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OaM Player Ratings: Nashville SC

The site staff breaks down the best of the best after another triumphant home win

MLS: Nashville SC at New York Red Bulls Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports


Lenz Ong: Another mostly quiet night, but a big stop early in the second half to preserve the 2-0 lead. Spilled catch on a throw-in that led to a goalmouth scramble a bit later prevents him from getting a higher rating in my book.


Juan Mesa: The homegrown has personality, was always available to give options to the team on the left side.

Lenz Ong: With the news that Andrew Gutman will be out for at least a month, seems poised for plenty of minutes to come. Another steady performance indicates that he is deserving of gaining them.


Ross Haley: Unexpectedly thrust in the veteran role in recent weeks, the 24-year-old helped to cycle the ball and demonstrated the sure-footedness required of a stoic giant.

Ben Cork: Grew into game after iffy moments in early stretches and hockey assist on Fabio’s goal shows growing confidence with the ball.


John Perdicaro: He didn’t get red carded in the first half, so I guess that’s a plus? Solid insertion to the backline, and seemed more mindful of not giving away silly fouls.

Ben Cork: Huge rebound performance where he rarely put a foot wrong. Gobbled up every long ball Nashville threw his way and showed inventive passing vision at moments.


Lenz Ong: Pigs have flown at Red Bull Arena, with a striker bagging a goal, and Kyle Duncan scoring a goal from distance with his left! Good two-way performance at right back from him tonight, nice to see him gaining confidence to go forward in attack a bit more.

John Perdicaro: The goal sealed the game and seems to have a fire lit under him. He credited Struber for pushing him and to have a more attacking mindset.

Mike Battista: On a day where he and Caden Clark are named to the USMNT provisional Gold Cup roster, the two combined for a goal. Duncan looked good, had a key tackle to stop a Nashville chance, and won nearly half his duels. The only thing that brought him down a little was that rough yellow card foul. Just makes me more worried at the prospect the team loses him for a month.


Ross Haley: His deployment at the quasi-six draws to mind when Thierry Henry was used as a wide attacking midfielder to great success. Players from England can possess a higher level of technical ability than the average MLS talent, lessening the challenge of an unfamiliar position.

Juan Mesa: New position in the central midfield for the Englishman and did fairly well. He struggled a bit with Nashville’s pressing, but the coaching staff should be pleased with its new utility player.

Lenz Ong: I don’t know if he moves the ball fast enough to truly be an asset at defensive midfield, but the fact that he has already slotted in competently at various positions is a boon to the team. Makings of a supercharged Sal Zizzo here maybe.


John Perdicaro: Another strong defensive performance by the captain. Was all over the place and with purpose.

Lenz Ong: The unsung hero on the night. With Nashville making it a total slugfest in midfield, he worked well in tight spaces to relieve pressure and spread play all night. His renaissance continues to show proof of the effect that Struber is having on his players.


Ross Haley: The arguable First-Quarter MVP had an unspectacular match, forced to hang back further in the formation. The injury crisis is shifting responsibilities and causing players out of their comfort zones.

Mike Battista: Probably one of the key players in the passing game that wore down Nashville as the night went on. His speed and accuracy was unmatched and he played a big role in many possessions.


Juan Mesa: (Talented) kids grow so fast. He was in beast mode in the second half and dominated. Very important turn and pass on Duncan’s goal.

Ben Cork: Continues to build on special season that might just see him stolen away for national team duty later in the summer. Composed passing and willing defensive work show high ceilings of potential in both the short and long-term.

FABIO - 8.4

John Perdicaro: If Fabio takes the route of Clark of scoring bangers only I won’t complain. Showing why Red Bull extended his loan.

Lenz Ong: The smile on his face after breaking his duck says it all. Beautifully taken goal, and was a menace all night long in attack. He seems like he really likes being here, and you know what, I really like the fact that he is too.


Juan Mesa: A nightmare for defenders because he is always on the move and has good feet on top of that. No doubt he is Designated Player quality.

Lenz Ong: The combination with Fabio on the opener was something Red Bull fans have been waiting to see since he signed, and the way the two dovetailed all game should really whet the appetite. Who said strike partnerships were old-fashioned?



Mike Battista: A noticeable improvement in the midfield during the second half. The passing game was crisp and Yearwood helped push up and find routes for the offense.

Lenz Ong: Probably his most unremarkable substitute appearance so far this year, but still managed a couple surging runs with the ball and kept us on the front foot for most of the second half. With the schedule becoming increasingly congested in the coming weeks, have to imagine that he’ll be suiting up for extended minutes soon.


Ben Cork: A typical muffed touch or two but his ability to run and stretch the field late in games could make Barlow a more familiar face off the bench than Daniel Royer as the season progresses.


Lenz Ong: Only real moment of the game was missing a great chance to make it 3-0 late in the game off a corner, but I’m not going to be too hard on him because the game was pretty much over at that point.


Ross Haley: Despite his brief appearance, the Venezuelan teenager was buzzing with involvement on both sides of the ball. The ability to make an impact in limited minutes is a necessary yet elusive quality for young players attempting to climb the ladder.


Lenz Ong: The manager got the game plan completely spot on here once again. Expected a slog in midfield, so decided to bypass it completely by playing it direct to his two big target men up top. Deployed an advanced line of three midfielders playing off of them, supported by the fullbacks pushing high up the pitch to keep Nashville pinned back in their own half. To highlight this, he got on his defenders’ cases for being too lateral with the ball midway through the first, which paid immediate dividends with Fabio’s opener. This team continues to show growth on a weekly basis, and this latest commanding win against a defensively formidable opponent is a testament to that.

John Perdicaro: Like Orlando he didn’t play conservative against a undefeated team. Whatever philosophy Struber is giving the team, the team is 100% buying into it.

Juan Mesa: Won the good tactical battle against a very organized team. The team showed patience but also had the will to put the game on its own terms and push for the result.

Mike Battista: Good starting XI, happy he stuck to the same formation despite his initial displeasure during the first half, not thrilled with the sub choices. Overall this is really promising. Getting a huge win over a difficult opponent right after the FIFA break can really start momentum. The scary thing is how much of the game relied on the three players possibly getting called up to the USMNT, so hopefully Struber’s roster going forward can shake out a bit more from the others.

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