Orlando City was the better team in the first half and part of the second half against FC Dallas but a 69th-minute red card — on a second yellow — to Sebas Mendez changed the game. Fortunately, the Lions were strong defensively and came away with a well-earned point. It’s the team’s eighth straight game with at least a point and keeps Orlando in the top four of the Eastern Conference.
Here is how I viewed the individual performances in this game.
GK, Pedro Gallese, 7 (MotM) — As with many games this season, Pedro Gallese was great in this one. Especially in the first half, FC Dallas had some excellent chances but Gallese was up to the challenge. In the 10th minute, Gallese blocked a shot by Santiago Mosquera at point-blank range. In the 41st minute, Bryan Acosta flicked a ball that nearly found the top corner but Gallese was once again up for the task. Gallese ended the game with four saves and did well to manage the clock as the Lions looked to claim a point despite being a man down.
D, Ruan, 5.5 — It’s difficult to judge Ruan’s performance in this game as he only lasted 23 minutes before exiting with an injury. In the short time he was in action, Ruan caused trouble down the right. Nani and Mauricio Pereyra looked for him on multiple occasions. Defensively, he was strong, not giving anything to the FC Dallas attack.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6.5 — Rodrigo Schlegel came away with another strong performance filling in for Antonio Carlos. After Sebas Mendez was sent off with 20 minutes remaining, Orlando City was put under pressure and the central defenders did well to keep the opposition at bay. He ended the game with three tackles, two clearances, and a blocked shot.
D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — Robin Jansson was already the leader of the Orlando City defense but has been even more so since Antonio Carlos has been out. The Swede was strong in the back and, along with Schlegel, was key in ensuring that the Lions claimed a point. His stats might not stand out, recording a tackle, four clearances, and a blocked shot, but the goose egg for FC Dallas is largely attributed to his performance.
D, Kyle Smith, 6 — This was a bounce-back performance by Kyle Smith, who struggled in the team’s last game against Sporting Kansas City. After providing opportunities for the opposition midweek, Smith was much better in Dallas. In addition to being strong defensively, Smith completed 84.5% of his 58 passes and was accurate with four of his six long balls.
MF, Junior Urso, 6 — It was another strong performance by Junior Urso in the defensive midfield. His distribution was solid once again, completing 90.9% of his 55 passes. He had fewer tackles than his counterpart, Mendez, but was much smarter when doing so. The result was assisting in an important clean sheet that earned the Lions a point.
MF, Sebas Mendez, 3.5 — It was a night to forget for Mendez. He didn’t play that poorly for most of the game, completing 90% of his 50 passes. However, two stupid mistakes in his final five minutes defined his night. In the 64th minute, Mendez was issued a yellow for time wasting when he kicked the ball away after a free kick was awarded. Just five minutes later, after having just been cautioned, Mendez went in with a dangerous challenge, resulting in a second booking. He put his team in a difficult situation, effectively undoing all the good work he had done previously in the game.
MF, Nani, 6 — Nani was once again at the point of the Orlando City attack most of the night. He completed 76% of his 50 passes and made four key passes in the game. He ended up with a total of nine shots, but only one of those shots was on target. The club captain was lucky not to give up a late free kick to FC Dallas just outside of the Orlando City box but it was a quality performance overall.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6.5 — Pereyra was excellent for the Lions in this game. He was often involved in play and did well to find others while building an attack. Touching the ball 60 times, Pereyra completed 86.1 of his 43 passes and had five key passes. He came off for Andres Perea in the 73rd minute but it was because of the need for a defensive addition after Sebas Mendez was sent off. Oscar Pareja would’ve preferred to have the attacker on, especially with the type of game he was having.
MF, Chris Mueller, 5 — Chris Mueller is usually a key part of the Orlando City attack, but he was largely missing in this game. In 63 minutes on the field, he only touched the ball 36 times and took two shots, with one on target. Mueller completed 87% of his 23 passes and attempted two crosses, but neither reached their intended target.
F, Tesho Akindele, 5 — Tesho Akindele was looking for a strong performance against his old club but it wasn’t to be. Coming off a good performance in Kansas City, Akindele only managed to record one shot, which was blocked, and only completed 61.5% of his 13 passes. He nearly got on the end of a first half cross, which could’ve been the opening goal, but was unable to reach it and ran into the goal instead.
D, Kamal Miller (23’), 6 — Kamal Miller was thrown into the game well before he expected and did very well. He replaced Ruan in the 23rd minute and was solid, helping complete the clean sheet. He made two interceptions and two clearances on the night, while 68.8% of his 32 passes found their mark.
F, Daryl Dike (63’), 5 — Oscar Pareja brought Daryl Dike on in the 63rd minute hoping he could do more than Akindele had done to that point. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best night for the rookie. He had a couple of chances with the ball inside the box but was unable to threaten FC Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer and drew a free kick in a dangerous spot after out-dueling Matt Hedges, but Nani’s set piece delivery hit the wall. In the end, Dike only ended up with one shot that hit the side netting.
F, Benji Michel (63’), 5 — Similar to Dike, it was an unremarkable performance by Benji Michel. Despite being on the field for 27 minutes, he only touched the ball seven times and took one shot, which was off target. He was brought in to add a spark to the attack but was unable to.
MF, Andres Perea (73’), 5.5 — Perea came on as a defensive replacement after Mendez was sent off in the 69th minute. He only touched the ball five times and didn’t make any defensive stops so it’s difficult to judge his performance. However, considering that FC Dallas didn’t cause too much trouble while attacking a man up in the final minutes, Perea was helpful in the clean sheet and point earned by Orlando City.
That’s how I think Orlando City’s players performed against FC Dallas. How did you see the game? Let us know what you thought of the performance in the comment section and don’t forget to vote on the Man of the Match below.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the Lions’ 0-0 draw with FC Dallas?
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