FC Cincinnati set a franchise record by remaining unbeaten in 6 consecutive matches by drawing the Vancouver Whitecaps at TQL stadium on Wednesday night. Alvaro Barreal, starting in place of the suspended Lucho Acosta, opened the scoring in the 3rd minute before Ryan Gauld equalized just moments later. Brandon Vazquez then got the go-ahead goal in the 23rd minute after a great run by designated player Brenner. However, a defensive lapse in the 82nd minute allowed Cristian Dajome to tie it for the visitors. A combination of tired legs and poor finishing left the Orange and Blue feeling like they dropped two points in this match.
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 – 1.7, Vancouver Whitecaps – 1.6, per mlssoccer.com
Now onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 4
Pat Noonan elected to continue with his 3-5-2 formation despite being without creative playmaker Lucho Acosta and playing against a team that was lining up in a 3-4-2-1. Vancouver’s narrow front 3 set a blockade that FCC’s 3 center backs had trouble dealing with in possession, instead resorting to long balls. He used Álvaro Barreal as a straight replacement for Lucho despite the fact that he has not had great results in that spot as of yet and it also removed him as an option at wing back.
In my opinion, Noonan’s biggest mistake was his reluctance to go to the bench. Due to Vancouver using “concussion substitutions,” he could have made as many as 7 changes in this match. This was his team’s 4th match in just 14 days and their heavy legs were noticeable. As Vancouver began making offensive substitutions in the 59th minute, Noonan didn’t respond until putting on newcomer Sergio Santos in the 74th. Then, as it became evident that Obinna Nwobodo had ran his gas tank to “E,” Noonan elected to bring on Haris Medunjanin for Yuya Kubo in the 80th minute. Obi’s lack of energy and Medunjanin’s lack of defensive presence were key factors in Vancouver’s game tying goal.
GK – Roman Celentano – 5
Celentano gave up 2 goals on a post-shot xG of just 1.4. Saving the first goal would have asked a lot of him, but he may have been able to be a bit more alert to the cross and he certainly should have given Gaddis a shout to head the ball out of bounds. Though the defense was abysmal on Vancouver’s 2nd goal, he probably will think he should have done better when he watches it back. His distribution was also shaky at times.
RWB – Ray Gaddis – 3
Ray Gaddis had a night to forget. Not only was his play really poor for Vancouver’s first tally, but he also wasn’t great in possession. He only managed to complete 63% of his passes and 3 of his 5 crosses were poor. His lack of pace was evident throughout the match. Things weren’t all terrible for the veteran, however, as he was credited for a key pass and made 3 tackles.
CB – Nick Hagglund – 6
Nick Hagglund did little to stand out in a positive or negative way. His passing percentage was good (80%), he had 1 each of tackles, blocks, and interceptions, and he won 6 of 7 aerial duels. He lost both of his ground duels, and only completed 2 of 9 long balls.
CB – Geoff Cameron – 5
If not for his culpability in Vancouver’s 2nd goal Cameron would have been rated a bit higher. His defensive presence was good and he was credited with 4 blocks, an interception, and 2 tackles. His best stat on the night was his 18 ball recoveries, tied for 1st on the team with Nick Hagglund. However, whether it was due to cramping or lack of energy he really should have done better to get to Ricketts before his cross found Dajome for the game tying goal. It looked to me as if he doubted his pace and elected to stop short even though he probably could have gotten to the ball first.
CB – Tyler Blackett – 5
Blackett’s performance was once again up and down. His passing numbers were good and he hit some of the best long balls in the match. He had decent, but not great, defensive numbers as well. However, his 4 pressures were half of what his 2 center back partners achieved, and he contributed only one-third of their ball recoveries. He also went 0 for 4 on aerial duels, which is unexpected for a 6’1″ central defender. Finally, he picked up a senseless yellow card arguing with the official as VAR was looking to make a potential call.
LWB – John Nelson – 7
Nelson was probably FCC’s most consistent defender on the night. His offensive numbers were good, at 90% passing, 2 key passes, and 2 accurate crosses. He didn’t get beat badly defensively, but also wasn’t able to create many problems for opposing attackers either, failing to be credited with a tackle or an interception.
DCM – Obinna Nwobodo – 7
I am going to be forthright here in saying that I am grading Obi harder than some of his teammates. I thought this was his worst match in the Orange and Blue to date. His 11 recoveries and 23 pressures were good, but low for his usual output. He also had a missed touch and was dispossessed twice. Despite this, he still was FC Cincinnati’s best passer, was credited with a key pass, and contributed 4 shot creating actions. Finally, he led the team in both tackles won (5) and interceptions (4). So why only a 7? He picked up a pointless yellow card, tackling Dajome as he was turning to play a harmless pass in a non-dangerous position. Finally, Dajome was his responsibility when he ran unattended into the box to score Vancouver’s game tying goal.
DCM – Yuya Kubo – 7
Yuya Kubo made his case to be a de facto starter alongside Obi in the midfield, at least until Junior Moreno is back to 100%. He helped a lot defensively, contributing 2 tackles, 15 pressures, and 7 recoveries. He was also good going forward, racking up 92% passing, a key pass, and 2 shot-creating actions. The only big downfall in his game was his inability to carry the ball forward into dangerous areas, tallying only 5 progressive carries, and being credited with 2 missed touches.
CAM – Álvaro Barreal – 8
Barreal took his chance for FCC’s first goal really well. He was also involved in Vazquez’s goal, and contributed 4 other shot-creating actions. Playing out of position as a #10, it was always unlikely that he was going to equal Lucho’s output, but his 2 key passes and 2 completed dribbles was a decent output. He was also active on the other side of the ball, tallying 20 pressures, 2 tackles, and 2 blocks. When Lucho comes back, it will be interesting to see if Noonan continues to find ways to get Barreal on the field.
ST – Brenner – 8 (Man of the Match)
Brenner may not have scored, but he was the most dangerous attacker in the Orange and Blue. He assisted both goals and led the team with 5 shot-creating actions and 3 key passes. His passing percentage was also tops among starters at 91%. He was no slouch defensively either, earning 2 tackles, 3 blocks, and 1o pressures. The lone draw-back from his game was his inability to find a wide open Álvaro Barreal in the box in the 56th minute, electing to try to create a shot for himself instead. Despite that, this was about as good a performance from a striker without scoring that one could hope for.
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 7
Vazquez moved his season goal total to 10 with an excellent finish in the 23rd minute to pull FCC ahead. His movement and work rate continue to be 2nd to none. However, he only completed 9 passes and had 0 shot-creating actions. His excellent goal keeps him above the “average” mark, but he has yet to hit his top form while playing alongside Brenner.
Sergio Santos (74th minute) – 5
Santos came on for Brandon Vazquez and was active immediately, shooting twice and creating one other. He was also credited with a key pass in his short time on the pitch. However, wasn’t as active defensively as the man he replaced, and he missed an absolute sitter, leading to the breakout that led to Vancouver’s game-tying goal. Finally, he pulled up injured in stoppage time. To quote Bryan Weigel, “Full Santos experience: some sauce, gets in great spots, misses a sitter, breaks like glass.”
Haris Medunjanin (80th minute) – 4
Pat Noonan took a big risk bringing on Medunjanin for Yuya Kubo with a 1 goal lead. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay off. Medunjanin was predictably unable to effect the game defensively, earning just 2 pressures and 1 tackle. His lack of range was partially to blame in Dajome’s late goal. Furthermore, he was not effective offensively either. He completed just 75% of his passes including 0 of 2 long balls and had no key passes. He had very limited minutes, but even with fresh legs he appeared to be a downgrade from Yuya Kubo.
Ian Murphy (86th minute) – N/A
Arquimides Ordoñez (90th minute + 2) – N/A
Availability Notes: Alec Kann (Health and Safety), Junior Moreno (leg), Lucho Acosta (suspension), Alvas Powell (family), Dom Badji (leg), Calvin Harris (leg), and Ronald Matarrita (ankle).