It was a disappointing night for Orlando City as the club fell for the second match in a row. This time it was a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field. The Lions didn’t lack chances at goal, but were too often unable to find the net, choosing instead the evidently welcoming arms of Fire keeper Bobby Shuttleworth. Injuries have stacked up, and one Daryl Dike is on international duty, making Óscar Pareja’s job that much tougher.
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 loss to Chicago.
GK, Brando Austin, 6 — Austin made four saves, but let three goals in. Most of those weren’t his fault as his defense allowed Chicago in behind, making his job all the harder. In the 68th minute he did well to come out on one of Chicago’s breakaways to disrupt the chance. He attempted 21 passes at a 57.1% passing rate with 15 long balls and seven of those on target. Austin wasn’t great, but on a night when the defense was worse, it’s hard to come down to hard on the backup keeper.
D, Michael Halliday, 6 — Halliday is getting better every match. I’m not saying it was an outstanding performance, but he’s definitely improving. The youngster was robbed of his first assist when his cross glanced off a defender before Andres Perea scored Orlando City’s only goal. He even started the buildup to that goal when he pushed through a Chicago defender to drive down the right side before crossing the ball. As good as that was, he had a few lapses on the other end, though an offside call on Beric bailed him out of a potential goal. Defensively, he committed two fouls, had two tackles, four clearances, one interception, and one blocked shot. Halliday attempted 25 passes and had a 68% passing rate. He came off in the 80th minute.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 5.5 — Despite being a center back, Schlegel took two shots, one of which was on target, and made one cross. His shot on goal was a header off a corner kick in the 30th minute. He attempted 46 passes and had a 78.3% passing rate, while attempting six long balls. He made one interception, three clearances, one blocked shot, one tackle, and committed one foul. Schlegel was one of the two defenders that couldn’t stop the Fire’s third goal. Like much of the team, he wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t great either.
D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — Jansson was generally his usual self, though like all the team had a few mental lapses that contributed to the loss. He attempted 51 passes and had a 86.3% passing rate, while completing four of eight long balls.He had three interceptions, two clearances, and committed two fouls, earning one yellow card. Jansson earns this grade because despite not playing as good as we’re used to, he still played better than many others on the team.
D, Kyle Smith, 4 — Listeners of The Mane Land PawedCast know that I am a pretty big Kyle Smith supporter. However, on this night in Chicago, the Accountant left me feeling like the IRS was auditing me. Smith drifted inside and failed to mark Boris Sekulić on the back post for Chicago’s first goal. He kept Robert Berić onside for Chicago’s second goal. Lastly, his cross late in the match was poor enough that the Fire grabbed it and counter-attacked for Chicago’s third goal. I’m saying it wasn’t a good night for El Soldado. Smith took two shots, one of which sailed over the crossbar late in the match and the other was nowhere close to goal. On defense he had three tackles, one interception, four clearances, and one blocked shot. Smith attempted 63 passes and had a 74.6% passing rate with four crosses. He was successful on seven of 11 long balls, and he suffered two fouls.
MF, Uri Rosell, 6 — Rosell was not exciting, but he wasn’t horrible either. He did almost have a bad giveaway to start the second half, but he was bailed out. Taking into account that Rosell is still making his way back to full match fitness, he was not bad, though he visibly tired in the second half. He made three tackles, two interceptions, one clearance and committed zero fouls. I know zero fouls sounds good, but a defensive midfielder should probably have at least one or two. He attempted 52 passes and had a team-high 92.3% passing rate. He suffered one foul. Rosell came off in the 76th minute.
MF, Junior Urso, 6.5 — Urso wore the captain’s armband to start this match, and he put in a decent shift. Offensively, he took three shots, two of which were on target. One of those was a bicyle kick that if it had gone in would have been a clear contender for goal of the week, but that wasn’t Orlando’s luck last night. Urso did his usual work, drawing three fouls, and causing the opposition some trouble in transition. On defense he had three tackles, one interception, and one clearance. Urso was subbed off in the 88th minute.
MF, Sebastian van der Water, 7 (MotM) — Orlando City’s offense flowed through Van der Water until he was subbed off in the 76th minute. Despite his time on the ball, he only suffered one foul. Van der Water took two shots, with one on goal in the 21st minute, though he couldn’t find the back of the net. Van der Water attempted 24 passes with only a 62.5% passing rate, but he also made six key passes, and eight crosses. The Dutchman made good passes into the box throughout the match, but the Lions couldn’t find the last bit of quality to take advantage of his skill.
MF, Andres Perea, 6.5 — Perea scored Orlando City’s only goal in the match off a cross from Halliday. He played a solid match, and did a good job of being where he needed to be on Halliday’s cross. The goal was his only shot, and it was obviously on target. Defensively, he committed one foul. He attempted 19 passes with an 89.5% passing rate, which was good enough for second best for Orlando. He also made two key passes. Perea came off in 76th minute.
F, Tesho Akindele, 5.5 — Tesho had a quiet night for Orlando City. His hold-up play wasn’t bad, but he seemed to be just off when it came to being where he needed to be to contribute a goal. It was most obvious when van der Water headed the ball back across goal, and Akindele was caught looking rather than making a run. Offensively, he had two shots, with one on target though it was a header easily dealt with by Shuttleworth. He committed one foul, and made one clearance. He attempted 19 passes with a 63,2% passing rate.
F, Benji Michel, 6 — Michel wasn’t Almighty on the night. He took five shots, with three on target, but never managed a goal. On one he took an extra second to get the ball on his left foot and the opportunity disappeared. On another, he made the right decision to make an extra touch, but the shot was blocked. It just wasn’t his night. He committed one foul, suffered one foul, made one interception, and one clearance.. Michel attempted 21 passes with a 81% passing rate, one key pass, one cross, and was successful on one of three long balls.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra (76’), 5.5 — Magic Mo was a part of a three-player subsitution, which was probably about 10 minutes too late to make a difference. He came on for Rosell, as Pareja adopted a more offensive approach to chase the match. Pereyra attempted 16 passes with an 87.5% passing rate, and had one key pass. Defensively, he made one tackle, and committed one foul. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late for Pereyra and his fellow subs.
MF, Sebas Méndez (76’), 5 — On his return from international duty, Méndez wasn’t able to contribute much to Orlando City’s comeback attempt. He suffered one foul, and made one key pass. Méndez attempted 23 passes with an 87% passing rate.
F, Nani (76’), 6 — Nani did everything he could to try to get the Lions an equalizer, but the opportunities never opened up for the captain. He had one shot that was off target. He attempted 16 passes with an 87.5% passing rate, and two key passes.
F, Chris Mueller (80’), 6 — Mueller worked hard when he came on very late, and managed a nice cross in the 88th minute, but there was no one there to take advantage of it. He attempted eight passes with a 75% passing rate, and two key passes.
MF, Alexander Alvarado (88’), N/A— Alvarado had five touches with an 80% passing rate. He also blocked one shot in his limited appearance.
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’ 3-1 loss in Chicago?
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Silvester van der Water