New York City FC boss Nick Cushing was full of praise for goalkeeper Matt Freese after his “10 out of 10” performance in the team’s 1-1 draw with Inter Miami.

Many may not have known about Freese before the Saturday night clash, but they’ll now know his name after he denied the legendary Luis Suarez on multiple occasions late on in the match. Freese, a former Philadelphia Union shot-stopper, has suited up for the Boys in Blue 19 times since joining in January of last year and continues to impress in his first full season as the starting goalkeeper.

The 25-year-old more than played his part in the intense draw at Chase Stadium, making five crucial saves while facing an xGOT (expected goals on target) of 2.33. While Freese conceded an early goal to Suarez when the veteran striker was left all alone in the box, he rebounded and put in a shift in between the sticks despite the amount of pressure he was under for the remainder of the match.

“I think he’s a top goalkeeper, so I think he makes the save because that’s his game,” Cushing said of Freese after the match. “I thought the same last week as well, he’s come up in the big moments. When I talk about executing a result, it’s about doing your job and it’s about being at the top of your game, and when you get the moment, you have to take the moment.”

Cushing acknowledged that a player of Suarez’s caliber is going to get chances in front of goal and there isn’t much you can do in that regard. However, he did explain that in those moments where a top striker is through on goal, his players must step up and “do their job” to increase their chances of leaving the match with with at least a point.

“Whether you’re a forward, goalkeeper or a defender…In those moments where you know you’re going to give chances away against Luis Suarez, he is one of the best to ever play the game in that position, you need your players to do their job. I thought Matt [Freese] tonight was a 10 out of 10 in his performance.”

It’s been a rough year for NYCFC, but Cushing will hope that the impressive draw at Miami will be the start of an unbeaten run for his side in the weeks to come. The Eastern Conference club sit in 14th place in the division — just one position above last-placed New England Revolution — and return to action this Saturday to take on Atlanta United at Citi Field.


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