Three Stars: New York Red Bulls
That was ugly. I'll be honest, there's not much positive to look at from Sunday's 3-0 drubbing at the hands of the New York Red Bulls, so we're keeping it short for three stars this time. Bad games happen, especially in parity driven leagues, so the Orlando will take this one on the chin and move on the next one.
Here were the (somewhat) standout performers in a dismal showing against the New York Red Bulls.
I really do think just about every player on the field wearing purple disappointed in this game. There were no real signs of quality to break down an admittedly excellent defense, and the possession play allowed the Red Bulls to Red Bull their way to a few goals.
From goalkeeper to striker, just about everyone didn't do enough to compete, despite playing a team in inconsistent form in front of the home fans. Just not good enough for a team that wants to compete for silverware this season.
2. Robin Jansson
If there was one defender who deserves any praise, it was probably the big Swede Robin Jansson. Orlando's all-time appearance leader is a solid and reliable center back and he mostly showed that again Sunday. He cleaned up mistakes and covered for Rodrigo Schlegel and Joao Moutinho as best he could.
I do think he's probably at least a little at fault for the first Red Bull goal, as he should've done more to stop the ball as Luquinhas entered the box, but ultimately that's a shot you need your goalkeeper to save.
1. César Araújo
The young Uruguayan midfielder César Araújo has been nothing short of a revelation for Orlando City in the first few months of the MLS season, becoming an undroppable presence in a talented midfield group. He was far from perfect in this game, but he did the best he could to break the Red Bulls with the ball and cover up defensively.
He made 13 ball recoveries in this game and won nine of his 14 duels. To beat the Red Bulls, you need central midfielders who can do those two things, and Araújo delivered. Could he have done better in possession? Probably, but he's primarily a stopper and early ball mover, while Orlando's biggest problems came in trying to break the second and third lines of the Red Bull press.