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2023 Player Preview: Maxime Chanot

NYCFC’s elder statesmen will see a lot of playing time now that Alex Callens is gone

Always dress for success.
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Maxime Chanot

Position: Central Defender
Age: 33
2022 MLS Games: 24 games, 18 starts, 1,542 minutes played
Key Stat: 0.75 passes blocked per 90, ranked 94th percentile in MLS per

What went right in 2022:

The elder statesman for New York City FC, Chanot saw his playing time take a bit of a hit as the season progressed as he made way for Designated Player Thiago Martins, also a central defender. Between the arrival of Thiago Martins, and Alexander Callens playing as perhaps the best central defender in MLS, it made Chanot the odd man out. Despite that reality, however, Chanot played some of his best soccer in 2022.

Once again, Chanot showcased his prowess with the ball at his feet, ranking in the 94th percentile in dispossessed rate. Keeping the ball away from the opposition allowed him to be an effective passer out of the back, as he finished in the 75th percentile or better in 10 different passing categories per 90, according to But Chanot’s ball skills are more like the icing on the cake to what is an impressive defensive skill set. Last season, Chanot finished with top marks as a defender, ranking in the 95th percentile in passes blocked (0.75 per 90), 86th percentile in blocks (1.50 per 90), and 81st percentile in the percentage of dribblers tackled (72.2% per 90). Last but not least, Chanot showcased his ability to press forward and eliminate threats further up the pitch, finishing in the 86th percentile in tackles in the middle third of the pitch (0.62 per 90). Despite his advancing age, it was clear to see Chanot was still a very valuable defender in 2022.

What to improve:

As good as Chanot might be, he has also been a part of some stress-inducing moments in the backline. Chanot might be good at taking risks and providing tackles in the middle third, but he was deficient in the final third, ranking a poor 28th percentile (0.69 per 90).

Part of what always made the defensive pairing of Chanot and Callens so potent was the fact that Callens was so good at covering mistakes and blown coverages in the backline: Chanot was able to take risks because Callens could clean up behind him. With Callens now gone to Girona FC, it’s hard to feel confident Thiago Martins can serve as that same foil to Chanot. Moving forward, Chanot may need to adapt and become more of an anchor and less of a risk-taker in order for him and Thiago Martins to provide their best value in the backline.

What to expect in 2023:

With the departure of Callens, and Thiago Martins still looking to solidify himself after a mixed debut season, I expect Chanot to remain a steady fixture in the backline. It’ll be interesting to see if Cushing deploys a four-man backline, with two fullbacks, or a three-man backline in which Chanot and Thiago Martins play alongside a third central defender — perhaps Tony Alfaro, or maybe even a Tayvon Gray who is moved into central defense.

Given the strengths and weaknesses in Chanot’s game, I think a three-man backline might serve him and the team best from a defensive standpoint. We’ll have to wait and see how Cushing decides to deploy his backline in 2023. Either way, Chanot will play a very crucial role in 2023.

2023 NYCFC Player Previews

• Tony Alfaro
• Malte Amundsen
• Luis Barraza
• Maximo Carrizo
• Matt Freese
• Justin Haak
• Kevin O’Toole
• Samuel “Kwaku” Owusu
• Keaton Parks
• Matías Pellegrini
• Gabriel Pereira
• Talles Magno
• Thiago
• Thiago Martins