Player Ratings

Player Ratings: Houston Dynamo FC vs. FC Cincinnati

Clay Winstead grades FC Cincinnati’s 1-1 draw Saturday at the Houston Dynamo.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Miller/Graphic by Joey Koehling

FC Cincinnati and Houston Dynamo FC played to a 1-1 draw Saturday night, where both teams scored in the first five minutes. Houston kicked off the match with a quick counterattack that cut through the FCC midfield and ended with Tyler Pasher, formerly of Indy Eleven, scoring the opener. The Orange and Blue responded almost immediately. Geoff Cameron hit a long ball up the field toward Brenner, who let it run on to Álvaro Barreal behind him. He took on the Dynamo keeper one on one and scored the equalizer. All in all, the match proved to be an even affair, and a tie was deserved. FC Cincinnati is unbeaten in its last three matches.

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): Houston Dynamo FC – 1.1, FC Cincinnati – 1.4, per

Now onto the ratings:

GK – Kenneth Vermeer

It may not look pretty or composed, but Vermeer had a decent performance between the sticks. Houston managed to take a lot of shots on Saturday, but only four were on target. Vermeer saved three, and he was hardly to blame for the Dynamo’s goal in the third minute. 6

RB – Joseph-Claude Gyau

This was another mixed performance for Gyau. He is generally a good passer and gets the ball into the opposition half regularly, but he was dispossessed twice. Gyau made a clearance and two tackles in defense, but he was caught far too central during Houston’s counter-attack and gave Dynamo left back Sam Junqua the space to deliver the assist. 5 

CB – Geoff Cameron

The 2021 season should be divided into two categories: Before Geoff Cameron and After Geoff Cameron. Against Houston, the Orange and Blue were under a lot of pressure and conceded an early goal that would’ve ended the match, Before Geoff Cameron. He said it best after the match, “If we did this four weeks ago we would have lost the match.” Cameron made several important stops to keep FCC in the match, but many will simply remember his Hail Mary assist 8 (Man of the Match)

CB – Gustavo Vallecilla

Vallecilla is very useful in building out from the back. He successfully completed all three of his dribbles in the match and was proficient with his passing. And while Vallecilla has his moments — he made seven clearances — his tackling in and around the penalty area is slightly reckless. 5.5

LB – Edgar Castillo

Matarrita left big shoes to fill, but Castillo is a dependable replacement. The Liga MX and MLS veteran doesn’t provide the same offensive threat, but he’s not a slouch either. His pass completion was 96%, and he even created a chance for the Orange and Blue. Castillo is particularly reliable on defense, where he won three duels, made a clearance and completed a tackle. 6

CM – Haris Medunjanin

Medunjanin made the starting lineup in place of Allan Cruz, and he struggled throughout the match. His defensive positioning in midfield was poor throughout. Specifically, Medunjanin was caught cheating forward following Houston midfielder Joe Corona, which created acres of space behind him. Houston got into that space, starting the counter-attack that would score it a goal. 4 

CM – Yuya Kubo

On the other hand, Kubo looked determined to step up in Cruz’s absence. Typically, the Costa Rican international would get forward to press the opposition defense and make runs into the box. Kubo took the role head-on, pushing the ball forward for FCC and looking to create turnovers on defense. His tackling was more effective against Houston, but he still conceded five fouls. Kubo must be more careful. 6.5

RM – Álvaro Barreal

If the opposing team’s fans boo every time you touch the ball, you must be doing something right. The young Argentine embraced his role as a villain in Houston. Barreal drew six fouls on Saturday — in some dangerous positions — and riled up the crowd each time. Then there was that patient, composed equalizer for his third goal of the season. 7.5

CAM – Luciano Acosta

At 5-foot-3, Acosta probably doesn’t get many chances to head in a corner kick at the far post. But it did happen in Houston on Saturday. Acosta didn’t see the ball in time to get a hit on it and missed a good chance. Lucho had a solid performance despite the missed opportunity to score. He created two chances and completed five dribbles. 7

LM – Isaac Atanga

Atanga looks better on the pitch than the stats would suggest (lost six of eight duels, only five passes attempted and 16 touches) but he missed another shot on goal at point-blank range. There is something about this team and forwards who can’t score from obvious chances. Atanga could be tied with Barreal with three goals this season. Instead, he has none. 5

ST – Brenner

MLS should consider making assists shared like the NFL does sacks because Brenner’s dummy to let the ball roll into the path of Barreal deserves the assist as much as Cameron’s long ball. Brenner’s goal drought did not end against Houston, but it’s plays like this that exemplify his skill and intelligence. Just the slightest hesitation to make the Dynamo defenders believe he’s going for the ball allows Barreal the space to take on the goalkeeper one on one. 6.5


Franko Kovaćevič (77th Minute)

Kovaćevič made his first appearance since his loan deal was extended, replacing Atanga on the left wing, but he didn’t have much of an impact against the Dynamo. 5

Caleb Stanko (77th Minute)

Stanko came in for Medunjanin and immediately injected some energy into the defense as FCC held on for the draw. He made a key clearance and tackle in his limited time. Coach Jaap Stam may have to consider starting Stanko in the derby next week. 6

Nick Hagglund (90th+2 Minute)

Hagglund came on as a late sub for Barreal to help keep the draw. N/A

Injury Notes: Zico Bailey (hip), Allan Cruz (international duty), Calvin Harris (meniscus), Rónald Matarrita (international duty), Maikel van der Werff (sports hernia)

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