Orlando City – Match Report Vs. Philadelphia Union (21/06/2023)

Orlando City played to an entertaining 2-2 draw against the Philadelphia Union in MLS action. Orland jumped to a 2-0 lead but was not able to hold on to it. A late wonder goal from Jose Martinez rescued a point for the Union. 

Duncan McGuire

  • Nationality: American
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 05/02/2001
  • Current Club: Orlando City
  • Career: Creighton University Blue Jays, Lane United
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Duncan McGuire played as Orlando’s centre-forward in this match and continued his red-hot start to MLS life with two goals. McGuire has a profile that is not at all uncommon among American strikers. He is big and athletic which is complimented by strong off-the-ball movement. McGuire is 6’0 with a slim muscular build. He is not super fast but his size means he is hard to stop when he builds up some momentum. He is capable of serving as a reference point for his team’s attack. He can hold the ball up when there is a defender on his back.

However, he did not show the ability to do anything other than lay the ball off to a teammate when he was in these situations. He was also kind of mediocre in aerial duels. He contested a lot of aerial battles but he did not necessarily win that many of them. He was not able to post up on defenders or play balls in behind the defence, at least not in this match. He also wasn’t quite involved enough in the build-up to be truly effective as a facilitator. McGuire is fairly hard-working. He literally slide-tackled his way through the Philadelphia defence. But he also did a good job of pressuring Philadelphia’s defence in general. McGuire’s off-the-ball movement is strong. His goals in this game were not really a result of it, but he was persistently getting into the right spots and making runs that evaded markers. He did not have a huge number of touches in the box but he certainly made the most of the ones he had. He scored one goal, had a shot deflect in off his heel, and set up a teammate for a big chance in the midst of a goalmouth scramble. 

Rating – A2

McGuire does not have a huge amount of professional minutes and is not even a nailed-on starter at this point. But he has a great physical profile, and enough technical and tactical ability to supplement it that he could be an extremely effective MLS player and perhaps go further. He is 22 so he doesn’t have that much room to grow but his goal-scoring form is already tremendous. I think he has a reasonable chance of moving to a Europa League-level team if he can nail down a starting position and tidy up a few of the things described above. 

Cesar Araujo

  • Nationality: Uruguayan 
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 02/04/2001
  • Current Club: Orlando City
  • Career: Wanderers 
  • Position: Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Cesar Araujo played as part of a midfield double-pivot in this match. Araujo’s game is built around linking play in deeper areas. I would hesitate to describe him as a deep-lying playmaker because he does not set up a lot of shots directly and he does not play a lot of longer progressive passes. Instead, he retains possession and plays out of tight spaces well. A

raujo completes a lot of short passes, around 10 yards or so when he is under pressure. There was one moment where he dwelt on the ball a little too long and was stripped of it but other than that he was very secure in possession. His first touch is strong which lets him receive the ball and keep it under pressure. He popped up in the box at one point but whiffed on his shot. But other than that there was not a huge amount of direct offensive contribution. Defensively he certainly brings some upside. He is not necessarily a ground-covering ball-winning midfielder. But he is usually in the right position to make interventions. He makes a lot of interceptions and is usually at least in a position to close an attacker down if not make a tackle. He also picks up a lot of loose balls thanks to his good defensive positioning. Araujo plays very physically. At 5 ’10 and 150 pounds he is not necessarily a man mountain but he is not afraid to throw his weight around. but he also gives away quite a lot of fouls. 

Rating – A2

At this point, Cesar Araujo is purely a support player. He is really good at keeping possession and is a reasonably good defensive contributor. But I think to make the next step he is going to have to offer a bit more ball progression and/or contributions in the final 3rd. He has the technical skill to do that but at 22 there is limited time for major improvements. 

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