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2022 Player Preview: Malte Amundsen

The defender is a lock for the Starting XI—here's what he can do to reward NYCFC’s trust

Photograph by Katie Cahalin, courtesy of NYCFC.com

Malte Amundsen

Age: 24

Position: Defender

2021 League Games: 32 games, 14 starts, 1,394 minutes played

2021 Postseason: 4 games, 3 starts, 278 minutes played

What went right in 2021:

Malte Amundsen’s 2021 season can be described in one word: Reliable. Whether it was putting a shift for throughout a 90-minute game, or coming on to help see out a result for New York City FC, Amundsen helped shore up the rearguard for the Cityzens—the opposition scored only 20 goals when the 24-year-old was on the pitch. Amundsen’s ever-present nature enabled him to make crucial interceptions, blocks, and clearances.

It helped that Amundsen was a disciplined player. Across 32 appearances, he racked up zero red cards and only two yellow cards.

The consistency of Amundsen’s defensive displays helped support his attacking play. When he won the ball, Amundsen focused on carrying it into the opponent’s half and feeding passes to the attack—he logged a respectable pass accuracy of 75.3%. Amundsen provided three assists for City, and scored one goal.

What to improve in 2022:

As Amundsen looks to elevate his game this coming year, he could sharpen his game moving forward. The Dane rarely took on the opposition when dribbling into the opponent’s half, but being able to beat the opponent wide will make him even more dangerous. Amundsen needs to complete more passes, especially long balls, as he looks to be a progressive force from the backline.

Looking at the other side of the pitch, Malte will need to sharpen his read on attackers so that he may better win tackles and not get beaten on the dribble. In 2021, Amundsen took the ball off opponents only 18 times, and he won only 43.8% of his challenges. He needs to take a breath before stepping into a challenge, and let the attacker make a mistake.

What to expect in 2022:

Amundsen will likely continue to be a reliable force for NYCFC. He will not only see extensive rearguard action, the industrious player will be running up the flanks and creating more chances in the attacking third. Since Gudi Thórarinsson’s option was declined in the offseason, the left-back position all but belongs to Amundsen, and we can expect to see him regularly feature in the Starting XI.

More 2022 Player Previews:

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Taty Castellanos

Maxime Chanot

Tayvon Gray

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Sean Johnson

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