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NYCFC midfielder Santiago Rodríguez before the start of a game

New York City FC player ratings are determined by Hudson River Blue readers — here are your NYCFC player ratings after the team put five goals past Sean Johnson’s Toronto FC in the club’s biggest offensive output since beating Real Salt Lake last year. There were good feels all around, and it’s reflected in your ratings.

Starting XI

Mounsef Bakrar (of 67′) – 8.5

It took some time, but we’ve finally found our No 9.

Wednesday’s match against Toronto marked exactly 366 days since the departure of Taty Castellanos to Girona on loan was made official. While that year and one day felt like an eternity for NYCFC fans, the wait for a forward appears to finally be over.

We saw a player who ran in-behind. We saw a player who held the ball up in possession. We saw a player who pressed with tenacity and intelligence. And we saw a player who scored a goal starting from the center forward position.

It may have taken us an entire revolution around the sun to get here – but Baki may have finally ended our striker woes. No pressure, kid! FotMob gave a 7.9 to the debutant.

Santiago Rodríguez (off 78′) – 9.1

This article is so much more fun to write when NYCFC are playing well – take a look at this score! A 9.1?? Who are you people and what have you done with the usual HRB voters?

In all seriousness, Santi earned every bit of that best-ever HRB rating with an absolutely dazzling display on Wednesday night. He scored two, assisted one, and humiliated sets of Toronto defenders who looked wholly petrified by the Uruguayan’s mazy dribbling and direct play. They simply could not handle him.

FotMob gave a match-high 9.3 for his dominant performance.

Andres Jasson – 7.9

Have a day Andres! 

After reportedly being disappointed with his lack of involvement on Sunday vs Atlas FC, the homegrown got the nod from the gaffer to start Wednesday’s affair and took full advantage. 

He looked dangerous on that right flank for large portions of the evening, and bagged his second goal of the season by slotting it by his former teammate, Sean Johnson. That’ll do a world of good for his confidence, and perhaps the confidence of Nick Cushing as well. FotMob handed out an impressive 8.3 for his efforts.

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Richy Ledezma (off 67′) – 6.9

While he’ll be disappointed to have not gotten in on the goal-fest, our talented loanee looked in control against the hapless Toronto defense, and was involved in a lot of dangerous attacking play from the Pigeons. FotMob gave a close-enough 7.0 for the American’s performance.

Keaton Parks – 7.5

Keaton Parks was commanding in the midfield at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday, and helped dismantle a defense that looked more interested in getting back to Toronto than they did in finishing the job in Jersey.

Parks picked out progressive passes all night, and burgled back the ball on eight occasions. That’s a central midfielder playing complete football at its finest. According to Fotmob, Keaton’s performance earned a 7.3 on the evening.

Alfredo Morales – 6.8

With James Sands sidelined with a concussion, Alfredo Morales stepped back into the midfield role he occupied during Sands’s Gold Cup absence with relative ease. 

Alfredo broke up play when needed, and brought some sauce in possession that we haven’t seen as much from him recently. It was a good day for the veteran who continues to get minutes for this NYCFC side. FotMob gave the American a solid 7.1.

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Maxime Chanot (off 59′) – 8.4

This was a statement in leadership from NYCFC’s longest-serving player, Maxime Chanot. With the captain’s armband snug over his impressive biceps, Maxime gave a locker room speech that had me ready to run through every wall in my apartment.

“We have to win today. We don’t have to draw. We don’t have to play well. We have to [expletive] win” Chanot declared in the locker room, before going out there and showing his side exactly how to do just that.

A well-placed header from Chanot got the team’s scoring up and running, but his defensive play was just as impressive, stopping a handful of dangerous-looking Toronto attacks before they could gain any momentum of their own. It was truly a complete display.

FotMob gave a 7.9 to the king of Luxembourg.

Thiago Martins – 7.4

Thiago Martins won the ball back for his side 13 times on a night in which he boasted 97% passing accuracy and amassed 92 touches on the ball from center back. I’d say that’s the sign of a strong performance in a dominant side. The Brazilian earned a 7.6 for those numbers from FotMob.

Braian Cufré (off 59′) – 7.0

Braian Cufré bagged his third assist of the season from his left wing-back position on Wednesday when he linked with Andres Jason for NYCFC’s fourth on the evening. It was another solid night’s work for the fullback, who got some much-needed rest after getting subbed off in the 59th minute. FotMob gave the Argentinian a 7.1.

Tayvon Gray – 6.9

Tayvon Gray played fine in their statement win against Toronto, but his personal highlight came from showing us, once again, he’s got that dawg in him.

After a tangle with 6’6” Zambian international, Aimé Mabika, Tayvon didn’t think once about backing down to a player who looked a full head taller than him in the scrap. He got into it, the crowd got into it, and NYCFC walked away with a different kind of energy than the kind that comes from scoring five goals.

FotMob gave a 7.5 to the homegrown defender.

Matt Freese – 7.3

He didn’t have to do all that much in such a dominant display, but I’m sure ‘Matty Ice’ will be more than pleased with earning his first start since June 25th and coming away with a victory and a clean sheet.

I’d be surprised if he didn’t start the next match. If you’re Nick Cushing, can you really change anything from this setup? FotMob gave a 6.8 to the ‘keeper.

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Kevin O’Toole (on 59′) – 6.4

He didn’t have a profound impact after coming on in the second half, but he’ll be happy with the 30-plus minutes of play under his belt. FotMob gave a 6.3

Justin Haak (on 59′) – 6.5

Jason Haak didn’t let Sunday’s robbery get him down too much, and bounced back with a solid display in about a half hour of work on Wednesday. Center-back? Center-mid? It doesn’t seem to matter these days for the homegrown – he gets on the field and usually makes a difference. FotMob gave a 6.2 to the Brooklyn boy. 

Talles Magno (on 67′) – 6.7

It was all done and dusted by the 67th minute when Talles Magno took the field, but that didn’t stop him from adding a contribution of his own with his 75th-minute assist to Santi Rodriguez. Anything that’s good for Talles Magno’s confidence is good by me. Hopefully, the goal contribution can give him that boost he’s been looking for. FotMob gave a nice 6.9.

Matías Pellegrini (on 67′) – 6.1

It wasn’t the most remarkable runout for the Argentinian, but in a 5-0 win, I’m not sure anyone’s complaining too much. FotMob gave a 6.5.

Mitja Ilenič (on 78′) – 6.2

What looked like a night off for the young Slovenian turned into about 12 minutes of work for the wingback who replaced Santi Rodriguez in the 78th minute. FotMob deemed his contribution worthy of a 6.1.

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Player of the Match

Santiago Rodríguez

Santi wins player of the match for his all-around titanic display against a woeful Toronto side. 

While he was directly involved in three goals (two goals and one assist), he also created Bakrar’s strike with a strong shot that forced Johnson’s parry, and had the hockey assist on Jasson’s finish.

The Uruguayan DP had his hand in all five NYCFC goals on the night, and rightly walks away with POTM honors.

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Head Coach

Nick Cushing – 7.5

Nick Cushing with a 7.5? In this economy?

It was a must-win for Cushing in the second match of Leagues Cup, and he got that win in commanding fashion. 

He had been calling out for an explosion of goals for weeks now, as his side pushed and pushed, took shot after shot, and missed chance after chance. But on Wednesday, “the gods” who he joked about all those weeks back were finally on his side.

It’s a win that may have just saved his job, and a win that may just have saved NYCFC’s season (for now). Let’s see if he can turn this spark into a bonfire.

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Guillermo Pacheo (referee) – 6.9

NYCFC win 5-0, and the referee gets the highest score in HRB history. Coincidence? I think not!

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Broadcast Announcers

Chris Wittyngham and Dan Gargan (Apple TV) – 5.2

One of the higher ratings for an Apple TV crew this season is comfortably the lowest rating you handed out on the night. Enough said.

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