Orlando City vs. Portland Timbers: Player Grades and MotM
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports How did your favorite Lions rate individually in Orlando’s 1-1 draw against the Timbers? Orlando City has now completed its two-game West Coast swing and came out of it relatively nicely by grabbing four points total. Sunday’s game in Portland was seemingly there for the taking for the Lions after battling it close in the first half, getting the go ahead goal in the 52nd minute and the Timbers going down a man in the 71st minute. However, a converted penalty kick allowed Portland to steal an extra two points from the Lions. These past two games have shown this group of Lions can handle the harsh circumstances of playing on the road. Four points after back-to-back weekends of traveling across the country is not a bad outcome. The Lions will now look to bring that momentum back to the friendly confines of Exploria Stadium for the next set of games. Now to the individual performances of the road draw. Starters GK, Mason Stajduhar, 7 — Starting in place of Pedro Gallese, who is out on international duty, Stajduhar was able to keep his poise throughout most of the match. His back line, particularly center backs Robin Jansson and Antonio Carlos, did a great job limiting the amount of dangerous shots he faced. Stajduhar made a pair of clean saves and did well leaving his line to snuff out a few of Portland’s chances when he needed to. He wasn’t able to stop Cristhian Paredes’ penalty sent straight down the middle as he dove to his left. In the last moment of stoppage time, as the Timbers were making their last push to win, Stajduhar did well to get down quickly to block a shot from Sebastián Blanco placed low towards the bottom corner. The American goalkeeper had decent distribution, passing at a 70.6% success rate and completing five of his 10 long balls. D, Joao Moutinho, 6 — The Portuguese left back once again led the team in touches (89) for the second straight game. Moutinho often pushed upfield to help out offensively to put crosses into the box and his lone shot went off target. Although only one of his five crosses was accurate, one was cleared right back to Orlando and helped set up the goal for the Lions. He was also accurate on seven of his 12 long balls and finished the game with 67 passes at an 86.6% success rate. Defensively, Moutinho had four total tackles, one interception, and one clearance. It wasn’t a bad game from the defender, but some of his turnovers forced him to scramble back into position. He could have made some better choices when passing to get the ball deeper in the final third, but nothing negatively impacted the team. D, Robin Jansson, 7 — The Swede was once again a strong force in the middle and gave little time for the Timbers’ attackers to create much pressure. Jansson even had a moment taking the ball down the middle in the second half to start an attack and raced back down to get in position defensively when the ball was coming the other way. It was great to see him put in the effort on both sides of the pitch. We have come to expect this kind of hustle from the Beefy Swede and this match was no different. Jansson had 53 touches in the game, completed 92.1% of his 38 passes, and was accurate on two of his three long balls. His lone shot attempt was blocked. On the defensive end, he had four tackles, three clearances, two blocked shots, and one foul that resulted in a yellow card. In all, a solid performance for the defender, who became the Lions’ all-time leader in minutes played during the match. D, Antonio Carlos, 7.5 — The Brazilian defender was the focal point of the defense, leading the team with seven clearances and five interceptions to stop Portland’s offense from gaining momentum. Carlos was busy throughout the match as he had 61 touches, won three aerial battles, and passed at a decent 84.4% success rate. He was only accurate on one of his three long balls, but it was another great outing by the Brazilian to keep trouble away from the net. D, Ruan, 6 — The quick right back did what he does best for the team, getting up and down the wing with pace. He completed 83.3% of his 30 passes for the game and was successful on his only attempted cross, which resulted in a missed header by Benji Michel. The Brazilian had 46 touches, one tackle, and was accurate on just one of his four long balls. MF, Cesar Araujo, 7 — The young Uruguayan midfielder stayed physical throughout the match to slow down and disrupt the Timbers from moving forward. Araujo led the Lions with five tackles, adding an interception and two clearances as well. He was fouled four times and committed two fouls of his own. The 20-year-old had 46 passes at an 87% success rate and three of his four long balls found their target. On the play that led to Orlando’s goal, it was Araujo who settled Portland’s attempted clearance to keep momentum. His lone shot was sent off target, but it was another great game from Araujo as he showed why he’s earned a starting spot on the squad. MF, Junior Urso, 8 (MotM) — The Bear showed his claws once more by getting the opening goal of the match. He darted towards goal, getting in position for Alexandre Pato to find him open in front of the net. The first pass from Pato was aimed towards Ruan but it was blocked and Pato was able to quickly get it to Urso for him to slot it past Timbers goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic. Urso led the team with three shots, putting two of them on target. He also had 70 touches, four tackles, one interception, and one clearance in a solid defensive performance. The Brazilian midfielder capped off his performance with 45 passes at an impressive 88.9% accuracy and completed three of his four long balls. MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6.5 — Pereyra had his game cut short when he was taken off the pitch in a stretcher in the 73rd minute. It is never a good sign to see one of your top players leave the game in that fashion, but we must hope for the best until he is evaluated. Up until that point, Pereyra had 56 touches and one shot that was easily saved by Ivacic. He was accurate on 82.5% of his 40 passes and had one key pass. Orlando’s captain was unsuccessful on his three attempted crosses but was accurate on all three of his long balls. The attacking midfielder’s presence was missed later on in the match when Orlando wanted to push for another goal to take all three points after Portland equalized. Pereyra may have changed the way the Lions attacked towards the end. MF, Tesho Akindele, 6 — With Facundo Torres away on international duty for Uruguay, Akindele started on the right wing for the Lions. Akindele did well sprinting around his side of the pitch and put in a good effort playing a position he has occupied for Oscar Pareja before in Dallas. His only shot was a headed effort that went wide, and he also had one key pass. His only attempted cross officially missed its mark, but trickled tantalizingly in front of the goal, begging for a teammate to get to it. He did well winning three aerial duels to help Orlando gain possession. The Canadian also helped out defensively with four tackles The downside to his performance was an underwhelming 67.9% accuracy on 28 passes. MF, Benji Michel, 6 — Michel’s play was not overly memorable, besides the scuffle he got into during extra time before a set piece which ultimately got him a yellow card for catching part of a Timbers player in the face with his hand. Early on however, Michel did take on defenders in the box to try setting himself up for a shot on goal or to place a ball in the middle, getting two key passes in the match. He had 46 touches, one shot that went off target, and a 76.7% passing accuracy on 30 passes. Michel didn’t attempt any crosses and was accurate on two of his three long balls. It was not for a lack of trying, but Michel could not get much out of his efforts. F, Alexandre Pato, 7.5 — After not featuring in the last match, Pato got the start up top for the Lions and assisted on Urso’s goal with a perfectly paced ball right to his feet. The Brazilian star showed off some of his skill, especially in one sequence by shifting around some Portland defenders on his way up the pitch. Pato did well this match to play a little further down when needed to and distribute the ball around to his fellow Lions, which gave him an 83.3% passing accuracy on 36 passes and one key pass. On the play that caused Josecarlos Van Rankin to get a second yellow card, it was Pato who made a nice move on the counter that forced the Timbers defender to hold him back. The Brazilian forward ended the match with two shots, putting one on target, and was accurate on one of his three crosses and both of his long balls. Substitutes MF, Andres Perea (69’), 4.5 — Perea came off the bench and did not have the kind of fill-in work he, and many of us, were expecting him to have. In an unfortunate defensive play, Perea unnecessarily lunged out in an attempt to poke the ball off Paredes, who was cutting across the middle at the top of the box. There was no imminent danger from Paredes’ horizontal run, as Carlos had him lined up and other defenders were positioned between Paredes and the goal. After a delayed call, a penalty was awarded and Paredes converted it. Perea completed all five of his passes but had only eight touches during his time on the pitch. D, Rodrigo Schlegel (73’), 6.5 — Schlegel came on for the injured Pereyra with a defensive mindset before the score became level. He did well overall to help the defense see out the match and secure at least a point after Portland scored. The Argentine blocked a shot and made two clearances to go along with 92.3% passing accuracy on 13 passes and 18 touches. D, Kyle Smith (84’), N/A — The Accountant came on to shore up the defensive line with fresh legs to see out the match in the 84th minute to replace Ruan. He pushed forward at times to join the attack and had one key pass and won an aerial ball in limited time on the field. Smith concluded the match with 50% passing accuracy on six passes and had 12 touches. He completed one of his two crosses and his one long ball was successful. F, Ercan Kara (84’), N/A — The Designated Player subbed on late to spark some late game magic and possibly score the game winner. That was not to be as he could not find much of a rhythm so late into the match and ended up with zero touches. That’s how the performances of the Lions looked to me in the team’s draw on the road. Let me know your thoughts on the players’ performances in the comment section and vote for your Man of the Match in the poll below.