MLS Cup Final: NYCFC vs Portland Timbers Players Rank As Sean Johnson Wins Title With Heroic Penalty Saves

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The 2021 MLS Cup final has entered extra time and brought many moments of wildness, chaos and thrill. In the end, it was New York City FC won the championship For the first time in the club’s history, a highlight for the City Football Team. NYCFC took the lead for most of the second half but conceded a goal in the fourth minute of extra time, and despite looking dominating in extra time, they went ahead and won the penalty shootout, 4-2. Goalkeeper Sean Johnson was the star of the shootout, saving the first two shots he faced to open the way.

Here’s how both teams performed:

New York City FC

(GK) Sean Johnson

120 Most of the shots he faced went wide of the post. He’s sharp when needed but can’t be faulted for conceding that late goal. His defense left him at that, but he excelled in the penalty shootout with two brilliant saves. 8.5

(DEF) Gudmundur Thorarinsson

90 Sometimes a little timid. His pass was solid but he faded as the game went on. Just not his normal self. 5

(DEF) Maxime Chanot

120 Arguably he is the best player on the pitch. Just a threat in the background, dealing well with nearly anything that comes his way. 8

(DEF) Alexander Callens

120 Often puts his body in front of the line but sometimes really has problems playing hard from the back. There were some solid moments but Chanot outperformed him in defence. Score the goal from the penalty kick. 5

(DEF) Tayvon Gray

120 He wasn’t as attentive as he needed to be to equalize and was caught a bit too much and picked a bad position. He won’t be able to sleep if they lose this. 4

(MID) Alfredo Morales

120 He did, but there were instances where he hit the ball and missed scary. He could be a little more assertive. Saved his PK. 4.5

(MID) James Sands

120 Meh. Didn’t see the ball as much as he wanted, and sometimes there was a disconnect in the midfield, especially late in the game. 5

(MID) Santiago Rodriguez

80 Offered very little and was given before full time. Can’t be wide enough to cause much trouble. It was just a quiet show, nothing outstanding. 4

(MID) Maxi Moralez

120 The worker is in the middle. There was a knock on this one, and it clearly affected him. But he made it through with his support and is a true leader. Transform your PK like a boss. 7

(MID) Jesus Medina

95 Crashed into a beer can, wasted a one-on-one chance and trailed in extra time. Not a typical performance, but he really didn’t do enough in his movement to put himself in good positions. 5

(FWD) Valentin Castellanos

120 Tasked with scoring goals and performing his role, even though his partners in attack were not. One of the highlights of the season and a budding star in the league. Also convert his PK. 8
Ismael Tajouri (80′) Rodriguez Portland dominated the ball in extra time, and he didn’t get a chance to make his mark. 5
Malte Amundsen (90′) Thorarinsson Come on in to help the defence, and really needed it when Portland was on the mend. Saved a little by the goalkeeper. 5
Talles Magno (95′) Medina The hero of the Eastern Conference finals, the young Brazilian had just one shot to make an impact, and he did, successfully delivering his penalty. 6
Ronny Deila 3 Make the necessary changes to the regulations, but maybe he should use something else to waste time because even Moralez is begging for it. His team looked nervous in extra time but escaped the championship trophy thanks to penalties. 7

Portland Wood

(GK) Steve Clark

120 A sleepless night would come for Clark, who couldn’t hold the ball to save in the opening goal for NYCFC. Creating a goal in a match of this magnitude is clearly not ideal.


(DEF) Josecarlos Van Rankin

89 Sure in defence and going forward, but like Bravo, Portland couldn’t make it.


(DEF) Larrys Mabiala

120 A void in between, Mabiala had a tough assignment in Castellanos and prepared for it, restricting him to the open air of play.


(DEF) Dario Zuparic

120 Zuparic rarely gets the wrong footing during the day and when you can’t spot a centre-back making a lot of tackles, it’s a sign that they’re in the right position to start with keeping the keeper safe. 7

(DEF) Claudio Bravo

120 Bravo created a couple of great chances but the Portland forwards couldn’t get them to score. He also did a great job of preventing NYCFC from being able to counterattack. 8

(MID) George Fochive

62 Fochive would have probably performed worse had he not been around Chara but his performance was nothing to write home about. 5

(MID) Diego Chara

120 Chara is great. Attacking goal all over the pitch, he rarely misplaced a foot as NYCFC’s chances came from wider areas as they couldn’t get past Chara in the midfield. 9

(MID) Sebastian Blanco

62 Blanco looked like his hamstring wasn’t good enough to start the game, if he didn’t start this could have been a different outcome. 4

(FWD) Yimmi Chara

120 While Chara wanted to give more, he excelled defensively and was asked to switch from winger to central midfield in extra time and was still excellent. 8

(FWD) Darion Asprilla

84 Sometimes I forget that Asprilla is on the pitch because he is not profitable after the suspension. 5

(FWD) Felipe Mora

120 While Mora scored the equalizer, failing to make better use of his five remaining opportunities in the game saw him drop a few pins. 6

Santiago Moreno (62′)

Blanco It could be another game if Moreno starts as his immediacy poses problems for New York after Blanco appeared unwell. 7
Diego Valeri (89′) Van Rankin Not the Hollywood send-off he wants if this is the last game of his career. Missed a golden opportunity in extra time and the penalty was saved by Johnson. 5
Christian Paredes (62′) Fochive Paredes came on to change the game in Portland’s favor late in the game as he was able to test the keeper while assisting Chara. 7
Jaroslaw Niezgoda (84′) Asprilla Asprilla was anonymous during the game but Niezgoda was somehow worse off, barely touching the ball after coming on. 4
Gio Savarese 4 Questions will need to be asked as Blanco doesn’t seem fit enough to start. He also waited too long to bring in late attackers to chase the equalizer. Had the changes been made sooner, the Timbers would have been able to lift the title at home. 4 MLS Cup Final: NYCFC vs Portland Timbers Players Rank As Sean Johnson Wins Title With Heroic Penalty Saves

Dustin Huang

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