Position: Left Back
2022 MLS League Games: 27 games, 23 starts, 2100 min played
Key Stat: 0 games, 0 starts, 0 appearances in the postseason
What went right in 2022:
Looking back at 2022 there is only one way to view Malte Amundsen: a consistent defensive performer for New York City FC. The Dane excelled at almost all aspects of their defensive play, and significantly stepped up his numbers compared to the 2021 championship season. Amundsen locked down the left side and proved to be a top one-on-one defender, winning 76.5% of his tackles which put him in the 96th percentile versus other fullbacks — a significant increase from the previous year. Throughout his 27 appearances, he was only beaten on the dribble 8 times.
He’s an intelligent player when out of possession, frequently putting himself into a position to block shots, passes, and generally disrupt attacking play. All and all, Amundsen continued to prove his worth in the back and acted as a powerful defensive tool when employed.
Amundsen had a pass completion rate of 75.8% and proved to be a reliable distributor of the ball into the opponent’s half. While only producing one assist from all of these efforts, Amundsen showed maturity in his play and further demonstrated his reliability.
What to improve:
While Amundsen was a solid defender, he committed more fouls this past season (29 in 27 games) than in 2021 (24 in 36 games) and drew 4 yellow cards. The veteran player will need to keep his head in 2023.
But Amundsen’s main area of growth as a player is to make more contributions to the attack. Looking at this past season, he produced relatively stable numbers when pushing forward with an expected xAG of 2.8. But he only bagged one assist this past season.
Malte simply needs to get himself in the positions where make a difference in the attack. Per FBRef, he ranks low in Dribbles Attempted (37th percentile), Dribbles Completed (19th percentile), and Successful Dribbles (11th percentile). There’s a reason why his starting spot was nabbed at the end of the season by the more attack-minded Kevin O’Toole, a player who looks to be more comfortable on the ball. Amundsen simply will need to do better than complete 9 dribbles in 27 games.
What to expect in 2023:
One has to wonder if this will be the last season for the Dane at NYCFC. The team needs the experience and consistency that Amundsen brings to the squad, but if he can’t step up his attack there might not be a future for him in New York City. It's up to him.
This new campaign could Amundsen improve his stock as a player by contributing heavily to all facets of the game and becoming one of the standout fullbacks within the MLS. Or he could put in another consistent season in which he plays in more defensive-minded games, and pools at left-back with the more progressive O’Toole.
2023 NYCFC Player Previews
• Tony Alfaro
• Luis Barraza
• Maximo Carrizo
• Matt Freese
• Kevin O’Toole
• Samuel “Kwaku” Owusu
• Keaton Parks
• Matías Pellegrini
• Gabriel Pereira
• Talles Magno
• Thiago Martins