Orlando City vs FC Cincinnati: Player Ratings and Man of the Match
Orlando City hit the road to face FC Cincinnati and came away empty-handed after a 1-0 loss. Pedro Gallese provided a stellar goalkeeper but the Lions simply couldn’t create enough chances in attack. Mauricio Pereyra, Joao Moutinho and Robin Jansson were all missing from the starting lineup for various reasons, which certainly had an impact on how Orlando attacked in this game. Let’s see how each Lion fared during this road loss.
GK, Pedro Gallese, 8 (MotM) — Without Gallese, the Lions would have headed into half-time with a huge deficit to close. El Pulpo made spectacular saves time and time again, robbing Nick Haggland from close range twice in the first half and Alvaro Barreal from high in the area. Another save stopped Luciano Acosta’s deflected attempt, but Gallese couldn’t intercept the ensuing cross after the rebound and his clean sheet was wasted. His eight saves were the most he had in a game this season and the loss is nowhere on him. His distribution was also solid, connecting on five of his eight long balls and completing 85% of his 20 passes.
D, Thomas Williams, 6 — The 17-year-old started as the team’s left-back in place of Joao Moutinho. He had his work cut out at times against Brandon Vazquez and Brenner, but got by with defensive support from his teammates. The homegrown player had three clearances and a tackle in 45 minutes of action. It was only his second start of the season and it showed on occasion as he only completed 83.3% of his 24 passes. Williams had no crosses and was accurate on one of his three long balls. He was replaced at half-time by Antonio Carlos, ending his road appearance.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6.5 — The Argentine centre-back returned from suspension and led his side with six clearances. He also blocked a Luciano Acosta shot from the top of the box and also had three interceptions and a tackle. Schlegel could have reacted a bit quicker to Cincy’s goal, unable to locate Brenner in time after the initial shot. He had 16 huge long balls, connecting on six of them. Only 79.7 per cent of his passes were completed, but he attempted a team-high 69 of them as he tried to build from the back and spin the ball upfield. Schlegel also won three of his four aerial duels to give the Lions some supremacy in the sky. Schlegel’s performance showed he can keep things going while Carlos continues to calm down.
D, Kyle Smith, 6.5 — Smith started at centre-back in the first half and then moved to left-back for the second half, showing some of the versatility that makes him so valuable to Orlando. Leading the team with five tackles, Smith had another solid game and also contributed five clearances and an interception. As for Cincy’s goal, Smith did a good job of getting into position to make one of his trademark goal-line saves but was ultimately unable to get a piece. of Brenner’s shot. He also led the Lions with 85 touches and three key passes, including a fine through ball to Ercan Kara. His lone cross failed to find its man, but it did earn the Lions a late corner. Smith was accurate on two of his five long balls and 82.5% of 57 passes were completed.
D, Rouan, 5.5 — The right-back needed to react faster to Cincinnati’s goal. Acosta fired from outside the box and then passed Ruan to get his own rebound and assist on goal. In terms of defensive stats, Ruan only had one clearance and needed to offer a bit more bite on that side of the ball given the depleted back line. Despite completing 87.8% of his 41 passes and being accurate on two of his four long ball attempts, neither of his two crosses were successful as he continues to struggle in that area. of his game. Ruan also had three unstable touches in a performance that he will have to ignore and move on.
MF, Cesar Araujo, 6.5 — Araujo had an efficient night, completing 91.2% of his 57 passes to help build possession for Orlando. He struggled a bit to defend against Acosta, who used sophisticated footwork to shoot twice as Araujo was on top of him. The second of those shots led to Cincy’s goal as Araujo chased Acosta only for the Argentina midfielder to cut back and find room to shoot. It’s hard to blame Araujo for much of that and he had two interceptions, two clearances and a tackle. Offensively, his only shot was blocked but he did a decent job putting the ball into dangerous areas. Four of his six attempted long balls were accurate and one of his two crosses found its mark. It was also his fifth game in a row without a yellow card, meaning one of his accumulated yellow cards this season is withdrawn due to good behavior.
MF, Junior Urso, 5 — Like most Orlando midfielders, Urso had a rough night. His poor touch trying to contest a pass from Araujo caused the turnover which led to Cincy’s goal. The Bears had no shots in a game that Orlando certainly could have used them in. His only cross of the game was a key pass that gave Jake Mulraney a chance in the box, albeit far enough from goal that the resulting header needed better power and placement to get in. Urso had two crosses and defensively he contributed an interception and a clearance in 69 minutes on the field. He completed 23 of 28 passes for an 82.1% success rate and did not attempt any long balls. Urso has been stripped four times in this one and can feel the fatigue of three starts in 10 days.
MF, Andrés Perea, 5 — Perea struggled to fill Mauricio Pereyra’s role in attack. The 21-year-old completed 50 of his 62 passes for an 80.7% completion rate which could have been better turning the ball over and ending Orlando’s momentum. He only had one key pass and his only cross didn’t connect, although his only long ball did. Perea sometimes hesitated with the ball at his feet, especially when Cincy was closing in on him or when he needed to find an open Lion quickly. He had a good chance in the 33rd minute on a block, but a bad touch while sprinting down the field allowed Cincy defender John Nelson to stop him. All was not so bad, however. Perea was defensively solid with two tackles, two clearances and two interceptions, while winning six of his seven aerial duels. It’s important to remember how young Perea is and that he had big shoes to fill. But, that game showed he lacked the skills to really pull the strings on Orlando’s offense at that time.
MF, Jake Mulraney, 5 years old — The Irishman’s only shot came late in the first half from a good chance high up the box, but his header attempt was easily handled by Celentano. Mulraney had a tough night cast-wise. His only cross was blocked and he only completed 76.5% of his 17 passes and struggled to beat Ray Gaddis down the left. He did a solid job coming back to support Williams on defense, recording three tackles, an interception and a clearance. Mulraney was replaced at half-time by Benji Michel, continuing their competition for the position.
MF, Facundo Torres, 5.5 — With Pereyra out, the stage was set for Torres to take the reins of the attack and drive it forward. While leading the Lions with five crosses, connecting on two of them, Torres couldn’t do much in attack. His only shot was a weak effort from distance that went wide and none of his long balls found their target. The Uruguayan completed 55 passes with a solid 87.3% completion rate but only one key pass. His two tackles underestimate a decent defensive performance, as he scrambles all over the court to pressure Cincy from start to finish. Despite having 72 touches, Torres was often quickly overrun by Cincy players when in possession and was fouled four times. Torres showed a lot of fighting in this game but was unable to make a big impact on the attack as the Lions were sent off.
F, Ercan Kara, 5.5 — The Austrian striker had just one shot in 62 minutes of action and it was a poor attempt that sank harmlessly over Celentano for him to collect. Kara had just 14 touches and eight assists with a completion rate of 37.5%, which is a testament to the lack of service and support he received throughout the game. He also couldn’t really take advantage of set pieces as Orlando didn’t have a corner until he was off the field. Three unstable touches didn’t help matters for Kara, as his heist game wasn’t what we’re used to seeing, despite winning three of his four aerial duels. Kara spent his time in the field stuck on an island until he was replaced by Alexandre Pato just before Cincy took the lead.
D, Antonio Carlos (45′), 7 — The Brazilian centre-back returned from injury in April. Despite having no defensive stats, Carlos helped stabilize things for Orlando and completed all but one of his 31 passes for a high completion rate of 96.8%. He also connected on his five long balls to select players on the field. His only shot was a header sent just wide of goal after a cross from Alexandre Pato into the box. It’s nice to see Carlos back there, although his return wasn’t enough to galvanize Orlando to a result.
MF, Benji Michel (45′), 4 — Michel replaced Mulraney but had less of an impact with just 14 touches and 10 assists at an 80% success rate despite playing a full half. Michel didn’t have any shots, crosses or key passes, although he did contribute a tackle in defence. His speed is an asset, but he just wasn’t a factor in this game.
F, Alexandre Pato (62′), 4 — The 32-year-old was sloppy to say the least. Only one of his five crosses was correct and some of his errors were serious enough that there was no chance of recycling them. None of his three long balls were successful either and he finished with eight assists at a 375% success rate. His only shot went over the bar and a bad touch wasted a golden opportunity in the box on a counterattack. Hopefully this performance was just an anomaly and his quality service will return in future games.
F, Tesho Akindele (69′), 5 — The Canadian striker is still looking for his first goal of the season. Akindele had just three touches and three assists in this game, which isn’t great from a striker you hope to add a spark to off the bench. The Lions had a slew of set pieces late in the game as they trailed, but poor serve prevented Akindele from really capitalizing on it.
That’s how I saw things when Orlando lost to FC Cincinnati. Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments and don’t forget to vote for Man of the Match as well.
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