FC Cincinnati fell behind early to Nashville through some shoddy set piece defending that allowed Teal Bunburry to put the visitors ahead in just the 6th minute. After settling down and starting to dominate possession, the orange and blue finally pulled even through a well-designed set piece that allowed Brandon Vazquez to score his 11th goal of the season. Then, despite having the better of possession, shots, and xG for the rest of the match, the Orange and Blue couldn’t capitalize and the match finished 1-1.
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 – 1.5, Nashville Soccer Club – 1.6, per mlssoccer.com
Now onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 7
Pat Noonan was once again without some key pieces due to injury and suspension. I think he got the initial 3-5-2 formation correct, and his selection of Yuya Kubo to pair alongside Obi Nwobodo was solid. Noonan’s substitutions were also much better in this match than of late. Bringing on Moreno for Powell allowed Barreal to slide into the right wingback position and Kubo to push forward as a 10, which helped FCC keep the pressure on a retreating Nashville side. He also got Cameron out of the game before the veteran looked too gassed.
The only head-scratcher for me was pulling Kubo for Cruz in the 71st minute. Kubo had been playing well and didn’t look overly tired, and Cruz has proven time and again that he cannot play at the 10.
GK – Roman Celentano – 7
Celentano gave up only a single goal on a post-shot xG of 1.1, so he was just about even on the night. He couldn’t have done any better to keep out Bunburry’s point-blank shot after doing really well to save Walker Zimmerman’s initial effort. The young goalkeeper also showed command of his box, and held on to a scorching Randall Leal shot that could have proved to be trouble had he spilled it. He didn’t have any spectacular saves to make, however, so it would be tough for him to score much higher for me.
RWB – Alvas Powell – 5
Powell didn’t really put a foot wrong defensively. However, he was a passive bystander at the back post when Nashville scored. After that, NSC sat back and Powell was unable to impact the game much offensively. None of his 4 crosses ended up being accurate, he didn’t have any dangerous or key passes, and his lone successful dribble ended without a shot on goal.
RCB – Nick Hagglund – 7
Nick Hagglund’s big stat here is his winning 7 of 8 aerial duels. Against a team like Nashville, that is enough to get you a good score. His passing percentage was good (88%) and he provided good pressure in the midfield logging the most of any FCC center back (9). Though he wasn’t able to win a ground duel or earn a tackle, he was able to contribute with 3 interceptions. Finally, he led the team with 12 passes into the final third.
CB – Geoff Cameron – 5
Cameron didn’t have a terrible night, but he was the worst FCC player on the pitch for me. He was dribbled past once and didn’t get credited with any tackles. He seemed to always be a step slow pressuring the back-checking center forward for Nashville, and earned 2 fouls because of it. Furthermore, he only won 1 of 6 aerial duels. Finally, his passive defending and ball watching were integral in allowing Nashville to open the scoring.
LCB – Ian Murphy – 6
Like Cameron, Murphy was also outmatched in the air, winning only 1 of 8 aerial duels. However, unlike Cameron he contributed in other ways, earning 2 blocks, 1 tackle, and 4 successful pressures. Murphy was also useful in possession even though he wasn’t able to be dangerous in that regard. He added 9 passes into the final third, even if none of them helped to create any shots.
LWB – John Nelson – 6
Like Powell, Nelson didn’t have any defensive lapses on the night. However, also like Powell he failed to contribute much offensively. He attempted 2 crosses, neither of which were accurate, and only had 3 progressive passes. He was able to contribute with 2 shot-creating actions, however, before being subbed out in the 83rd minute.
DCM – Obinna Nwobodo – 9 (Man of the Match)
Obi was undoubtedly the key cog in the FC Cincinnati attack without Lucho Acosta. His 90% passing was excellent and included 6 switches of play… double that of any other FCC player. His 4 shot-creating actions, 8 progressive passes, and 10 progressive carries were also key to moving FCC forward. Defensively he led the team in successful pressures (5), and tied for the team lead in blocks (2), interceptions (2), and tackles (3).
DCM – Yuya Kubo – 7
In only 71 minutes on the pitch Yuya led the team in shot-creating actions (7) and xA (.4). He had a fairly anonymous first half but really kicked into gear in the 2nd. He was a good defensive presence as well, applying lots of pressure to the Nashville midfielders. His downfall continues to be end product, however, as he missed the target with his lone shot and dwelt on the ball too long on another opportunity failing to get a shot off.
CAM – Álvaro Barreal – 7
Though Barreal scuffed the shot on the set piece designed for him, he was able to put it on target which allowed Vazquez to head it home and earned the assist. He also created 6 other shots, including 5 for himself (2 on target). He isn’t quite able to generate the amount of offense that Lucho does as a 10, mostly because he doesn’t see the field or utilize the space as well as his elder countryman. However, he caused Nashville some problems and was able to be active from the middle of the pitch and when he shifted to wing back in the 2nd half.
ST – Brenner – 7
Brenner was given a free role offensively and utilized space well. He logged 55 touches and 4 shots, though he squandered a wide-open header in the first half off a corner, and skied another shot in the 2nd after Kubo found him at the top of the box. He also contributed 2 key passes and 3 shot-creating actions. However, he led the team in missed touches (3).
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 9
If not for Obi’s dominant performance Brandon Vazquez could easily have been man of the match. Even outside of scoring his goal (which was excellent) his hold-up play was top-notch as he got on the ball often and found teammates in transition. The only real black mark on his performance is missing his curling shot in the 2nd half that could have won it for the home team. However, his movement and excellent cut back with the ball created that shot, and with 2 defenders in the way it was a more difficult chance than it seemed.
Junior Moreno (52nd minute) – 8
Moreno looked absolutely thrilled to be back on the pitch in the Orange and Blue, and his energy was contagious. He wasn’t able to make a huge impact against NSC’s bunkered defense, but still added a shot-creating action and 3 passes into the final third. His energy was palpable, and he was successful on 4 of his 5 pressures and earned a tackle and 2 blocks.
Allan Cruz (71st minute) – 5
Cruz was on the pitch for more than 20 minutes including stoppage time, and played in a position (the 10) that should have been key to trying to unlock the bunkered NSC defense. However, he managed to only get 11 touches. On those 11 touches, he turned the ball over 3 times. Defensively he only had 2 pressures and wasn’t credited with a block, tackle, or interception. However, he was able to contribute 2 shot-creating actions… so that’s something.
Calvin Harris (83rd minute) – N/A
Tyler Blackett (83rd minute) – N/A
Availability Notes: Sergio Santos (contusion), Lucho Acosta (suspension), Dom Badji (leg), and Ronald Matarrita (ankle).