FC Cincinnati traveled North of the border for the first of two matches against Toronto FC on Saturday. Without 8 players due to injury, Pat Noonan rotated Álvaro Barreal, Nick Hagglund, and Haris Medunjanin into the starting lineup. The Orange and Blue took the lead after 44 minutes when rookie Ian Murphy slotted home, after a corner kick, his first goal as a professional. Just after halftime, Lucho Acosta made it two by turning and hitting a quick snap shot off of a long throw from Alvas Powell. TFC clawed one back with 25′ to play through Jesus Jimenez setting up a tense end of the match, but FCC held strong to earn their 3rd win 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 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 – .8, TFC – 1, per mlssoccer.com
Now onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 8
With limited players at his disposal, Noonan put his trust in veterans Haris Medunjanin and Nick Hagglund to hold TFC at bay. He also rotated Álvaro Barreal in for Calvin Harris. Even though his team got out-possessed and out-shot, his selections paid off earning a vital road win.
To add to the result Noonan also got Brandon Vazquez some vital minutes as he looks to return from injury, and got new designated player Obi Nwobodo onto the pitch for an introduction as well.
GK – Roman Celentano – 6
With a post-shot xG of .9 and 1 goal conceded, Celentano was slightly in the red. His distribution was once again poor, completing only 29% of his passes and 25% of his long balls. He wasn’t asked to do a ton, but he did make several key interventions by claiming balls out of the air.
RB – Alvas Powell – 7
Powell achieved the highest player rating for defenders on Fotmob. His long throw was a key component of FC Cincinnati’s game winning goal. He also contributed an excellent 7 combined tackles and interceptions and won 56% of his ground duels. However, he completed a dismal 41% of his passes and was dribbled past on several occasions, keeping his rating lower than it otherwise could have been.
CB – Nick Hagglund – 7
The much-maligned Nick Hagglund turned in another workman-like performance. He won 80% of his ground duels and 50% of his aerial duels. He completed 78.3% of his passes and was credited with an assist. The native Cincinnatian didn’t really put a foot wrong, but something tells me that many fans will still find fault with him being rated above average.
CB – Ian Murphy – 7
Ian Murphy came up big by staying calm in the box and taking his chance well to give his team the lead. He also completed the most long balls and a respectable 70.6% of his passes overall. His speed and calm on the ball have been assets to the team, and it seems clear that he is going to be, at minimum, a solid MLS center back. The only mark against him on the night was winning only 1 of 3 aerial duels and being the deepest defender for Toronto FC’s lone goal. IF Shane O’Neill was onside for his header back across the goal to Jesus Jimenez (and that is a big IF), it was Murphy who kept him on.
LB – John Nelson – 6
Nelson was defensively sound all night, clocking 3 interceptions, 1 tackle, 4 blocks, and 5 clearances. However, he continues to add very little going forward, completing only 61% of his passes including 0 of his 6 long balls, though he did add 3 progressive carries. He also was outjumped by O’Neill for TFC’s goal.
DCM – Haris Medunjanin – 7
Haris completed a team best 86% of his passes including being 2 of 2 on long balls. He was also surprisingly active defensively, recording 8 recoveries, 2 tackles, and an interception. His mobility continues to be a liability for the midfield, however, as he was dribbled past more than any other player and won only 2 of his 6 ground duels. It appears that the veteran is still up to the task of contributing to the team, albeit in limited minutes.
DCM – Junior Moreno – 8 (Man of the Match
Moreno had his work cut out for him without Yuya Kubo in the midfield to help him cover ground, and he did not disappoint. His 85% passing was excellent, and his 4 shot-creating actions and 3 progressive passes led the team. Defensively he was everywhere, racking up 6 tackles, 26 pressures, 3 blocks, and 4 interceptions. His work rate on both sides of the ball was key to FC Cincinnati’s victory.
CAM – Luciano Acosta – 8
If Moreno was the man of the match, Lucho was a close 2nd. His 70% passing is right where it needs to be for such a creative player. He chipped in with 2 shot-creating actions, led all players with .4 xA, and of course scored the game-winner. Defensively he worked hard as well, earning 40 pressures and 4 tackles. The only disappointing stat on his score sheet is his ground duel percentage, which is a lowly 29%.
RW – Dom Badji – 6
Dom Badji was the lowest rated player on Fotmob due to his 67% passing and lack of involvement overall. He only touched the ball 25 times and struggled to get into the match. However, he did pick up a shot-creating action and 2 shots. His work rate continues to be top-notch, and even when he’s not at his best you can always count on him working his tail off.
LW – Álvaro Barreal – 6
Barreal looked bright in his favored position out on the wing. The team chose to attack down his side nearly half the time, and he took decent care of the ball at 83% passing. However, he failed to do much with it, failing to log a shot-creating action or a shot. His 36% ground dueling and poor 1v1 defense (he was dribbled past 3 times) were also liabilities. His talent is evident, but he continues to fail to make a claim on becoming a full-time starter.
ST – Brenner – 5
Brenner ran around a ton and was really active defensively. He led the team in pressure, which is excellent for a striker. He also added 3 recoveries, 5 tackles, and an interception. However, the fact that this rating starts with his defensive contribution is telling. The young Brazilian was not great offensively. He logged only 1 shot-creating action and 1 shot. His 57% passing is simply not good enough. Finally, his .04 xG shows his lack of threat as a goal-scoring option at the moment.
Brandon Vazquez (67th Minute) – 4
Vazquez looked rusty in his 23 + minutes on the pitch. He completed only 63% of his passes and only touched the ball 12 times, 3 of which he failed to control. Finally, he squandered an unbelievably good chance to salt the game away by dawdling over the ball on a breakaway, allowing the defense to recover.
Obinna Nwobodo (67th minute) – 6
Obi’s MLS debut was a great sign for the Orange and Blue faithful. He looked the part in his short time on the pitch, winning 2 tackles and grabbing 3 ball recoveries. It’s tough to expect a lot from the Nigerian in his first appearance after only a single training session, but there are certainly more good things to come.
Calvin Harris (80th Minute) – 5
Harris came on late to help kill off a tight game. His lone shot earned the highest xG on the team at .4. Of his 6 pressures, 5 were successful.
Nick Markanich (90th Minute) – N/A
Availability Notes: Alec Kann (lower body), Yuya Kubo (foot), Geoff Cameron (self-righteousness), Tyler Blackett (leg), Allan Cruz (leg), Ray Gaddis (leg), and Ronald Matarrita (ankle surgery).