Orlando City went on the road to take on Austin FC for the first time and ultimately walked away with a point after a 2-2 draw. Goals from Ercan Kara and Ruan gave the Lions a lead in the first half, but they were reduced to nine men and had to hold on for a result.
Despite poor officiating and missed chances, Orlando showed plenty of resilience on the road in a packed Q2 Stadium. Let’s dive into how each Lion individually performed in the draw.
GK, Pedro Gallese, 6.5 — El Pulpo was able to get a tentacle to Sebastian Driussi’s penalty kick, but not enough to keep it from going in goal as he still hunts for his first penalty save of the season. His first save of the match came in the 25th minute as he snatched a header from Driussi out of the air. His other two saves in the match came from diving efforts as he denied Nick Lima from a tight angle and then made a huge stop by shifting direction to slap away a low effort from Alex Ring. There wasn’t much he could’ve done about the late equalizer as Moussa Djitte scored from the far post on a short corner kick that shouldn’t have been given. His distribution could have been a bit better as he was accurate on just 45% of his 22 passes and six of his 18 long balls, but the team wasn’t exactly trying to build out of the back while down two players and trying to hold on for a win. The Peruvian goalkeeper also did a great job managing the clock over the last 30 minutes of the match to help ensure Orlando didn’t leave Austin empty-handed.
D, Joao Moutinho, 6.5 — The left back ended up leading the Lions with six clearances as he shifted to a central position once Orlando was reduced to nine men. With Rodrigo Schlegel out of the game due to a second yellow card, Moutinho did well to fortify the defense and clear the danger. He likely would have come up with the clearance on Austin’s equalizer if not for the unfortunate deflection the ball took off of Kyle Smith’s head. Moutinho also had a tackle, an interception, and a blocked shot in the match. He could’ve been a bit more accurate as he completed a subpar 63% of his 30 passes and only two of his eight long balls found their mark. He did have a key pass though and was accurate on one of his two crosses during a night in which he wasn’t often able to surge forward and provide service.
D, Robin Jansson, 6 — It’s never easy trying to defend a lead while down two players, but Jansson was a leader for Orlando’s defense. The Beefy Swede had five clearances and blocked two shots in a solid defensive effort to help Orlando get a result. He understandably didn’t have much of an impact on offense, but four of his nine long balls were accurate and he completed 69% of his 29 passes. He picked up his seventh yellow card of the season, tied for the most in MLS, for Diego Fagundez walking into him and falling over. Another strong defensive effort like last night will be needed from him next Saturday against FC Dallas.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 5.5 — His night will be overshadowed by receiving two yellow cards for handballs in the span of a couple of minutes. Schlegel was booked for a handball just outside the penalty kick and then again on the ensuing free kick as part of Orlando’s wall. Referee Joe Dickerson sent him off in the 61st minute without going over to the monitor and the center back finished with four clearances and an interception. He was accurate on 89% of just 18 passes and his lone long ball found its target. Schlegel will miss Saturday’s game, giving him plenty of rest to come back stronger in league play in June.
D, Ruan, 6.5 — The right back scored his second goal of the season by pouncing on a loose ball in the box after a save from Brad Stuver. It was a nice first-time shot from the Brazilian to double Orlando’s lead in the first half. He had a chance to increase Orlando’s lead even further later in the first half on a breakaway but was offside due to a mistimed run and missed the shot regardless. It was a missed opportunity that will be looked at a little harsher considering how the game played out in the second half. Still, Ruan is showing plenty of life offensively in recent games and his speed works well with Facundo Torres to provide options during counter attacks. He didn’t have any crosses but was successful on one of his two long balls and completed 88% of his 16 passes. Defensively, he had a tackle and a clearance and was subbed out in stoppage time to kill off some of the clock and get fresher legs out there.
MF, Cesar Araujo, 4.5 — It was Araujo’s roughest performance of the season. Although he had 16 passes at a great 94% success rate, he had three unstable touches in the match and made costly mistakes. The biggest was his red card in the 69th minute as he needlessly kicked out at Ring, who milked the minimal contact as much as he could. It was a frustrating mistake from a player who’s been levelheaded in recent weeks. That wasn’t his only mistake in the match, as he whiffed on an attempt to send the ball up the field, giving Austin a counter-attacking opportunity in the first half. It wasn’t all terrible, as Araujo led the Lions with three tackles while also chipping in defensively with two interceptions and two clearances. However, his ejection while Orlando was already down a player may have been the difference between a draw and a win and he’ll miss Saturday’s game against Dallas.
MF, Andres Perea, 6 — Playing in the center of the field, Perea quietly led the Lions with four interceptions as he capitalized on the pressure created by teammates to then pick off passes. He wasn’t necessarily dynamic in the match, sending his only shot of the match off target despite a good look, but he was solid and played his part in the team’s efforts to hold on for a result. Along with those interceptions, Perea had three clearances, a tackle, and also blocked a shot. His passing could have been better, as he completed 70% of 23 passes, but that’s not horrific, and he was accurate on one of his two long balls. It was the 21-year-old’s third straight start as he continues to earn minutes in Orlando’s crowded midfield.
MF, Facundo Torres, 5.5 — Torres did well on Orlando’s second goal, sprinting down the left side of the pitch to whip in a cross that wasn’t cleared cleanly and fell to Mauricio Pereyra and then Ruan. The 22-year-old had other opportunities in the match to score, but instead laid the ball off for teammates to take the chance. It was unselfish of Torres, but he could have afforded to be a bit more ruthless, as he finished with no shots or key passes. The unsuccessful cross that led to a goal was his only one of the game and his lone long ball didn’t find its target. He completed 74% of his 19 passes and helped out defensively with two tackles and plenty of pressure before being subbed out in the 71st minute. Torres’ speed makes him an asset for Orlando’s offense, but he lacked a killer instinct that could have helped put the game away before the second half.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6.5 — The captain’s only shot of the game was a strong effort that forced a tough save from Stuver, with Ruan putting away the ensuing rebound. The captain had a few miscues, including a great opportunity to send Kara in on goal in the first half, but was adept at delivering quick balls forward to find Lions in open space as he was accurate on five of his six long balls. Both of his crosses were unsuccessful though, and he completed 83% of his 23 passes. His night ended in the 71st minute as he exited the game along with Orlando’s other offensive players once the Lions were reduced to nine men. It will be a sore trip back to Orlando for Pereyra, who was fouled four times in the match as Austin broke up plays without being booked for it.
MF, Junior Urso, 6.5 — The Bear played out wide in this match and intercepted a bad pass from Stuver to then find Kara in front of goal for an easy assist. Urso led the Lions with five shots, putting three of them on target. He had a great chance to score in the final moments of the first half, putting a header on frame and then beating his defender to the ensuing rebound after Stuver’s save. But the shot missed the open net and soared into the Austin sky. He didn’t have any crosses and his only attempted long ball was inaccurate while he also completed 70% of his 23 passes. Urso supplied great defensive pressure throughout the match, made two tackles, and stopped Jon Gallagher in the box after Schlegel was beaten. Like Pereyra, he was fouled four times in the match and all were in Orlando’s own half.
F, Ercan Kara, 7 (MotM) — The Austrian was in the right place at the right time in front of goal after Stuver’s mistake allowed him to score in the second minute of the match. The goal was one of two shots he put on target, the other coming in the 43rd minute when he fired from distance and was stopped by a diving save from Stuver. Kara led the Lions with three key passes, creating great opportunities for Urso and Perea. He was physical throughout the match, winning two of his four aerial duels and battling to take the ball from Austin players in dangerous areas. He had 24 touches and completed all but one of his 10 passes for a 90% success rate. Kara is our Man of the Match for scoring and creating plenty of chances in a productive outing despite few crosses from the wings and being substituted in the 71st minute.
MF, Jake Mulraney (71’), 5.5 — The Irishman was brought on to give the Lions some fresh legs while down two players. He had a chance to shift the momentum back in Orlando’s favor as he dribbled his way through Austin’s defense, but his shot was a tough one to pull off and sent wide of goal. He didn’t see much of the ball after that, finishing with only three touches and no passes. Mulraney did have a clearance though, doing his part on the defensive end as Orlando desperately tried to hang on.
F, Tesho Akindele, (71’), 5.5 — Akindele’s role after coming on was to contest the team’s long balls and clearances heaved up the field in an effort to win the ball or at least stall Austin from pushing forward. The Canadian won two of his three aerial duels and had 11 touches while completing two of his four passes. While he did a decent job holding up play, he had an opportunity to find Ruan making an uncontested run down the field but either didn’t see him or just didn’t have a way to get him the ball as Austin players descended on him. All in all, it was a decent shift from Akindele.
D, Kyle Smith (71’), 6 — The defender came on to solidify Orlando’s defense, playing in the center of defense as Orlando gave up the wings to focus on filling open spaces in the box. The plan worked for the most part as Smith had four clearances. However, Austin’s goal came from a corner kick that should’ve been ruled a goal kick and Smith’s attempted clearance flicked the ball back to Djitte at the far post. It was unfortunate in many ways for Smith, who scored Orlando’s winner last weekend. The 30-year-old ended the game with no passes and six touches.
MF, Sebas Mendez (91’), N/A — The defensive midfielder didn’t play long enough to earn a grade as his substitution mostly helped remove some of the time left in the match. He did complete his one pass though and had just the one touch. The Ecuadorian has not started since May 7 but that may change with Cesar Araujo suspended.
D, Michael Halliday (93’), N/A — Like Mendez, Halliday was brought on late in stoppage time. The 19-year-old didn’t have much of an opportunity to make an impact with just one touch in his first appearance of the 2022 MLS season.
That’s how I saw the individual performances in Orlando City’s controversial 2-2 draw against Austin FC. What do you think? Be sure to let us know in the comments and vote in the poll below for your Orlando City Man of the Match.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the Lions’ 2-2 draw with Austin FC?
This poll is closed
Other (Let us know who in the comments)