Orlando City couldn’t hold onto a two-goal lead as the New England Revolution’s Adam Buksa scored a late brace in a 2-2 draw. While it was a frustrating result considering Orlando was capable of taking all three points against the best team in MLS, the draw extends Orlando’s unbeaten streak to five games.
Let’s dive right into how the Lions individually performed in this draw at Exploria Stadium.
GK, Pedro Gallese, 6 — El Pulpo wasn’t able to do much on either of Buksa’s goals as both were hit at such close range that there was no chance to react in time. Gallese only had one save in the match and it was one of his best for Orlando as he somehow got a hand to a low shot that seemed destined for goal. He was successful on 68% of his 19 passes and completed six of his 12 attempted long balls. Gallese had a fairly quiet night until the Revolution’s stars pushed for a result late in the match. He will aim for a clean sheet when the Lions hit the road to take on the Columbus Crew this Wednesday.
D, Joao Moutinho, 6.5 — After missing the past two games, Moutinho returned to the starting line-up and did well on both sides of the ball. His assist was a great one as he delivered a cross into the box for Nani to get on the end of in a crowded box. It was the only successful cross of his four attempts, but he certainly made it count. Moutinho was subbed off at halftime, finishing with a whopping 62 touches and 41 passes at an impressive 93% success rate. Defensively, he had a tackle, two interceptions, a block, and a clearance as he hustled to stop the Revs. It was a great showing from Moutinho as he eases himself back into the swing of things.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 5.5 — For a majority of the match, Schlegel did a great job filling in for the injured Robin Jansson. He had two tackles, two blocks, an interception, and two clearances to bolster Orlando’s defensive performance. Schlegel’s best play came in the 62nd minute as he made a massive block in front of goal to keep a shot from troubling Gallese. His only shot was deflected and he finished with 56 touches and 44 touches at a 91% success rate. He couldn’t stop Buksa from scoring twice as the forward used nice runs and overwhelming size to equalize.
D, Antonio Carlos, 6 — Carlos was solid throughout the game, stopping the Revolution dead in their tracks on multiple occasions. The center back led Orlando with five clearances and also had three tackles. With Jansson out, Carlos served as the team’s defensive leader and did well putting out fires. He ended the game with 67 touches and 57 passes at an 89% success rate as he helped build possession out of the back. Orlando will need Carlos at his best in the final three games this season to limit the opposition’s scoring chances.
D, Ruan, 5.5 — Both of the right back’s crosses were unsuccessful, but he did have a key pass to set up a shot for Mauricio Pereyra. Ruan’s speed allowed him to chase down loose balls that other players simply wouldn’t be able to get to in time. Defensively, he had a tackle and two interceptions as he tried to fight off the Revolution’s comeback attempts. Ruan had 59 touches, 42 passes at a 92% completion rate, and drew two fouls in potentially dangerous areas. Given Orlando’s many attacking players in this game, it’s understandable that Ruan wasn’t too involved on offense.
MF, Junior Urso, 6 — The Bear had a busy night, leading the team with 81 touches and 72 passes at a great 93% success rate. He had two shots in the match, sending one over the bar and having the other deflected. Urso was patient with the ball at his feet in the attacking third to try and find open Lions, making two key passes. He also did a good job chasing the ball down to then set up Moutinho’s cross. On the defensive side of things, he had two tackles, an interception, and a clearance. It was his eighth straight start and he’s played more minutes than any other Lion this season so it will be interesting to see if he will continue to play every minute of Orlando’s final three games as well.
MF, Sebas Mendez, 6 — The Ecuadorian midfielder had a few turnovers early in the match, but settled into his usual rhythm as the match wore on. Mendez had 72 touches, two interceptions, a clearance, and was successful on 92% of his 64 passes as he helped connect Orlando’s defense with its offense. While he didn’t have a shot or key pass, he did make a nice run into the box in the 73rd minute but no one reached his resulting cross.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6 — Pereyra had a great opportunity in the first half after Carlos found him open in the box, but he slipped in the heavy rain before he could take a shot. Pereyra had two key passes and completed 94% of his 54 passes to fuel Orlando’s offense and maintain possession. His only shot was off target, but not terribly so, and his only corner kick whipped into the box rather than played short was successful. Pereyra led the team with four tackles and also had 72 touches in 79 minutes of action. His next assist will be his 11th this year and would break Orlando’s single-season record, but he hasn’t had an assist or goal during this five-game unbeaten run.
MF, Chris Mueller, 6 — Mueller paired well with Daryl Dike in the attack, using his speed to drive forward and create space for the center forward. He led the team with four shots but wasn’t able to score as one attempt hit the post, another was deflected, and his only one on target was saved by Matt Turner. His only cross was successful, although it was mostly because the defender misjudged it for Nani to collect the ball near the corner flag. Mueller came off in the 67th minute for fresher legs to help see the game to its conclusion. He ended the game with 49 touches and completed 78% of his 36 passes while chipping in on defense with a tackle and a clearance. Mueller has done well in these recent home games for Orlando and his last regular season game at Exploria Stadium will come on Halloween against Nashville SC.
MF, Nani, 7 (MotM) — Orlando City’s captain scored for the first time since Aug. 7 as he got his head onto a great cross from Moutinho in the 39th minute. Nani bested Turner with a smartly placed header that took a bounce off the wet pitch. His only other shot in the match was blocked in the box. In the second half, Nani did well to earn a penalty with a cutback in the box and Dike converted from the spot to give Orlando a 2-0 lead. The winger had two key passes and served a great cross to Dike early in the match that nearly resulted in a goal if not for some decent defending. Nani had 77 touches and 57 passes at an 81% success rate before coming off in the 79th minute. He’s our Man of the Match for giving Orlando a lead and helping to double it by winning a penalty. It was a great performance from the Designated Player and hopefully more goals are on their way as Orlando aims to clinch a playoff spot .
F, Daryl Dike, 6.5 — The center forward’s strength was on full display in this match as he did well winning the ball and beating defenders. However, he only had two shots and one of those was the penalty he converted after the Orlando faithful chanted for him to take the kick. Dike slotted the ball out of Turner’s reach and into the bottom right corner and there shouldn’t be much debate on who will take penalties moving forward. Dike’s other shot was a header in the box that went straight at Turner. He attempted eight dribbles throughout the match and was successful on five of them as he worked his way into dangerous areas. Dike played every minute and had 44 touches, two key passes, a tackle, a clearance, and 15 passes at a 73% success rate.
D, Emmanuel Mas (45’), 5.5 — The left back came on for Moutinho after halftime, but wasn’t able to make as much of an impact as who he was replacing. Mas only had 22 touches and 13 passes at a 77% success rate while not attempting any crosses. He did a decent job dealing with Tajon Buchanan once the Canadian phenom came on and he also had a tackle in the match.
MF, Benji Michel (67’), 5 — The Homegrown Player had a chance to put the game away in the 90th minute, but his shot was blocked. It was his only shot of the match, although he had the chance for one in the 83rd minute only to be dispossessed as the Revs quickly went on the counter. Michel had a key pass as well, cueing Andres Perea up for a shot that was blocked. His scoring drought continues and he certainly could’ve done better in the attacking third. Michel finished the game with 11 touches and completed all five of his passes.
MF, Andres Perea (79’), N/A — Coming on for Pereyra, Perea slotted into central midfield and did fairly well with his 12 touches. He had three tackles to disrupt the Revolution and completed all six of his passes. His only shot was blocked, but it was a decent outing as he received some minutes to shake some rust off, even if Orlando gave up its lead.
F, Tesho Akindele, (79’) N/A — While he didn’t have a shot, his key pass to send Michel in on goal in the 90th minute could have put the game on ice. The Canadian striker had 10 touches and completed six of his eight passes for a 75% success rate. Akindele also had a tackle as he hustled around the field.
MF, Joey DeZart (89’), N/A — Brought on late, DeZart had no touches or defensive stats. We may only see him in these brief appearances for the rest of this season given how Orlando’s midfield is getting healthy.
That’s how I saw things play out in Orlando’s 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution . Make sure to weigh in on how you feel about the grades in the comments below and to vote for who you think deserves the title of Man of the Match.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the Lions’ 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution?
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