FC Cincinnati played Atlanta United tough Saturday night and if not for a crucial non-penalty call could have stolen a point on the road. Ezequiel Barco put the home side up in the first half, turning in a Pity Martinez cross. The play that defined the game was the non-call when Allan Cruz was brought down in the box just before the half. FC Cincinnati fans should feel aggrieved that the foul was not called in what could’ve been the tying goal. Emerson Hyndman hit his second cracker of the season in the 55th minute before Yuya Kubo’s 64th-minute goal. FC Cincinnati had several chances late in the match but unfortunately were unable to find the equalizer, falling 2-1 in Atlanta. Now on to the Player Ratings!
- Each player starts off with a 6 as the standard rating. Six signifies an “average performance” for the match.
- Players will receive additions or subtractions to their score based on individual moments and the overall team performance.
- We’ll look at multiple criteria such as stats and the Audi Player Index (API) to assess a player’s rating.
- A player may receive an N/A if they are subbed in/off before any quantifiable statistics are available.
Now on to the ratings:
GK- Spencer Richey: (5.5), Audi Player Index: 195
Two goals conceded on four shots. Great anticipation to come out and clip Ezequiel Barco’s shot with his foot in the 18th minute. Would have liked him to have gotten a touch on Martinez’s cross before it found Barco for the goal. Kendall Waston could have done a better job to disrupt the play, but you have to think Martinez beats him most chances.
LB- Greg Garza: (5.5), Audi Player Index: 221
Garza had a mixed night in his return to Atlanta. He was much more analytical, choosing the right times to get forward. Atlanta played over him to Martinez leading up to Barco’s goal. Garza has to think Waston could’ve made a play to disrupt the counter. I do take courage in the budding relationship, especially after the 30th-minute mark, between Garza and Yuya Kubo, Garza’s passing allowed Kubo to cut in and look much more dangerous than last week at New York Red Bulls.
CB- Kendall Waston: (5), Audi Player Index: 180
I think Waston has nightmares about an opposing player running at him with the ball. He’s fine in the air, but 1v1 against the dribble he stands no chance. As mentioned above, Waston can’t let Martinez get off such an easy cross to Barco. This has been two weeks in a row that he’s looked susceptible to midfielders running directly at him. If this continues, you wonder how quickly the coaching staff takes a look at Tom Pettersson.
CB- Maikel van der Werff: (5), Audi Player Index: 389
I’m split on Maikel van der Werff’s performance Saturday. I think he hit some nice long balls to the wings but was a mixed bag on defense. He was tasked most of the night in tailing Adam Jahn. While Jahn didn’t get many opportunities, van der Werff was a step slow on both plays leading to Atlanta goals. Waston and Mathieu Deplagne were culpable on Barco’s goal, but he could have done more to disrupt Martinez’s cross. It looked like he was in between two minds on Emerson Hyndman’s goal. Once Deplagne switched off responsibility, van der Werff didn’t step up quickly to cut off the angle, allowing Hyndman to get off a pressure-free shot.
RB- Mathieu Deplagne: (4.5), Audi Player Index: 69
A lot of people are upset at Deplagne postgame and for good reason. He fell asleep on Atlanta’s first goal as Deplagne has the responsibility to track the attacker in front of the goal. He can’t let Barco beat him to the ball there. He was partially culpable on the second goal as he switched off on Hyndman and there wasn’t a defender close enough to step up before he fired off the shot for the goal.
CDM- Haris Medunjanin: (5.5), Audi Player Index: 113
You could start to see glimpses of Medunjanin’s passing ability, especially as the game wore on. I tend to think as the season progresses, we’ll see more and more of the midfielder. As the game moved on he crept moving forward and forward trying to hit probing passes to Cruz, Kubo and Jurgen Locadia.
CM- Frankie Amaya: (6.5), Audi Player Index: 43
Like the second half of last week, Frankie played much deeper in a more defensive role next to Haris Medunjanin. I loved his performance. He is just a little bulldog in midfield and won’t back down from any challenge. He was tasked with covering a lot of ground for the Orange & Blue next to Medunjanin. While he had four fouls, he wasn’t afraid to get stuck in and made it difficult for any Atlanta midfielder to get time on the ball. Matt Doyle had a great piece last week on Amaya, and he followed up last week’s performance with another hardworking effort.
CM- Allan Cruz: (6), Audi Player Index: 68
Interim coach Yoann Damet had Cruz employed higher up the pitch in an attacking midfield role for most of the match. When FC Cincinnati started the match defending in a 4-4-2, Cruz was up higher with Locadia, allowing the wings to drop back and prohibit Atlanta from stringing up the sides. Cruz created a couple of opportunities, including a 41st-minute header that Brad Guzan did well to stop. Minutes later Cruz should have earned a penalty when pulled down in the box.
LW- Yuya Kubo: (7), Audi Player Index: 503
Quiet for the first thirty minutes, you could see Kubo’s confidence start to build as the match wore on. Kubo ended the night with three shots, three key passes and a goal. You could see it coming for Kubo as he continued to build relationships with his teammates and got involved in the attack consistently. His performance was highlighted by this wonderful strike to get FC Cincinnati back into the match. With the swerve put on the ball, Brad Guzan didn’t stand much of a chance.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 8, 2020
RW- Joseph-Claude Gyau: (5.5), Audi Player Index: -45
Gyau got the nod after Adrien Regattin picked up a knock mid-week. His night was mostly forgettable as he was 20-for-30 (66%) in passing with one shot. He just never looked comfortable and gave the ball away easily at times. His highlight was a flick that almost ended up in the Atlanta goal just before half. FC Cincinnati looked more dangerous with Regattin on the field. Gyau looked liked he needed to be brought into the play by his teammates versus Regattin, who came into the match and immediately started to create chances.
FW-Jurgen Locadia: (5.5), Audi Player Index: 266
Locadia got his first start of the season but was unable to find the net. Unlike the Red Bull match, he was unable to have much time and space on the ball. When he did get his chances, he seemed to rush, landing just one of his four shots on goal. There is still much to be excited about. Once FC Cincinnati started to find its rhythm, you could see Locadia’s performance improve as well. He stopped dropping so deep to get on the ball and became more of the hold-up striker facilitating the play and then getting into the box. Like many on this team, as their chemistry improves, so will their stats and results.
SUB- Adrien Regattin (61st Minute): (7), Audi Player Index: 498
In the 61st minute, Gyau made way for Regattin, and the midfielder made a quick impact. Unlike Gyau, Regattin worked well with his teammates to create chances. FC Cincinnati thought they had the equalizer if not for a diving save from Guzan. Regattin took a quick ball off the right and hit a quick curler for force the save. Regattin and Gyau are both quick, high effort players, but though two matches, Regattin adds more to the attacking flair of the squad.
SUB- Brandon Vazquez (80th min.): (N/A), Audi Player Index:-69
Vazquez came in for Amaya to play in a two striker formation to close the match.
SUB- Andrew Gutman (80th min.): (N/A), Audi Player Index: -152
Gutman came in for Greg Garza at left-back.