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NYCFC vs FC Cincinnati Player Ratings

Matt Freese made key saves to keep New York City competitive in the eventual road loss to FC Cincinnati, earning him Player of the Match honors for a second time this season.

New York City goalkeeper Matt Freese made 5 saves against Cincinnati | © Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC player ratings are determined by Hudson River Blue readers — here are your NYCFC player ratings for the 1-0 loss to FC Cincinnati, in which the visitors from New York City were missing nine players and proved no match for Luciano Acosta and the reigning Supporters' Shield winners.

New York City FC was depleted by international call-ups, injuries, and a key suspension when it traveled to face FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium, and the performance reflected the many bits of adversity faced by the visiting team.

The New York City players who were available for the team's third road match of the 2024 season put in a solid effort and never looked overmatched by what was a nearly-full-strength Cincinnati squad.

It felt like something of a small victory that NYCFC neutralized Cincinnati's attack for as long as it did, and that was due in large part to some critical saves made by New York City goalkeeper Matt Freese. In the end, reigning MLS MVP Luciano Acosta created and finished off the match's one moment of creative brilliance, scoring in the 57th minute to decide things in FC Cincinnati's favor.

This week's ratings reflect both Freese's brilliance in goal, and that it was another flat, limp, ineffective attacking performance for New York City FC while playing outside of New York City.

The attacking "front three" deployed by Nick Cushing—Hannes Wolf, Santíago Rodriguez, Julián Fernández—couldn't make anything happen against a Cincinnati defense anchored by reigning MLS Defender of the Year Matt Miazga.

None of the team's attacking reinforcements brought in off the bench—Malachi Jones, Alonso Martínez, Agustín Ojeda—could solve the Cincy puzzle, resulting in a third consecutive away defeat to begin 2024, and a fourth NYCFC loss out of five games played.

Read on to see who earned Player of the Match honors and who got the highest, and lowest, grades in the disappointing but not all too surprising road defeat.

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