Orlando City couldn’t capitalize on its chances in a 1-1 draw against Inter Miami at Exploria Stadium. Center back Antonio Carlos scored Orlando’s only goal, but Miami equalized in the second half and Orlando couldn’t find a winner.
Let’s dive right into how each of your favorite Lions rated in this draw at home against a rival.
GK, Mason Stajduhar, 6 — It was a fairly quiet night for Stajduhar in his second MLS start as he only faced four shots and had no saves. Two of those shots were on target, with the first coming in the 52nd minute as Robbie Robinson stormed into the box after beating Rodrigo Schlegel and Robin Jansson. Stajduhar rushed to close down the angle, but Robinson’s shot went over him, although Kyle Smith was there to save the day. On the goal, a good cross in the box found Kiernan Gibbs’ header at an odd angle that made it difficult for Stajduhar to get to. It’s hard to blame Stajduhar for the goal given the speed and placement of the header and it’s frustrating to see another Orlando clean sheet slip away. The important thing is that Stajduhar didn’t let the goal affect him all too much as a minute later he confidently snuffed out a dangerous opportunity from Lewis Morgan in the box. In terms of distribution, Stajduhar completed 10 of his 11 passes and his one long ball was inaccurate.
D, Kyle Smith, 7 — Playing at left back for the majority of the game, Smith did well on both sides of the ball. His best moment came in the 52nd minute when he got in position to make a goal-saving block after Robinson chipped his shot over Stajduhar. He did a good job making life difficult for Miami winger Morgan, although he did concede a few corners in the process and made an almost deadly error on an errant back pass that sent Morgan in on goal. On offense, his only shot was from a similar position to his goal against Atlanta United, but his header from Nani’s corner went just wide. Smith completed 90% of his 51 passes, but was only accurate on one of his four crosses. When Emmanuel Mas came on for Ruan in the 81st minutes, Smith switched to his preferred right back position and nearly provided the game-winning moment late in the match, but the video assistant referee had match referee Armando Villarreal take another look and, after reviewing the play, he ruled Tesho Akindele offside. Smith had a clearance and 69 touches, third most on the team.
D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — The masked Swede was able to keep Gonzalo Higuain and Rodolfo Pizarro quiet in terms of scoring. Jansson was a brick wall that Miami had to work its way around and he had two interceptions and two clearances. Miami often went wide with its attack and Jansson wasn’t able to do much about the goal. The trio of Jansson, Smith, and Andres Perea did well to stop Miami on the left side of defense for the most part. All in all, it was a solid performance from Jansson and he finished with 66 touches and 58 passes at a 79% success rate.
One interesting thing from the match was Jansson’s involvement on corner kicks as he often lurked at the top of the box. It set up his only shot of the match, which he mishit on the volley and sent wide. On the other attempts, he tried passes over the defense but it never seemed to work. It’s unclear if this has anything to do with his face injury, but his size wasn’t used as a target in the box.
D, Antonio Carlos, 7 — Throughout the season, Carlos has been a threat on corner kicks and his headers have been getting closer and closer to goal with every attempt. His breakthrough finally came in this game as Carlos made perfect contact with his head to give Orlando the lead before halftime. It was his first goal of the season and first with his head as a Lion.
Unfortunately, his head collided with Kelvin Leerdam’s seconds after his shot and he was sent to the ground in a scary moment that needed immediate medical attention. It certainly makes highlights of his goal harder to watch, but Carlos was able to walk off the field with no assistance. He didn’t return for the second half out of an abundance of caution and finished with a tackle, a clearance, 42 touches, and also won all three of his aerial duels. Carlos was also successful on 92% of his 38 passes as he helped the Lions build out of the back.
D, Ruan, 6 — The right back was engaged in an entertaining duel with former Arsenal left back Kieran Gibbs. Ruan had to put in more defensive work than usual as a result, leading the team with five clearances and tying Junior Urso for a team-high three interceptions as well. Gibbs got the better of Ruan on his goal, easily getting across the front of the smaller defender to get a header on goal. On offense, Ruan had a key pass and one of his two crosses found their target. He had a great opportunity in the 51st minute but the ball he whipped in front of goal was deflected. Ruan had 63 touches and was successful on 82% of his 39 passes. While dangerous when sent forward, he didn’t spend as much time in the attacking third as he did against Atlanta United.
MF, Junior Urso, 5 — The Bear had a rough time in his first start since July 17. Urso battled against Gregore and Blaise Matuidi in central midfield and was a fouled a whopping five times. Miami committed a total of 19 fouls in the match and most were tactical decisions to interrupt Orlando’s flow of play in the midfield. Urso was a frequent victim of this and frustrated for most of the game as he couldn’t get much going. In 76 minutes of action, he completed 34 of his 38 passes for an 89% success rate and had 58 touches. Urso wasn’t much of a factor on offense, with no shots and one key pass. He did well defensively though, coming up with three tackles, three interceptions, and two clearances. He picked up a yellow card and was dispossessed twice in a performance he’ll shrug off despite some bumps and bruises.
MF, Andres Perea, 6.5 — Perea did much better in this match compared to his last performance against Atlanta United. Partnered with Urso in central midfield, he had stats similar to what we’ve seen from Ecuadorian midfielder Sebas Mendez. Perea led the Lions in touches (80), tackles (four), and passes (67). Only one of those 67 passes was inaccurate, resulting in an excellent 99% success rate. That being said, none of his passes were particularly threatening as he spent more time connecting Orlando’s defense and offense rather than creating chances. That’s not to say he wasn’t present on offense though. He had three shots, sending two off target while the other was blocked. Perea’s proven himself to be versatile in the midfield and seemed to do better in a more defensive minded role in this match.
MF, Benji Michel, 5 — For most of the match, Orlando’s offensive plays tended to end once Michel got involved. Michel wasn’t always at fault for this as he was often given daring balls in on goal by Pereyra, but his touch was heavy and he couldn’t seem to get past defenders. Although he played 75 minutes, Michel only had 18 touches and eight passes at a 75% success rate. It is worth noting that he posed enough danger running down a ball in the box that Leerdam desperately played it out for the corner that resulted in Orlando’s goal. Defensively, he did well securing goal kicks by using his body and had an interception. Michel had no shots or crosses and needed to make much more of an impact against Miami.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 7 — In the 19th minute, Pereyra sent a nice ball from deep in the midfield over the top of Miami’s defense, but Nani’s resulting header didn’t give Miami goalkeeper Nick Marsman much trouble. That ball was one of his two key passes during a full shift and it was Orlando’s first real chance of the game. Most of the maestro’s conducting was done from similar spots deep in the midfield rather than at the top of the box. His quality was on display all night long as he was able to cut through Miami’s defense with a single touch on multiple occasions. However, most of his created chances ended up as corners rather than goals as attacking Lions had tough positions to score from. He put one of his two shots on target, but it was fired right at Marsman. Pereyra finished the game second on the team in touches with 75 and he was successful on 85% of his 53 passes, which isn’t too bad considering most of his unsuccessful passes were lengthy and in Miami’s half. He was dispossessed twice, including a late turnover that could’ve ended up badly, and also chipped in defensively with three tackles. It was a strong outing from Pereyra and he’ll certainly benefit once Orlando’s strikers are more frequently on the field.
MF, Chris Mueller, 5 — Mueller’s struggles on offense continued as he had no shots or key passes over the course of 66 minutes of play. He was successful on one of his three crosses and completed 19 of his 21 attempted passes for a strong 90% success rate. Mueller was also successful on his single attempted dribble, but was dispossessed three times. It was far from his best game, but Mueller did the little things well as he hustled on defense and won four fouls. Mueller has definitely been overshadowed by Orlando’s other offensive players in recent weeks and only has one shot in his past five appearances.
F, Nani, 7.5 (MotM) — The captain led Orlando with five shots, with two on target and another two blocked. None were particularly easy and he did decent enough with the opportunities even though he wasn’t able to find the back of the net. His cross from a short corner to find Carlos in the box was picture perfect, the ball placed in the best spot possible for his sixth assist of the year. That cross was his only successful one from three attempts in open play, but he also led the Lions with five key passes. Nani took six of Orlando’s seven corners and found his target on all but one as he continues to make an impact from those dead-ball situations. He was also very efficient with the ball at his feet, only being dispossessed once and completing 40 of his 43 passes for a great 93% success rate. Nani is our Man of the Match for creating multiple chances for Orlando while taking care of the ball. He had 63 touches, committed no fouls, was successful on two of his three attempted dribbles, and looked threatening for most of the game.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel (45’), 6 — Schlegel came on at halftime in place of the injured Carlos. He got himself out of position on Robinson’s chance, pushing forward to pressure Higuain and then losing the foot race against him after pressing high. He does get some style points for a neat somersault of sorts to keep his momentum when slipping to stay in the play. It wasn’t his most dominant performance, but he did have three clearances and won all three of his aerial duels to limit Miami’s chances. Schlegel completed 90% of his 21 passes and had 25 touches as well.
MF, Silvester van der Water (67’), 6.5 — The Dutchman came on to give the Lions an edge on offense after Miami equalized. His only shot was in the box, but he wasn’t able to get all of his weaker right foot on it to put it on target. Van der Water did well finding dangerous areas to operate in and had a brilliant pass out wide to Smith in the same motion he fashioned to take a shot to fool the defense. Had Akindele not been offside, that would have been an important part of the buildup to a game-winning goal. Van der Water provided the needed urgency the Lions lacked during the match and was hungry in the half hour he spent on the field. He completed all eight of his passes and had 13 touches in another efficient shift.
F, Tesho Akindele (75’), 5.5 — It looked like the Canadian scored the game-winner but his goal was ruled offside after review. Apart from that moment, he didn’t make much of an impact in the match beyond his diligent pressing, which shouldn’t be overlooked. Akindele was accurate on all four of his passes and had a total of eight touches.
MF, Uri Rosell (76’), 6 — Like Urso, Rosell had a frustrating time in the midfield. He committed two fouls that gave Miami free kicks in dangerous areas, picking up a yellow card in the process. While he didn’t have any tackles, interceptions, or clearances, Rosell completed 22 of his 23 passes and had 23 touches to help stabilize the midfield.
D, Emmanuel Mas (81’), 6 — The left back came on late to relieve Ruan and racked up 20 touches in a brief outing. Defensively, Mas had a clearance, an interception, and won both of his aerial duels. His only cross didn’t find its target, but he did a good job making sure Miami couldn’t get much going on his side of the field. Mas completed nine of his 12 passes for a 75% success rate and is looking like a solid acquisition for Orlando.
That’s how I saw things play out in Orlando’s draw over its rival. 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’ 1-1 draw vs. Inter Miami?
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