This article first appeared in Prost Amerika
Three games into the season and New York City FC remains undefeated, after securing a point in Colorado against the Rapids.
NYCFC now has five points in three games, and will host Sporting Kansas City next Saturday, March 28th.
Player Ratings (1 – 10)
Josh Saunders (7.5)
With eight saves, Saunders was arguably New York’s standout player, as the goalkeeper continued to show the surety of play that has won over teammates and supporters, alike. NYCFC’s number one was first called into to action in the 7th minute when a fortunate bounce allowed Gabriel Torres to avoid Sebastian Velasquez and get off a quick shot. It wasn’t until the second half that Saunders had to make two more saves that secured a valuable away point. He tipped Marc Burch’s thunderous free-kick over the bar, and parried another shot from Torres when the Panamanian found himself one-on-one with the keeper.
Shay Facey (5)
A second yellow for bringing down Juan Ramirez shortened a disappointing outing for the Manchester City academy product. Facey looked nervous from the start, fluffing his passes, and reluctantly using the space ahead of him, which was left open as result of Velasquez’ tendency to drift into the middle. The right-back did grow more comfortable on the defensive end, particularly when defending against Torres, but lapses in concentration sealed the defender’s fate.
Jason Hernandez (7)
The veteran defender put in another solid shift, keeping Dominique Badji quiet, and intercepting key crosses. Hernandez did get caught out of position on a couple of occasions, one of them forcing a save from Saunders when Torres found space in between Jeb Brovsky and Chris Wingert. In the 71st minute the center-back put in a last-gasp challenge on Vincente Sanchez that may well have prevented a goal.
Chris Wingert (6)
The defender did not perform at the level of the previous two games. Wingert had trouble contending with Dillon Powers, whose movement proved especially troublesome. In the 16th minute only a slip prevented the Colorado forward from finding himself wide-open in the box, after Wingert lost track of him. And in the 47th minute, it was Saunders who saved the defender some blushes when Powers beat him to a cross. Wingert did have a very important block just before halftime, preventing Sanchez from getting a shot off from the top of the key.
Jeb Brovsky (6)
With New York unable to keep possession, Brovsky spent most of the first half on his defensive end. Tested throughout the game by Sanchez, the left-back never looked easily beaten, and as NYCFC grew in the second half, Brovsky became more involved offensively. His give-and-go with Ned Grabavoy in the 56th minute provided Adam Nemec with one of New York’s few scoring opportunities.
Sebastian Velasquez (6)
Velasquez was easily New York’s most positive player in the first half. As was the case against New England in New York’s home opener, the Colombian was involved early on, regularly drifting into the middle in order to look for the ball, but fizzled out in the second half. Velasquez found Nemec in the 10th minute with a little lob pass, but the Slovakian wasn’t able to make the most out of the chance.
Andrew Jacobson (7)
Jacobson saw a lot of the ball, but found himself without passing options for much of the game, which clearly frustrated the midfielder. Defensively, Jacobson positioned himself well and pressured Colorado’s ball carriers, as was the case during New York’s first two games. In the 66th minute, he found David Villa, who curled his shot just wide of the goal.
Mix Diskerud (6.5)
This was the midfielder’s quietest game wearing New York’s sky blue. Unable to find passing lanes, Diskerud spent much of his time on the field either defending or passing the ball in his defensive third. His most positive contribution came on a counterattack that led to Villa’s 52nd minute snap-shot scoring opportunity.
Ned Grabavoy (6)
Perhaps due to the altitude, the midfielder was less industrious than usual. More involved in the second half of the game (everything seemed to bypass the player in the first half) Grabavoy participatet in a couple of rare passing combinations that created some scoring opportunities. Grabavoy moved to the middle of the park after Diskerud was subbed off in the 84th.
David Villa (5.5)
Villa’s scuffed free-kick in the 13th minute was representative of his game. The Spaniard was starved of the ball in the first half, and never got his bearings in the second, squandering a number of chances when coming in from the left. Villa had New York’s first shot on goal in the 52nd minute when he forced a save from Clint Irwin.
Adam Nemec (5)
It was a game to forget for the big Solvakian. Nemec was virtually a spectator in the game, trying unsuccessfully to connect with long balls launched in desperation from the midfield. Nemec did have two opportunities to make a mark on the game, first from a Velasquez pass, which trickled out of bounds, and then from a Brovsky pass that he struck straight into a defender.
Khiry Shelton (5)
Shelton’s introduction into the game coincided with some of New York’s best attacking moments. Brought in to run behind Colorado’s defense, Shelton opened up the game on the few occasions he got the ball at his feet. After Facey was sent-off, Shelton moved to the right side of midfield where he no longer had an influence on the game.
Javier Calle (4)
Replaced Velasquez in the 70th minute, but never contributed significantly to the game. Moved to the left side of the midfield after Facey was shown a second yellow.
Kwame Watson-Siriboe (N/A)
Subbed in for Diskerud to shore up the defense. Watson-Siriboe had enough time to gift Marcelo Sarvas an open shot in injury time.