What a difference a game makes: Last week, your response was so anemic we decided to suspend the POTM award because there simply weren’t enough votes, but the electorate was back in force this week. Too bad regular Player Ratings writer John Baney is off trekking across the Alps — he would’ve enjoyed these numbers.
Mounsef Bakrar (off 84′) – 7.8
Finally, a striker doing striker things. Mounsef Bakrar got in behind the Montréal defenders, stretched the lines, harassed the goalkeeper. So what if he only managed three shots, and just two of those were on target. One of those found the back of the net in the 37th minute for the team’s second goal of the game — it was just the second time in 17 games that NYCFC have scored more than once.
We could watch Baki’s first touch over and over again. FotMob gave the striker a 7.7.
Andres Jasson – (off 84′) – 8.0
Head coach Nick Cushing’s decision to start the Connecticut Kid over Julían Fernández, Alonso Martínez, and Matías Pellegrini was the right one. The 21-year-old took one shot and buried it for his second goal of the season — and his MLS career. FotMob gave the winger a 7.8 — this is one of the few examples of HRB readers being more generous than the algorithm. But then Andres Jasson went to Yale and knows a thing or two about grade inflation.
Richy Ledezma – off 57′ – 6.0
The 22-year-old defender was asked to start in place of Santiago Rodríguez, who was recovering from injury. He put in a solid shift, with good passing (91%), poor dribbling (0/3), good long balls (3/4), and poor crossing (0/1). FotMob gave a 6.3
Maxi Moralez (off 70′) – 7.4
It’s good to have the maestro back in the midfield. His numbers aren’t elite, and he can make the occasional mistake, but his creativity and leadership make this a better team. NYCFC look both calmer and more dangerous when Maxi Moralez is pulling the strings. FotMob gave the NYCFC legend a 7.5.
Keaton Parks – 7.4
Another good day at the office for the new father. Keaton Parks logged a 96% pass accuracy, but more than that he created chances, made key interceptions, and made the trains run on time. FotMob gave Parks an 8.1.
Andrés Perea – 7.3
In an exclusive interview with HRB, Cushing said that Andrés Perea is an Alex Ring-type player who recovers the ball quickly and makes the team difficult to play against. We see it, and you can see it yourself in the clip below. FotMob gave the Colombian-born American international a 7.1.
Braian Cufré – 6.9
In a good day all around for NYCFC, both of the wingbacks seemed a little disconnected from the action. Your rating reflects that, but the algorithm disagrees: FotMob gave Cufré an 8.1, the same as Parks.
Tayvon Gray – 6.5
See above. FotMob gave the youngster a 7.7.
Birk Risa – 7.5
This is why Birk Risa was brought to New York City. The 25-year-old was defensively solid: He won four out of six ground duels, five out of five areal duels, made 4 four clearances and four interceptions, and committed just one foul. He also opened up the attack with his long balls — one of which fell neatly at the feet of Bakrar for the second goal of the game, and the first assist in Risa’s MLS career.
Last week, FotMob gave the Norwegian a team-low 5.3. This week, they gave him a game-best 8.4. MLS agreed, and named him to the Team of the Matchday.
Thiago Martins – 7.0
The developing partnership between Thiago Martins and Risa will be key not just to the end of this season, but to NYCFC’s fortunes in 2024. So far, so good. The center-back wasn’t just defensively solid, he was also firing long balls up into the opposition’s half. FotMob gave the defender a 7.8.
Matt Freese – 7.6
The Harvard grad made three saves to log his first clean sheet for NYCFC in MLS league play — and just his second in 15 career starts. Will he get the nod again on Saturday and play when New York City host Vancouver Whitecaps? FotMob gave the shot-stopper a 7.3.
Santiago Rodríguez (on 57′) – 6.4
The midfielder is recovering from injury, and it showed a little. Santiago Rodríguez didn’t do much to change the game when he came on in the second half, logging a sub-par passing accuracy of 69% and making three successful dribbles. That’s OK. This team suddenly has depth, and can afford to ease Santi back into the lineup. FotMob gave the midfielder a 6.7.
Alfredo Morales (on 70′) – 6.3
Brought in to close out the game, Alfredo Morales did what was asked of him: He won three out of four tackles, six out of seven ground duels, made five recoveries, and choked off the Montréal midfield. FotMob gave Morales a 7.2.
Julián Fernández (on 84′) – 6.4
The 19-year-old has that puppy dog energy, which is what you want with a late sub in a game like this one. Julían took two shots, both of them on target, and both easily handled by the Montréal superkeeper Jonathan Sirois. That’s OK. Sometimes the best defense is offense, and Julián helped clip the wings of a Montréal that was piecing together attacks. He didn’t log enough minutes for a FotMob rating.
Matías Pellegrini (on 84′) – 4.8
Another week, another poor rating for the Argentine winger — the 4.8 you gave him is the lowest on the day. He didn’t play enough for a FotMob rating.
Player of the Match
Was there any doubt it would be the Connecticut Kid? Andres took more than 50% of the vote — and was nominated for MLS Goal of the Matchday.
Nick Cushing – 5.0
The gaffer steered the team to a well-deserved win in the Bronx. His selection of Jasson in the Starting XI was ripped apart by the Twitterati but it decided the game, and Freese’s performance in goal went a long way to redeem the 3-0 loss the team suffered in Cincinnati. The 5.0 rating feels a little low given how the evening went for NYCFC. Maybe there are other Cushing-related issues on the minds of HRB readers?
Fotis Bazakos – 6.4
This is the third time Fotis Bazakos officiated an NYCFC game, the third time he put in a solid performance. He let the game flow, called the necessary fouls, kept the focus on the soccer. There were just 19 fouls and two yellow cards, all split evenly between the teams. We can’t ask for anything more from a ref.
Dre Cordero and Jamie Watson (Apple TV) – 3.7
So, yeah. There were basic factual errors from Dre Cordero and Jamie Watson that made viewers wonder if they bothered to prep for the game. Good thing for those of you watching at home that Apple TV lets you switch to Glenn Crooks and Matthew Lawrence.
Glenn Crooks and Matthew Lawrence (NYCFC Radio) – 7.1
The upshot of Apple TV’s thoroughly mediocre broadcasting teams is that NYCFC fans are spending more time listening to Crooks and Lawrence. We now have more opportunities to appreciate the cheerful color from Crooks, and the tough-love commentary from Lawrence. Thank you, gentlemen.