After a surprise run that saw FC Cincinnati advance to the knockout round of the MLS is Back Tournament, the Orange and Blue ran out of luck Tuesday against the Portland Timbers, losing in penalties following a 1-1 draw. Jarosław Niezgoda opened the scoring in the 67th minute, running into the open space left by the FC Cincinnati defense and firing a quick shot into the back of the net. FCC responded quickly, pressing the Timbers on defense and becoming more aggressive on offense. In the 79th minute, Allan Cruz pressured Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark into making a mistake in his own box, fouling the Costa Rican midfielder and giving Jürgen Locadia a chance from the penalty spot. Locadia struck the ball into the bottom left corner past the diving Clark to tie the game 1-1. After the 90 minutes were through, the teams faced off in a penalty shootout, where the Timbers prevailed 4-2. This ends FC Cincinnati’s time in Orlando.
Check out Cincinnati Soccer Talk’s post match report here for more details.
- 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 match statistics 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, the ratings:
GK – Pryzemsław Tytoń: (7.5)
Easily the man of the match for FC Cincinnati. This game was more even than any in Orlando, but Tyton was kept busy by the Timbers offense. He stepped up to the challenge, making seven saves throughout the game. Without his efforts, FCC would not have made it to penalties after 90 minutes. There was nothing Tytoń could’ve done to prevent Niezgoda’s goal — it was the defense’s failure for giving him that space. A vocal minority may want to blame him for failing to make a save in the penalty shootout, but PKs almost always come down to the shooter. And not everyone can be Mitch Hildebrandt.
RWB – Joseph-Claude Gyau: (6.5)
Gyau has proven himself time and time again this summer. FCC wasn’t as reliant on him to create offense against Portland, but he was excellent going forward. He completed all three of his dribbles and created three chances. Timbers left-back Jorge Villafaña struggled to deal with Gyau all night, which earned him a yellow card. I only wish Gyau was able to take more advantage of the mismatch and force another foul. He did create one chance, with a well-hit cross to the head of substitute midfielder Fatai Alashe. Unfortunately, Alashe couldn’t find the back of the net. Gyau’s yellow card 40 seconds into the second half and his 70% pass completion keeps him from a higher score.
RCB – Mathieu Deplagne: (5)
Once again, Deplagne was a steady presence in the backline. Surprisingly, the French defender had more touches than anyone else on the team. In the 61st minute, Deplagne made a great far post run on Haris Medunjanin’s free kick to score a goal. But it was called back because he was leaning offside. His rating drops because of the role he played in Portland’s go-ahead goal. Timbers winger Sebastián Blanco was released on a pass out wide, and instead of following the run, Deplagne dropped back into the penalty area. By the time he applied pressure, it was too late, and Blanco was able to provide the assist.
CB – Kendall Waston: (4)
Coach Jaap Stam’s switch to a 5-3-2 formation has brought out the best in FC Cincinnati’s captain, and Waston started out the game with confidence; he won every duel while recording 11 clearances and three interceptions. But it was his positioning in the box that left Niezgoda wide open for his goal. Blanco made his run into the box, Waston moved to cover the near post, which was already occupied by Tytoń. Niezgoda was open for Blanco’s pass and only needed two touches to score. If that mistake wasn’t enough, Waston stepped up as the fourth penalty taker for FCC and I believe his shot left the Wide World of Sports and broke a window in Cinderella’s castle.
LCB – Tom Pettersson: (6.5)
The newest center back for the Orange and Blue has been quietly competent since filling in for the injured Maikel van der Werff. Pettersson completed 96% of his passes against Portland, including three out of four long balls. His distribution to the midfield and left wing-back Andrew Gutman was important as the Timbers often let FCC possess for long stretches at a time. He also contributed on defense with three clearances and three interceptions. He’s made selection difficult for Stam, and van der Werff will need to work hard to earn his starting spot back.
LWB – Andrew Gutman: (5.5)
Speaking of earning your starting spot, Gutman has proven he might be ready to take over as left back full time. Throughout the tournament, he’s been reliable on defense and makes the opposition nervous with his forward runs. Gutman once again put in his usual shift. He had a couple of successful dribbles up the left sideline and completed 93% of his passes — a dozen of which were in the opposition half. However, his yellow card in the first half forced him to be more conservative on defense and put him in trouble. But it was an otherwise solid performance by the young homegrown player.
RCM – Caleb Stanko: (6)
Since coming into the starting lineup against Atlanta United, Stanko has helped solidify the midfield and provided defensive cover for Medunjanin. Like Pettersson, he’s been quietly competent and we saw more of the same against Portland. Not only did Stanko win six of his eight duels, three aerial battles, two clearances and two interceptions, but he completed nearly 90% of his passes.
CM – Haris Medunjanin: (6.5)
Fans are beginning to see the kind of player they were promised when FCC signed Medunjanin in the offseason. He completed 90% of his passes against Portland, six out of eight long balls, and two key passes. His excellent free kick to an offside Deplagne showed his value on set pieces as well. Medunjanin even had two tackles and an interception. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if he was one of the players to take a penalty after regulation.
LCM – Frankie Amaya: (5)
It looked like Amaya was going to start the game hot after taking a shot in the second minute. But I couldn’t tell you from memory what he did for the next 88 minutes. The youngest player to score in the MLS is Back Tournament only had 29 touches against the Timbers and was taken off before the hour mark. Amaya’s passing percentage was much improved over his display against the New York Red Bulls, but he still failed to assert himself in the midfield.
FW – Yuya Kubo: (4)
The only player for FCC who touched the ball less than Amaya was Yuya Kubo. He had difficulty getting involved from the beginning of the game, which is odd as Portland often gave FC Cincinnati time to build up possession. Kubo did make all of his 17 passes, but he failed to take a single shot or complete a successful dribble. It was a disappointing match, and he was subbed off before the 60th minute.
FW – Adrien Regattin: (5)
FC Cincinnati’s other forward seemed to be more successful in getting involved in the offense. As to be expected with Regattin, he made some good movement throughout the game and put in a lot of effort. While he put a shot on target, he spent most of the time in his own half and didn’t give the Timbers defense much to worry about. I don’t want to be harsh on Regattin or Kubo, as they’re being asked to do more than they’re capable of in this setup. Both are best as wide forwards or second strikers, making runs off someone like Locadia. But where the two excelled against the Red Bulls, they failed to make an impression against Portland.
SUB – Siem de Jong (58th min): (6.5)
It took several minutes for de Jong to get into the flow of the game, but he got better as the second half went on. Over half of his passes were in the opposition half, and you could see him growing in confidence. He nearly assisted Locadia for what would’ve been the game-winning goal. When it came time for penalty kicks, de Jong scored his with ease. It was his best performance for the Orange and Blue.
SUB – Allan Cruz (59th min): (7)
Stam made adjustments, and he made them fast, with Cruz coming in for Regattin and playing in a very advanced role, alongside fellow sub de Jong. It’s not his usual position, but Cruz immediately impacted the game and was instrumental in pressing the Timbers ball holders after going down 1-0. His aggressive pressure on Clark earned the penalty for FCC. And in the penalty shootout, Cruz calmly scored on his attempt.
SUB – Fatai Alashe (59th min): (5.5)
The midfield needed fresh legs, and Alashe performed well for most of the match. He completed 92% of his passes, but his missed header and a late yellow keep him from a better rating.
SUB – Jürgen Locadia (72nd min): (4)
His presence changed the match right away, and he confidently struck his penalty kick to equalize in the 79th minute. Clark guessed right, but Locadia’s strike was too fast and too well placed to be stopped. Unfortunately, that’s the only nice thing you can say about his performance. In the 88th minute, Locadia made an excellent far post run, and de Jong provided him with a perfect pass across the box, but Locadia couldn’t convert the wide-open chance to win the game. It would’ve been forgiven had he scored again in the penalty shootout. Locadia lacked the placement or the speed of his first, and Clark easily saved it. The rating may be extreme — I know his fitness played a part — but those are the shots a striker has to make.
SUB – Kekuta Manneh (89th min): N/A
Late match tactical sub for Joseph-Claude Gyau.