Player Ratings

Player Ratings: Chicago Fire FC vs. FC Cincinnati

Clay Winstead grades FC Cincinnati’s 1-0 victory Wednesday at Chicago Fire FC.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Miller/Graphic by Joey Koehling

FC Cincinnati defeated Chicago Fire FC 1-0 at Soldier Field on Wednesday night. FCC controlled the first half, putting up nine shots on goal before the break. In the second half, however, Chicago was on the front foot and had the lion’s share of chances. The Orange and Blue scored the winning goal in the 50th minute from a direct free kick by Álvaro Barreal. The Fire turned up the heat on offense late in the match, and they seemed to have scored a late equalizer, but the Video Assistant Referee called it offside. FCC held on for its first clean sheet of the season.

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.

Expected Goals (xG): Chicago Fire FC – 1.6, FC Cincinnati – 2.4, per

Now onto the ratings:

GK – Kenneth Vermeer: 5

The man between the sticks deserves some credit for his performance. Chicago came out hot in the second half, and there was a particular sequence where Vermeer made two crucial saves to keep the clean sheet. But his decision-making in the box — when he leaves his line and when he doesn’t — is slow and often poor. It would have led to the equalizer if the VAR didn’t call Robert Berić offside.

RB – Joseph-Claude Gyau: 5

The rating is a little harsh on Gyau himself, who had a decent match. But his passing was inefficient against the Fire, and his positioning on the pitch feels more like a burden than a benefit. Coach Jaap Stam lets him drift forward but doesn’t expect him to drop back. That means Luciano Acosta and Barreal have to cover for him. FCC would be better in possession if the two of them weren’t constantly dropping back.

CB – Geoff Cameron: 6.5

Cameron had another solid performance in defense and continues to prove his value as a leader. He won six of eight duels and recorded five clearances on top of three interceptions. What stood out the most, however, was what Cameron said. The defender could be heard shouting instructions throughout the match and he wasn’t afraid to call out his own teammates when they needed it.

CB – Gustavo Vallecilla: 6.5

After leaving the last match at halftime to receive stitches above his cheekbone, Vallecilla returned and played a full 90 minutes. The Ecuadorian was a more accurate passer than Cameron and made more clearances too. Wednesday night was FCC’s first clean sheet of the season. Having a consistent partnership in defense seems to be paying off.

LB – Rónald Matarrita: 7

Fortunately, the Orange and Blue only missed their starting left back for one match. But he was missed. Matarrita returned to the starting XI, and there wasn’t much rust. He had the second-highest passing accuracy on the team (81%), completed both of his dribble attempts and made two interceptions. It’s good to have him back. 

CM – Allan Cruz: 7

The midfield duo of Cruz and Yuya Kubo is settling nicely. The Costa Rican international was one of FCC’s better passers (completing 77%) and even created a chance. He also made two successful tackles. Stam will surely be happy to maintain a consistent partnership, but the midfield may need to rotate before their third match this week against Toronto FC.

CM – Yuya Kubo: 7

Between the two midfielders, Kubo has been the more impressive in recent matches. He has leaned into his new role. Kubo’s passing accuracy was subpar against Chicago, but Kubo made two interceptions and led the team in successful tackles (five of seven attempts). It’s promising from the former forward, but Kubo still lacks defensive discipline. He conceded five fouls and lost 10 of his 19 duels.

RM – Álvaro Barreal: 8 (Man of the Match)

Bend it like Barreal. Put that on a tee, Cincy Shirts. His fellow Argentine led the team in several important statistics (see below) but moments define a soccer match, and a surefire “goal of the week” contender deserves Man of the Match honors. Barreal is beginning to show sustained flashes of quality and that cannot be game-planned away. Anything is possible on the pitch when your team has someone like him.

CAM – Luciano Acosta: 7.95

The perfectly placed left-footed curler from his compatriot stole the show, but Lucho was puppet master for FCC once again. It’s becoming routine, almost boring, to say he led the team in chances created (five) and dribbles completed (three of five). To reuse a phrase from Monday’s Player Ratings: “Almost every memorable chance FCC had on offense was started by Acosta.” At least he’s consistent.

LM – Isaac Atanga: 4

A recurring issue for FCC is the lack of pressure from the front four in midfield. When FCC loses the ball, players like Atanga need to stay committed and put pressure on their opponents. But he doesn’t. That means his teammates have to drop back which leaves space for the counter and places undue burden on his defenders. It isn’t just Atanga, but there were a few notable instances in Chicago. Atanga struggled elsewhere too, only completing five of 10 passes and losing five of six duels with one particularly weak finish on goal.

ST – Brenner: 6.5

Brenner is still looking for his second goal in MLS, but he put in a good performance against the Fire. He led the team in passing accuracy (90%), won seven of 10 duels, and put two shots on target. Brenner also drew five fouls during the match, including the foul that gave Barreal his free kick opportunity. 

SUB – Brandon Vasquez (73rd Minute): 4.5

With another match in three days, Stam was probably looking to give Brenner some rest. Vasquez was offside twice in his 17 minutes and missed a big chance to secure the win when he attempted to chip the Fire goalkeeper one on one.

SUB – Jürgen Locadia (73rd Minute): 5

Locadia replaced Atanga on the left wing. He missed a big chance late, mustering a weak shot off the post after beating the goalkeeper.

SUB – Nick Hagglund (83rd Minute): N/A

Hagglund was a late sub for Barreal as FCC shifted formation in the final minutes.

Injury Notes: Zico Bailey (hip), Calvin Harris (meniscus), Maikel van der Werff (sports hernia)

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