Web-MOTM-HOU

Ercan Kara’s first brace in purple was enough to power Orlando City to a 2-1 home victory over Houston Dynamo FC this past weekend. It was also enough to earn him Heineken Man of the Match honors on the night.

Kara’s first tally was a classic striker’s goal, being ready for any opportunity that could present itself. Mauricio Pereyra (having a terrific season himself) played a smart one-timer off the outside of his foot for Facundo Torres. While it looked like Torres would line up to shoot, Kara made a run behind Teenage Hadebe into the six anyway and wound up in perfect position to tap home Torres’ curling ball.

The second goal was a bit more serendipitous, but it again showed Kara’s knack for getting into good positions. Pereyra gathered a rebound and looked to smash it into the back of the net, but it seemed likely his shot would be saved by Houston goalkeeper Steve Clark. Instead, the ball knicked Kara’s leg, taking it away from Clark and towards the bottom corner.

Kara finished the game with 1.64 expected goals on his own, the seventh-highest single-game total by any player in MLS this season. Kara is also second on that list with his game against Chicago on April 9 (1.87 xG), making him one of only two players to appear twice in the top 10. The other is Romell Quioto of CF Montréal, who needed a penalty attempt (worth 0.79 xG on its own) to get near Kara’s level on both occasions.