FC Cincinnati made it three wins on the trot when they went North to Allianz Arena and got an away victory over the Loons of Minnesota United on Saturday. Without 7 players due to injury and suspension, Coach Pat Noonan handled his squad masterfully. After an opening 15 minutes that saw the Orange and Blue only complete 15 passes and not have a single touch in their opponent’s third of the field, the team settled down and had the better chances throughout the match. Then, just when it looked like they would be leaving the Twin Cities with a valuable point, substitute Calvin Harris got some space to put the ball on a platter for Brandon Vazquez to slot home, earning FCC all three points. The team moved to 5-5-1 on the season and sits in 5th place in the East.
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 – 2, MNUFC – 1, per mlssoccer.com
Now onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 10
Coach Noonan brought a depleted squad to Minnesota that only included 1 defender on the bench. He elected to save Alvas Powell’s legs by handing Zico Bailey the start as a right wingback. Though early on it looked like his 3-5-2 would be far too defensive to create anything going forward, his team settled down and came into the match. He bravely made a change that needed to happen at halftime, bringing in Powell for Bailey. Then late on when other coaches may have shut up shop and played for an away draw Noonan went for the win by bringing on offensive weapons Calvin Harris and Álvaro Barreal at wingbacks and Haris Medunjanin into the midfield. It was 2nd year player Calvin Harris that rewarded his coach with the assist.
With such limited options, I’m not sure that Noonan could have done anything better as a coach.
GK – Roman Celentano – 8
Celentano is increasingly looking like the number 1 between the sticks for FC Cincinnati, even when Alec Kann is healthy. He put in another excellent performance and was rewarded with a clean sheet. He made 5 saves on the night, 2 of which were from close range. Giving up 0 goals on 1 xG means that he outperformed what was expected of him. His passing percentage was better this match as well, as he landed 64% of his long balls. The young goalkeeper wasn’t asked to do too much, but when he was called upon he stood up to the task.
RWB – Zico Bailey – 5
Bailey looked utterly lost during the first half. His defensive positioning was all over the place, and it was his positional error that gifted the Loons their best chance of the match in the 28th minute when Bongokuhle Hlongwane was sent in on goal. It wasn’t all bad, however, as he still contributed 3 interceptions, 1 tackle, and won 60% of his ground duels. His 79% passing also didn’t let the team down.
CB – Nick Hagglund – 7
Nick Hagglund continues to put in solid performances for the Orange and Blue along the back line. He was FCC’s highest rated defender according to Fotmob, winning 2 tackles, 6 interceptions, and 9 ball recoveries. Furthermore, even though it appeared that MNUFC was targeting the right side of the FCC defense Hagglund was able to hold strong, limiting the Loons’ scoring opportunities. His 58% passing needs to be improved, and he only on 2 of his 5 ground duels, but overall his performance was solid if unspectacular.
CB – Geoff Cameron – 6
Cameron was FCC’s lowest rated defender according to Fotmob. He wasn’t able to win a tackle, won only 1 of 4 ground duels, and gave up a dangerous free kick at the edge of the box late on that also saw him enter the referee’s book. Despite this, he still commanded the backline well, helped limit MNUFC to shooting mostly from outside the box, and helped his team keep the ball by completing 77% of his passes.
CB – Ian Murphy – 6
Ian Murphy continued his trend of solid performances with little impact on the stat sheet. He only won 1 of 3 ground duels and only recorded a single tackle. However, he added an interception and 6 ball recoveries. His 63% passing wasn’t stellar, and completing 0 of his 6 long balls was not ideal, but the rookie center back continues to not look out of place in MLS.
LWB – John Nelson – 5
Nelson looked a tad leggy starting his third match in a row without much rest. He struggled to impact the game offensively as a wingback, only crossing accurately once out of his 6 attempts. He was dispossessed twice, and wasn’t quick enough to adjust to get to a pass sent toward him on multiple occasions. Defensively he failed to record a tackle, but was able to win 50% of his ground duels. His real contribution came in the form of his solid positioning, recording 4 interceptions and 6 ball recoveries. He also wasn’t dribbled past at all by any of the speedy Minnesota wingers. If this is his low-mark, John Nelson looks to be a solid addition to the squad.
DCM – Obinna Nwobodo – 7
Obi appears to be an excellent addition to FC Cincinnati’s midfield. His 90% passing was key in a match where FCC struggled to keep possession at times. He was 4 for 4 on long passes and wasn’t dispossessed at all. His defensive contribution was notable, with a block, 3 interceptions, 3 tackles, and 9 ball recoveries. However, he was dribbled past once, only won half of his 10 ground duels, and was drawn into 4 fouls and a yellow card. He is already playing well, and as he settles in with his teammates he should only get better.
DCM – Junior Moreno – 6
Moreno wasn’t at his best on Saturday, possibly due to fatigue. Even so, his performance was solid. He recorded an interception, 2 tackles, and 5 ball recoveries. His 89% passing was also good. However, he was uncharacteristically dribbled past twice, and only won half of his ground duels. Like Nelson, if this is what an off game looks like for Moreno then he will be a mainstay in the FCC midfield.
CAM – Luciano Acosta – 8 (Man of the Match)
Lucho didn’t get his first offensive touch until the 18th minute, but then immediately made a difference for his team. He created 6 chances, had 2 shots, and had an xA of .76. He didn’t earn a goal or an assist but easily could have had one or more of either. To add to this, he completed 81% of his passes, was 2 for 3 on his dribbles, and even contributed defensively winning 2 tackles and recording an interception. His creativity on the ball continues to be key for the FCC attack.
ST – Dom Badji – 6
Dom Badji was once again the lowest rated player on Fotmob. His 91% passing and 3 shots were good, but with an xG of .64 he probably should have scored. He was also dispossessed once and failed to win a ground or aerial duel. However, Badji still works tirelessly for the team and continues to be a pro’s pro on the pitch.
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 7
Vazquez’s movement for his game-winning goal was sublime. He continues to work hard and put himself in good scoring positions. Outside of his goal, however, he was only accurate with 65% of his passes, failed at all 3 of his dribbles, and struggled with his first touch throughout the match. Even so, he was there when it mattered and finished his chance calmly when he had the opportunity.
Alvas Powell (46th Minute) – 6
Powell’s introduction at halftime really solidified the right side of FCC’s defense. He continues to play solid defense while contributing on the offensive side of the ball as well. He completed 75% of his passes and wasn’t dispossessed at all. His clever toe-poke at goal forced St. Claire into a save and earned his team a corner kick. However, he wasn’t as involved as he could have been, failing to deliver an accurate cross and only recording 1 tackle and 3 ball recoveries.
Álvaro Barreal (63rd minute) – 7
Barreal entered the match to play left wingback for John Nelson. In his limited time on the pitch he created a chance, forced St. Claire to tip a powerful shot over the crossbar, and swung in 2 accurate crosses. Perhaps most impressively, playing in the unfamiliar role of wingback he wasn’t dribbled past at all and was defensively solid. Pat Noonan trusted him to add to the attack while not being a defensive liability, and he rewarded his gaffer with a nice performance.
Arquimides Ordoñez (76th minute) – 6
Quimi came on late for his 2nd MLS appearance and was better than expected. He started to look a bit calmer on the ball, recorded a successful dribble, and was instrumental in keeping possession for FCC’s game-winning goal. He also recorded 2 tackles and won 4 of his 6 ground duels. However, his 67% passing was less than ideal, he was dispossessed once, and when he had a decent look at goal he failed to put his shot on target. There’s room to grow for the Cincinnati home-grown.
Haris Medunjanin (76th minute) – 6
The veteran midfielder had limited minutes to impact the match, but made the most of his opportunity. He created 2 chances and completed 88% of his passes. He didn’t get a lot of space to dictate play, but also wasn’t a liability in the middle of the park.
Calvin Harris (84th Minute) – 7
Harris came on late to right wingback when Geoff Cameron needed off. He had very limited minutes, but was still able to complete all 9 of his passes, create 2 chances, and record an excellent assist by getting to the end line and cutting a nice pass back for Brandon Vazquez to finish. Typically a player that gets this limited time wouldn’t get scored, but he made an impact in his precious few minutes.
Availability Notes: Alec Kann (lower body), Yuya Kubo (foot), Brenner (back), Tyler Blackett (yellow card accumulation), Ray Gaddis (leg), and Ronald Matarrita (ankle surgery).