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Luis Barraza: An Official Apology Letter

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Luis Barraza of the New York City Football Club, I apologize. I apologize for being unsure if you were the goalkeeper to pick up the mantle after your captain & mentor Sean Johnson departed for the great white north of Toronto. I apologize for wondering if you were only keeping the job until Matt Freeze was ready to take over, simply filling a seat gap until he got acclimated to his new environment. Earlier on in the year I posted stats which questioned if you were the goalkeeper for the future, and not just a stop gap. I’ll post it here so you can rip on me:

It took some of the thunder away from this article as I decided last week I was going to do this before the announcement was made, but you deservedly won April’s NYCFC’s player of the month. An award well deserved, just the same, but WHY did you earn it? I’m going to drop some stats that have shown, VERY QUIETLY, why you’ve done a stellar job in net:

1) Through 10 games, you have a 72.5% save percentage. Last year through 10 games Sean Johnson was at 70.5% (this year if you’re wondering, Johnson is at 71.8%)

2) At 80.2%, your pass percentage is the second highest in in MLS of any goalkeeper with at least 7 starts (Patrick Schulte of Columbus is at 81.2% in 7 starts).

3) You’ve allowed one goal in each of the past 6 matches. While clean sheets are pretty, consistency is key. No one wants a goalkeeper who vacillates between clean sheets and giving up 3-4 goals a match.

4) You’re the 3rd longest tenured player on NYCFC, behind Maxime Chanot & Keaton Parks. 4th if you want to include James Sands in there, but either way, you’ve quietly been with the club a long time.

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At just 10 matches in, there’s still a lot of season left at this point. And you I’m sure will admit that the numbers I posted aren’t good enough for you. At the beginning of the year during a press conference you acknowledged that being stuck on the bench was frustrating and that you were going to take advantage of the opportunity in front of you. You did sir, and you made a believer out of me. And, I think, a believer out of a lot of us. Keep it going.

About the author – Scott Churchson has been an actor in every way for the past 13 years, from BG to stand in to stunts and principal, a sports writer for the past 4 and is one of the people that created Stream Punk Entertainment. He’s married to a veterinarian, has a cat with three working legs, a mother-in-law who just moved in and is just a simple man trying to make his way in the universe.

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