A severely depleted FC Cincinnati traveled to Atlanta to take on the 5 stripes on Saturday, and despite ceding 65% of possession and giving up 23 shots, escaped with a 0-0 draw.
The draw wasn’t without its excitement. Atlanta United looked to have earned the lead in the 60th minute after Dominique Badji was called for handling in the box leading to the referee awarding a spot-kick. However, goalkeeper Alec Kann came up huge by saving Marcellino Moreno’s penalty.
Then, after going down to 10 men in the 76th minute following Nick Hagglund’s second yellow card, the team held firm to preserve the clean sheet and escape Hotlanta with a point.
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
- 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 – .9, Atlanta United – 3.3, per mlssoccer.com
Formation: 4-4-2 Diamond (listed as a 3-5-2)
Now onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 6
Noonan didn’t have a lot of options heading into Saturday’s matchup with so many players out due to injury. The trust he put in Rookie Ian Murphy to start, and veteran Dom Badji to play out of position paid off. However, his late-game substitutions were head-scratching as he brought on Haris Medunjanin in the 2nd half when a more defensive substitution might have been warranted. I also question the wisdom of leaving a seemingly exhausted Dom Badji on the pitch when youngster Harrison Robledo was available to come on. All in all, though, you can’t argue with getting a draw on the road against the formidable Five Stripes.
GK – Alec Kann – 9 (Man of the Match)
Kann’s penalty save alone warranted an outstanding score, as it was the key moment in the match and preserved the point for his team. He also made four other saves and intervened on 2 Atlanta crosses. His post-shot xG was 1.3, and his goals-against was 0, so you can do the math there. The only thing keeping him from a perfect 10 is his distribution, as only 37% of his long passes (non-goal kicks) found a target.
RB – Ray Gaddis – 3
Gaddis was anonymous offensively all night. He completed only 1 progressive carry and 0 progressive passes. Defensively he seemed a bit out of sorts as well, letting runners get in behind him on a few occasions. He was credited for 0 tackles and won only 1/3 of his duels. His 2 interceptions and 1 blocked pass seem to be his lone bright spots. Finally, his one big blunder, when he was badly beaten by Caleb Wiley on the dribble, led to Atlanta United’s penalty kick that could have won them the game.
CB – Nick Hagglund – 5
Giving Nicky Haggs as high as a 5 might get me slain on Twitter. Besides getting sent off for a 2nd yellow leaving his team down a man, he completed only 50% of his passes. It was also down his side that much of the Atlanta United attack had success all night. However, his performance wasn’t all bad. His passing percentage was made to look worse by completing only 2 of 8 long balls. Furthermore, he did have 2 progressive passes and 2 progressive carries. Defensively he contributed 2 tackles, 3 interceptions, 3 blocked passes, and won both of his aerial duels. Finally, his red card can partially be attributed to Dom Badji’s failure to close down his man from the correct angle.
CB – Ian Murphy – 8
The rookie center back rebounded from his abysmal debut as a left wing back to put in a strong performance in his natural position. He was near the lead for the team with 8 ball recoveries as well as contributing 2 interceptions, a tackle, and a blocked pass to boot. His passing percentage could have been better at 68.8, but most of that was due to completing only 40% of his long passes. The negatives on Murphy were that he lost his only aerial duel and didn’t get into a single ground duel. This shows that his performance, though solid, didn’t exactly stand out. However, as a rookie making your second start, not standing out isn’t always a bad thing.
LB – Tyler Blackett – 7
Blackett continued the team trend on the night of having a passing percentage (68.4%) far below what is expected of him due in large part to completing so few long balls (2 of 7). However, he was defensively solid, contributing 2 interceptions, a blocked shot, and 2 blocked passes. Playing in a slightly odd center back/left back hybrid role, he was able to earn the highest WhoScored rating of any FCC defender and escaped the match without committing a single foul.
LCM – Dominique Badji – 7
Badji was asked to do it all this match. He started out playing as a left sided midfielder that dropped in as a left wing back at times. Then he was moved to the right side of midfield. Finally, he dropped in as an orthodox right back once Hagglund was sent off with a red card. His performance wasn’t pretty, but it was determined and full of effort. He showed every bit of his inexperience as a defender by letting wide players run in behind him all night. His 1v1 defense was also abysmal, as he was dribbled past a whopping 4 times. However, his 83.3% passing was excellent on a night when many of his teammates were not, and he also contributed a shot-creating action. Defensively he led the team with 4 interceptions and also tallied 3 tackles and 3 ball recoveries.
DCM – Junior Moreno – 8
Moreno’s 88.9% passing led all FCC players on a night when keeping possession was difficult. He also led the team with 5 progressive passes and added a shot-creating action and 2 completed crosses. Defensively he was where he needed to be, contributing 3 tackles, an interception, and a blocked pass. He wasn’t as involved as he usually is, being credited with only 33 touches, but his performance was solid as usual.
RCM – Yuya Kubo – 5
Kubo came under a ton of scrutiny after the match for his performance. However, his 72% passing, 3 shot-creating actions, and 1 key pass were all near the top of the team. He led the team with 8 tackles and 29 pressures, and also contributed two interceptions and a blocked pass. Frankly, his performance wasn’t all that bad. However, he definitely wasn’t at his best as denoted by him being dribbled past 5 times and committing 4 fouls, both team worsts.
CAM – Luciano Acosta – 5
Lucho continued his enigmatic form on Saturday being both the best and the worst on the field. His 6 shot-creating actions, .5 xA, and 7 progressive passes were tops on the team. His .3 xG, 3 combined tackles and interceptions, and 1 blocked shot weren’t too shabby either. However, his 60.5% passing is simply not good enough. He squandered a few chances in transition, including passing up a wide-open right-footed shot to try to shift the ball onto his left and wasting the opportunity. Furthermore, he continues to be a turnover machine completing only 1 of his 3 attempted dribbles and being credited with 3 unsuccessful touches. His game involvement is always going to leave him highly rated on sites like WhoScored and FOTMOB, but if the team is going to win they will need him to be better.
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 2
Vazquez has been a stalwart for this team, and his performances have been largely excellent. He simply didn’t have it on Saturday. He was the lowest rated player for either team on FOTMOB and lost out on that honor to only Nick Hagglund on WhoScored. He also led all players with 7 unsuccessful touches and was dispossessed 5 times. His 64.7% passing also wasn’t good enough. To add insult to injury, the 2 best chances of the match for the Orange and Blue fell to him, and he failed to put either on target. His work rate keeps him from earning a lower score, however, as he was still able to contribute a blocked shot and 4 ball recoveries, and won 2 of his 3 aerial duels.
ST – Brenner – 7
Brenner had a decent performance in his first start of 2022. He showed his quality time and time again by dropping into the midfield and linking up play. He looked good on the ball, for the most part, leading the team with .6 xG and being credited with 3 shot-creating actions. His 81.5% passing was good, and he completed 2 progressive passes and 4 progressive dribbles. He was active defensively as well, earning 3 tackles and 2 blocked passes. His rust was a bit evident, however, as he wasn’t able to put any of his shots on target and probably should have done better with his best chance of the match when he struck it off Brandon Vazquez when the net was gaping.
John Nelson (65th minute) – 6
Nelson replaced Ray Gaddis in the 65th minute and played left back, moving Dom Badji to the right side. In his first action of the season, he was respectably solid if unspectacular. He contributed an interception, a blocked shot, and a blocked pass, and looked excellent in 1v1 defense even though he didn’t record a tackle. He wasn’t very involved, recording only 8 touches, but when he was called upon he stepped up and did his job.
Haris Medunjanin (74th minute) – 5
Medunjanin came on for Yuya Kubo just before seeing his team go down to 1o men. His passing was surprisingly poor, as he completed only 66.7%. He also turned the ball over in a key moment late on when he had the chance to create a scoring opportunity.
Álvaro Barreal (82nd Minute) – 4
Barreal came on to play right midfield in Noonan’s 4-4-1 when his team was already short-handed. He spent nearly 16 minutes on the pitch including stoppage time but was still only able to get 4 touches. He turned over his only pass and was also dispossessed once in the final third when he had the opportunity to kill some time by keeping possession. Barreal is looking to earn more playing time, and even though he came on during tough circumstances, one has to think he didn’t do himself any favors in this match.
Nick Markanich (82nd Minute) – 5
Markanich came on along with Barreal to play left midfield in the 10-man 4-4-1 shape. He was playing out of position, as he is typically a forward. His covering angles were poor, and he got himself out of position trying to be too aggressive going forward. He also showed his inexperience, attempting a backheel in the middle third and turning the ball over when he could have played simply and kept possession for his team. However, he was able to complete a dribble, and also intercepted a pass, earning him a slightly higher grade than his fellow substitute.
Injury Notes: Ronald Matarrita (ankle), Allan Cruz (family), Calvin Harris (leg), Geoff Cameron (Groin), Kenneth Vermeer (Knee), Alvas Powell (Ankle)