Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati vs. Columbus Crew

FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew ended the latest round of the Hell is Real derby in a 2-2 draw on Friday night. Here are Clay Winstead’s player rankings.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Miller/Graphic by Joey Koehling

FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew ended the latest round of the Hell is Real derby in a 2-2 draw on Friday. After going up by two goals and up a man with Harrison Afful’s dismissal, FCC let the match slip away, and the Crew fought back to steal a point at TQL Stadium. The Orange and Blue truly started quickly with a strike from Edgar Castillo outside the box just 25 seconds into the match. They successfully pressured the Crew throughout the first half, and Luciano Acosta scored the second goal after a crucial turnover. Shortly afterwards, Afful earned his second yellow card and left the Crew with only 10 men. But Columbus got back a crucial goal before halftime with a long-range rocket from Lucas Zelarayán in stoppage time.

FCC was unable to control the match in the second half despite the man advantage, and Miguel Berry scored the equalizer in the 77th minute. Some draws feel more like two points dropped than a point earned. Despite recording its first point at home, FCC will feel disappointed in the result.

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): FC Cincinnati – 0.9, Columbus Crew – 1, per

Now onto the ratings:

GK – Kenneth Vermeer

Goalkeepers get the most “Monday Morning Quarterback” reactions in soccer. Their decisions are the easiest to pick apart and criticize. Vermeer doesn’t cover himself in glory often, but he was far from responsible for either goal against Columbus. He was caught flat-footed for Zelarayán’s goal, but watching the replay from behind Vermeer, it’s clear he couldn’t see it in time. And once he did, it was already too late. As for the Crew’s second goal, Vermeer made the right decision to come off his line. Running to Berry puts pressure on him and limits the space to shoot. It was the best chance he had to stop a goal. The blame for both goals should be shifted further up the pitch. 6

RB – Joseph-Claude Gyau

Gyau continues to impress and frustrate multiple times within the same match. Columbus Crew didn’t have any success attacking his side of the pitch, and he made one vital tackle to stop Zelarayán in the box. But then he also lost 10 of 14 duels. Gyau completed 95% of his passes and even had a decent shot miss just wide of goal, but he also lost the ball four times. 5

CB – Geoff Cameron

What makes Cameron special to this FC Cincinnati team isn’t found exclusively on the pitch during a match. His comments post-match indicate a level of clarity and perspective that will be influential as the team tries to shake off the disappointment and regroup. On the pitch, Cameron was one of the better passers for FCC, completing 93% including eight out of nine long balls. He also won five duels, made three clearances and was booked with a yellow card. 6.5

CB – Gustavo Vallecilla

Vallecilla struggled to meet the moment in his first Hell is Real Derby. He is still effective as a passer and dribbler, but he made several mistakes on defense. Vallecilla lost six of 11 duels, including three in the air, and conceded three fouls which earned him a yellow card. Most notably, it was Vallecilla who was defending Berry before he scored the tying goal. He marked Berry on the right, which proved to be a mistake. Berry turned left and was in on goal immediately. 4

LB – Edgar Castillo

Wow. Castillo proved he is more than a capable backup to Rónald Matarrita. The goal itself is a low-quality chance, but being decisive enough to take it and force the issue deserves praise. Beyond that, Castillo was getting forward and making dangerous overlapping runs on the left side throughout the match. And you could see how happy the team was for him after he scored. 7.5

CM – Haris Medunjanin

Medunjanin looked more energetic against Columbus Crew than he did against Houston last week. His defensive stats are found wanting, but he was much quicker to apply pressure in midfield. Medunjanin’s passing was effective throughout the match, and he created a decent chance from a corner kick that Atanga couldn’t head into the net. 6 

CM – Yuya Kubo

One concern heading into this match was whether Kubo would give Columbus dangerous free-kick opportunities with rash and unsuccessful challenges. His tackles weren’t as reckless as usual, but he is still undisciplined in midfield. Kubo completed more passes than anyone on Friday, but he was dispossessed three times. Notably, Kubo missed a tackle and failed to stop Darlington Nagbe from driving forward in the build-up to Zelarayán’s goal. Kubo did get booked with a yellow card, but that was for kicking the ball away after a foul. That puts him one away from suspension. 5.5

RM – Álvaro Barreal

Barreal did not deliver any end product in this match, but he still had a decent match. FC Cincinnati’s star in the making was industrious in his 73 minutes. He wasn’t always successful, but he attempted five dribbles and three tackles. Barreal also received a yellow card, like Kubo, for kicking the ball away after a foul. In a match like this, silly bookings like that can’t be accepted. 6.5

CAM – Luciano Acosta

As brilliant as Lucho was in this match, there are moments where he can be frustrating to watch. Acosta created three chances, completed the most dribbles in the match and won more duels than anyone else (12). But he lost more duels than anyone else (14) and was dispossessed six times. In his desire to create or push forward, Acosta will dribble into defenders or play a pass that isn’t there. All in all, he was instrumental for both goals and still deserves Man of the Match. 8

LM – Isaac Atanga

This may have been Atanga’s best performance in the Orange and Blue. His assist for Acosta’s goal was likely accidental, but the pressure he applied to force the turnover from Afful wasn’t. Atanga completed three dribbles and even recorded a tackle. He was also dispossessed three times and lost half of his duels, but he has never looked more dangerous in attack. 7.5

ST – Brenner

Brenner had two shots blocked in this match, but he still looks impressive. He has a knack for finding open space and is able to link up and play off any of his teammates. Brenner created two chances, completed two of three dribbles and came up with a tackle. There should be little doubt he will find the back of the net soon. But until then, the rest of his game isn’t lacking. 7


Caleb Stanko (64th Minute)

Stanko was brought in for Medunjanin as the first sub. While he completed every pass, Stanko lost five of six duels and conceded three fouls, including a late yellow card. 5

Franko Kovaćevič (73rd Minute)

Kovaćevič replaced Barreal but wasn’t able to make an impact on the match. N/A

Brandon Vasquez (73rd Minute)

Vasquez came on for Atanga as FCC changed their shape. He was unable to change the match as well. 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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