Orlando City showed good fight in its first game in over two weeks in coming back to get a road point against the New England Revolution. The Lions continue to be a pretty good team on the road, and if not for a couple good saves by Djordje Petrovic, might have even been able to sneak out of Gillette Stadium with a win. What follows is how I rated the individual performances in this one.
GK, Pedro Gallese, 6.5 — It was surprising to see El Pulpo in goal for this one. He played in Peru’s loss to Australia on Monday and one long flight back from Qatar later was in between the sticks in Foxborough. He was largely helpless on Carles Gil’s goal, getting a great jump and full extension but not quite able to get fingertips on the ball as it hit the side netting. He did however, make a great point blank save in the 12th minute to keep things level, and looked assured overall. He finished with two saves, passed at a 78% rate and had 25 touches on the ball.
D, Joao Moutinho, 5.5 — It wasn’t a terrible performance from Moutinho, but it wasn’t his best in an Orlando shirt either. On a night where he was asked to be the more offensive of the two fullbacks he did some good things like completing a dribble, winning two tackles, making an interception, completing three long balls and passing with 84% accuracy while touching the ball 58 times. With that being said he didn’t attempt any crosses and his only shot attempt hit Junior Urso that started the counter on which Gil scored. Moutihno tried to get back but didn’t arrive in time to cover for Jake Mulraney’s defensive effort.
D, Robin Jansson, 7.5 (MotM) — The big Swede had a typically buccaneering performance. Jansson passed with 81% success with three long balls, completed a dribble, had six clearances, and won three aerial duels and a tackle — all while taking three shots and scoring the equalizing goal. It was a great goal too, as he did well to bring down a high ball, use a change of pace to beat the nearest defender, and slam the ball through Petrovic’s legs into the side netting. He also played almost the entire game while on a yellow card that he picked up in the sixth minute, and showed great discipline to not get another and send Orlando down to 10 men. All in all, it was a worthy Man of the Match performance after a long layoff.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6.5 — Schlegel had a solid game partnering Jansson in defense. Statistically, he won an aerial duel, made two tackles and six clearances, passed at a 78.6% clip, recorded an interception, and took two shots, which were both blocked. He even had a key pass and had some great instances of 1-v-1 defending, but picked up a yellow card in the 77th minute. He also drew three fouls, a couple of which helped relieve some pressure for the Lions. On the whole, he looked solid as usual.
D, Kyle Smith, 7 — Smith was extremely busy during this one. He passed with 77.5% accuracy and completed a dribble, while also winning two aerial duels, making three tackles, and recording a whopping eight clearances. He also had a key pass and took one shot, which he got on target and was a bit unlucky not to score from. On a long throw from Moutinho late in the game, Smith controlled the bouncing ball and shot on the half volley from a tight angle, but Petrovic got down very quickly and got a strong hand to it. Smith was the third defender to pick up a yellow card, but with as busy as he was on the night, I’m willing to let it slide.
MF, Cesar Araujo, 6 — Araujo looked a little rusty at times during this one. He definitely did some good things, passing at a great 90% clip (tied for second on the Lions) making a clearance, and winning three tackles. He also committed two fouls while being fouled twice to keep things nice and even. However, he was dispossessed twice, which was tied for the most on the team, and got beaten by Gustavo Bou just after slipping a bit in the buildup to New England’s goal. Although he didn’t record any offensive stats, that isn’t really what he’s on the field to do, and didn’t have a bad game overall.
MF, Junior Urso, 6.5 — The Bear played well during this one. He did his usual boatload of running and was heavily involved as a result. Urso passed with 90% success, won an aerial duel, took two shots, and completed two dribbles. He also drew two fouls and completed two long balls. The long rest certainly seemed to do him some good as he ran hard all night and was pretty tidy for the duration of the game, something that was impressive considering he touched the ball a team-high 73 times.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6.5 — Pereyra was another midfielder who was highly involved on the night. He passed at an 83% clip, while recording a game-high three key passes in the process. He put his lone shot on target, won a tackle, and drew two fouls. He had an excellent combination with Facundo Torres at the start of the second half to help his fellow Designated Player get off a good shot, and grew into the game well. Pereyra ended the game with 66 touches — second only to Junior Urso. Less good was the first-half free kick which was far too softly hit, as well as being dispossessed once and dribbled twice, but he also wasn’t the only guy who had a few rusty moments.
MF, Jake Mulraney, 6.5 — I was quietly surprised by how well Mulraney played in this game. He passed at an 85% rate, won a tackle, and had a shot that was blocked. He also recorded two key passes, completed a long ball, and drew five fouls. He brought a directness that was a little different than any of the other Orlando attackers and looked pretty sharp. The lone foul he committed resulted in a yellow card, and he came off with just over a quarter of an hour left to play. However he needs to do better in transition defending, as he was passve in allowing Gil lots of space to shoot on the Revs’ goal, although it was a difficult spot for him to be in.
MF, Facundo Torres, 6 — Like most of the OCSC players, Torres had a solid but not spectacular night. He had one shot, which was saved well down low by Petrovic, completed a dribble, drew three fouls, and recorded two clearances. He passed at a crisp 93% rate, which was the best on the team, and completed a long ball as well. He didn’t seem quite able to find the final ball though, and things were just a hair off when it came to unlocking the Revs’ defense, and he got dribbled twice. Still, not a bad outing by any means.
F, Alexandre Pato, 6 — The Duck had a decent, but not great game. He passed at a 79% rate, won a tackle, and drew three fouls. He also took two shots, one of which forced a great save from Petrovic early in the game. He flashed a couple instances of good hold-up play to bring his teammates into the game, but wasn’t the most involved, as he only recorded 30 touches on the night. The service into him wasn’t the best, as Orlando struggled to find the final ball for most of the night, but he’ll have wanted to be more involved regardless.
F, Benji Michel (72’), 5 — I don’t want to seem like I’m picking on the only sub to get a rating, but Benji looked like a guy who spent a spell on the sidelines with an injury. He did good things, like winning two tackles and an aerial duel, and did well to get behind the Revs’ defense and come close to getting in on goal, but there was also a lot of sloppiness. He was dispossessed twice, dribbled once, and passed at a 60% rate on five passes — one of which completely killed an attacking move that seemed to be developing well. Getting more game time should help him, but for now Mulraney might be ahead of him on the depth chart.
F, Ercan Kara (78’), N/A — Kara was fairly quiet in his roughly 15-minute cameo. He passed at a 33% rate on three attempts, and committed two fouls while recording six touches. He did win an aerial duel and managed to get into a good position wide in the box, but could only put the ball low into Petrovic’s chest.
MF, Andres Perea (79’), N/A — Perea also had a short appearance off the substitutes’ bench to give Mauricio Pereyra some rest. He passed with 80% accuracy, had seven touches, and won a tackle and an aerial duel.
F, Tesho Akindele (91’), N/A —Tesho had the briefest of the four substitute appearances, and that was reflected in the fact that his lone touch was the only statistic he recorded during his time on the field.
That’s how I saw the performances on Wednesday night in Massachusetts. Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments, and don’t forget to vote for Man of the Match.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the Lions’ 2-1 home victory over the Houston Dynamo?
Other (Let us know who in the comments)