Orlando City hosted Eastern Conference foe Columbus Crew on Saturday night. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, the Lions allowed the Crew to get right back into the match in the second half. Fortunately, Júnior Urso decided he really wanted a goal and the win in Exploria Stadium, and scored his third of the season.
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 win over Columbus.
GK, Adam Grinwis, 6 — In his first start since coming back to Orlando City, Grinwis allowed two goals, but also made two saves, including a huge one in the 36th minute on Lucas Zelarayan. He made two clearances including a key play to punch the ball out of the box in the 22nd minute. He attempted 23 passes at an 82.6% passing rate with 10 long balls and six of those on target. In the end, the Grinch did enough to help Orlando City secure three points.
D, Ruan, 6.5 — Ruan brought his trademark speed to both the offensive and defensive ends of the pitch against the Crew. He stretched the Crew defense, creating space for Silvester van der Water and other attackers. Offensively, he made two key passes, two of three successful long balls, and one successful dribble. Defensively, he made one clearance, though he also ran down the ball to keep the Crew out of the attack on several occasions. Ruan attempted 35 passes and had an 82.9% passing rate. He made one cross and provided the assist on the van der Water’s goal. Ruan came off in the 77th minute for Kyle Smith.
D, Antonio Carlos, 5.5 — Just a few weeks after he scored a goal with his head, Carlos did it again, but for the opposition. In the 52nd minute, he scored the first own goal for or against the Lions this season. It was the first goal for Columbus. It might sound funny, but other than that, he had a decent game. He attempted 51 passes and had a 92.2% passing rate, while completing 11 of 14 long balls. He made four clearances, had one blocked shot, two tackles, and committed one foul. If not for gifting the Crew a goal, Carlos might have earned a higher grade.
D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — Jansson put in a good shift for the Lions as usual. As he has recently, Jansson continued to push further up the pitch into the offense when it made sense. In the 25th minute, he nearly made it to the opposition’s box before losing the ball. He attempted 34 passes and had an 82.4% passing rate, while completing one of five long balls. He had two tackles, three clearances, and two blocked shots.
D, João Moutinho, 6 — Moutinho put in a full 90-plus minutes for Orlando City and generally did well. While not playing as much of a forward position as Ruan, he did still factor into the attack on the left as usual. Offensively, João took one shot, though not on target. On defense he had one tackle, two interceptions, and three clearances. Moutinho attempted 51 passes and had a 72.6% passing rate with two key passes, and was successful on one of five long balls.
MF, Joey DeZart, 6 — With Uri Rosell on the bench and Sebas Mendez still not available, DeZart got the start once again. Defensively he made one interception, one blocked shot and committed two fouls. One of those fouls was a professional foul to keep the Crew from breaking through the Lions’ defense. He attempted 43 passes and had a 90.7% passing rate, and one successful long ball. DeZart continues to be a solid if not spectacular presence in the midfield.
MF, Júnior Urso, 7.5 — Urso put in a full shift, providing service for the offense, as well as a goal. Additionally, he patrolled the midfield like the bear that he is, creating havoc for the opposition. This was perfectly illustrated when he stole the ball from Pedro Santos to start the second half and nearly gave the Lions a third goal. Unfortunately, the ball was saved by Eloy Room and pushed wide of the goal. He did better in the 69th minute when Daryl Dike teed up a perfect ball for Urso to score and reclaim the lead for Orlando City. Offensively, he took two shots, both of which were on target. On defense he had two tackles, three interceptions, and committed one foul. He earned a yellow card in the 42nd minute and will be out for Orlando City’s next match. The Bear was a strong candidate for Man of the Match.
MF, Silvester van der Water, 7 — Van der Water is truly settling into the right side of Orlando City’s offense. In the 29th minute, van der Water put Orlando City up two goals by sending a ball into the box that went past Chris Mueller, Junior Urso, and the Crew’s keeper. It may have been a service into the box, but perhaps he simply meant to score. He also made a nice steal in the 50th minute, but Orlando couldn’t convert. Van der Water took only one shot, which was on target for the aforementioned goal. He attempted 16 passes with only a 62.5% passing rate, but he also made one key pass, and one cross. He committed one foul, and suffered one foul. He was taken off in the 57th minute for Benji Michel.
MF, Chris Mueller, 5.5 — Mueller is trying. He really is, but just like most of the season, the last bit of quality needed has eluded him. Offensively, Cash took three shots, but was unable to put any of them on target. One of them probably still hasn’t landed. He made one successful dribble, and suffered four fouls. Defensively, he made one tackle and committed one foul. He attempted 33 passes with an 87,9% passing rate, with one unsuccessful long ball. Mueller was subbed off in the 87th minute for Rodrigo Schlegel.
F, Daryl Dike, 7.5 (MotM) — In his first match back from injury, Daryl Dike only took 26 minutes to remind Orlando City supporters of why he’s the most exciting striker to come through this city in years. Nani sent a ball forward to the big guy while falling down. Dike settled it, turned on the defender who couldn’t handle his physicality, and pressed forward into the box. After a little footwork he sent the ball straight into the top of the net past Room for the Lions’ first goal. Dike also provided an assist on Urso’s goal in the 69th minute. Offensively, Dike took three shots, with two on target, had two successful dribbles, He committed one foul, suffered two fouls, and made two clearances. Dike attempted 12 passes with a 66.7% passing rate, made one key pass, and attempted one long ball. He came off in the 77th minute for Tesho Akindele. Providing a goal and an assist in his first start since coming back made it (fairly) easy to name Dike our Man of the Match.
F, Nani, 6 — Nani gave his typical effort, taking shots, harassing the opposition, and generally creating space for himself and others. He did provide the outlet assist to Dike for Orlando City’s first goal. Offensively, he had two shots, with one on target. Defensively, Nani made one clearance. He attempted 27 passes with a 74.1% passing rate, and had one cross. He also connected on four of four long balls on the night. Nani came off in the 57th minute for Mauricio Pereyra.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra (57’), 6.5 — Pereyra was brought on to provide a change of pace and to add some stability for the Lions. The DP did just that. In fact, Magic Mo sent Akindele on with a perfect through ball, but Tesho wasn’t able to finish it. Pereyra attempted 23 passes with an 82.6% passing rate, completed two of two long balls, and had one key pass. Defensively, he made one interception, and committed two fouls. Pereyra is still working his way back into match shape, but made the most of his time in this match.
F, Benji Michel (57’), 6 — Michel had one successful dribble, and made one cross. He attempted 10 passes with a 90% passing rate. Despite being on the pitch for much of the second half, he wasn’t much able to get involved in the attack, and was a bit invisible. Fortunately, he didn’t do anything to hurt the Lions either.
F, Tesho Akindele (77’), 5 — Akindele had a perfect chance to put the match away when Pereyra put him through and past the Columbus defense. Unfortunately, he put it wide right with no touch by the keeper. As is usual, he did the other little things that keep him in Pareja’s good graces, but with a healthy Dike, Akindele is likely relegated to late-game appearances to see out games and to provide rotational rest during fixture congestion.
D, Kyle Smith (77’), 6 — There was a time when Smith started all the matches for Orlando City. Obviously, he wasn’t the first choice, but El Soldado was ready when called on off the bench. He worked as hard as he ever does. He did manage to make some excellent defensive plays as the Lions tried to see the game out. He attempted six passes with a 33.3% passing rate, and was successful on one of three long balls.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel (87’), N/A— With three minutes left in the second half, Orlando City went to five at the back, and that meant bringing on the Lions’ third center back. His first touch was a clearance header to keep Columbus out of the box, and he also had two interceptions.
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’ 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew?
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Silvester van der Water
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