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Orlando City vs. Charlotte FC: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions rate individually in Orlando City’s 2-1 win against Charlotte FC?

SOCCER: APR 30 MLS - Charlotte FC at Orlando City Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Orlando City bounced back from the New York loss with a 2-1 win at home against Charlotte FC. Ruan scored Orlando’s first goal and then assisted on its second goal late in the first half by teeing up Facundo Torres. A penalty converted by Christian Fuchs gave Charlotte life, but the defense hung in there to claim all three points.

Here’s how I saw the individual performances of each Lion on the pitch in the win.

Starters

GK, Pedro Gallese, 5.5 — He only faced one shot on target, but it was a penalty kick. Gallese committed first on a patient spot kick from Fuchs that spoiled his clean sheet. In regards to his distribution, he was successful on four of his 11 attempted long balls and completed 74% of his 27 passes. The Peruvian did well running time off the clock late in the match without being booked.

D, Joao Moutinho, 6.5 — Moutinho only had one cross, which was unsuccessful, as he often stayed back as third center back of sorts while Ruan wreaked havoc up the field. It was still a busy night for the left back as he led the Lions with 66 touches and also had 44 passes at a great 89% success rate while completing both of his long balls. He had five tackles, two interceptions, and four clearances while also winning all three of his aerial duels. Moutinho’s evolving into a defensive powerhouse this season and this match was no exception, as he was a key reason why Charlotte only had one shot on target, the penalty.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6 — The Argentine center back led the team with a whopping nine clearances as he did well putting a stop to Charlotte’s attempts to score. However, he was called for a foul in the box after making contact with Alan Franco in a play by Charlotte that seemed more like a Hail Mary than a realistic chance to score. Charlotte received a penalty for the incident while Schlegel was handed a yellow card. The penalty call was soft but the contact was unnecessary. Schlegel helped Orlando see the game out and also had a tackle and an interception. His 46 passes were the most by any Lion and he completed them at a solid 87% success rate. Schlegel was also accurate on four of his eight long balls, so it was a good game from him in terms of distribution.

D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — In his 100th appearance for Orlando City, the Beefy Swede did well on both sides of the ball. He assisted on Ruan’s goal after making a clever redirection on Benji Michel’s low cross that served the ball to Ruan on a silver platter. Jansson also helped create the goal, dribbling down the field and getting the ball out wide to Michel. His lone shot came off of a set piece situation as his shot from the edge of the top of the box went over the bar. He was able to convert from center back to striker in the blink of an eye during the match, adding another dimension to Orlando’s attack. Jansson had five clearances and two interceptions while completing 85% of his 26 passes. He didn’t commit a foul in the match, but still received a yellow card for dissent over questionable officiating and will miss Orlando’s next game.

D, Ruan, 7.5 (MotM) — The right back scored his first goal of the season with a clinical finish wide open in the box. He could’ve had a second goal late in the first half after sprinting down the pitch on a counter with only goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina to beat, but he smartly laid the ball off for Torres to easily put away. Ruan’s speed made him a good match-up against 36-year-old Fuchs and Charlotte was unable to deal with him. Both of his aerial crosses were picked off by Kahlina, but his low efforts put defenders in tough spots and earned a corner. He also connected on both of his long balls and had 43 passes at a 77% success rate. Although he wasn’t able to entirely bend the game to his will, he was Orlando’s best weapon on offense and he led the Lions with three interceptions while also contributing a tackle and a clearance. It was easily his best game of the season and hopefully the confidence he showed after his goal will continue moving forward.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 6.5 — Araujo did a fantastic job keeping Karol Swiderski quiet throughout the match, making sure to give the Polish striker no breathing room. He won three fouls, all in Orlando’s defensive end, and had two tackles, an interception, and two clearances. Araujo completed 28 of his 32 passes for a great 88% success rate and two of his three long balls found their target as well. The 21-year-old also won both of his aerial duels and did a good job lending support along the back line. After receiving four yellow cards in his first six appearances, this game marked four in a row that he wasn’t booked. He’s young and new to MLS, but has quickly proven himself as a great acquisition by the Lions.

MF, Junior Urso, 6 — The Bear had a solid, albeit quiet, outing in the midfield. Although he didn’t have any defensive stats, he applied pressure to help slow down Charlotte’s offense and was there to collect loose balls when they were coughed up. Urso completed 81% of his 32 passes for a decent success rate and was also successful on two of his three attempted dribbles. He was subbed off in the 65th minute for fresher legs.

MF, Benji Michel, 6 — The Homegrown Player did well on Orlando’s first goal, beating his man and drawing in two defenders before delivering a venomous cutback pass in front of goal to Jansson. His only shot of the match was a headed effort right at Kahlina after a great cross from Torres. Michel’s lone cross was unsuccessful, but he completed all but one of his 13 passes for a strong 92% success rate in 80 minutes of action. He didn’t see much of the ball, but did well when he did and helped out defensively with a tackle and an interception.

MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 7 — Pereyra led the Lions with three key passes as he once again pulled the strings on offense. In the buildup to Orlando’s second goal, he sprung Ruan on the counter with a great ball forward from a tough position for the Brazilian to chase down. Orlando’s captain had another great pass in the first pass when he threaded a ball through defenders from distance to send Kara in on goal. Although neither of his two crosses connected, the Uruguayan was accurate on four of his five long balls and completed 83% of his 42 passes. Pereyra didn’t officially record a shot, but did hit the crossbar on an attempt that was either an attempt at goal or aimed at finding Ercan Kara at the far post. He also hustled on defense and had four tackles, an interception, and a clearance, while also winning a team-high four fouls.

MF, Facundo Torres, 7 — Torres scored his first goal at Exploria Stadium by turning on the jets and running from one end of the field to the other to make sure he was in position to score if needed. He buried the chance and doubled Orlando’s lead before halftime. The goal was one of two shots from Torres in the match, with the other sent into the stands. Torres had two key passes, sending in a nice cross for Michel in the 14th minute and setting up an opportunity for Silvester van der Water in the 85th. He played every minute of the match and completed 77% of his 35 passes. One of his two attempted crosses found their mark and neither of his two long balls were successful, but he still did well to spark things offensively. The 22-year-old truly was relentless from start to finish for the Lions as he ran all over the field to close down opponents, collect loose balls before they went out of play, and made himself an available outlet for teammates. Torres had two clearances, an interception, and enough fuel left in the tank left in the match to help Orlando secure all three points.

F, Ercan Kara, 6 — The Austrian forward may not have contributed towards a goal, but he was fairly active in terms of holdup play. Kara’s best opportunity came in the 33rd minute, when Pereyra found him making a well-timed run with a through ball. However, he was stymied by good defending from Christian Makoun, who hung tight with Kara and then blocked his only shot of the game. Kara won two of his three aerial duels and had 14 passes at a 78% success rate. He wasn’t able to imprint himself on the game and was subbed off in the 65th minute for Alexandre Pato.

Substitutes

F, Alexandre Pato (65’), 5 — The Brazilian had an off night as he only completed two of his seven passes for a 29% success rate. That being said, the game script didn’t benefit his playing style all that well. Pato does his best work when surrounded by other Lions to play off of, but the Lions sat back as the game went on and Charlotte pushed numbers forward, and he was stranded up top on occasion. He won two of his five aerial duels and had two clearances, including the final one to end Charlotte’s late surge. Pato wasn’t able to exert his skillset to its fullest in his first appearance off the bench for Orlando this season.

MF, Andres Perea (65’), 5 — Coming on to give Orlando some fresher legs in the midfield, Perea had 19 touches and completed 69% of his 16 passes. He helped out defensively with two clearances and an interception to do his part in securing the victory. Perea didn’t make much of an impact in the match, but didn’t necessarily need to as he continues to receive minutes off the bench for Orlando.

MF, Sebas Mendez (74’), 6 — Mendez helped stabilize things for Orlando, completing all three of his passes and chipping in defensively with two clearances, an interception, and a tackle. Araujo may have claimed the starting job over Mendez, but the two make for a nice one-two punch over the course of a match as Mendez can come in and take care of the ball while maintaining the team’s bite on defense.

MF, Silvester van der Water (80’), N/A — The Dutchman was hungry during his brief appearance, putting a shot on frame and not being afraid to take on defenders. He completed both of his passes, was successful on his lone long ball attempt, and added a tackle on defense. Unfortunately, he landed awkwardly on his ankle in the dying moments of the game and had to be helped off the field without putting any weight on his left foot.

D, Kyle Smith (80’), N/A — Smith wasn’t on the field long enough to be graded but did well. He had three clearances and a tackle and solidified Orlando’s forces on the right side of defense. He had 14 touches, won both of his aerial duels, and completed four of his seven passes for a 57% success rate.


That’s how I saw each individual performance in Orlando City’s 2-1 win over Charlotte. The penalty made the match a bit closer than the Lions likely would’ve preferred, but it was a nice game from them.

Be sure to vote in the poll below for your Man of the Match.

Poll

Who was your Man of the Match in Orlando City’s 2-1 win over Charlotte FC?

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    Ruan
    (62 votes)
  • 2%
    Mauricio Pereyra
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    Joao Moutinho
    (2 votes)
  • 5%
    Facundo Torres
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (let us know in the comments)
    (1 vote)
71 votes total Vote Now