New York City FC player ratings are determined by Hudson River Blue readers — here are your NYCFC player ratings from New York City’s commanding 3-1 win over FC Dallas at Citi Field on Saturday, April 22.
Santi Rodríguez – 8.9
What better place to start than with the undisputed Player of the Match! Santi stepped seamlessly into the (false?) No 9 role, looking dangerous from minute one while fluidly interchanging with the likes of Talles Magno and Gabriel Pereira in a free-flowing front three that gave FC Dallas all sorts of problems. I guess there’s something to be said for playing all your best players, huh? Fotmob was perfectly aligned with HRB readers, dishing out the same impressive 8.9 score for the Uruguayan DP.
Talles Magno (off 78′) – 7.2
While he maybe wasn’t quite as involved as Santi and Gabi up top, Talles Magno was still dangerous at times on the night, and scored himself a goal to take his tally to three on the season. Even though most of the credit goes to GP for his creative assist, Talles Magno took his chance with considerable composure, taking a calm touch before chipping the ball into the back of the net from close range. I love seeing that from him. Fotmob gave him a season-high 8.2 on the night.
Gabriel Pereira (off 78′) – 8.3
On another night, GP could have easily seen this type of performance rewarded with Player of the Match honors — I thought he was incredible on Saturday. But a razor-thin offside decision from VAR and an other-worldly performance from Santi meant he didn’t take home the individual award. I’m sure he won’t mind, as he was instrumental in securing the three points for his side. He bagged one assist from his great ball to set up Santi, but he also created the aforementioned Talles Magno strike with his exceptional work on the dribble. Fotmob handed down an 8.1 for his performance.
Richy Ledzema (off 65′) – 7.2
After his Man of the Match performance last week in place of a banged-up Santi, Richy proved to be un-droppable for head coach Nick Cushing, slotting straight back into his attacking midfield role against Dallas for his second start in as many weeks. He looked confident out there again, and really seems to be settling into thisf all-American midfield alongside Keaton Parks and James Sands. Fotmob gave him a 7.0 for his 64 minutes of work.
Keaton Parks – 7.0
Even if he wasn’t as influential as last week, our big man in the middle still had an all-around solid performance. He didn’t score against Dallas, but he did have a handful of good looks at goal. Adding goals to his game is important for the team according to Cushing, who suggested last week that Keaton could climb as high as 8-10 goals on the season at the best of his abilities. FotMob presented Parks with a 7.1.
James Sands – 7.9
What more is there to say about this man? He’s just so good in so many ways. How often do you see a club’s first-ever homegrown player emerge as a club captain while getting national team call-ups? We’re lucky to have him. Seven ball recoveries alongside five duels won with an 89% passing percentage is what we saw on Saturday, which mind you, was his third full 90 of the week after bossing Mexico for the USMNT in Arizona last Wednesday. This man Sands is just a machine. Fotmob had him at a 7.5.
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Maxime Chanot – 7.6
The 33-year-old center-back was solid again on Saturday as he continues to put together a quietly impressive season. He’s not flashy, just reliable. He actually might be kicking himself for not getting on the scoresheet for the second week in a row after his first-half header was just wide, but I’m sure he’ll take the three points as consolation. Fotmob gave him a 7.3.
Thiago Martins – 7.3
The Brazilian DP had a decent showing without lighting the world ablaze. He’ll be frustrated to not keep the clean sheet, but you can’t hang the set piece goal on TM13, who was marking other threats on the play. His feet continued to show signs of growth in the match, as he went an impressive 67 out of 70 with his passing, good enough for a completion percentage of 96% on Saturday. Fotmob also presented Thiago Martins with a 7.3.
Mitja Ilenič – 7.3
Is Mitja officially the starter over Tayvon Gray at this point? It’s hard to compare the two as Tayvon is so much more defensive-minded, while Ilenic loves to get forward. But, the 18-year-old Slovenian appears to be getting the nod week in and week out these days over his American counterpart, who’s seemingly back to full health. While Mitja’s attacking prowess is unmatched for us at the fullback position, he did lose his man on the set piece that resulted in the lone Dallas goal. Would Tayvon have done better there? Fotmob had him at a 7.3.
Braian Cufré – 6.5
Here’s the first rating I disagree with on the day — I thought this was one of Cufré’s best performances in an NYCFC jersey. He boasted a team-high 12 ball recoveries from his left-back position, and showed his quality on the ball on a number of occasions. If you don’t believe me, go back and watch his clean footwork while combining with Talles Magno in the buildup for the third goal — it was oozing class. Fotmob was more impressed than HRB readers, giving the Argentine a 7.5.
Luis Barraza – 7.8
This was a statement game for Luis Barraza in a number of ways, and was enough to raise his HRB player rating to the highest heights so far this season. His first-half save (albeit after his own peculiar punch) from point-blank range to keep things knotted at 0-0 was jaw-dropping. His feet were impressive as well: Luis boasted an 88% passing percentage with an incredible 73 touches on the ball. For reference, our midfield maestro Sands had 66 touches on the night. Fotmob gave him an 8.2, which is good enough for joint second-highest of any player on the night alongside Talles Magno.
Alfredo Morales (on 65′) – 6.0
Alfredo got a solid 25-minute cameo to help see out the three-goal lead. Although the subs conceded one goal to Dallas, he and his teammates ultimately got the job done. Is Alfredo’s role in this midfield dwindling when the side is fully-fit? FotMob gave him a 6.0.
Andres Jasson (on 78′) – 5.9
Jason got a smooth 12-minute run out to finish off the match in what’s become a familiar role for the Connecticut native. While he only has one start this season, Cushing does appear to favor him over some others as a bench option. Fotmob kept him at an even 6.0.
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Matías Pellegrini (on 78′) – 6.1
After starting the first handful of matches this season, Matí has seen his minutes diminish in the last few weeks after failing to find himself on the scoresheet. He almost changed that on Saturday after he confidently slotted home his one-v-one effort on Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes, only for the assistant to (correctly) flag him offside. Unlucky, but a good flash of promise for the young former DP. Fotmob gave him a 5.9.
Player of the Match
It was a landslide win for Santi this week taking over 70% of the vote for HRB Player of the Match, and who can argue with that? Two really well-taken goals will do that just about every time, and having Santi fire into form at the striker position is all the fans could’ve hoped for given the closing of the MLS Primary Transfer Window last night. It looks like Santi has a new role as NYCFC’s center forward and main goal threat. Good luck to him!
Nick Cushing – 8.0
The gaffer finally got some love from the fans for his tactical undressing of Dallas counterpart Nico Estevez. By slotting Santi into the No 9 role, Cushing answered “Who’s our center forward?” and “How do we play Richy and Santi at the same time?” in one fell swoop. I’m hyped the boss is getting some flowers for his problem-solving skills — I’m a big fan of the guy personally.
Fotis Bazakos (referee) – 5.7
The head referee was always going to come under fire for chalking off Gabi’s first-half strike for a marginal offside, but I hate to say it, I think it was the right call. I just wished they showed a better angle in the stadium, as that might’ve calmed down the seething supporters.
Tyler Terens and Devon Kerr (Apple TV announcers) – 5.4
It was the first NYCFC game called by Tyler Terens and Devon Kerr, and they did a good job of it. Doesn’t matter: The NYCFC nation has Ian Joy- and Joe Tolleson-sized holes in their hearts that Apple TV will never fill.
Glenn Crooks and Matt Lawrence (NYCFC Radio) – 8.3
The NYCFC radio crew of Glen Crooks and Matt Lawrence earned their second-highest rating of the season so far. Funny what a convincing win will do to your mood.