FC Cincinnati stumbled into Lower.com field on Sunday to face the Columbus Crew on the back of 4 straight draws. However, they left feeling the weight of going winless for 5 straight matches after falling 2-0 in the Hell is Real Derby. The Orange and Blue were once again without talisman Lucho Acosta, and Coach Pat Noonan elected to change formations and roll out a 4-2-3-1 with Brenner playing the 10. It looked like it might pay off when Barreal nearly opened the scoring in 3rd minute. Instead, it was Cucho Hernandez that scored first, flicking a Lucas Zelarayan set piece service inside the far post in the 16th minute. FCC responded well, but eventually gave up a 2nd, a penalty kick from Zelarayan in the 86th minute.
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 a N/A if they are subbed in/off before any quantifiable statistics are available.
Expected Goals (xG): FC Cincinnati – 1, Columbus Crew – 2.1, per mlssoccer.com
Now onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 5
Pat Noonan decided to change things up throughout the team, utilizing a 4-2-3-1 formation. This moved Brenner to Attacking Mid, Yuya Kubo to the wing, and brought Ian Murphy and Nick Hagglund back to partner in a back 4. Brenner struggled to find space throughout the match, Kubo never looked comfortable before eventually getting the hook early in the 2nd half, and playing with 2 center-backs instead of 3 caused the FCC defensive midfielders to consistently drop too deep.
That said, the gaffer made decent adjustments. He brought the team out in the 2nd half in a flat 4-4-2. As soon as he realized that wasn’t working he brought on Geoff Cameron and Quimi Ordoñez, switching to a 3-5-2. However, bringing on Calvin Harris to play right wing-back in the 83rd minute proved decisive, as the young winger got beat in behind almost immediately, setting up the play that led to Columbus earning a penalty kick.
Not a lot Noonan could do without Lucho, but I think he tinkered a bit too much with this one making it difficult for his team to settle throughout the match.
GK – Roman Celentano – 7
Celentano gave up 2 goals on a post-shot xG of 2.2, so he just about saved what was there for him. He made one strong save in 2nd half from a Lucas Zelarayan shot from distance, and couldn’t really do much about either Crew goal. However, he also put his team at risk by blocking a 67th-minute Eric Hurtado cross straight into the center of the box. Luckily Obi was on hand to make a last-ditch tackle to save an almost certain goal.
RB – Ray Gaddis – 5
Ray Gaddis struggled in 1v1 defense, only winning 1 of his 4 ground duels and only managing one tackle. He was clearly worried about being beat for pace and continued dropping deeper and deeper defensively, only managing 7 pressures, with 5 of those occurring in the defensive third. His passing percentage was strong (92%), but only 3 of his passes were progressive. He was able to earn a shot-creating action and a key pass, however, salvaging an otherwise fairly anonymous night.
CB – Nick Hagglund – 4
Nick Hagglund didn’t make any big mistakes, but he managed lots of little ones. His 69% passing included going 0 for 5 on long balls. He also only won 1 of his 5 ground duels, was not credited for a single tackle, and was dribbled twice. He did manage 2 blocks and won 3 of his 4 aerial duels.
CB – Ian Murphy – 7
Ian Murphy tied Álvaro Barreal as the highest rated player on the team according to FotMob. The rookie had a good passing percentage (80%) and managed to have two shot-creating actions and a key pass. He was clearly the best defender on the pitch in the Orange and Blue, leading the team in blocks (6) and tieing for the lead in interceptions (2). Finally, he was the only defensive starter that was not dribbled on the night and one of the few to not be out-dueled, winning 1 of his 2 ground duels.
LB – John Nelson – 6
Nelson did fairly well as a defender despite Columbus focusing much of their attack up his side. He was only dribbled once and won his only ground duel. However, he wasn’t able to make much of an impact either. He wasn’t credited for a tackle, only earned 4 pressures, and was sacrificed to a formation change early in the 2nd half. Offensively he was a non-factor, having 0 progressive or key passes and 0 accurate crosses.
DCM – Obinna Nwobodo – 7
Obi once again finds himself on the wrong end of my hefty grading curve. Had this been his first game in the Orange and Blue, he would have left the impression that he was pretty good. However, not only has he set high standards for himself, FCC needs him to be at his best in order to get results… and he was good on Sunday, but not at his best.
His passing percentage was good (87%), he wasn’t dispossessed at all, and he won 7 of his 14 ground duels. He also was credited for more progressive actions than any other Fooser (4 carries and 5 passes). His 30 pressures were tops on the team, and he also won 3 tackles and was credited with a block and 2 interceptions. This alone would have been good enough for a man of the match performance, but it didn’t stop there. Obi was dribbled past 3 times, more than anyone else on the pitch. He also fouled 6 times, which is double that of his closest teammates. Finally, after making a good play to cut out a cross in the 86th minute he tamely chipped the clearance to the most dangerous player on the pitch, Lucas Zelarayan, then ran out with his arms extended to block the shot.
DCM – Allan Cruz – 5
Allan Cruz was relatively competent in possession on the night but unable to add much offense. He wasn’t able to contribute a shot-creating action or a key pass. Even more disappointing was the fact that he wasn’t credited with a single progressive pass. He was also dispossessed twice and dribbled twice.
CAM – Brenner – 6
Brenner didn’t do a lot wrong on the night, but he was consistently unable to get on the ball in dangerous situations. He was able to contribute 3 shot-creating actions but was unable to earn a key pass. He was also unable to put either of his 2 shots on target. Playing as a #10, he simply wasn’t able to influence the game or find enough creativity to generate chances.
LW – Álvaro Barreal – 8 (Man of the Match)
Barreal was 3 for 3 on dribbles, had an excellent passing percentage (87%), and led the team with 6 shot-creating actions. He was instrumental in the attack, with 5 passes into the offensive third and 2 key passes. Had Eloy Room not made an excellent reaction save on his shot in the 3rd minute he might have turned the tide of the match with an early goal. His ability to play consistently game after game in a variety of positions has been crucial with the suspension of Lucho Acosta. Pat Noonan will have some decisions to make once Acosta is back as to how to keep Barreal on the field.
RW – Yuya Kubo – 2
I was so incredibly disappointed with the performance of Kubo, and accordingly, he has earned the lowest grade that I’ve ever given. He was dispossessed 4 times and had 2 missed touches. His passing percentage was fine (75%), but only 2 of his passes were progressive. Moreover, his effort looked sub-par for his time on the pitch, and he was one of the first given the hook when Pat Noonan decided to change things up. The only thing keeping the Japanese international from sinking lower is that he was playing as a wing, which has not been his preferred position for quite some time, so some time for adjustment to get into the flow of things may be warranted.
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 6
Vazquez struggled under the pressure of the Crew center backs all night. He was able to contribute 3 shot-creating actions and led the team in expected assists (.3), but was unable to log a single shot on target. Despite all this, he still looked to be dangerous running in behind the Crew defense and getting on the ball. A quiet night for the FCC’s leading goal scorer, but not much wrong with the performance.
Geoff Cameron (54th minute) – 6
The introduction of Cameron to the back line steadied the ship quite a bit. In less than a half of play, he contributed 7 pressures, a block, an interception, and a tackle. Perhaps most tellingly for how the night was going, he wasn’t dribbled a single time.
Arquimides Ordoñez (55th minute) – 7
Quimi’s introduction relatively early in the match shows how he as moved up the pecking order in the eyes of Pat Noonan. He came on for Yuya Kubo in a formation change that saw him partner Brandon Vazquez up top. He was able to get into really good positions and ended the match leading the team with .3 xG. However, of his 3 shots, he only put one on target and he looked rushed with his decision making. He’s young, and hopefully, patience and confidence will come with time.
Haris Medunjanin (69th minute) – 6
Medunjanin’s introduction to Allan Cruz was a bit of a surprise to me. With the struggles that the FCC midfield was having defensively, I was concerned that things would get worse. He wasn’t able to affect the game much defensively, but he wasn’t a huge liability either. Furthermore, his offensive output was fairly good for his short time on the pitch. He was credited with a shot-creating action and a key pass and ended the night tied for 2nd with 4 progressive passes.
Alvas Powell (69th minute) – 5
Most fans had high hopes when Powell came on for Gaddis to push for an equalizer. However, he didn’t have the desired offensive boost, contributing only 1 progressive pass, 0 shot-creating actions, and badly overhitting his only opportunity to cross. After just over 10 minutes he was moved to right center back and was unable to cover for Calvin Harris on the cross that led to Obi’s handling of the ball.
Calvin Harris (83rd minute) – N/A
Availability Notes: Junior Moreno (leg), Lucho Acosta (suspension), Dom Badji (leg), and Ronald Matarrita (ankle).