FC Cincinnati came out of the international break with a tough test, away at Philadelphia, but was able to earn a vital point. The Union took the lead in the 17th minute through a well-taken Alejandro Bedoya curler. But, the Foosers were back to even before halftime when a clever corner routine saw Tyler Blackett head down for Brandon Vazquez to risk life and limb, diving into the goalkeeper’s foot to head home. Opportunities were few and far between after that, and FCC escaped 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 – 1.1, Philadelphia Union – 1.3, per mlssoccer.com
Now onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 8
Pat Noonan elected to ditch the 4-2-3-1 that his team had been deploying of late in favor of a 3-5-2. He also gave starts to former Union players Ray Gaddis and Haris Medunjanin and used Álvaro Barreal as a like-for-like replacement for Lucho Acosta. These choices paid off, and Noonan and Co. escaped Subaru Park with a vital and hard-earned point.
However, once again the gaffer was reluctant to use his subs when his team was tiring down the stretch. It took Geoff Cameron cramping up in the 74th minute to get him to pull the trigger on his first sub. From there he used only 4 of the 5 he had available as his team was clearly struggling to hold on to the game down the stretch.
GK – Roman Celentano – 7
Celentano wasn’t asked to make any spectacular saves on the night. That said, the rookie goalkeeper made 4 saves and only gave up 1 goal on a 1.8 post-shot xG. He also showed some real bravery coming off his goal line to intervene in a few crosses and set pieces. He did have one questionable moment when he came out to catch a long ball off a set piece and momentarily spilled it before a defender was able to get the ball clear. Overall, a solid outing for a growing prospect.
RWB – Ray Gaddis – 7
The veteran right-sided defender was clearly up for the match as he returned “home” to Subaru Park. He was involved both offensively and defensively, posting an 80% pass rating, completing 2 of 3 dribbles, and winning 4 of 5 ground duels. Gaddis did not make any glaring defensive mistakes, but his offensive output still left a bit to be desired. He wasn’t able to get off an accurate cross on the night, and most of his services were blocked by the closest defender. Ray also failed to win a tackle.
CB – Nick Hagglund – 8
Nick Hagglund did a little bit of everything on the night. He was involved offensively, posting good passing numbers that included a key pass, an accurate cross, and 4 passes into the attacking third. Defensively he was a monster. Not only did he win all 4 of his aerial duels, but he also led the team with 5 combined tackles and interceptions and added 5 clearances. Perhaps most telling of all, the Union elected to only attack down his side 27% of the time.
CB – Geoff Cameron – 5
In his first meaningful action in some time the aging center back showed some rust. Cameron wasn’t able to earn a tackle and only contributed 4 pressures. He did anchor a back line that played pretty well, however, and won both of his aerial duels and 2 of his 3 ground duels. He made a couple of mistakes that could have cost his team and wasn’t able to go all 90 minutes, but overall there isn’t a ton to complain about from Cameron’s performance.
CB – Tyler Blackett – 4
Blackett would have been rated lower if not for his assist for Vazquez’s game tieing goal. Outside of that key moment, his performance was inconsistent. His 74% pass rating wasn’t great and he completed only 2 of 7 long balls. He was dribbled past once, and dispossessed twice, including in the build-up to the Union’s goal. There were numerous occasions when Philadelphia was able to find runners in behind the left-center back, and they chose to exploit him by attacking his side 41% of the time. Finally, though he won 4 of 5 aerial duels he failed to win a tackle or get an interception, and won only 1 of 3 ground duels. If Blackett is playing for a contract, it looks like he may find himself without a club by the end of the month.
LWB – John Nelson – 7
Once again John Nelson put in a competent performance. He has come into his own deputizing for an injured Ronald Mattarita, and though he often is unable to add too much value to the attack, he also doesn’t take anything away from the defense. His 84% passing was excellent and he was able to send in 2 accurate crosses. He also won 2 tackles and was 2 for 2 on his ground duels, and grabbed 2 interceptions. Finally, he tied for the team lead with 5 blocks… an excellent stat to have when your team is holding on for a point on the road.
DCM – Obinna Nwobodo – 8
Obi truly does a bit of everything on the pitch. He was so good in this match that the defensive presence of Haris Medunjanin wasn’t noticed… a feat that is incredibly important when the veteran is on the field. Obi completed 90% of his passes including 5 long balls and 7 passes into the attacking 3rd. His 16 pressures and 16 ball recoveries led the team, and he added 6 blocks, an interception, and 3 tackles. If he can start turning some of his excellent on-ball ability into scoring chances he will truly be this team’s all-around best player.
DCM – Haris Medunjanin – 8
Playing alongside Obi, Medunjanin wasn’t asked to cover too much ground defensively. This allowed him to excel in the spaces that he occupied. The veteran midfielder was 2nd on the team with 13 recoveries and added 9 pressures, 2 interceptions, and a tackle. Offensively he took good care of the ball and added 2 key passes and 2 shot-creating actions. If he can play this well when he is called into action, he could be a key spot-starter down the stretch.
CAM – Álvaro Barreal – 7
Barreal was a bit of an enigma playing the 10 as a starter in league play for the first time this season. His 89% passing was excellent, and he contributed 3 shot-creating actions and 4 key passes. However, he also had 2 missed touches and was dispossessed 5 times. He got into dangerous positions all night but struggled to find much end product. Case and point were his 10 crosses on the night of which only 2 were accurate. Overall, however, his contribution was positive. His 6 switches of play led the team and helped lead to some valuable possession, and his 4 shots were some of the most dangerous moments in the match.
ST – Brenner – 8
Brenner’s performance drew the ire of some fans, and this rating is going to get me some flack on Twitter. However, I think if you remove the price tag and the name, and just focus on the performance, the young Brazilian played quite well. Not only did he post a 93% pass rating, but he led the team with 7 shot-creating actions and contributed 3 key passes. He also received the most progressive passes on the team (11), showing how key he was to linking up play. His defensive work rate was also excellent. His 13 pressures were good enough for 2nd on the team, and he also added 2 tackles. FC Cincinnati’s transfer record-breaking designated player may not have scored, but he contributed a lot to this result.
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 8 (Man of the Match
Vazquez scored the only goal in a 1-1 draw. That alone may have earned him Man of the Match honors, but he was also excellent in many other aspects. His hold up play is improving rapidly, and many of the Orange and Blue’s most dangerous attacks came after the team was able to transition through Vazquez. This showed in that he was targeted with the most passes of anyone on the team (64). Of those targets, he was able to receive nearly 70%… an excellent statistic for any forward in the league. His struggles still pop up at times, and he was also credited with 7 missed touches, but overall he was vital to every part of FC Cincinnati’s attack.
Ian Murphy (74th minute) – 6
Murphy came on for a cramping Geoff Cameron to anchor the center of the back 3. He performed admirably, using his speed to shut down Cory Burke. Outside of that, his contribution was minimal as he only had 5 touches and attempted 2 passes. But coming on as a center back on the road in a tie game… the goal is no mistakes. And that is a goal that Murphy achieved.
Lucho Acosta (78th minute) – 4
Acosta came on for a late cameo to try to steal all 3 points late. After only getting one real training session before the match due to him being in health and safety protocols the rust showed. He tallied 60% passing, had no successful dribbles, was 0 for 3 on his crosses, and fell over the ball in wide-open space once. He failed to have a key pass or a shot-creating action.
Dom Badji (78th minute) – 5
Badji didn’t have long to try to impact the game when he came on for Brenner. He didn’t do much, but he was able to contribute a key pass and a shot-creating action. He ran around with full effort as usual, but his indecision ended a counter-attack opportunity that could have won the game for FCC.
Allan Cruz (86th minute) – N/A
Availability Notes: Alec Kann (groin), Junior Moreno (leg), Yuya Kubo (health and safety), Calvin Harris (green card), and Ronald Matarrita (ankle).