We have to admit it. Sean Johnson's departure had caused much concern. New York City FC had lost a key player, one of the team's leaders, and one of the players who had consistently delivered strong performances. His farewell in the pre-season threw many into turmoil because New York has truly lost a key player.
The club clearly immediately ran for cover by getting Matt Freese from Philadelphia Union. Everyone expected to see Freese as a starter and instead, Nick Cushing decided to bet on Luis Barraza who until then was Johnson's replacement. No choice has ever turned out to be more successful.
Barraza immediately provided excellent performances during the pre-season and at the start of the season. Also against Nashville Barraza showed remarkable progress confirming himself as one of the best of the match. If New York City FC managed to win, much of the credit goes to the goalkeeper who saved the team on at least six occasions. In front of him, Barraza also had an important striker like Mukhtar, MVP 2022, and Golden Boot. Yet Barraza managed to neutralize it along with all the offensive actions of the opponents.
Barraza made his most saves in a match in 2023. It's a shame about the goal conceded, but that doesn't stain a high-level performance from the MLS revelation goalkeeper.
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