The Impact were basking in one of their most impressive wins of the season: a 1-0 win versus their bitter rivals Toronto FC. The Impact played amazing defense in that match and capitalized on their opportunity. We were all hoping that with the 10 day break, the Impact would get some players back from injury and fine tune their game in order to play better defensively as well as improve offensively. On Wednesday, the Impact played: atrociously. The Impact made multiple costly mistakes at the back and did not capitalize on their offensive opportunities. Here are my thumbs up and thumbs down for the Impact's 4-1 loss to Orlando City at home.
Matteo Mancosu: Yes, I actually found a thumbs up in the Impact's disastrous loss to Orlando! Matteo Mancosu made his entrée into the match as a sub in the 67th minute for the speedy Dominic Oduro. Mancosu's presence and energy made an immediate impact on the match. The Serie B goal scorer was elusive and provided a much needed offensive spark. He offered the Impact their best opportunity of the match when he was fouled in the box. Sadly, Didier Drogba missed the resulting penalty.
Performance Rating: 7.5/10
Missed opportunities: Ten days, ago the Impact had 1 opportunity and they BURIED it on their way to a great road win. However, on Wednesday, the Impact were definitely not as clinical with their finishing. By the way, when I say Impact, I really mean Drogba. The legendary Ivorian was not up to par on Sunday. Yes, he did hit a free kick 55 seconds in that Joe Bendik misread and let in but he missed many other very great opportunities.
In the 38th minute, Drogba was set up by Hassoun Camara and was alone in front of Bendik. Drogba tapped the ball towards the net and Orlando's keeper made a dazzling leaping save. However, we pay Drogba the big bucks to slot the ball past the keeper. In this case, I was disappointed to see that Drogba did not place the ball further away from Orlando's keeper. We all know that he has the skill to.
The next time Chelsea's famed striker missed a great scoring chance was in the 69th minute when he was given the opportunity to convert from the spot. I found that Drogba did not have enough of a walk up to the ball. This allowed Bendik to predict where Drogba was going to place the shot and make the acrobatic save. Also, Drogba's telegraphed penalty was neither precise or strong enough. Performance Rating: Didier Drogba: 5.5/10
Hey, but who am I to critique one of the greatest strikers ever to play the game. Let me know what you think in the comment section.
Defensive mistakes: The Montreal Impact paid a steep price for some individual defensive mistakes. Three of those mistakes lead to Orlando scoring.
The 1st to make a mistake was IMFC newcomer Amadou Dia in the 2nd minute. The Frenchman was caught out of position and the man he was supposed to be marking snuck behind him and threaded a pass towards Brek Shea who equalized the score at 1.
The next costly mistake was made by the 2015 MLS defender of the year Laurent Ciman. Le Général had possession deep in his own half. He was pressured and wound up making the inexcusable mistake of coughing up the ball at the edge of his own 18. That turnover eventually found its way to the infinitely talented Kaka. Obviously, the Brazilian star gave Orlando their 1st lead of the match.
The final defender to make a mistake that cost the Impact a goal was Hassoun Camara. The French defender's costly mistake was actually made in the midfield. Camara attempted a pass towards fellow defender Dia. However, that pass was intercepted by Orlando. The ball was then quickly played though towards Carlos Rivas. Evan Bush rushed out to meet the speedy Rivas but missed the ball and clipped Rivas' feet instead. That miss merited Bush a straight red and Orlando was awarded a penalty. Do I even need to mention that the great Kaka converted? Performance Rating:
Amadou Dia: 4.5/10
Laurent Ciman: 5.5/10
Hassoun Camara: 5/10
Donny Toia: 7/10
Ok, that was an embarrassing home loss to a lower ranked opponent. I truly hope that the Impact will put these painful memories behind them when they make the trip down to Philadelphia to face the Union in another Eastern Conference clash.