Orlando City and Inter Miami battled to a scoreless draw at Exploria Stadium. A missed penalty by Tesho Akindele was just one part of an overall frustrating performance by Orlando’s offense. Defensively, the Lions secured their seventh shutout of the season against a Miami side that scored six goals in its previous two games. While the result may leave some pulling their hair at what could’ve been a win, the Lions stretched their unbeaten streak in MLS games to six games.
Now, let’s dive into how each Lion rated and who earned the title of Man of the Match.
GK, Pedro Gallese, 6.5 — In his first start for Orlando since July 25, Gallese made two saves to secure his sixth clean sheet this season. In the 23rd minute, the ball fell to Rodolfo Pizarro after a corner and Gallese was able to get a strong hand to the striker’s shot at point-blank range. In the second half, Gallese did a good job covering every angle to stop Gonzalo Higuain’s shot from the end line. It was an otherwise quiet night for the Peruvian as he had just 18 touches and was accurate on one of his two attempted long balls.
D, Joao Moutinho, 6.5 —The left back put some great balls into the box throughout the match, including a few long throw-ins. Of his seven crosses, three were key passes that found their mark while one was blocked. Moutinho led the team with 83 touches and 66 passes. Of those passes, Moutinho completed 92% of them, which is fantastic considering the distance on his misses. He prevented much danger from coming down his side, made no massive mistakes, and he had one clearance. All in all, it was a good performance from Moutinho and he should benefit once Orlando’s offensive players fully recover to take advantage of his crosses.
D, Robin Jansson, 7 — The masked Swede seemed to have scored from a short corner, but Akindele made a faint touch on the ball from an offside position. Jansson has lurked outside the box during Orlando’s set pieces in recent weeks, so it was nice to see he has the chops to make that play work even if the goal was disallowed. Defensively, he did well to keep Miami’s attacking trio of Pizarro, Higuain, and Robbie Robinson relatively quiet. Jansson led the team with three clearances, putting out fires when Miami started to get momentum. He completed 55 of his 59 passes for a great 93% success rate. Of those four inaccurate passes, two were quite deep and Jansson did well sending the ball downfield for Orlando’s wingers to chase down. Jansson had 69 touches, third-most on the team, and did well on both sides of the ball.
D, Antonio Carlos, 7 (MotM) — Carlos had a good read on Higuain for most of the game, either making sure he was in position to cut off service to the Argentinian or trapping him offside. The Brazilian center back had three interceptions and two clearances on defense, showing some athleticism to make good plays on the ball no matter the angle. Yet again, he was a threat on corner kicks and nearly scored a game-winner. Nani delivered a good ball into the box and Carlos was able to get it on target, but Miami goalkeeper Nick Marsman came up with a great save to deny Carlos of his third goal this season. Carlos had 67 touches and completed 89% of his 61 passes to help Orlando build out of the back. It was another strong performance from Carlos and would’ve been a night to remember if not for Marsman’s heroics.
D, Ruan, 6 — The right back used his speed to cause problems for Miami’s defense early on. However, his crossing left something to be desired as only one of his five crosses found their mark. His quickness helped cover up some defensive lapses, particularly late when Higuain picked his pocket and forced Ruan to run him down. Still, Ruan went the distance and had a tackle, an interception, and a clearance on the defensive end while still being able to turn on the jets late to help create chances late in the match. He had 66 touches and was successful on 87% of his 38 passes in a good performance.
MF, Junior Urso, 6.5 — The Bear had a good opportunity in the fifth minute, crashing the box on an early corner and sending his header just wide of goal. It was his first of two shots, the second coming late in the match as he tried to curl a shot into the top left corner but it didn’t dip enough and went into the stands. Urso had a strong defensive performance with two tackles, three interceptions, two clearances, and a defensive block. The Brazilian midfielder also finished second on the team in touches with 81 and completed 54 of his 60 passes for a solid 90% success rate. With the midfield decimated by absences, Urso played every minute and did well in this one.
MF, Joey DeZart, 6 — It was DeZart’s third straight start for the Lions and a solid outing in central midfield. He did well clogging up Miami’s passing lanes and connecting Orlando’s defense with its offense. The 23-year-old had to come off in the 73rd minute due to an injury. Hopefully it isn’t too serious as DeZart has certainly been improving by getting playing time with Sebas Mendez, Andres Perea, and Uri Rosell unavailable. DeZart finished with 51 touches, an interception, and 48 passes at an impressive 96% success rate.
MF, Silvester van der Water, 6.5 — The Dutchman made some nice runs and touches to help spark chances on offense and led the team with four key passes. He had 41 touches and one shot over the course of 72 minutes, not quite getting on top of a bouncing ball in the box and sending it off target. Defensively, he chipped in with a tackle and an interception as he hustled all over the right side of the pitch. Van der Water was also successful on four of his five attempted dribbles and completed 80% of his 20 passes. The 24-year-old showed plenty of skill and tenacity, but wasn’t able to contribute towards a goal in this scoreless affair.
MF, Chris Mueller, 6 — Mueller led the team with three shots, with one deflected and the other two off target. He was unsuccessful on all three of his attempted crosses, although one of them caught Nicolas Figal’s arm to cause the penalty. Mueller made a key pass from a corner kick to set up a great chance for Urso early on as well. The 24-year-old was only successful on two of his six attempted dribbles and didn’t have any defensive stats. He completed 90% of his 30 passes and had 55 touches before being subbed off in the 89th minute for fresher legs in the final minutes.
MF, Benji Michel, 6 — Michel did well when making runs downfield to put Miami’s defenders in tough positions. His touch was also much better in this match compared to recent matches as he brought down long balls sent his way with ease. However, both of his attempted crosses were thwarted by Miami and he was only successful on one of his three attempted dribbles. Michel played all 90 minutes and had two shots, sending a header wide and then having the other blocked in the box. He had 31 touches, a clearance, and was accurate on 87% of his 15 passes.
F, Tesho Akindele, 5.5 — The Canadian striker had a chance to give Orlando an early lead from a penalty kick in the 12th minute, but his shot was poor and barely troubled Marsman. It was the first of two shots from Akindele, the other being a header sent wide. Akindele was offside when he got a touch on Jansson’s shot from distance. It’s hard to blame Akindele on that play, especially considering his touch helped the ball find the bottom left corner, but it helped culminate in a frustrating night for the 29-year-old. His usual hustle created some opportunities, as he forced Miami into some long ball mistakes that created Orlando attacks. He was subbed off for Daryl Dike at the half and ended the game with 17 touches, a clearance, and eight passes at an 88% success rate.
F, Daryl Dike (45’), 5.5 — It was Dike’s first Orlando appearance since July 3, coming on for Akindele at halftime to give the Lions some needed bite on offense. His only shot was a header from a difficult position that he couldn’t direct towards goal due to the speed and angle. Dike started to impose himself on the match as the game wore on, with his cros nearly causing an own goal and making a key pass in the box, but ultimately wasn’t able to break the deadlock. He had just 12 touches, a few of them much too heavy, but won both of his aerial duels, and completed two of only three pass attempts. His rust was apparent but with more minutes his form should return and it was important to get him back on the field.
MF, Nani (71’), 5.5 — Nani wasn’t able to give Orlando the finishing touch it desperately needed during this match. He had no shots or key passes and was unsuccessful on both of his attempted crosses in open play, although he whipped in a nice corner kick that Carlos nearly scored from. Nani delivered the team’s final two corner kicks of the match when it was in search of a winner, but neither made it past the defender on the near post to reach the crowded box. Still, it’s nice to see Nani get some action after his injury last weekend and traveling for the MLS All-Star events this week. He had 23 touches during his shift and completed 15 of his 16 passes for a 94% completion rate.
MF, Raul Aguilera Jr. (71’), 6.5 — The 22-year-old came on for DeZart and did a decent job stringing together passes and hustling on defense. Aguilera amassed 26 touches and completed every single one of his 25 passes. With DeZart’s injury and the absences in the midfield, we may see more of the Homegrown Player as the season wears on.
D, Emmanuel Mas (88’), N/A — Mas came on late in the match to give the Lions some fresh legs. He completed both of his passes — short attempts on the left side — and had five touches. There wasn’t enough to properly grade him in this match.
MF, Alexander Alvarado (88’), N/A — Alvarado had two touches and completed his only pass of the game in another brief cameo for the Ecuadorian winger. Like Mas, Alvarado didn’t get enough action for a rating in this match.
That’s how I saw things play out in Orlando’s 0-0 draw with Miami. 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.
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