Player Ratings: NYCFC vs. New England Revolution

It was another disappointing performance for an NYCFC side that was up a man for nearly half of the match against the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon. Up 1-0 early on thanks to a Tommy McNamara goal via a David Villa shot off the crossbar, New England pressed and leveled not much later thanks to a free kick from Chris Tierney that deflected off Steven Mendoza into the NYCFC netting. Halftime saw Gershon Koffie get sent off, in a decision that was dubious at best, for a dangerous tackle from behind on McNamara near the 50th minute. Despite this sending off, New England looked more dangerous in the second half and it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to see NYCFC lose this match, and they should count themselves fortunate to come away with a point.

Certainly not the result you’re looking for, particularly up a man at home, and that result is reflected in the player ratings this week:

Goalkeeper

Saundersnestats

Josh Saunders stat chart vs. New England.

Josh Saunders- 6

A sort of return to form for Saunders after a poor performance last week. He made no severe errors in this one, and isn’t liable for the free kick goal given it’s proximity and the fact that it deflected off Mendoza. He came out and cleared crucially a few times on Saturday, and made one outstanding save in the second half. It wasn’t man of the match material, but it was enough to hold the draw, as disappointing as that may seem. Responsibility for an impotent attack doesn’t rest with him, he did all he could. However, the distribution remained very poor, as his stat chart shows. Cries for Johansen will likely be dimmed, but not removed, by this performance.

Defense

Iraolanestats

Andoni Iraola stat chart vs. New England.

Andoni Iraola- 7          Jason Hernandez- 5           Jefferson Mena- 5

Largely disappointing was the defense on Saturday. To such a degree that Federico Bravo, savior of goals, was forced to drop back and essentially play as a center back during much of the second half. Andoni Iraola was certainly the freshest of the group. Unlike the rest of this group, he wasn’t repeatedly beaten like a drum, and his gorgeous ability on the right wing was largely responsible for the NYCFC goal moments later. Hernandez looked mediocre at best. He did nothing stunning defensively worth noting, and some of the responsibility for the constant pressure of a 10-man New England lies with him. He desperately needed help and eventually received it in the form of Bravo. Jefferson Mena narrowly avoided receiving a 4 in this match. His only saving grace is that he hadn’t played yet this season and was woefully out of position at left back. He didn’t last long, getting subbed off in the first half for Diego Martinez. One has to question the decision to start him where he did.

Midfield

Thomas McNamara stat chart vs. New England

Thomas McNamara stat chart vs. New England.

Andrea Pirlo- 5          Federico Bravo- 6          Kwadwo Poku- 6          Thomas McNamara- 7

Tommy McNamara and Federico Bravo are almost certainly NYCFC’s two best midfielders so far this season. Without Bravo’s help on defense, it is doubtful that NYCFC escaped this match with a draw. Without McNamara’s pressure and positioning, which allowed him to scoop up the Villa rebound, they may not have found the back of the net at all. With that being said, McNamara’s goal gets him a pass on a 7, but the rest of his match was not 7 quality, much like the rest of the midfield. Bravo doesn’t have that luxury, though the defensive help he brought must be appreciated. Kwadwo Poku finally made his long-anticipated debut. While he was dispossessed several times and looked unsure of himself in front of goal, he showed flashes of what made him so dangerous last year. Several time he made physical bruising runs that ultimately amounted to nothing, but on a better day very well could have. Given that it was his first time this year, only limited complaints are warranted, and he earns a 6. Pirlo had arguably one of his worst matches for NYCFC. He lost possession more than almost anyone on the pitch, didn’t do much with the possession he kept, and was an absolute liability on defense. You’ll never get much from him defensively, but if you’re going to keep him on the pitch anyway, he must contribute more offensively or he must come off.

Forwards

David Villa stat chart vs. New England.

David Villa stat chart vs. New England.

Tony Taylor- 5          David Villa- 6          Steven Mendoza- 6

When you can’t muster a goal in 40 minutes of time with a man advantage, your attack is mostly to blame. Taylor had his worst match this season, he was largely invisible and ineffective on the ball. Mendoza was less effective as well in his first start, but had moments of brilliance that could’ve amounted to something on a better day. David Villa was the best of the group, firing off multiple shots, including the crossbar-ringer that McNamara followed-up. There were many times where Villa pushed forward only to find he had nobody around him to distribute to. Twice he put the ball across the face of goal only to see it pass straight through the entirety of the box without so much as a touch. He’s expected to do it himself occasionally, but it becomes drastically more difficult when it’s him and only him for a majority of the match.

Substitutes

Diego Martinez stat chart vs. New England

Diego Martinez stat chart vs. New England.

Martinez- 6          Mullins- 5           Ballouchy- N/A

Ballouchy wasn’t on the field for the minimum required 15 minutes for a grade just barely, but would’ve earned a 6 as he made no difference in a bad situation. Mullins was on the field for a bit longer and was not only ineffective, but actively hurt the team by failing to make the most of an open header in the late moments of the match. He has to be disappointed with the lack of a goal there, and NYCFC and it’s fans are surely disappointed in Mullins performances so far this year. Diego Martinez made his debut for the club, subbing on mid-way through the first half for the woeful Jefferson Mena. Martinez held his own largely, which makes it very confusing indeed as to why Mena started over him (he is listed as a natural left back). Ideally, this performance solidified him as back-up to Ronald Matarrita come any future absences.

Man of the Match- Andoni Iraola

All Stat Charts courtesy of FourFourTwo.com’s Stat Zone (www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone)

Photo belongs to Chris Mendez/Metro Soccer Nation- Thomas McNamara takes on two New England defenders.

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