New York City FC player ratings are determined by Hudson River Blue readers — here are your NYCFC player ratings from NYCFC’s we-was-robbed 1-3 loss to
referee Armando Villarreal FC Cincinnati.
Gabriel Segal (off 74′) – 5.0
Gabriel Segal was tasked with going up against the human redwood known as Matt Miazga. The 5′ 10″ 22-year-old did what he could but he wasn’t a match for the physicality of the Cincy defender — especially with referee Amramndo Vilarreal allowing Miazga and the rest of the back line to grapple NYCF players at will. FotMob gave him a straight-average 6.0.
Santiago Rodríguez – 5.8
The New York City playmaker was creative in flashes and dangerous at times, but he wasn’t up to the task of picking apart Cincinnati’s towering backline. TBH he has yet to settle into his Designated Player role yet: He should be the straw that stirs the drink. FotMob handed him a 6.4.
Gabriel Pereira – 7.0
Had the goal he scored stood, Gabriel Pereira would have set NYCFC up to win — and put Cincinnati on the back foot. But Villarreal pulled it back on the slightest of pretexts, and Gabi couldn’t add to his account. He looked hungry all night though, and kept the fight going until the final whistle. Here’s the rare time when HRB readers are more generous than FotMob: The algorithm warded Gabi a 6.5.
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Keaton Parks – 6.2
Keaton Parks was visibly frustrated by how Villarreal’s calls threw off his flow. Big Bird put in a solid performance last night: He had a pass accuracy of 91%, 71 touches, and went four-for-four on long balls. Chances are that the 6.2 you see above would’ve been closer to an 8.0 if NYCFC had won — same performance, different vibe. FotMob gave him a 7.1.
James Sands – 6.0
The NYCFC captain leads by example — and took heat from the fans at the end of the game. FotMob gave him a 7.2.
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Maxime Chanot – 5.7
The elder statesman of the defense lead a never-before-seen backline with Tony Alfaro and Tayvon Gray flanking him as center-backs. Can you say a defense looked good even if they shipped three goals? FotMob gave him a 7.3.
Tony Alfaro (off 85′) – 4.6
The center-back made just his third appearance of the season, and our readers weren’t impressed: Only Gray earned a lower rating. We think that’s unfair. Alfaro is a depth piece who is a tremendous upgrade over Vuk Latinovich. Tony was calm in possession and active off the ball, and we can see him holding his own over the course of this season. FotMob gave him a standard-issue 6.0.
Brian Cufré – 7.1
Braian Cufré made quite the impact in his first return to the Starting XI in three MLS league games: His glancing header in the 64th minute was a thing of beauty. We’ll take more of those. FotMob gave him a team-high 7.5.
Stephen Turnbull – 6.0
We’re going to take issue with this one: Stephen Turnbull was terrific. Signed to NYCFC II at the start of the season, Turnbull had his hands full with Brandon Vazquez, Luciano Acosta, and Dominique Badji, but he did good. The 25-year-old made good decisions, carried the ball well, and won key tackles. FotMob awarded him a solid 7.0.
Tayvon Gray (off 60′) – 3.9
Another not-great-terrible at the office for Tayvon Gray, at least if you go by the numbers: He won tackles, made recoveries, and sent accurate long balls upfield. But our readers disagree – just as you did in the NYCFC vs Philadelphia Player Ratings – and gave the Bronx native a team-low rating. FotMob awarded him a solid 6.4.
Matt Freese – 5.6
We’re pulling for goalkeeper Mat Freese here at HRB, and so are you to judge by your rating: Since when does the shot-stopper who let in three goals get a not-bad rating of 5.6? Maybe it’s because we all agree that Villarreal awarded the softest of penalties to Cincinnati, and that the third goal was a gift. For the second time this week, you were kinder than FotMob, which handed down a 5.4.
Alfredo Morales (on 60′) – 6.2
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Alfredo Morales. The midfielder was sidelined with an injury, but when he came on for Gray in the 60th minute he changed the shape of the team — and almost changed the game. The low cross he lifted just four minutes after coming on was redirected into the net by Cufré, and it felt like NYCFC could get back in it. FotMob gave him a 7.2
Richy Ledezma (on 60′) – 5.4
We want the chemistry between Richy Ledezma and Rodríguez to develop. Both of them are quick, technical, and intelligent, which feels like they could be a devastating duo. But the magic isn’t quite there, yet. He was awarded a 6.0 from FotMob.
Kevin O’Toole (on 85′) – 5.1
Kevin O’Toole wasn’t given much time to make an impact. Brought on in place of Alfaro in a let’s-throw-everything-at-them bit of tactical coaching, he helped NYCFC keep the momentum. Too bad it wasn’t enough. He didn’t play long enough to earn a FotMob rating.
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Player of the Match
last night we didn’t just see Cufré’s first MLS goal, we witnessed his first POTM performance.
The fact is that HRB readers love a goal-scorer, and his flicked header absolutely deserves to be praised. But the left-back looked dangerous all night, and made the Cincinnati backline anxious. Well done, Braian.
Nick Cushing – 4.6
HRB readers gave Cushing a relatively high rating given the final scoreline. Maybe it’s because you saw how the team played, the wall-to-wall effort? Maybe it’s because this heavily rated side came oh-so-close to defeating the top team in MLS? Or maybe it’s because you also believe that the refereeing was abysmal, and went a long way to prevent NYCFC from logging their first win in May?
We’d like to point out that Cushing’s tactics almost carried the day. A revamped backline featuring Alfaro and Turnbull didn’t give Cincinnati any space. (That is, until the disallowed goal got into the collective head of the entire team.) Later, Cushing’s substitutes turned the tide. There was the assist Morales provided just four minutes after coming on, which started a dominating run of play for the final 25 minutes that came oh-so-close to NYCFC scoring another, and maybe a third. It was a well-coached game, all things considered.
Armando Villarreal (referee) – 1.2
The lowest score in the history of HRB ratings could have been a clear 1.0 were it not for a handful of contrarians who brought up his score: Your condemnation of Armando Villarreal is near-unanimous.
A poor performance from the ref isn’t a surprise, but this was beyond bad — and Villarreal is supposed to be one of the league’s better officials. First, he let Cincinnati play a physical, hands-on game when off the ball, grappling NYCFC players at will. Did anybody else see Miazga lock both arms with Chanot and carry him over the touchline? Then, he made iffy calls during play, whistling fouls against NYCFC players that seemed clean at the time and when rewatching on the video screen.
But his biggest blunders came in the penalty box. There was the goal he called back for reasons that still aren’t clear, and that derailed NYCFC at a key moment. Then there was the soft penalty that he awarded when a Cincinnati player was knocked after he already spun the ball out of play — one VAR angle makes it look like the ball was in, but a second angle shows that there was no chance of making a recovery.
It was a dumpster fire of a night from Villarreal.
Kevin Egan and Kyndra de St. Aubin (Apple TV announcers) – 3.6
It seems like Apple TV is settling in on a regular rotation of announcers, and that we’ll see a lot more of Kevin Egan and Kyndra de St. Aubin. They haven’t yet endeared themselves to the NYCFC faithful, which feels off. Shouldn’t Apple TV want us to look forward to watching a game? Or do they know we have no choice because they’re the only game in town?
Glenn Crooks and Matt Lawrence (NYCFC announcers) – 6.6
At least we can turn on Glenn Crooks and Matt Lawrence.