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OaM Player Ratings: Orlando City

Good cheer as the Red Bulls hand an Eastern Conference contender their first loss of the season

MLS: Orlando City SC at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


Lenz Ong: Nothing much to do all game, but kept it tidy enough at the back. Couple of nice pings, and actually came out and caught a couple of crosses. Progress?


Brit Byrd: Earns an extra point for good set piece deliveries. Still some bumpy moments but on the whole a good full debut.

Ben Cork: Turns out I don’t have a single note scribbled down about his performance yesterday - which is good for him because I’m a bitter soul who only looks for people’s flaws.


Lenz Ong: Man of the match for the home side in my book. Didn’t put a foot wrong all game, and stepped up in taking on marshalling duties for this makeshift backline, leading them to what was probably the best defensive display we’ve seen from this team all season considering the circumstances. Very good game, well done.

Ben Cork: With the world crumbling around Nealis in the last few weeks, he’s remained a calm, reliable force in the transient backline. Especially impressed yesterday with his communication and organizational skills in the absence of Aaron Long.


Brit Byrd: A newcomer tuning in yesterday could be forgiven for not realizing he’s not a center back all the time.

Ben Cork: At one point during a break in play midway through the first half Gerhard Struber called out Edwards from the touchline to give him a thumbs up. In an unnatural position against a difficult opponent, Edwards rarely put a foot wrong outside of the late moments when fatigue set in as Orlando clawed for a goal.


Juan Mesa: Kept Mueller away from danger and had a good partnership with Casseres on defensive duties.

J.J. Post: The struggle of rating Duncan is though his final ball still isn’t there yet and he occasionally gets caught out of position, his ability to get back and deal with opposing counterattacks is absolutely vital to this Red Bull defense.


Brit Byrd: Constantly active in distribution and recycling the ball, as well as not allowing Orlando to be the only team in the ref’s ear.

Juan Mesa: Another discreet and solid performance by the captain.


J.J. Post: A beautiful free kick was just the icing on an all-around tremendous performance- the young Venezuelan was everywhere today, likely his best game in a Red Bulls’ shirt.

Juan Mesa: Man of the match performance and probably his best game ever with RBNY. He is known in Venezuela as Novillo (Little Bull) and the way he is winning the ball this season explains it. And what a goal.

Brit Byrd: Tack another couple million onto his eventual sale price with a link to yesterday’s free kick attached to the email.


Lenz Ong: Really disappointed to see him come off early as I think it was a really industrious performance from him up until the injury. His tenacity in the press was giving Orlando fits to start the game, combining well with Royer to pinch the ball out wide. Hope it’s not an extended injury spell.


Juan Mesa: The now-18-year-old scored again and had a strong outing in the 10 position. His soccer keeps developing, and definitely has a high ceiling.

Brit Byrd: His tap-in goal was the epitome of how he stays useful and dangerous even if he’s having an off day with the ball at his feet.


Brit Byrd: A difficult performance to rate, on the one hand he was very involved and linked up with the rest of the team, unlike some of his earlier struggles while starting. On the other, it sure seems like his feet are where our attacks go to die. His knock-on that led to the first goal is a better example of his strengths rather than receiving the ball at the edge of the box.

Juan Mesa: He looks slow and takes too many touches, but he does the little things that experienced players know are important like the run to the near post on Clark’s goal.

Ben Cork: Generally not very high on his use to this team but saw some of the small tone-setting details to his game (including dedicated counter-pressing) that I imagine gives him his value to the coaching staff especially with Long out.


Brit Byrd: Earned his assist by constantly prodding and stretching the final third, Orlando’s back line were exasperated.

Lenz Ong: I respect his commitment to the season-long bit of our strikers bagging more assists than goals. Seems to still be in the process of building chemistry with the rest of the side, but an industrious showing and great work on the assist will definitely endear him to the faithful following his first start for the team.



Juan Mesa: He wasn’t as explosive as in other games, but was important in the battles against Orlando’s physical midfielders. Needs to be faster in the counterpress.

Ben Cork: Created some danger but also seems to be somewhat unwieldy in the build-up and press compared to how the first-choice midfielders have looked in the diamond. At a certain point we’ll need to see how Yearwood looks in the rhythm of a full start with the preferred XI.

FABIO - 6.1

Lenz Ong: Hold-up play was strong as usual, and created a goal scoring opportunity out of practically nothing late in the game using his pace and power in the press. I beg the powers that be every night before we go to bed that we sign him up.

Brit Byrd: A dominant force upon coming on, but seemed like the rest of the team couldn’t quite keep up.


Ben Cork: Provided the energy needed to snuff out Orlando in the last ten minutes but didn’t have much else to do. Surprised Royer appears to have leapfrogged him in the depth chart after being fairly active in the early weeks.


J.J. Post: Even in a ten minute cameo the Bronx native was lively on the ball, but the lack of an attacking impetus for an already-leading Red Bulls team attempting to close up shop effectively neutralized the impact he could make on the match.


Brit Byrd: I want to whine about not seeing Fabio and Klimala together from the start, but fact of the matter is that Struber’s decisions delivered a sorely needed win with key personnel missing — and in convincing fashion.

J.J. Post: Working with a patchwork backline and a midfield that lost several key players to injuries, Struber produced a convincing win over one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams. How he sets up the team with (hopefully) the vast majority of the roster at full fitness following the Nations League break should be interesting.

Lenz Ong: I think the lineup caused a few raised eyebrows at the start, but the team came out sharp, and executed what was probably the most complete performance over 90 minutes this season, with an especially strong showing from a makeshift backline. He’s had some tough luck with injuries and suspensions to personnel to start the year, and getting this result with a performance of this caliber in spite of everything is truly commendable. The international break comes at an opportune time for his men to rest and heal up, so I have a sneaky feeling we may be coming out the gates hot upon the resumption of league play based off of this performance.

What were your scores for the New York Red Bulls this week? Sound off in the comments below...