Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati vs Columbus Crew- fourth edition

Brad Weigel has his grades for FC Cincinnati’s 2-1 win Wednesday at Nippert Stadium over Columbus Crew SC.

FC Cincinnati broke its four-match losing streak with a 2-1 win over Columbus Crew SC in the final Hell is Real Derby of the regular season. Yuya Kubo struck early with a 17th-minute penalty kick. Pedro Santos capitalized off a Tom Pettersson foul in the box, leading to a penalty kick of his own in the 45th minute. Nick Hagglund bagged the winner in the 49th minute off a header.

Check out Cincinnati Soccer Talk’s post-match report here for more details.


  • Each player starts off with a 6 as a 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 statistics and the Audi Player Index (API), Who Scored, and Stats Zone 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 onto the ratings:

GK – Bobby Edwards: (7)

Edwards didn’t have to make many tough saves, but it was his composure coming out of his area to punch balls away that impressed me. He nearly saved Santos’s PK. His performance has me intrigued. His physical skills look the part. Interesting that FC Cincinnati chose to go the long ball route rather than playing short balls to the center back out of the box as in past matches. 

RB – Saad Abdul-Salaam: (6)

Not bad sir, not bad. Abdul-Salaam was calm and collected at right back. He didn’t get as forward as Andrew Gutman but chose his moments wisely. Still needs to work on the final third game, but he was much better.

CB – Tom Pettersson: (5)

Pettersson was really good for 89 minutes, but his 45th minute foul in the box gave up a late first-half goal. I appreciate that he tried to step to Santos, but he needs to be more careful in the box. It almost cost the club the match.

CB – Nick Hagglund: (10)

Coach Brad Gough told me to give a 10, and he’s my Man of the Match, so here it is. Honestly, though, he might get Player of the Week. Hagglund scored a goal, had seven clearances and won a pair of tackles. He won 5/7 aerial duels and was the anchor of the backline. Tremendous performance. 

LB – Andrew Gutman: (5)

I love he’s fast and I love his effort but his final product needs to improve and improve fast. No more balls into the endzone!

CM – Kamohelo Mokotjo: (7) 

Finally, FC Cincinnati’s midfield is playing at the speed it needs to. While Mokotjo had a couple of loose touches, he was quick with the ball and with his passing. His passing chart was all over the field, picking out probing passes. Really interested to see how he grows as he develops stamina and knocks the rust off. 

CM – Haris Medunjanin: (7)

I absolutely have a bromance for Haris Medunjanin. With Mokotjo doing a lot of the dirty work, Medunjanin is able to think and play how he’s best suited. He’s able to stay deep and spray passes all over the park. Medunjanin sprayed passes with the urgency needed to free up players like Kubo and Mokotjo. I’m not sure if he’ll be here next year, but I will cherish his time in Cincinnati.

AM – Allan Cruz: (5)

I love how Cruz goes in for physical plays (ie: the penalty foul), but outside of that he just isn’t creative enough in the attacking midfield. It feels like any time he gets the ball, he’s unsure of which pass to play and is looking for a foul. Right now, I don’t know how he fits.

RW – Alvaro Barreal: (7.5)

Name the adjectives: electric, dynamic, explosive. With FC Cincinnati finally able to control the midfield, Barreal had time on the ball to make things happen. He is quick and the ball just sticks to his feet. When he gets it, his head is up looking for his next play. His ability to control the ball in tight spaces created the foul that led to the penalty scored by Kubo. The sky is the limit for Barreal, and with some sanding, Stam can polish him into a stud.

ST – Brandon Vazquez: (5.5)

FC Cincinnati still needs to figure out how to incorporate its striker into the play. Vazquez had little work outside his holdup play, especially in the second half. Most of his touches were in the middle third. It’s a missing piece coach Jaap Stam needs to unlock. 

LW – Yuya Kubo: (6.5)

Wednesday night was Kubo’s best overall performance for the Orange & Blue. He was pressing early but got off several scoring chances, two of which came from in the box. You could see him relax when he put a 17th-minute penalty kick into the back of the net. Once that went in, you could see a sigh of relief from the entire club. I do have an issue as he can give the ball away. He was dispossessed four times and needs to be more efficient in the attacking third. 

SUB – Joseph-Claude Gyau (59th Minute): (6)

Gyau only got about 15 minutes in his natural position before shifting to left-back for Gutman. With FC Cincinnati on the back foot by then, he had to stay back and be positionally sound on defense. 

SUB- Rashawn Dally (68th Minute): (5.5)

It was tough for Dally to come in, as Columbus was on the front foot by that time. He had the ball in the attacking third, but his touch was off and he gave the ball away a couple of times.

SUB- Caleb Stanko (75th Minute): (N/A)

Stanko came in for Mokotjo to see out the match.

SUB- Siem de Jong (75th Minute): (N/A)

Siem de Jong came in for Gutman and played in the attacking midfield. FC Cincinnati was tired and didn’t have much of the ball, so he was put in to kill the match. 

Injury Notes: Kendall Waston, Jurgen Locadia, Greg Garza, Przemysław Tytoń, Spencer Richey, Mathieu Deplagne, Maikel van der Werff .

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