This article first appeared in Prost Amerika
With a home loss to the Seattle Sounders, New York City FC have now lost five of their last six games, and are rooted to the bottom of the eastern conference.
Player Ratings (1-10)
Josh Saunders (7)
You could argue that Saunders might have done more to stop Clint Dempsey’s goal, but blaming New York’s number one would be letting the back four off the hook for three mistakes that could have been easily avoided. A last ditch save kept Dempsey off the score sheet early in the first half, and two others prevented NYCFC from suffering an emphatic defeat.
Shay Facey (6)
The right-back’s performance perfectly mirrored that of his team. After a solid first half which included keeping Andy Rose quiet, as well as timely tackle on Dempsey in the box, Facey had a bit of collapse in the second. An errant pass in the 62nd minute almost resulted in a Marco Pappa goal, and his positional mistake a few minutes later opened up enough space for Dempsey’s nifty flick to find a streaking Obafemi Martins on his way to Seattle’s third goal.
Chris Wingert (6)
The veteran center-back hasn’t looked as comfortable in his pairing with Kwame Watson-Siriboe as he did with Jason Hernandez. Confusion about their positioning was evident during Seattle’s first goal with both players getting beaten by Martin’s run. While Wingert readily dealt with any threats within his vicinity, he was pulled every-which-way by the movements of the two Sounders strikers. One such movement saw Martins pull the defender to the left wing before his cross found an open Dempsey, who in turn found the back of the net.
Kwame Watson-Siriboe (5)
Sent off in the 88th minute for a second yellow card offense, Watson-Siriboe had an outing to forget. The center-back was culpable in all three of Seattle’s goals, with the most glaring mistakes coming on the last two, when he allowed Dempsey too much space. The third goal evidenced Watson-Siraboe’s continued positional difficulties, which are sometimes camouflaged by his athleticism.
Jeb Brovsky (7)
Brovsky is quickly becoming NYCFC’s most reliable player. Back on the left side of defense due to Jose Calle’s injury, Brovsky was involved in the team’s attacks early on, and continued to display the defensive assuredness that has made him one of Jason Kreis’ indispensables. A well-crafted give-and-go with Ned Grabavoy, and a last ditch tackle to thwart what would certainly have been a Martins hat-trick, were the highlights of the defenders’ game.
Ned Grabavoy (7)
Like Brovsky, New York’s vice captain has arguably been the team’s most consistent player, and Sunday’s game was no different. Grabavoy was poised in possession, rarely giving the ball away, and his runs into the box collapsed Seattle’s defense. Only a last second block by Dylan Remick kept Grabavoy from finding Patrick Mullins in the box after a quick one-two with Brovsky.
Mix Diskerud (6)
Less assertive than in previous games, Diskerud started well, pushing the team forward, especially during the first half hour when New York was at its best. With less room to maneuver as Seattle began to press higher up the field, and struggling with the physicality of Osvaldo Alonso, Diskerud began to fade, but still managed to test Stefan Frei with a couple of long range shots.
Mehdy Ballouchy (5.5)
Managed to eclipse his first goal of the season with a fantastic left-footed strike from the top of the box in the 53rd minute, and was rewarded by being immediately replaced by David Villa. Ballouchy began the game promisingly, but disappeared when moved to the right side of midfield, and was starved of the ball.
Pablo Alvarez (6.5)
New York’s offensive catalyst in the first half, primarily due to his ability to move freely in the attacking third, Alvarez revealed his capacity to create with insightful passes and skill. The Spaniard combined well with Diskerud, Mullins, and Shelton during the team’s best offensive processes, but like most of his teammates drifted out of the game in the second half.
Khiry Shelton (6)
With Seattle sitting back, Shelton had little room to use his speed, which has proved the forward’s best asset. Unable to get behind Seattle’s defensive line, Shelton was never able to impose himself despite connecting on a few key passes and threatening with an early shot. The rookie’s biggest shortcoming is his tendency to over-elaborate with the ball when New York is close to goal.
Patrick Mullins (5.5)
Assisted Ballouchy’s goal, combined well with Alvarez and Shelton at times, and was inches away from connecting with Grabavoy’s low cross in the 50th minute. Mullins worked hard to get into dangerous positions but ultimately found himself overmatched by Brad Evans and Chad Marshall.
David Villa (6)
Looked lively after replacing Ballouchy early in the second half, but with little room in the penalty box, had to create in and around the box, threatening only from distance. Villa may have had a case for a penalty when Marshall looked to have brought him down late in the game.
Kwadwo Poku (5.5)
Slotted just in front of the back four to mitigate Seattle’s counterattacks as New York chased the game, but struggled to keep up with Seattle’s pace on the break. A powerful shot in the 75th minute forced Frei into a tight save.
RJ Allen (4)
Made his MLS debut after replacing Facey in the 69th, and looked eager to please. Unfortunately, his attacking zeal left open space behind him that Neagle and Martins almost capitalized on.