GK: Brad Stuver
New York City FC’s backup keeper had himself quite a game. Not only did he earn a clean sheet, he put in the work to get it. Obviously, Sean Johnson will always be the guy moving forward. But it helps to know that should anything ever happen, Stuver is guy that you can count on to put in a solid shift between the pipes.
RB: Juan Pablo Torres
JPT has yet to see the field this season in competitive play. But the midfielder put in a really good shift at the right fullback position. The young Georgia native was a source of really good distribution from whistle to whistle and even collected an assist in the second half. I’d still like to see what he can do in the midfield, but will happily take this as a substitute for now.
RCB: Sebastien Ibeagha
Ibeagha was his normal self on Wednesday: damn solid. Obviously, it wasn’t perfect. But in a pinch, the Nigerian-born defender did well to use both his size and pace to his advantage against a much inferior attack.
LCB: Anton Tinnerholm
For a player that doesn’t normally play in the middle of the defense, TinnerBoom did a valiant job. The Swedish fullback is obviously a bit undersized to be a truly effective option at CB moving forward. But all things considered, Anton did a good job.
LB: Tony Rocha
Do not adjust your screens, don’t schedule that appointment with your therapist; that high grade you are seeing is real. The often maligned Rocha played his heart out against North Carolina and did absolute bits from the left back position. The former Orlando City man was instrumental in City’s first goal of the evening and even had a highlight reel assist! And for that, I’ll give credit where it’s due. Good job!
CM: Justin Haak
The HGP midfielder was a presence in the midfield all night. Not only was his passing crisp and accurate, his defensive track-backs were wise beyond the 17-year-old’s years. If he can consistently replicate performances like this moving forward, Haak has a bright future in the Big Apple.
CM: Danny Bedoya
It wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t all good either for the Queens native in this one. Out of everyone who took the field at Belson Stadium on Wednesday, Bedoya seemed to be the one who struggled the most with remaining consistent throughout.
CM: Keaton Parks
Numbers just aren’t something you can argue with. Out of everyone on Wednesday, Parks easily had the standout game with two goals to his name. The tall Benfica loan was a constant force in the attacking third and made a strong case for more minutes moving forward. Nothing but high marks for a performance like this.
RW: Taty Castellanos
The emerging attacker continues to improve with time. Though he ultimately couldn’t find the net against NCFC, Castellanos did all the right things on the right flank and was a source of great distribution for the duration. Not to mention his brilliant holdup play in the 25th minute led to NYCFC’s first goal of the game
LW: Maxi Moralez
You should already know what you’re getting from the diminutive Argentine at this point: good passing, good buildup, and perennial composure. Maxi was a force to be reckoned with against NCFC and his brilliant one-touch assist to Parks late in the second half was the icing on the cake of another MVP-quality performance.
ST: Jesus Medina
It might not be quite enough to get him back to starting for the Boys in Blue, but NYCFC’s Young DP had a very good showing in the fourth round U.S. Open Cup matchup. His goal and embrace of the supporters at the death of the first half was cathartic to say the least. And we can only hope that performances like this will continue moving forward.