Skip to content

NYCFC vs Chicago Fire player ratings

New signing Julián Fernández earns his first POTM.

NYCFC winger Julián Fernández |

New York City FC Player Ratings are determined by Hudson River Blue readers — here are your NYCFC player ratings for the nifty 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire at Citi Field that was nevertheless too little, too late, and that was the cap final game in New York City’s 2023 season.

Starting XI

Mounsef Bakrar – 5.0

When Mounsef Bakrar received poor ratings this season, it was usually for a lack of finishing. On Decision Day, it was for a lack of involvement: The Algerian only managed one shot, and accrued just 27 touches in 90 minutes.

FotMob gave the striker a 6.9.

Talles Magno – 6.8

Talles Magno looks like Talles Magno again. He was dancing around defenders left and right, and, most importantly, he looked like he enjoyed playing again. Now I just hope he stays…

FotMob gave the winger a 7.1 for his contributions.

Julián Fernández (off 84′) – 8.1

We may not have our post-season streak anymore, but at least we got this kid: Julián Fernández looks like a star-in-the-making.

He got the start in our final game of the season, and came through with an absolute worldie to secure the victory. If results went differently around the league, that could’ve been the goal that sent us to the playoffs. But that was out of Julián’s hands.

FotMob gave the 19-year-old a match-best 8.0.

Santiago Rodríguez – 6.8

He’s our “big moments” player many times over, so it wasn’t a huge surprise to see Santiago Rodríguez playing well on Decision Day in Queens. He looked dangerous for large portions of the evening, and picked up an assist on Julián’s wonder strike.

FotMob gave the No 10 a 7.8.

Keaton Parks – 5.9 (off 60′)

Keaton Parks looked solid enough in his first start since returning from his ankle injury in the Hudson River Derby back on September 16th. He was ultimately pulled in the 60th minute for Andrés Parea, but Keaton did his part on the night.

FotMob gave Big Bird a 6.7.

James Sands – 6.2

Jimmy Sands had a typical outing for himself to my mind. He’s never eye-catching, and he’s easy to miss at times, but his contributions to this team are immense.

FotMob handed the Guy from Rye a 7.7.

Kevin O’Toole – 6.1

It’ll be interesting to see what Kevin’s future with this side will hold. 

He goes months without seeing any meaningful minutes, and then right when the season appears to be on the line, Nick Cushing chucks him in at left-back and lets him do his thing. 

I think he’s a fun player to watch and brings good attacking qualities, so I hope we keep him around as his contract expires this offseason.

FotMob gave a 7.0 to the fullback.

Tayvon Gray (off 60′) – 5.7

Tayvon Gray was substituted in the 60th minute for the more attacking-minded Mitja Ilenič, as NYCFC still needed a goal at the time to have any hope of post-season play. In Gray’s 60 minutes of work, he looked exactly how I would’ve expected in big matches: Reliable.

FotMob gave the Jamaica international a 7.0.

Birk Risa – 6.5

Looking ahead to next season, Birk Risa is one of the players I’m most excited about.

Throwing him into this side more than halfway through NYCFC’s worst season in recent memory, Risa immediately made that left center-back slot his own, and was a huge part of a rock-solid defense down the stretch. In a (hopefully) better side next year, I think his passing range will be a huge asset for this team.

FotMob gave a 7.3 to the Norwegian.

Thiago Martins – 6.9

This dude is a beast. 

A perfect compliment to Risa’s ball-playing ability, Thiago Martins is reliable, an athletic but cool-headed presence in the back. He knows when to step, he knows when to drop, he’ll dominate in the air and crack you if you get too close.

A clean sheet and a win on decision day means he did his part on the night — it just wasn’t enough on the season overall.

FotMob gave a 7.9.

Matt Freese – 8.6

We may have lost out on any playoff chances down the stretch, but we’ve certainly found our No 1. 

It’s frustrating it took this long, but Matt Freese looks the part of a starting keeper in this league — and a good one.

FotMob gave a 7.9.


Mitja Ilenič (on 60′) – 6.2

Mitja Ilenič looked solid, and brought the extra bit of attacking flair we needed to chase that goal. Hopefully, the young lad can continue to develop going into next season.

FotMob gave the young Slovenian a 6.3 for the performance.

Andrés Perea (on 60′) — 6.5

NYCFC looked flat at the start of the second half, when Chicago started dominating the ball and looked like they might just find a way to score a goal. Andrés Perea and Ilenič entered in the 60th minute, and Julián scored four minutes later. Here’s hoping NYCFC find a way to keep Perea in 2024. 

FotMob gave the loanee a 6.6 for the performance.

Player of the Match

Julián Fernández

I mean, who else was it gonna be? Julián’s goal gave us hope on Saturday, and gives us plenty of hope going into next year as potentially this team’s brightest young stars. 

Head Coach

Nick Cushing – 4.6

I think a 4.6 for Nick Cushing is a bit harsh on the day given he rolled out a front three seemingly everyone wanted to see in Bakrar, Talles Magno, and Julián. He got the win, and NYCFC pitched a clean sheet.

We needed other results to go our way to make the playoffs on decision day, and that just didn’t happen. Not his fault. But NYCFC never should’ve been in this position in the first place, and that falls on the head coach.

It will be interesting to see which direction the front office goes with Nick.


Allan Chapman  – 5.0

I didn’t agree with every decision Allan Chapman made, but he didn’t influence the result and NYCFC won the game.

Broadcast Announcers

Chris Wittyngham, Lori Lindsey (Apple TV) – 4.3 

Another bang-average rating for the Apple twins.

Glenn Crooks, Matthew Lawrence (NYCFC Radio) – 5.1

The surprisingly low score for the NYCFC broadcast team maybe reflects a surprisingly disappointing season. It’s well below the season average of 7.0 Here’s hoping that next season Apple TV will add their commentary to all games, not just the home matches.