Mounsef Bakrar – 8.1
Mounsef Bakrar may have missed out on the opportunity to take the penalty after his little spat with Santiago Rodríguez, but thank goodness he was on the mark to tuck home the rebound.
This goal marked the Algerian’s third in MLS and fourth in all competitions, quickly shooting him up the goal-scoring charts for the club this season despite only being brought aboard in July. FotMob gave an impressive 7.8 for his contribution.
Andres Jasson – 7.6
Andres Jason received a mixed reception from NYCFC supporters when he was named to the Starting XI after heavy speculation that of Talles Magno or Julián Fernández would get the nod on Wednesday.
But Andres did his best to show everyone that the gaffer made the right decision, tacking on a peach of an assist to close out what was an impressive performance overall from the homegrown. He’s found himself in great form to close out this 2023 season.
His performance was worthy of FotMob’s POTM with an 8.4, a score higher than any player on the night.
Santiago Rodríguez – 7.4
He may have missed the penalty, but when your teammate goes ahead and taps in the rebound, does anyone really care?
Plus, Santi had himself a productive evening despite the missed spot-kick, creating a match-high five chances from the deeper No 10 role. Maybe that’s where he plays best after all? FotMob gave a 7.9 to the Uruguayan DP.
Richy Ledezma (off 59′) – 6.2
It wasn’t the most productive outing for Richy Ledezma, who saw himself come out injured before the 60th-minute mark. Thankfully the injury doesn’t sound too serious, with the American brushing off the issue after the match.
FotMob gave the loanee a 7.2.
James Sands – 7.0
James Sands joked that “the penalty helped a lot” after he was asked what made the difference on the night. “Sometimes you need something to go your way, and we’ve not had that for long stretches this year — so that helps.”
Penalty decision aside, I think Sands was the key to a lot of went right on Wednesday with his composed play on and off the ball, which was more reminiscent of the form we saw from him earlier in the season compared to his recent form. FotMob gave the homegrown a 7.1
Andrés Perea – 7.1
I gotta say, I’m really beginning to like what Andrés Perea brings to this NYCFC side. He just seems so versatile out there, capable of wining a challenge in his own half before galloping forward into the attacking third to pick out a smart pass.
I’m starting to wish we had him around for more than just a few months, but his loan is set to expire at the end of this 2023 season, which could see him return to the Philadelphia Union for next year.
FotMob gave the Columbian an impressive 8.1.
Kevin O’Toole – 6.8
Welcome back to the starting lineup, Kevin O’Toole! After a long stretch with almost no action whatsoever, Kevin was thrust back into action and found immediate success in the form of a clean sheet and a win.
It’s a bit reminiscent of his explosion onto the scene last year. His appearances in the Campeones Cup and Hudson River Derby seemingly came out of nowhere. Both resulted in wins. Now, if only we can find the same form as last year towards the back end of the season…
FotMob gave the fullback a 7.6, which was thejoint-highest of any NYCFC defender.
Tayvon Gray – 7.1
“I’m happy for everybody” Tayvon expressed after the match, “I’m a team player. As long as everyone’s doing everything to make the team win, I’m all there for you. 100% there for you.”
The whole squad was pumped up after this win, but Tayvon in particular was quick to hype up his teammates on Wednesday. His reaction to Talles ending his difficult goal drought was especially telling, jumping on the back of the Brazilian DP in celebration.
Apart from his work as team cheerleader, Tayvon’s on-field work was as solid as usual, helping his defense earn their second consecutive clean sheet.
FotMob gave the newly minted Jamaican international a 7.0.
Birk Risa – 7.4
Birk Risa continues to solidify himself in this NYCFC back line with another solid outing and clean sheet on Wednesday. With nine defensive actions on the evening, Risa is showing he’s good for more than just his passing.
FotMob dished out a 7.2 to the Norwegian center half.
Thiago Martins – 7.4
I thought Thiago Martins was an absolute monster in this match. He won seemingly everything in the air, cut out a handful of dangerous passes, and boasted a tangible presence in that blue back line.
But his passing on the day was what impressed me the most. I’ve grown accustomed to Risa spraying the ball in-behind for Bakrar & Co to run onto, but Thiago Martins looked like Thiago Alcântara on Wednesday, going a perfect seven for seven on long passes.
FotMob gave the DP defender a 7.6.
Matt Freese – 7.9
Matty Ice, unsurprisingly, got the start again after his dazzling display on Saturday that saw him earn POTM.
While he was tested quite as much on Wednesday, he did what was necessary and found himself walking away with three points and another shutout, which extends his shutout streak to an impressive 210 minutes.
FotMob gave the American net-minder a solid 7.1.
Talles Magno (on 59′) – 8.3
Talles Magno found his way back on the pitch after Ledezma went down with an ankle injury in the 59th minute, giving the Brazilian his first extended runout in what feels like ages. Better yet, he was able to slot into his preferred left-wing position with Mounsef playing at center forward, a combination that many fans (including myself) had been DYING to see since the signing of Bakrar back in July.
Talles seized his opportunity with an impressive headed finish in the 68th minute, which capped a beautiful display of footballing expression from the young DP. It was truly a joy to watch. FotMob awarded his display with a 7.9.
Julián Fernández (on 90′) – 6.0
Julián Fernández subbed in at the 90th-minute mark as a part of a stoppage-time quadruple substation, meaning there’s not a lot to go off of from this performance. But, after such impressive play off the bench on Saturday, I’m guessing he was expecting a few more minutes than he saw on Wednesday?
Let’s see how Cushing approaches his playing time this weekend vs a struggling Toronto side on Saturday.
Fernández, along with the other 90th-minute subs, didn’t log enough minutes for a Fotmob rating.
Justin Haak (on 90′) – 5.8
One of the four players involved in the 90th minute quad-sub, Justin just saw a few minutes of action despite being seen warming up much earlier in the half.
Mitja Ilenič (on 90′) – 6.5
Mitja Ilenič also featured as one of the 90th-minute subs. His notable contribution was a strong block shot followed by a Ronny Deila-esque fist pump and roar combo. Gotta love it.
Braian Cufré (on 90′) – 5.9
Braian Cufré played in this football match.
Player of the Match
Mounsef’s goal and overall positive play re enough to secure not just three points for his side, but also the coveted HRB POTM. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the vote was close between him and the other goalscorer, Talles Magno.
Bakrar has looked dangerous since his very first appearance in NYCFC colors, and if he can keep finishing his chances like he did on Wednesday, we could have quite the player on our hands…
Nick Cushing – 6.0
So, what do we make of this performance from Nick Cushing?
Personally, I’m having trouble unpacking it.
Cushing made three changes coming off the back of a disappointing display vs the New Jersey Red Bulls on Saturday, but two of those were a result of injuries and suspensions. Then, his hand was forced again when Ledezma went down in the 59th minute, when the gaffer had to make a change at left wing. Which ultimately resulted in Talles Magno’s introduction.
Talles Magno went on to have a fantastic match, scoring the insurance goal that put the game to bed in the 68th minute. But, would Cushing have made these changes if not for the injury to Richy and the suspension of Matías Pellegrini?
But, what is important is that Cushing and his men got the win that they so desperately needed, and did so in a convincing fashion against a red-hot Orlando side. You’ve got to give credit to that no matter the circumstances.
Ismael Elfath – 5.8
NYCFC were awarded a penalty kick for the first time since (checks notes) May 6th, 2023. Thus, Ismael Elfath is my new favorite referee.
Tyler Terens and Devon Kerr (Apple TV) – 4.2
A rising tide lifts all boats, even the much-maligned Apple TV crew of Tyler Terens and Devon Kerr. This 4.3 is an improvement over the 3.8 you awarded to the same team last Saturday, but it’s still the lowest score of the night.
Glenn Crooks and Matthew Lawrence (NYCFC Radio) – 7.4
It’s a return to form for the NYCFC radio announcers after a season-low 6.0 last Saturday. Glenn Crooks and Matthew Lawrence seem to enjoy being an option on Apple TV during NYCFC home games — and their listenership is likely to jump up this coming Saturday when New York City play at the unpopular Red Bull Arena, and many fans will choose to watch the game at home.