FCC welcomed the boys from the lesser Queen City into TQL Stadium on Saturday. The game was played in a downpour and accordingly was ugly throughout. Charlotte seemed content to sit back, foul a lot, and disrupt the rhythm of the game. Despite that, it was Cincinnati’s Crown Jewel Nick Hagglund that opened the scoring by deflecting home some corner slop in the 38th minute. Then, Lucho Acosta doubled the lead in the 81st, leaving the Bailey singing in the rain as the Orange and Blue earned a shutout and the 3 points, finishing the night just above the playoff line.
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 – 1.2, Charlotte FC – .9, per mlssoccer.com
Now onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 8
Pat Noonan did most everything right on Saturday save for actually playing the match for his team in a bid to get them to clean up their possession. Initially, FC Cincinnati’s press was seriously disjointed as Charlotte built from the back with their 4 defenders and 2 deep-lying midfielders but kept their remaining 4 outfield players very high creating a huge gap in the midfield. Noonan adjusted the team’s press at halftime, asking his defensive players to compress that space a bit more and force Charlotte to play under pressure. This adjustment led directly to FCC’s 2nd goal.
Noonan also got his substitutions pretty spot on. Introducing Yuya Kubo for Junior Moreno in the 63rd minute gave the Japanese international plenty of time to settle in and affect the game. Adding Santos and Gaddis down the stretch also helped to provide a kick of energy to the team as they looked to close out the match. The one complaint that I have is that up 2-0 with 2 substitutions and 1 sub window remaining Noonan elected to bring off Barreal and Vazquez. He easily could have pulled off Lucho Acosta instead, saving the captain from picking up the yellow card that led to his being suspended for the next match.
GK – Roman Celentano – 6
Celentano didn’t have a ton to do in the match, facing only 2 shots on target with a total post-shot xG of 0.3. However, playing goalkeeper in a downpour is never easy and Roman was up to the task. He made several key interventions on set pieces and kept his defense focused and organized.
The knock on the young keeper continues to be his distribution. The weather certainly didn’t help in this regard, but he completed only a dismal 10 of his 20 passes on the night.
RWB – Alvas Powell – 6
Nobody on FC Cincinnati’s side had a great night in terms of caring for the ball, and Powell was no different. He completed only 63% of his passes, with only 1 of them helping to progress the ball. He got forward to the tune of providing 4 crosses but was unfortunately unable to complete any of them.
Defensively, however, Powell was active if not effective. He provided 17 pressures on the night, though only 3 of them led to FCC winning possession back. He was also credited with 4 blocks, an interception, and 2 tackles.
RCB – Nick Hagglund – 9 (Man of the Match)
Nick Hagglund scored the opener through sheer power and strength of will, outworking Ben Bender to get to the ball and prod it home. But even outside of his goal contribution he was pretty excellent on the night. The Cincinnati Kid completed 77% of his passes, including 8 of 11 long balls. His 11 pressures were more than Miazga’s and Cameron’s combined, and he was 2nd on the team with 10 ball recoveries.
Most importantly for FCC, in a game that could easily have been decided by sloppy mistakes in the box blamed on the weather Haggs nearly single-handedly made sure the ball never landed there. He won all 3 of his aerial duels and was credited for 6 headed clearances. He was dribbled past once, but we’ll blame that on his wet hair getting in his eyes… a factor that we won’t have to worry about again for quite some time.
CB – Geoff Cameron – 7
Cameron had a defensively stout performance. He wasn’t very active in pressing high or winning the ball off of attackers, but his positioning and veteran intelligence helped him to 3 interceptions and 3 blocks. However, his 0 progressive passes and dismal 1 for 5 long ball completions didn’t make his job any easier.
LCB – Matt Miazga – 7
Miazga was by far the best passer along the back line on the night, completing 82% of his passes including 5 of 9 long balls. His 7 passes into the final third is also an excellent tally for a central defender.
Defensively he was solid but didn’t stand out in terms of statistics. His 3 pressures are a very low number for a center back, and he failed to record a tackle while only earning one interception and one recovery.
LWB – Álvaro Barreal – 7
Barreal had an exceedingly inconsistent match. He dove in on Kerwin Vargas a lot, was dribbled past a shocking 4 times, and earned himself a first half booking. However, he also contributed 21 pressures (3rd on the team), was credited with 4 tackles, and made a goal-saving block to deny Daniel Rios from point-blank range early in the 2nd half.
Similarly, on the offensive side of the ball, only 1 of his 4 crosses was accurate and he was credited with a mistouch and was dispossessed once. However, he also completed 81% of his passes including 4 of 5 long balls, created 2 shots, and was 2nd on the team with 6 progressive carries.
DCM – Obinna Nwobodo – 6
Obi didn’t have a bad game, but it was certainly far below his lofty standards. His 73% passing was far below his 85% average per 90, and he also led the team in being dispossessed 4 times and was credited with a mistouch.
Defensively he wasn’t as active as usual but was still effective. His 22 pressures were below his average (28 per 90) but he won 5 tackles while the rest of the team combined for only 6. His 18 ball recoveries also led the team, winning a respectable 50% of his ground duels.
DCM – Junior Moreno – 6
Moreno was just about the only player on the pitch that looked comfortable in possession, completing 88% of his passing. However, only 1 of those passes was progressive, and his singular attempt at a long ball didn’t come off. He was also put in a respectable if unspectacular defensive performance, winning 50% of his ground duels and earning a block and an interception.
Moreno still doesn’t look as mobile as he did prior to his injury, however. He failed to log a tackle and only contributed 16 pressures, with a mere 3 of them being successful.
CAM – Lucho Acosta – 8
Lucho Acosta played a part in both FCC goals, logging an assist before scoring the goal that iced the match. Beyond that, he also contributed 8 shot-creating actions, logged 6 progressive passes, and completed 9 progressive dribbles. All of these numbers led the team by some margin.
The lone black mark on an otherwise man-of-the-match-worthy performance was his silly yellow card in stoppage time. Had he controlled his temper for 2 more minutes he would have had a card removed from his tally for “good behavior,” and could have had a bit of a cushion before a possible suspension. Instead, his team will face a tough away match at New York City FC without him.
ST – Brenner – 5
Brenner was mostly anonymous in this match. His 18 touches were the lowest tally among starters, and though he completed a team-best 85% of his passes he attempted only 13. Despite this, he was still able to contribute 2 shot-creating actions. He left the match in a huff after his number came up in the 76th minute, and one has to wonder if he was as angry at himself for a listless performance as he was at Noonan for giving him the hook.
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 5
Vazquez’s 24 touches wouldn’t look so poor if one didn’t see the outcome of those touches. He only completed 5 of his 12 attempted passes, had 5 mistouches, and was dispossessed once. He also was only able to contribute 1 shot-creating action and was otherwise a non-factor offensively.
One still has to credit the Pancake Man for his work rate. Despite his off night he continued to battle for balls launched toward him by Roman Celentano and added 16 pressures defensively.
Yuya Kubo (63rd minute) – 7
Yuya Kubo was a breath of fresh air in this putrid match when he was introduced for Junior Moreno in the 63rd minute. His 80% pass rate was top-notch, and he created 3 shots in his limited minutes. Most impressively, he had an insane 12 pressures in only 28 minutes of play, with 5 of them being successful. Finally, of course, his defensive play led to Lucho Acosta’s goal.
Ray Gaddis (77th minute) – 6
Gaddis came on for Alvas Powell late on in a like-for-like substitution at right wing back. Like many players, he struggled to really make an impact when coming on so late in the match. He had only 4 touches, but all of them led to a completed pass. Defensively he was fairly solid, though he did get dribbled once.
Sergio Santos (77th minute) – 6
Santos showed the strength, power, and speed that could make him a great late-game addition and spot-starter if he can stay healthy. In only 13 minutes he was able to complete all 5 of his passes, win 3 of 5 ground duels, log 2 tackles, 2 blocks, and draw a foul.
Dom Badji (89th minute) – N/A
John Nelson (89th Minute) – N/A
Availability Notes: Other than backup goalkeepers the squad was fully healthy for this match.