Orlando City hosted Montreal in Exploria Stadium for a midweek clash of Eastern Conference foes in the playoff race. The Lions were hoping to take all three points at home against a very tough to break down Montreal, but it wasn’t to be. Orlando City gave up an equalizer in the second half to draw their Canadian opponent 1-1.
Just a note for those who read our player’s grades: Each staff member has their own scale on how they grade players. My grading involves not just stats and key moments, but also how the player performs against my expectations. If you disagree with how I, or any of our staff, approach our grades, I sincerely encourage you to join The Mane Land staff so you can use your own criteria. Now, let’s see how the Lions did in the draw against their Eastern Conference foes.
GK, Pedro Gallese, 6 — Gallese only made one save in the match, but it was a huge one. In the 49th minute, El Pulpo’s left tentacle stretched out as he was moving to the right and made what should be the MLS Save of the Week. Unfortunately, he had no chance on the Montreal goal off the corner kick in the 52nd minute. Gallese also made a bad giveaway pass in second-half stoppage time to give Montreal a corner and an opportunity to waste time. Fortunately, it didn’t result in anything worse. He attempted 17 passes at a 70.6% passing rate and connected on one of six long balls. Not the best overall match from the keeper, but certainly not a bad one either.
D, Emmanuel Mas, 6.5 — Mas got the start again for the injured João Moutinho. Mas was more effective this match at getting into the offense, which was a byproduct of Orlando City’s pressing. On defense he had one clearance, six interceptions, and committed one foul. He did a good job of stopping the Montreal offense before much could develop, especially in the first half. They were more effective in the second half, but Mas still played well. He attempted 53 passes and had a 77.4% passing rate with one key pass, while completing two of three long balls.
D, Robin Jansson, 7.5 (MotM) — Jansson was seemingly everywhere during this match. He was a rock on defense, and wasn’t shy about getting into the attack. Even to the point of bringing the ball into the opponent’s box and taking a shot to earn a corner. It wasn’t the only run he made in the offensive half of the pitch, as the Beefy Swede made his presence known. Like others, he did have a giveaway in the 21st minute, but it amounted to nothing. Just before the half, he took the ball off the opponent’s foot and cleared the ball. It was Jansson who started the attack with a pass to Mauricio Pereyra that ended up in Chris Mueller’s goal. Defensively, Jansson made two tackles, two interceptions, one clearance, one blocked shot, and committed no fouls. Offensively, Jansson made two shots, with one on target. He also attempted 75 passes and had an 84% passing rate, with two successful dribbles. The usually accurate Jansson completed just one of 11 long balls.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6 — Schlegel was once again pressed into the starting position due to Antonio Carlos serving a yellow card suspension. Having a backup center back of his quality is something to appreciate. He attempted 63 passes and had a 90.5% passing rate, and completed three of three long balls. Defensively, he made three tackles, two interceptions, five clearances, and won three aerials. He committed one foul, earning a yellow card in second-half stoppage time, and also suffered one foul.
D, Ruan, 6 — Ruan played a very Ruan match. He made his runs up the right side as Orlando City pushed the attack through the speedy fullback during the first half. He also made several not great crosses, and finally connected on one that slid past Benji Michel and out to a waiting Mueller on the back post. He also had an opportunity on a rebound in the 76th minute, but was unable to put it away. It was his only shot in the match. He did make two key passes, four crosses (including an assist), and one dribble. He suffered two fouls, and found himself offside twice. Defensively, he made one interception, and two clearances. Ruan attempted 39 passes, had an 84.6% passing rate and attempted one long ball.
MF, Uri Rosell, 6.5 — Rosell played a solid match. He absolutely stood up Kamal Miller in the 35th minute to start the break for Orlando City. Rosell played within himself and as such was generally where he needed to be to help his club, though he wasn’t able to fight through a moving pick to contain the larger Rudy Camacho on Montreal’s set piece goal. Defensively, he won an aerial, made three tackles, two interceptions, two clearances, and committed three fouls. One of which was a professional foul in the 30th minute. He attempted 49 passes, had a 91.8% passing rate, and connected on two of two long balls. He came off in the 70th minute for Sebas Mendez after getting injured. It was a head impact that had his right side bleeding. He was the second Lion to get bandaged up in the match and on the play he was injured he made a vital challenge in the penalty area to prevent a Montreal scoring chance.
MF, Júnior Urso, 6.5 — The Bear put in his usual iron man shift. His best chance at goal came on a missed header in the seventh minute. He was instrumental in Orlando City’s goal when he took Pereyra’s pass and put a long ball up to Dike to continue the attack. He took three shots, though none were on target. One of them deflected off the back of an opponent and caught the crossbar. Defensively, he had one tackle, one clearance, one interception, committed one foul, and suffered two fouls. He attempted 65 passes with a 93.9% passing rate, made two key passes, and attempted one long ball. Urso also spent part of the match in a head bandage after he and Dike collided in the box. It wasn’t enough to warrant concussion protocols, but it was enough for him to look like a partial mummy.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6 — Pereyra played the role that we expect from the number 10. Montreal’s Camacho played an outstanding match, which prevented several of Pereyra’s passes from getting to the target. He made an excellent delivery on the free kick in the seventh minute, but no one was able to take advantage of it. It was also Pereyra who deftly took the pass from Jansson and made a one-touch pass to send it to Urso on the way to Orlando City’s goal. Pereyra attempted one shot (just off target), had two successful dribbles, was fouled twice, and committed one foul. He attempted 41 passes with a 75.6% passing rate, made eight crosses, had one key pass, and completed one of four long ball attempts.
MF, Chris Mueller, 7 — Cash Money has woken up in the last match or two and this time he gave Orlando City the lead with his 45th-minute goal in the first half. The Money Badger did well in the first half press when the Lions were having their way. He attempted two shots, with one on target for the goal. Mueller made one key pass, committed one foul, and suffered two fouls. Defensively, he made one interception. He attempted 22 passes with an 81.8% passing rate and attempted two crosses. He also completed his one long ball attempt. He subbed off in the 66th minute for Silvester van der Water.
F, Benji Michel, 6 — Michel was a pest on the right side of Montreal’s defense. He worked well with Mas, and made good runs with both the ball and without. He connected on two of his three crosses, and his early cross to Dike almost earned a goal. Offensively, Michel had one shot. He did have a team-high five poor touches. Defensively, he registered no statistics. He attempted 13 passes with a 76.9% passing rate, including two key passes, and one long ball attempt. He made two key passes, two successful dribbles, and committed one foul. He was subbed off in the 65th minute for Nani.
F, Daryl Dike, 6.5 — Dike did everything he could to score, short of actually putting the ball in the net. Given how many guys were either riding his hip or worse, it was a tough night for the big guy. His 29th-minute header was just over the bar. Later, he muscled his way through four defenders but couldn’t get a shot off. He was fouled in the buildup of Orlando’s goal, but the ref rightly called play on, and his touch took the ball out to Ruan on the right side for a secondary assist on the goal. He got in for a late shot that was saved. Dike attempted three shots, with one on target. He also suffered one foul, made three dribbles, and was dispossessed twice. Defensively, Dike made one clearance. He also made two key passes on 11 attempts with a 90.9% passing rate. He was subbed off in the 86th minute for Tesho Akindele.
MF, Silvester van der Water (66’), 4.5 — Van der Water was not his usual self. His passes were not good, he gave the ball away consistently after coming on, and he just wasn’t sharp. Montreal dared him to play the ball with his right foot by overplaying his left side and the Dutchman tried to force it rather than taking what the defense was giving him. He attempted 18 passes with a 66.7% passing rate, made one cross, and was successful on one of two long balls. He made one interception and was dispossessed once.
F, Nani (66), 5 — Nani was not able to make the type of impact he usually does when coming on late. There was no stoppage time golazo in the run of play or from a free kick. He attempted 11 passes with a 63.6% passing rate, had one successful dribble, and suffered one foul.
MF, Sebas Mendez (70’), 6.5 — Mendez attempted 37 passes with a 94.6% passing rate, and connected on two of three long balls. He also had one successful dribble. It was good for Mendez to get back on the pitch, and help with the defense to see out the match.
F, Tesho Akindele (86’), N/A — There simply wasn’t enough time or possession for Akindele to contribute to the attack. He attempted two passes on his two touches, with a 100% passing rate.
MF, Alexandre Pato (86), N/A — As much as I would like to give the Duck a grade for simply making an appearance, he didn’t have enough time to contribute much to the match. Pato attempted four passes with a 50% passing rate. Hopefully, we will see more of him in the coming matches so he can get up to game speed and achieve full match fitness.
That is how I saw the game. How do you feel about the individual performances? 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’ 1-1 draw versus CF Montreal?
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