With Ronald Matarrita away on international duty Pat Noonan turned to youngster Alvaro Barreal to step in at left wing back in his first start of the season. For Charlotte, Polish international Karol Swiderski stayed home in the Mint City instead of traveling to play with his international squad because he was nursing an injured hamstring. However, somehow he made a miraculous recovery to lead the line for CLTFC from the start. Swiderski made that miracle count just 6 minutes in when Ben Bender slid a ball across the box for him to slam home. Then in the 55th minute, Yuya Kubo was called for a soft foul which led to a free kick just outside the box that the man with miracle hamstrings stepped up and lashed home, giving Charlotte a 2-0 win.
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 player rating systems from Who Scored and FOTMOB.
- All passing percentages will be taken from FBREF.
- We won’t use .5 increments, because that is weak-sauce.
- We will not be afraid to give players a perfect 10 if they deserve it, but will never give a rating of 0, because there is always some sort of positive.
- A player may receive an N/A if they are subbed in/off before any quantifiable statistics are available.
Expected Goals (xG): FC Cincinnati – 1.6, Charlotte FC- 1, per mlssoccer.com
Now onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 5
Noonan got his initial tactics wrong, turning to the inexperienced Álvaro Barreal to play left wing back instead of opting to play Tyler Blackett there. To make matters worse, he had Yuya Kubo drifting wide right to give the team more of a 4-4-2 look going forward, leaving the midfield sparse in defensive transition. Charlotte made him pay for his attacking lineup just 6 minutes in. From there he seemed to make the right decisions, moving to a more traditional 3-5-2 before getting Brenner on the pitch early in the 2nd half and switching to a 4-3-3. However, by leaving Isaac Atanga and Calvin Harris out of the squad and starting Barreal at wing back, he didn’t have any wingers on the bench to bolster his attack late in the game.
GK – Alec Kann – 8 (Man of the Match)
Kann has rebounded nicely since his poor outing against Austin. Charlotte had a post-shot xG of 3.5 in this one, meaning it would have been well within the range of normal possibilities for them to have put 4 past the FCC #1. However, the free kick that was scored for Charlotte’s 2nd was from distance, and Kann misjudged the initial flight of the ball making it impossible for him to get a hand to it. This keeps his score at a very good instead of elite level.
RWB – Alvas Powell – 5
Powell only completed around 65% of his passes and squandered a golden opportunity to cut the deficit to one midway through the 2nd half. However, he defended fairly well, was credited for a key pass, and logged a respectable 7.1 rating on FOTMOB.
CB – Nick Hagglund – 7
Nicky Haggs completed only 61.4% of his passes, which is not good enough for a center back. He did, however, have 6 progressive passes and 4 passes into the attacking third. His defensive performance was fairly solid, and he more than doubled every other teammate with his 23 ball recoveries. Add in his team-leading 6 clearances and highest player rating among FCC’s center backs, and you have yourself a slightly above average performance.
CB – Geoff Cameron – 6
Cameron lived up to the standard of passing set by most of the squad by completing a meager 64% on Saturday. He did, however, win 66.7% of his duels, and didn’t make any significant defensive errors.
CB – Tyler Blackett – 5
Blackett led all defenders with 5 combined tackles and interceptions. His 88.2% passing was also far beyond nearly all of his teammates. However, his poor body positioning contributed to Charlotte’s opener. Once he was moved to left back in the 2nd half, he didn’t make much of a contribution, and his WhoScored and FOTMOB player ratings were both the lowest among FCC defenders.
LWB – Álvaro BArreal – 5
Barreal was playing out of position on the night and was still able to contribute 3 progressive carries and complete a dribble. However, he joined many in the Orange and Blue with a terrible passing percentage (64.1%) and was slow to get back on CLTFC’s opener. His 2 key passes and 2 crosses pretty much confirm what was expected of a wing playing at wing back: he was fairly good in attack and fairly poor in defense.
DCM – Junior Moreno – 6
Moreno led all starters in passing percentage at nearly 89%. Defensively he added 4 combined tackles and interceptions, trailing only Yuya Kubo and Nick Hagglund. He didn’t have his typical defensive impact, but he was often stranded centrally in Noonan’s 4-4-2 look in the first half. His player ratings were middle of the pack, earning him an average rating.
CM – Yuya Kubo – 5
Kubo’s 13 combined tackles and interceptions were more than double any of his teammates. His 32 pressures were also the most on the team by far. However, he was burned 4 out of 8 times by opponents trying to dribble him, and he only created one shot. Finally, he shoulders most of the blame for both of Charlotte’s goals, failing to track back on Ben Bender for the first and giving up the foul, even if soft, for the second.
CAM – Luciano Acosta – 6
Lucho’s 64.4% passing was once again below his standard. However, when contributing 8 shot creating actions and 5 key passes, one would expect the overall percentage to be a bit lower than players who complete a lot of low risk, high percentage passes. His 9 progressive passes led the team, and he was also credited with .9 expected assists. His average rating then comes less from his stats and more from the eye test. Too many times he is in a great position to make a play and he makes the wrong decision or passes the ball just behind his teammate. With Lucho, you have to take the good with the bad, but I don’t think his good was at its height on Saturday.
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 4
Vazquez came crashing back down to earth on Saturday after riding high for the prior two matches. His 5.8 FOTMOB rating was the lowest on the team, largely due to missing his one great chance to score in the first half and winning only 40% of his duels. He was also dispossessed twice, had two unsuccessful touches, and only completed 75% of his passes. One positive for him to build on was his high work rate, evidenced by him finishing 2nd on the team with 13 pressures.
ST – Dom Badji – 3
Dom Badji looked off the pace on Saturday. He completed only 52.2% of his passes, including an abysmal 5 out of 10 passes that were shorter than 15 yards. To add insult to injury, he had the fewest touches of any starter, and received only around half of the passes sent his way. All said, his contribution was minimal from his position as a forward or as a wing.
Brenner (59th minute) – 6
Brenner entered the match, replacing Álvaro Barreal and playing on the left wing with just over half an hour left to play. In his limited time on the pitch, he had 2 shots with 1 on target and tied for the team lead with .5 xG. His 3 progressive carries and 78.6% passing were also respectable. However, the 13 million dollar man still is yet to live up to his price tag, and even in a role off the bench will need to put up more than an average performance to do so.
Ray Gaddis (59th Minute) – 5
Gaddis was a welcome sight coming off the bench to replace Alvas Powell at right back since the squad’s outside back depth is so thin. He ran around a bit and wasn’t terrible. However, his 0 shot creating actions, 0 key passes, 0 progressive passes, and 0 progressive dribbles show that his contribution was more of a placeholder than a contributor.
Haris Medunjanin (78th Minute) – 7
Medunjanin came on for Junior Moreno late on to try to spark some sort of offensive output. In just over 10 minutes he was bettered by only Nick Hagglund and Tyler Blackett in number of progressive passes. Unlike the two center backs, however, he completed 93.3% of his passes. He added a key pass, tied for the team lead with 6 passes into the final third, and tied for 2nd on the team with 4 shot creating actions. His score is higher than most on the night, but we have to remember he came on when FCC was chasing the game and Charlotte was content to sit back and absorb pressure.
Allan Cruz (83rd Minute) – N/A
Cruz came on for Kubo at the end of the match, presumably to get a few minutes under his belt and ensure that Kubo didn’t pick up a silly card or niggly injury. He wasn’t on long enough to receive a FOTMOB rating, so I’ll decline to rate him as well.
Nick Markanich (83rd Minute) – N/A
Markanich came on for Badji and played on the right wing to end the match. He made no significant contribution, though if he was a step quicker or Lucho’s pass was a fraction more accurate, he may have landed on the score sheet.
Injury Notes: John Nelson (back), Ronald Matarrita (international duty)