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Player Grades: NYCFC vs. Orlando

Grading everyone’s individual performance from NYCFC’s weekend draw against Orlando City

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

Starting XI

Sean Johnson

Grade: B

SeanJohn was left rooted to the spot with Nani’s wonder strike in the second half. But apart from that, Orlando City were limited to only half chances. And while New York City FC’s captain goalkeeper was only limited to four easy saves through the night, it’s those easy shots that keepers are held to. Johnson’s effort was top notch and for that, he get gets a decent grade.

Maxime Chanot

Grade: B-

After missing last week due to a minor adductor injury, Chanot re-entered the lineup on Saturday. While he’s certainly had better performances in the past, NYCFC’s longest tenured center back was solid, logging two tackles and winning two aerials against the Lions. There was one moment in the second half where a backwards header could’ve proven disastrous, but he recovered valiantly and took care of business.

Not too shabby.

James Sands

Grade: A

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight week, the Sandsman lineup up as the middle center back in a three-back. And for the second straight week, he looked brilliant.

Sands was stingy when it came to giving ground to the Lions down the middle, making two tackles and winning an aerial. Most impressive, however, was Sands’ ability to distribute the ball to the wings from a deep position.

Until someone else makes a compelling case for any of the team’s other players, it is my opinion that James Sands is the most important piece of NYCFC’s defensive core. And I think a move to Europe is on the horizon.

Alex Callens

Grade: B-

Callens’ reputation as an iron man is well documented. And his performance against Orlando was solid, including a good emergency clearance after Orlando broke the line in the first half.

But overall, we didn’t see the Peruvian do what he does best against the Lions. Instead of venturing into the midfieldand adding numbers to City’s attack, Callens seemed rooted to the back line more than usual. Obviously, this is what a defender should do. But it’s not necessarily what we expect Callens to do.

Not a bad performance by any means. But, like Chanot, we’ve seen better.

Nicolas Acevedo

Grade: B+

I’m gonna sound like a massive hypocrite when I say this. But despite getting nutmeg’d in the leadup to Nani’s goal and only logging one tackle in the midfield, Acevedo contributed massively on the offensive side of the ball and could’ve had two assists had things worked out.

In the first half, Cacha lobbed a ball over Orlando’s back line that found Taty Castellanos in stride. Despite having a golden opportunity, Taty didn’t convert his chance. Furthermore, Acevedo was the architect behind the ball that could’ve won City the game.

In the very final seconds of second half stoppage time, Acevedo once again played an over-the-top ball, this time to Jesus Medina who burst past his markers and had a 1-v-1 opportunity against Orlando keeper Pedro Gallese. Unfortunately, Medina’s shot parried off of Gallese’s leg, ensuring both teams a share of the spoils.

So yeah, he wasn’t as defensively sturdy as Alfredo Morales proved to be last weekend. But damn, Acevedo gave City everything he could to do to help them win.

Keaton Parks

Grade: D+

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Keaton fan. But man, he didn’t look himself on Saturday.

Whether it was struggling to dribble past defenders or keep players from getting by him, Parks just looked lost against Orlando — a far cry from the efficiency we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from him.

Some people will look at the numbers and say that Parks didn’t have a bad game, at least defensively. And they could make a case for that. But when it comes to the No. 8 position, some attacking prowess needs to be in your repertoire. And to the effect, Parks provided little on Saturday.

I expect him to bounce back in the coming weeks. But for this week, it’s a thumbs down for me.

Gudi Thorarinsson

Grade: D+

After two promising performances against FC Cincinnati and the Philadelphia Union, respectivelty, Gudi looked out of his element against Orlando as a wide midfielder. The Icelandic wingback was often beaten for pace in transition and failed to create as much as we’ve seen him do lately. It wasn’t until Malte Amundsen came into the game in the second half when NYCFC finally began to develo some bite on the left side of the pitch.

It’s possible that manager Ronny Deila will continue to stick with Gudi in the future. But performances like this can’t happen consistently if Gudi is to compete with the two other left backs waiting for their time to shine.

Anton Tinnerholm

Grade: C

Though not as glaringly effective as his opposite wide mid, Tinnerholm had an uncharacteristically quiet game. He provided little in the attack and wasn’t really called into action much on the defensive side of the ball outside of one noticeable tangling up with Nani.

Overall, it’s hard to say Tinnerholm had a bad game as he was somewhat present in proceedings and didn’t commit any costly mistakes. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t expect better in such a key game.

Tinnerholm gets a passing grade this week. But just barely.

Andres Jasson

Grade: C+

Saturday’s performance definitely proved that Jasson’s ceiling for development is high. The young Homegrown seemed comfortable on the ball. And while it wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, Jasson’s performance definitely gives credence to the belief that he could be a very viable attacking option as he grows into the professional game.

Jasson offered nothing spectacular, but he was a workhorse and covered a lot of ground in the final third. He even let off a shot that could’ve easily been an NYCFC goal had it not been for Gallese being up to the task.

Not bad. A mild thumbs up for me.

Jesus Medina

Grade: C

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

Ah man. I don’t really know what to say about Medina’s outing. On one hand, the Paraguayan was efficient with his passing, completed a few dribbles, and was overall doing his best up top.

But damn, that last play of the game is sure to give him nightmares.

I know, it’s late in the game and that huge bombing run up the middle surely took a lot out of him. But in those 1-v-1 situations, fans expect a goal. And Medina just didn’t deliver. The look on his face after it’s all over speaks volumes — he knows he missed a golden opportunity to finish it and give his team the win.

Not bad enough to fail him. Not good enough to put him on the honor roll. I think ‘C’ is appropriate.

Taty Castellanos

Grade: C+

By far the hardest grade I had to give out. On one hand, Taty failed to make his mark for most the game. But on the other, he did convert the penalty to give NYCFC the point.

I can’t dive into this too deep or I’ll drive myself crazy. So I’ll say this — Taty might’ve been ineffective for a lot of the game. But when the chance to make it right was put on his shoulder, he delivered.

I can’t exactly give him high praise. But I can’t shit on him either.

Substitutions

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (B+) — The Libyan came on in the second half and did what he was supposed to do: make a difference. Drawing the penalty that ensured City the tying goal was big.

Malte Amundsen (B-) — As mentioned before, Malte’s inclusion offered creativity down the left flank in the second half.

Sebastien Ibeaghanot enough data

Tony Rochanot enough data