Orlando City got all three points in a must win match in Cincinnati, holding on to a 1-0 victory on the road. The Lions got a first-half goal courtesy of Junior Urso’s effort from outside the box and that’s all that was needed to hold onto the result.
Here’s how each Lion played in the 1-0 victory:
GK, Pedro Gallese, 7.5 — Gallese showed his quality in this game, with several big stops to preserve the clean sheet and the crucial victory. He finished with three saves including one ridiculous stop off Geoff Cameron on a corner kick. He also completed 16 of 19 passes.
D, Emmanuel Mas, 7 — Mas had some questionable defensive moments but had a strong showing. He created some quality opportunities from the left flank and finished with two key passes. Mas was effective in possession with 49 accurate passes at 86% and finished with two tackles, an interception and six ball recoveries defensively.
D, Robin Jansson, 7 — Both center backs were solid, if unspectacular, on the night. Jansson completed 33 passes, including eight long balls. Defensively, he was solid with nine clearances, including four in the air.
D, Antonio Carlos, 7 — Antonio Carlos played a similar game to his Swedish partner, helping Orlando hold onto the clean sheet with solid defending and possession work. He completed 37 passes at 80%, including seven long balls, with one key pass. Defensively, he made six clearances, three interceptions, and two ball recoveries.
D, Ruan, 8 — Ruan was arguably Orlando’s most dangerous player in Cincinnati. He even got the assist on Urso’s goal, but that was more smart possession play than a dangerous attacking ball. Only one of his five crosses was on target, but he did finish with four key passes. He completed 29 of 37 passes and also completed a dribble. Defensively, he had three clearances, an interception and six ball recoveries. Really strong night for the pacey Brazilian.
MF, Chris Mueller, 6.5 — Cash was active but not overly effective in this game. He did contribute a pair of key passes and a shot and was active in the attack, especially in the first half. He completed 86% of his passes.
MF, Junior Urso, 8.5 (MotM) — The Bear had one of his best games of the season, making an impact from box to box. He scored the game’s lone goal in the first half with his outside-the-box effort and was consistently an option around the area with three shots. Urso also made an impact in possession, completing 53 of 64 passes (83%), including three of three long balls. Defensively, he made three clearances, won all three of his tackles, and made nine ball recoveries. Excellent all-around night for Urso.
MF, Andres Perea, 6.5 — Not a massive game for Perea in place of Sebas Mendez, but solid overall performance. He was efficient in his passing, going 41 of 47 (87%) and added a key pass. He was active defensively, with 10 ball recoveries, an interception, and a tackle. Perea also completed two dribbles. Effective game in the middle overall, but he did have some issues with giveaways in bad areas and his awful decision and pass to try to pick out Carlos while in traffic put his teammate in a bad position and led to the center back picking up his yellow card, for which he’ll now be suspended for Wednesday’s game.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 7.5 — As usual, Pereyra was the main creator for Orlando City. El Maestro had two shots and three key passes on the night, even if he didn’t create a goal. He completed 37 of 43 passes (86%), including all five of his long balls. He also added three ball recoveries and an interception defensively. Impactful performance for Pereyra.
F, Dike, 6 — It was a pretty quiet night for Dike, who didn’t get much service and was battling with Cameron all night. He only registered two shots, with neither on target, in his 70 minutes of action. There were also times that were just out of sync on the break, where Dike just couldn’t quite find the ball or wasn’t on the same page with his teammates, and a few heavy touches hurt his holdup play. He finished with six accurate passes and drew two fouls.
F, Nani, 7 — Nani didn’t get on the scoresheet, but he made an impact. Nani was active in the final third, finishing with two key passes and five shots, and he dropped deep at times to break up Cincinnati possession. None of his five shots were on target, but his curling effort from the right barely missed picking out the far upper corner. He completed 35 of 45 passes (78%) and added three clearances and eight (!) ball recoveries defensively.
F, Benji Michel (71’), 6.5 — Benji didn’t do a ton in his 20 minutes. He completed six of eight passes (75%) and got a shot on target, although that shot was denied by a ridiculous point-blank save by Przemyslaw Tyton. He also drew a foul for a yellow card and made two ball recoveries.
F. Tesho Akindele (71’), 7 — Tesho nearly put the game away for Orlando City when his shot smashed off the crossbar and was ruled out when it landed on a play that deserved to be reviewed. Outside of that near goal, he completed two of four passes (50%), helped hold possession, and made a headed clearance.
MF, Silvester van der Water (83’), N/A — The Dutchman didn’t do much in his cameo appearance, finishing with a tackle and a ball recovery, but wasn’t on long enough to fairly grade.
MF, Uri Rosell (83’), N/A — Rosell came in to try to see out a result and he did his job. He completed five of seven passes plus made an interception and ball recovery.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel (90’), N/A — Schlegel came in to see out the final minutes, as Oscar Pareja went to five at the back as he often does. The Argentine had one nervy moment on a late aerial duel in Orlando’s box. The play went to VAR after Schlegel and Brandon Vazquez went to the ground. Schlegel made contact with Vazquez but had perhaps been thrown off balance by prior contact from Nick Hagglund. There was no foul called and the referee confirmed his initial decision after going to the monitor. Schlegel also made one clearance in his brief appearance.
That’s how I judged things. Leave your grades and thoughts below and make sure to vote for your Man of the Match below.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the Lions’ 1-0 victory over FC Cincinnati?
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