After helping keep Italian star Federico Bernardeschi off the scoresheet and leading a makeshift Red Bulls backline to a clean sheet performance against Toronto FC, defender John Tolkin earned a spot on MLS' Team of the Matchday bench for the midweek Matchday 13.
With defenders Sean Nealis and Andrés Reyes unavailable due to yellow card accumulation, Tolkin was forced into a center back role, one he has been getting more experience at during the 2023 season.
Against stars like Lorenzo Insigne and Bernardeschi, having a rotated defense looked like it could have caused problems for the Red Bulls. With Tolkin's help, however, Toronto couldn't find the back of the net.
"JMi, who is not by trade, a left center back but he's kind of grown into that role somewhat this year," Head Coach Troy Lesesne said after the Toronto match.
He also was in the perfect positions to block a ball off the line to keep Toronto off the scoreboard in the first half.
Tolkin has played in 11 of New York's 14 matches across all competitions. In each of those matches, he has gone all 90 minutes.
This is Tolkin's second appearance on the Team of the Matchday, with his first appearance coming after his game-tying assist against Chicago Fire. His four assists on the season lead the team.