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OaM Player Ratings: Toronto FC

The gang gives their thought on a comprehensive 2-0 victory over old friends from Ontario

MLS: Toronto FC at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


Lenz Ong: Just a week after I praised him for keeping it tidy at the back, some real nervy moments at the back with his distribution today. Some questionable decisions that pinned his defenders back and generated some sketchy turnovers. Also tended to overhit his short passes. Could consider himself a bit lucky to come away with a second consecutive clean sheet, but hopefully it’s just an off day.

Juan Mesa: Issues in distribution but what a ball to Yearwood for the second goal.


Brit Byrd: Not a center of attention like the first three matches but still solid.

Ben Cork: Especially in the first half seemed to be making an impact in the opponents’ half more than he had in previous games and combined well with Caden Clark on both sides of the ball. Impressive deep cross for White could have been an early goal.


Juan Mesa: Getting back to the form of his best days. Looks alert, quick.

Ben Cork: After a wary preseason following transfer rumors, appears fully-bought in and is enthusiastically leading what needs to be a focused backline.


Brit Byrd: Had some close calls when passing in the first half like the rest of the back five, but overall solid yet again.


Brit Byrd: Second game in a row that he’s seemed more confident both going forward and in the tackle.

Lenz Ong: Really stepped up his game since Tom Edwards’ arrival in New York. Big responsibility today in handling Toronto’s shiny new toy, Yeferson Soteldo, and mostly kept him shackled together with Cristian Casseres Jr. Very good defensive display.


Juan Mesa: Passing can still be off but he is pushing the team forward, shows leadership.

Ben Cork: At a later stage of this team’s evolution Davis’ limited passing range could become an area to be upgraded, but for now his work rate and intangible value for the team’s belief and situational problem-solving are key to any success.


Lenz Ong: Still think he occasionally looks a bit slow in midfield compared to the rest of the team, and tends to be a bit predictable when on the ball. That being said, being moved back deeper has helped him carve a bit of a role in the squad.

Brit Byrd: Some promising if unspectacular consistency at the side of the midfield after being bounced around the last two years.

Ben Cork: Gaining in confidence and character in the current setup, but I continue to think his inability to create in open space dampens the team’s threat. Perhaps his decision-making gets easier once Patryk Klimala is running in front of him.


Justin Sousa: The goalscoring rate will probably not keep up as time goes on, but this type of selfless defensive work rate is such an admirable trait within a 17-year-old midfielder.

Lenz Ong: All around, probably the man of the match. Continues to show poise and polish well beyond his 17 years of age, especially in the way he always looked to advance the ball and combine in the attacking third. Really showing that he may indeed be best suited as a shuttler in Struber’s diamond instead of at the tip.


Mike Battista: The million dollar man scores his first goal for The Red Bull (extra point for that). Overall he and the rest of the midfield felt out Toronto as the game went on and tore them down over time.

Brit Byrd: Composed, competent finish for the goal but also very nice work with Clark and Fabio.

Juan Mesa: Team needed a player like him so bad. Good skill and work rate.


Lenz Ong: Some nice combinations up top to start, but got banged up by Omar Gonzalez and went quiet after that. A bit unlucky, hope he’s not nursing an injury.

Mike Battista: One blocked shot and you get subbed off for Daniel Royer at halftime? He didn’t even seem to be a consideration during the first half. I expect nothing and I’m still let down.

FABIO - 7.4

Justin Sousa: Once he consistently starts finding the back of the net, I think the Red Bulls are clearly working with one of the best strikers in MLS.

Ben Cork: Still working out the timing and spacing within team structure that typically leads to goals, but is still making himself dangerous and with four assists now, the rest of the team knows how to play off this early version of him.



Ben Cork: While it’s still hard to see a path for him into the starting XI again especially for a team playing at a higher tempo, he and Struber have carved out a nice role for him as a more-technical, less-predictable forward hovering around the target man as opponents’ legs tire.


Lenz Ong: Yet another promising appearance off the bench. The through ball in to start the sequence for the second goal was lovely, and once again seemed to up the tempo of the game off the bench. Good ace to have up your sleeve so far, can’t wait to see what the team may look like with him for the full 90 sometime.

Brit Byrd: Fresh legs and ideas at the 65th minute seemed to be the final straw for Toronto’s morale.

Justin Sousa: Looking more and more like the visionary midfielder he showed flashes of at Brentford with each appearance. His risk taking with passes in the final third is a refreshing sight.


Juan Mesa: Omir is following the script. He presses, combines and is getting himself if good positions to score.


Lenz Ong: Some lively moments late in the game with his quick feet. Wonder if he’d be a good change to inject some flair into the side off the bench once he gets up to speed.


Ben Cork: Veteran move on his debut to keep the game ball speech short and sweet so they can fit in pulpier material for this week’s All Access video.


Brit Byrd: Clear signs of week to week growth, high team morale, and Clark’s quote that their late game dominance was “all Gerhard” says it all.

Ben Cork: After a fairly chilly, impersonal start to his career in New York, there seems to be something special building under Gerhard Struber. On an emotionally-charged day against a conference rival managed by his immediate predecessor, Struber and his staff were noticeably affectionate and upbeat interacting with their young squad on Saturday afternoon and the players were complimentary in return. With one problem area of the lineup already diagnosed and fixed by the goalscoring Frankie Amaya, and another set to be filled by the on-the-ground Patryk Klimala, Struber and Kevin Thelwell are building faith in their project on and off the field.

What were your scores for the New York Red Bulls this week? Sound off in the comments below...