New York City FC player ratings are determined by Hudson River Blue readers — here are your NYCFC player ratings after the confident 3-0 dismantling of Toronto FC on a rainy Sunday afternoon in New Jersey.
Mounsef Bakrar (off 46′) – 6.0
It wasn’t the best game for NYCFC’s new striker. Mounsef Bakrar worked hard as always, and made the runs that created opportunities for himself and opened space for others, but he just couldn’t find the back of the net. Even worse, he elected to take the penalty awarded to NYCFC and made a mess of it. Baki slotted a low ball sorta down the middle with not a lot of power that the Toronto goalkeeper was able to deflect with his legs.
Good thing NYCFC went on to end the day with a 3-0 win: Nobody but Baki will be haunted by that miss. Head coach Nick Cushing pulled him at the half ostensibly because of fatigue — true, this was the third game the striker started this week, but you can’t help but think that penalty had something to do with it.
Not to worry. Baki will likely be back in the lineup when NYCFC face Inter Messi on Saturday. FotMob gave the striker a 6.1.
Talles Magno – 7.6
The 21-year-old was back in the Starting Lineup for the first time since July 5, and he repaid Cushing’s decision by posting his best performance of the season. Talles Magno was a complete player this afternoon: He created chances, made runs, carried the ball into the attacking third, tracked back, made recoveries, and was one of the engines that made this team so much fun to watch.
FotMob gave him an 8.5, and Player of the Match honors.
Andres Jasson (off 84′) – 8.2
Take a bow, Andres Jasson. The 21-year-old has been feeling himself lately, and he was exceptional this afternoon. Jasson did it all: He made the runs, took on defenders 1-v-1, created chances, and scored one exquisite goal in first-half stoppage time.
That goal changed the feel of the game: NYCFC had been the better team, and were ahead 1-0, but Toronto looked threatening in flashes. They say there’s nothing more devastating than giving up a goal just before the end of the half, and Jasson’s finish crushed an already demoralized Toronto.
FotMob awarded him a 7.1, while MLS named him to the Team of the Matchday.
Santiago Rodríguez (off 74′) – 7.3
It was another good day at the office for the Designated Player. Santiago Rodríguez is looking more comfortable at the No 10 these days. Is it because he has a proper striker in Baki? Is he connecting with Jasson on the right and Talles Magno on the left? Santi provided a lovely assist to Andrés Perea in just the second minute of the game, then went on to boss the midfield until he left in the 74th minute.
Note that Santi’s assist was his second in four games, but just his fourth this season. It’s promising news that the midfielder is rediscovering his form just as the postseason comes into view. FotMob gave a 7.9 to Santi for the second game in a row.
James Sands – 6.9
James Sands is linking up nicely with Andrés Perea in the midfield as something like a double-No 6, with Perea taking a more advanced role. It wasn’t a flashy night for the Guy from Rye, but his numbers impress: He made 50 out of 55 passes (91%), made six recoveries, won three duels, and committed zero fouls. FotMob gave the homegrown a 7.6.
Andrés Perea (off 84′) – 8.1
It was a standout performance for the midfielder. Not only did he score just 90 seconds into the game, providing an expert finish after some clumsy misses against Orlando City on Wednesday, he was an all-around menace when he was on the field. When Perea joined the team, Cushing said that he was the kind of player who would make it difficult to play against NYCFC. We all saw that on Sunday.
Now can we please sign the Philadelphia Union loanee to a permanent deal? FotMob gave him an 8.0.
Kevin O’Toole – 6.8
The Princeton grad was a menace on the left flank, and with all due respect deserves a much higher rating than the 6.8 he was awarded by our readers. His link-up play with Talles Magno troubled Toronto throughout the game, and he did a good job of tracking back to help neutralize Federico Berarndeschi.
Enjoy the confidence boost, Kevin O’Toole. You’ll need it when you face Lionel Messi on Saturday.
FotMob awarded O’Toole a 7.9.
Tayvon Gray – 7.1
It feels like our readers turned a corner on Tayvon Gray. For weeks, he was given ratings that severely shortchanged his level of play and his contributions to the team. That seems to have changed with his second 7.1 in a row.
FWIW FotMob gave Gray his second 8.0 in a row.
Birk Risa – 7.4
The Birk Risa and Thiago Martins pairing is something to behold. The defensive unit allowed just one goal in their last five games, and zero from open play. Others are noticing. After the game, Toronto striker CJ Sapong walked over to Risa and gave him a fist bump before walking away.
FotMob gave out a 7.2 to the center-back.
Thiago Martins – 7.4
FotMob gave the DP defender a 7.1.
Matt Freese – 7.8
The other key player in the defensive unit is Matt Freese: The Iceman now has four clean sheets in seven starts. He also made four out of four saves, adding to another impressive stat: His 80.8% save percentage is the highest of any MLS goalkeeper with a minimum of five starts. The best of the best register around 70%: Only St. Louis City’s Roman Bürki (74.5%) and New England’s former goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic’s (78.6%) in come close.
Does this mean the question of who will start in goal for NYCFC has been answered?
FotMob gave the goalkeeper a solid 7.1.
Julián Fernández (on 46′) – 8.1
To be perfectly, honest, we were a little surprised to see the 19-year-old winger come on at the half. The kid can dribble, but when his puppy-dog energy takes over, he thinks he can beat four defenders and half of the Wagner Group. But Julián Fernández proved us wrong when he made run after run before carrying the ball into box, outpacing a defender who looked reader to clear the ball, before scoring a wonderful goal that curved around Toronto goalkeeper Luka Gavran.
FotMob gave the winger a 7.5.
Matías Pellegrini (on 74′) – 5.4
Matías Pellegrini was brought on to let Santi take a break, and he did his job. FotMob awarded Matí a professional 6.7.
Justin Haak (on 84′) – 6.0
Alonso Martínez (on 84′) – 5.8
Two late subs to close out the game, two short but solid performances. It was the NYCFC debut for Alonso Martínez. They logged too few minutes for a FotMob rating.
Player of the Match
After quickly establishing himself as a regular in the Starting XI, Perea put up his best performance yet. There’s nothing quite like an early goal to set the tone for a game — and NYCFC have been in desperately short supply of them lately.
Votes were also strong for Jasson and Talles Magno, but Perea is a deserving winner this matchday.
Nick Cushing – 6.2
Are we seeing some love for the gaffer?
Cushing’s Starting XI was shaped by the injuries and suspensions that currently deplete this squad, but he made some key choices in playing Jasson on the wing, O’Toole as wingback, and Freese in goal. His decision to pull Baki at the half and put on Fernández in an aggressive, attacking 4-2-4 paid off.
We’re here for it. The lineup was a little reckless, and so much fun to watch.
The question remains: What will Cushing do when he faces Miami on Saturday?
Sergii Boiko – 5.9
We were a little nervous when we learned that Sergii Boiko was named the referee of this game. After all, he wasn’t just holding the whistle in NYCFC’s chaotic 1-1 draw with Columbus Crew back in July, he was the cause of much of the chaos. Boiko handed out 11 yellow cards and two red cards that day, sending off one player and two coaches. Today was different. The game was without incident: No blown calls, no controversies.
We can’t ask for anything more. It was a job well done.
Callum Williams and Calen Carr (Apple TV) – 5.0
While a 5.0 is nothing quite home about, it is the highest rating our readers have given the Apple TV broadcast crew since MLS returned from Leagues Cup action. Are the announcers getting the names right? Citing good stats? Entertaining you? Sounds like it.
Glenn Crooks and Matthew Lawrence (NYCFC Radio) – 6.8
If only Apple TV let us listen to Glenn Crooks and Matthew Lawrence for away games.