FC Cincinnati have now won 4 league matches on the trot after traveling to the windy city and beating the Chicago Fire 2-1. After a cagey opening, FCC was gifted the lead when a dangerous pass from Álvaro Barreal caused Rafael Czichos to head into his own net. The Orange and Blue held onto the lead until the 83rd minute when Jhon Durán got on the end of a Xherdan Shaqiri corner kick and headed home. Not to be denied all 3 points, Brandon Vazquez pressured Fire goalkeeper Gaga Slonina into an errant pass allowing Luciano Acosta to pick the ball up in the box before slotting in at the near post. The team moved to 6-5-1 on the season and sits in 4th 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 – 1, Chicago Fire – 1.4, per mlssoccer.com
Now onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 8
Pat Noonan was once again coaching without a full range of options due to injury. He elected to go back to Ian Murphy and Nick Hagglund in the heart of the defense, as well as hand Álvaro Barreal another start. The performance of the team was a bit disjointed but full of effort and inspiration.
Noonan’s choice to move Junior Moreno forward in the press to protect him from his early yellow card was excellent. However, he was a bit slow to respond to the Fire’s influx of attacking options when they began substituting in the 60th minute. He also only used 3 of the allotted 5 subs, even with a tiring squad playing their 4th match in 15 days. However, you can’t argue with a win on the road.
GK – Roman Celentano – 6
Celentano had a solid match but came back to earth just a bit. With a post-shot xG of .7, he slightly underperformed his numbers. He couldn’t do much about the Fire’s lone goal once the shot was taken, but his positioning as the corner was swung in was slightly off. He continues to struggle with goal kicks, completing just 19%. A few matches ago this performance might have netted him a slightly higher score, but he’s shown enough to be graded along with the big boys. He was average on the night… no better, no worse.
RB – Alvas Powell – 7
Powell’s performance wasn’t flashy, but it was VERY good. He completed a respectable 72.2% of his passes, including an accurate cross, which is a collector’s item on this team. He was able to earn 6 fouls, many of which were in stages of the game when his team badly needed a breather. His crowning achievement, however, was winning an excellent 90.9% of his duels. The only thing keeping his score from going higher is that it was he who was marking Jhon Durán when the Fire rookie scored.
CB – Nick Hagglund – 8 (Man of the Match)
Nick Hagglund was FC Cincinnati’s highest rated defender, and 2nd highest rated player according to Fotmob. He was largely outstanding, completing 86% of his passes, including 7 of 8 long balls. He led all players with 7 combined tackles and interceptions and 12 clearances. It was on set-pieces that his presence was really felt. Nicky Haggs won 5 of 7 aerial duels and contributed 7 headed clearances. I will come under some major heat for awarding the much-maligned Cincinnati native the man of the match, but he deserves it.
CB – Ian Murphy – 5
Ian Murphy struggled a bit more this match than he has of late. He was shaky on the ball, completing only 64% of his passes, including 0 of his 8 long balls. He had a horrific turnover on a square pass in the 22′ that luckily didn’t lead to a goal. He was also dispossessed twice, which is twice too often for a center back. His positioning continues to be very good, however, and contributed to allowing him to block 2 shots. He was also solid in the duel department, winning 75% of his ground duels, but only 1 of his 5 aerial duels.
LB – John Nelson – 6
John Nelson was virtually absent from the stats sheet… which isn’t entirely bad for a defender. He only contributed 1 ball recovery and 1 tackle. He was able to nab 4 interceptions, however, and didn’t pick up a single foul. His passing percentage was also respectable at 73%. For a backup left back, you can’t ask for much more.
DCM – Obinna Nwobodo – 7
Obi is a fulcrum for this team going forward, leading all players with 60 touches. He completed 80% of his passes and completed 2 dribbles. He wasn’t able to generate much offense, however, contributing 0 key passes and 0 shot-creating actions. Hew also led the team in being dispossessed 5 times. His defensive work rate is as advertised. His 41 pressures were 10 more than his closest teammate, his 4 interceptions were 2nd to only Nick Hagglund, and he tied for the team lead with 2 tackles. Add a blocked shot, a blocked pass, and 2 interceptions and you have yourself a very good defensive day.
DCM – Junior Moreno – 7
Moreno was moved further forward in the press after picking up an early yellow card. He rewarded the choice by avoiding further bookings, while also adding a key pass and completing 77% of his passes overall. His defensive numbers were solid but unspectacular. He added a tackle, a block, and 5 recoveries. However, he managed to win only 1 of his 4 ground duels and 1 of his 3 aerial duels.
CAM – Luciano Acosta – 7
Lucho played this match like someone urinated in his cheerios. He was fired up and angry throughout, and picked up a yellow card for his persistent arguing with referee Tori Penso. He was ready to play, and it showed. The Argentinian playmaker had 2 shots, both on target, and of course one of them being the game-winning goal. He also added on the defensive side of the ball by getting into 2 tackles and intercepting 3 passes, as well as winning 7 of 12 ground duels. Lucho may have been man of the match, but wasn’t as involved offensively as he typically is. He had 0 key passes, 0 xA, was dispossessed once and had 3 missed touches.
RW – Dom Badji – 6
Dom Badji eats up valuable minutes, works tirelessly, and contributes on both sides of the ball. He continues to look tired, however. Uncharacteristically, he won only 2 of 5 ground duels and 2 of 5 aerial duels. He had 2 missed touches and was dispossessed twice. Despite all this, he led the team with 4 shot-creating actions and also completed 2 of 2 dribbles.
LW – Álvaro Barreal – 7
Barreal wasn’t credited with an assist, but it was his dangerous pass over the top that led to Chicago’s own goal. He also stung the palms of goalkeeper Gaga Slonina with an excellent volley. The young Argentinian completed 74% of his passes and had 2 key passes. He got forward for 4 crosses, though only one of them was accurate.
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 6
Vazquez’s work rate defensively is second to none among offensive players. His 31 pressures were 2nd on the team, and it was he who forced Slonina into a bad pass that led to Acosta’s game-winning goal. He also blocked 2 shots on the night. However, offensively he wasn’t able to find his feet offensively on the night. He had one of FCC’s best chances in the 23rd minute but failed to hit the target. He also missed 4 touches and was dispossessed twice, receiving only 52.4% of the passes sent his way. However, when you’re not at your best offensively and can still contribute like Vazquez, you’re going to find yourself in a lot of starting lineups.
Arquimides Ordonez (66th minute) – 4
Quimi’s performance in his Open Cup start earned him some minutes in league play. He used his technical ability to complete 3 of 3 dribbles. However, there wasn’t much to love about his short stint other than that. His only shot he failed to put on target, he had just 6 touches in his 24+ minutes (and was dispossessed on 1), and won a mere 3 of 8 ground duels.
Tyler Blackett (77th minute) – 5
Blackett came on for Barreal to put FCC into a 3-5-2 and help to see out the match. He was not involved at all, contributing only 2 clearances on 3 touches. His 3rd touch was a misplaced long ball.
Haris Medunjanin (89th minute) – N/A
Availability Notes: Alec Kann (groin), Yuya Kubo (foot), Brenner (back), Isaac Atanga (leg), Allan Cruz (leg), Calvin Harris (leg), and Ronald Matarrita (ankle surgery).