Tesho Akindele did it again, scoring the game-winning goal with the last kick (header, anyway) of the game as Orlando City beat New York City FC 2-1 for a huge three points. It’s the third consecutive win for the Lions, who beat the New York Red Bulls 1-0 and Charlotte FC 2-1 in the two previous games. However, it’s a win at home, which has been hard to come by for this team.
Let’s take a look at how the Orlando City players did individually in this game.
GK, Pedro Gallese, 5.5 — Gallese didn’t have a lot to do in this game. NYCFC only took one shot on target and it was its goal. The Peruvian international did play seven long balls out of the back but only completed one. However, those were mostly goal kicks, which are almost always 50/50 balls. The grade being this low has more to do with how Orlando controlled the match rather than the goalkeeper not playing well. While we can’t give Gallese a grade as high as we usually do, he didn’t make any big mistakes so it was not a bad game either.
D, Joao Moutinho, 5.5 — Moutinho wasn’t as involved as you’d like to see. Defensively, he only had one tackle. On the attacking end, he attempted five crosses but none of them were successful. He did complete four of his seven long balls, which is a positive, and completed 78.4% of his 51 passes. He didn’t have a bad game but didn’t have a significant impact, as Orlando controlled the match and he wasn’t called upon often defensively.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 5.5 — For the most part, Schlegel had a pretty good game. He finished the game with two tackles, two interceptions, and one clearance. On the attacking end, he completed 85.1% of his 47 passes, including a key pass, and completed three of his five long balls. However, he got sucked into the middle on the NYCFC goal, allowing Maxi Moralez to get behind the line and even the game at 1-1.
D, Antonio Carlos, 6 — This game was almost a disaster for Antonio Carlos, who received a red card in the 47th minute, only for VAR to rightfully change it to a yellow. Instead, it was a solid performance by the Brazilian center back. Carlos had two tackles and five clearances in the back. He completed 84% of his 50 passes and five of his nine long balls. He probably was the best of the back line for the Lions in this game.
D, Ruan, 5 — Ruan had a difficult game. He ended up with two tackles, two interceptions, and one blocked shot defensively but his problems were in the attack. While he had two key passes, he only completed 67.6% of his 37 passes and neither of his crosses. His poor crossing was a problem for a team that relies on the crossing ability of its full backs. Additionally, he completed three of his five long balls and had one shot so off-target that it hit the corner flag.
MF, Wilder Cartagena, 5.5 — Cartagena had a solid but unspectacular game in his first start for Orlando City. He had three tackles defensively but failed to contain Moralez, who had control of the midfield until Cesar Araujo came on. Cartagena completed 75% of his 20 passes and took two shots with one on target.
MF, Junior Urso, 7 (MotM) — This was one of Urso’s best games of the season. The midfielder played an attacking role in this game, completing 89.7% of his 39 passes, including one key pass. He took a team-high five shots, with two on target, and scored the game’s first goal. The goal was a wonderful play by Urso, which included a good move to beat the defender, a quick one-two with Facundo Torres, a great first touch to control the ball, and a wonderful finish. While others can be considered for Man of the Match, I’ll give it to Urso because of his goal and for forcing Sean Johnson’s best save of the night with another good shot.
MF, Jake Mulraney, 5 — Mulraney wasn’t as bad as he was in Charlotte a week ago but he was barely noticeable in this game. The midfielder only had 18 touches and completed 83.3% of just 12 passes. He had one incomplete cross and didn’t take any shots. His poor pass to Cartagena was the turnover that ultimately led to NYCFC’s tying goal early in the second half. He was seemingly on a different page than his teammates much of the night. It certainly appears as though Mulraney won’t be starting much longer.
MF, Facundo Torres, 6.5 — The two best attacking starters for the Lions in this game were Urso and Torres. The midfielder completed 74.6% of his 55 passes, three of which were key passes. He completed two of his team-high nine crosses and one of his four long balls. Considering the weather, that’s not bad. He took two shots in this game but neither were on target. Additionally, his quick one-two with Urso resulted in an assist for the Uruguayan.
MF, Benji Michel, 5.5 — Similar to Mulraney, Michel wasn’t very involved in this game. He only had 27 touches and completed 81.3% of his 16 passes. Michel started the game in the midfield but moved to the forward position when Araujo replaced Ercan Kara in the 58th minute. However, it was an unremarkable performance in both positions.
F, Ercan Kara, 5.5 — Kara had 21 touches up top in this game and only took one shot, which was a header off target with Maxime Chanot defending him well. He completed 54.6% of his 11 passes, one of which was a key pass, before being taken off in the 58th minute for Araujo.
MF, Cesar Araujo (58’), 6.5 — When the weather allowed, Moralez took control of the midfield for NYCFC until Araujo came on for Kara. Unquestionably the team’s best defensive midfielder, Araujo did his job well in this game, allowing the Lions to get their hold back on the game. He only had one tackle but completed 88.2% of his 34 passes. Additionally, he took one off-target shot.
MF, Andres Perea (64’), 6 — Perea came on in the 64th minute for Mulraney. While he didn’t have a memorable game, it wasn’t a bad one either. Perea had one tackle and completed 76.5% of his 17 passes, including one key pass.
MF, Ivan Angulo (65’), 7 — This was the second-longest performance for Angulo for the first team and should be the one that sees him take Mulraney’s starting spot. The midfielder was excellent in this game, completing all of his five passes, which included a pair of key passes. He completed two of his three crosses and his corner kick in the final seconds found the head of Tesho Akindele, giving him the assist on the winning goal. He also played well defensively, with one interception and a couple of good pressures to cut off New York City possession down his side.
F, Tesho Akindele (78’), 6.5 — Akindele came on with 12 minutes to go and it looked like it would be a forgettable appearance for the striker as he only had eight touches. The first seven touches were insignificant, completing three of his five passes and having one incomplete cross. However, his last touch of the game was a header to the back post off of Angulo’s corner that saw him score the game-winning goal for the second-consecutive game.
D, Kyle Smith (78’), 6 — Smith only came on with 12 minutes to go but played well in those minutes. He completed 91.7% of his 12 passes and completed two of his four crosses. He didn’t record any defensive stats as the Lions were on the attack in the final minutes. He had an opportunity to put Orlando ahead in the final 10 minutes with an open look at the back post but couldn’t put his shot on target.
That’s how I saw the individual performances in this game. While the individual player scores may seem somewhat low, the Lions played well as a team in the match. Let us know how you saw it and vote on the Man of the Match below.
Who was your Orlando City Man of the Match in the Lions’ 2-1 win over New York City FC?
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