area but showed too much of the ball while trying to position himself for a shot and it was easily cleared away. Mueller only managed 28 touches, passing at an 88% clip with one key pass. He continues to hustle (one interception, one clearance, and one blocked shot) but hasn’t quite looked right since injuring his shoulder a couple games ago against LAFC.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 7.5 (MotM) — Mauricio continued his excellent play in the tournament with an equalizing goal in the 39th minute — his second goal of the tournament. He made things happen with two shots and a key pass but his set piece delivery was a bit off on the night and actually led to a dangerous counter attack in the 90th minute. He passed only at an 81.1% rate but was one of the few players trying to create something against Portland’s tightly packed low block. He contributed two tackles and an interception and his pressure helped create some turnovers from rushed passes by the Timbers.
MF, Nani, 7 — Nani was a little more quiet than usual. He was definitely involved in the action after a slow start but was certainly getting a lot of attention from the Portland defenders. His low cross in the 39th minute helped set up Orlando City’s only goal of the night. Nani had two shots, one corner kick, and received a yellow card in the 73rd minute. He could have done more on Portland’s second goal but decided to guard the line and was unable to keep out Dario Zuparic’s shot. He provided three key passes — second in the game only to Valeri — passed at an 85.2% rate, and completed four of his six long balls.
F, Tesho Akindele, 5 — Tesho was again very quiet. He played 78 minutes in the match before he was subbed out with just 25 touches and two shots in the match (neither on target). Portland’s low block prevented teammates from finding him but his movement must also be more creative in that situation. He provided two key passes and was fairly accurate in his passing (81.3%), considering half of his attempts were in the attacking third. He added a tackle and a clearance.
MF, Junior Urso (71’), 5.5 — Urso came on to replace Mendez and drew a foul for a free kick in a good area but outside of that was quiet. He attempted no shots but completed 92.9% of his passing attempts and recorded a tackle.
F, Benji Michel (71’), 5 — Benji came on to replace Mueller and tried to make a few plays happen but Portland limited him to just 10 touches, no shots or key passes, and 75% passing accuracy but on only four attempts. He did manage to draw a couple of fouls, including one that led to a good free kick opportunity in the 89th minute.
F, Daryl Dike (78’), N/A— The rookie played 12 minutes in the match and touched the ball only six touches, so he didn’t have time to earn a grade. However, he did register a key pass in his brief time on the field.
F, Santiago Patino (79’), N/A — With only had two pass attempts (both complete) and four total touches, Pantino wasn’t on long enough to earn a grade.
D, Kyle Smith (87’), N/A — Smith came on for Ruan in the final minutes of the match. He had one shot at eternal glory in stoppage time when he tried to volley a shot from a free kick scramble into the net but it was a tough chance and the effort went over the crossbar. He had the best chance to tie the game for the Lions and no doubt feels he should have scored on that one.
It was the set pieces that ended up costing the Lions in this match. The players should hold their heads up high after a solid run to the final. Orlando City won Group A, upset LAFC on penalties in the quarterfinals, and beat a good Minnesota United team in the semifinals. Hopefully our Lions will use this loss as motivation and when the regular season begins Aug. 22 against Inter Miami CF, they’ll go on another run to improve and strive to make the playoffs for the first time in the MLS era.
How do you feel about the individual performances and the grades? Were we too low or too high on some players? Tell us by commenting and voting on the Man of the Match below.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the Lions’ 2-1 loss to Portland in the MLS is Back Tournament final?
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