The Red Bulls have only played two games this season, but would you believe Armando -- the journeyman Spanish centerback -- is the Red Bulls' best player so far?
The ratings, which WhoScored.com pumps up as "the most accurate, respected and well-known performance indicators in the world of football," logs each event "that was of importance," where it happened and the outcome.
Against the Whitecaps, Armando earned a 6.7 rating, good for fourth on the team, behind Ibrahim Sekagya and the tandem responsible for the Red Bulls' goal, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Lloyd Sam. Last week, he was the team's best player, with WhoScored.com giving his performance an 8.2 rating, one tenth better than Thierry Henry, who tallied an 8.1. Sam, who's earned plaudits from Head Coach Mike Petke for his play this season (and has assisted on both Red Bulls goals), got a 6.8. Sam sits behind Armando in ratings among players who have played two games.
Obviously the sample size is small and there are still plenty of criticisms of his game (he still seems to be adjusting, he's a yellow card magnet), but he distributes well out of the back, likes having the ball at his feet and is pretty good in the air.
If he can keep this up, it'll clear up a lot of questions along the backline, thought to be the Red Bulls' biggest area of concern. Now, they just have to fix the offense.