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NYCFC vs New Jersey Red Bulls player ratings

NYCFC goalkeeper Matt Freese
NYCFC goalkeeper Matt Freese | Courtesy

New York City FC player ratings are determined by Hudson River Blue readers — here are your NYCFC player ratings after the torpid 0-0 draw with the New Jersey Red Bulls in the Bronx.

Starting XI

Mounsef Bakrar (off 91′) – 5.2

Mounsef got in-behind a couple of times but was unable to test the keeper in any capacity really. I was hoping for a bit more from Mounsef on Saturday. FotMob gave a bang-average 6.1

Matías Pellegrini (off 66′) – 3.7

It was somewhat of a head-scratcher to see Matí Pellegrini start over the likes of Julián Fernández, Talles Magno, and Alonso Martínez. 

He didn’t contribute much going forward, was subbed out after 66 minutes, and picked up a yellow that will see him suspended from this Wednesday’s matchup vs Orlando City. Solid day at the office.

FotMob gave a 6.0 for the Argentine’s efforts.

Santiago Rodríguez – 5.7

I thought Santi looked okay on Saturday, and showed some signs of danger to the Red Bull backline. But, he’s just not pulling the strings like we need him to as a Designated Player these days.

Last season, he took games by the scruff of the neck and got us big goals in big moments. This year, he’s just lacking that final product. FotMob gave a 6.1.

Keaton Parks (off 37′) – 5.8

RIP to Keaton Park’s ankle, which much like our playoff hopes, apparently was pretty much destroyed on Saturday. Wishing a speedy recovery to our guy, and we can only hope it’s nothing too serious. 

FotMob gave a 6.5 for the 37 minutes he logged before the injury.

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James Sands – 5.3

Jimmy looked solid on Saturday, where I thought he did his bit to keep the Red Bulls at bay for large portions of the match while distributing effectively to those who are supposed to be the more creative players out there.

The problem? His midfield partners were Andrés Perea and Alfredo Morales after Parks left the field, and there’s just not a lot of creativity to go around there with that personnel. FotMob gave a 7.1 to the homegrown’s efforts.

Andrés Perea – 6.3

Andrés Perea has been impressive since his loan move to NYCFC last month. He just looks to make things happen out there: He gets forward, he takes shots, and he plays progressively whenever possible.

For a team that’s constantly playing side-topside and possessing without purpose, that verticality and positive play is much-needed. FotMob gave a 6.8 to the Columbian.

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Braian Cufré – 5.8

Braian Cufré got forward regularly when afforded space, but he just doesn’t pull the trigger when he needs to. We saw this with his hesitation to shoot in the second half when he had tons of space to work with, but also with a number of crossing opportunities that he passed up.

Someone that technically talented should take more chances out there. FotMob gave a 5.8 to the fullback.

Tayvon Gray – 6.3

Tayvon Gray looked really solid on Saturday against a Red Bull side that was testing our backline pretty regularly with direct play and high pressure. His 1-v-1 defending was solid, and he looked largely composed on the ball despite the tight Yankee Stadium confines and intense Red Bull press.

He did his job in the derby, and got a clean sheet to show for it. FotMob gave a 7.5 to the homegrown, the second-highest of any NYCFC player on the day.

Birk Risa – 6.1

Birk Risa was spraying around long balls as usual, and did enough defensively to help earn a clean sheet. I wouldn’t say it was his most convincing performance in an NYCFC shirt to date, but he did his job.

FotMob gave a 6.9.

Thiago Martins – 6.1

I still can’t quite tell if he got a touch on the chance from Red Bulls forward Elias Manoel in the first half, but if he did that’s one of the best defensive interventions we’ve seen all season for NYCFC.

He also got good wood on the header in extra time which would’ve nabbed 3 points for the home side, but he was unlucky to see it fly straight into the keeper’s hands. FotMob gave the DP a 7.3.

Matt Freese – 8.2

It was a statement performance from Matt Freese on Saturday, who made his argument to head coach Nick Cushing about why he should be the starting No 1 moving forward.

I still think his feet looked a little dicey at times, but that’s not why he’s out there. Freeze is a shot-stopper, and he looked damn good at stopping shots on Saturday. His handling of Omir Fernandez’s shot to keep things level in the second half is probably the save of the season for NYCFC — that was some stop.

FotMob gave the American GK a match–high 7.7.

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Alfredo Morales (on 36′) – 5.7

After throwing some shade on CBS’s Morning Footy this week in the lead-up to the match, Alfredo Morales found himself getting an extended runout in the derby after Keaton Parks went down injured in the 37th minute.

Morales looked solid, but largely unremarkable by way of creativity, which will always be missed when you lose a player like Parks. FotMob gave a 6.3 to the midfielder.

Julián Fernández (on 66′) – 5.9

The kid may be raw, but the talent is there for all to see. It was really refreshing to see him running at defenders, taking guys on, and reaching into his bag of tricks to make things happen.

It’s the type of spark this team has been desperately lacking this season, and I’m really hoping he gets the start on Wednesday. FotMob gave an impressive 7.6 for his 24 minutes of work.

Talles Magno (on 91′) – 5.0

Talles was subbed in at the 90th-minute mark despite NYCFC chasing a goal for the entire match. Not sure how he’s expected to make an impact in so few minutes…

He didn’t log enough minutes for a FotMob rating.

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Player of the Match

Matt Freese

The Iceman ran away with the vote this week, and you can see why: A goalkeeper can’t win the game but he can keep the team out of the loss column, and Freese did exactly that. His three saves were solid, he over-performed his xGOT of 0.74, and he looked comfortable and confident between in goal.

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Head Coach

Nick Cushing – 2.8

This was another tough look for the gaffer, who was only able to secure a draw at home for what feels like the 1000th time this season.

It just felt like a cautious approach all around. Starting Matí over someone like Fernández is a move that feels defensively oriented, and subbing in someone like Alfredo Morales for the Injured Keaton Parks instead of opting for a more creative player like Richie Ledezma echoed that cagey approach.

I would’ve loved to see Talles Magno get more minutes as well, as just subbing him in for just injury time feels like a waste of his talent. This was a must-win game, and while I know Cushing was desperate to get three points, his team selection and approach felt more accepting of just a draw at home to our biggest rivals.

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Joe Dickerson – 3.5

I don’t think the referee had much impact on the game, but NYCFC had another penalty shout go unanswered in the second half. 

Again, on the micro level, I’m totally fine with this not being given. But on the macro level, I can’t believe we didn’t get one of these fringe calls all season, especially considering how many seemingly went against us.

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Broadcast Announcers

Tyler Terens and Devon Kerr (Apple TV) – 3.8

You’re simply not warming to the Apple TV crew of Tyler Terens and Devon Kerr. Once again you put them almost even with the ref. Ouch.

Glenn Crooks and Matthew Lawrence (NYCFC Radio) – 6.0

This is the lowest rating so far this season for the much-loved NYCFC Radio crew. I can’t help but wonder why. Was it something they said? Or are you simply tired of NYCFC not winning, and that frustration is carrying to the voices coming in over the air?

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