FC Cincinnati came into the match against San Jose on Saturday at TQL stadium with the feeling that the match was a must-win. After a first half that saw San Jose dominate statistically, Álvaro Barreal was able to give the Orange and Blue the lead just before the break. That goal proved to be the one that opened the floodgates. Brenner added a 2nd just after the interval, Lucho Acosta scored a penalty in the 71st minute, and Yuya Kubo made it 4 in the 77th. The night proved to be glorious for all involved, but especially Brenner, who nabbed a hat trick by scoring in the 90th and 95th minutes. The win officially guarantees that FCC cannot win a fourth consecutive wooden spoon, and left the team sitting in 6th place in the Eastern Conference on 42 points.
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 – 3.8, San Jose – 0.9, per mlssoccer.com
Now onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 8
Pat Noonan elected to go back to his “standard” lineup with all outfield players available for selection. Through the first half, it looked like his team had not been appropriately prepared, as the San Jose press caused FCC fits. However, Roman Celentano helped keep the visitors scoreless giving Noonan the chance to make halftime adjustments.
Coming out of the break Noonan had the FCC wingbacks drop deeper in possession, allowing his team to build through the width of the field. Though it may not have been his instruction explicitly, it was also notable that they stopped trying to be too cute on set pieces, electing instead to simply target one of their big men in the penalty box. Whatever Noonan did, it worked to the tune of 5 2nd half goals.
I thought pulling Lucho Acosta for Yuya Kubo up 3 goals in the 73rd minute was a good move. It not only keeps Lucho from picking up a silly card or an injury, but it gave Kubo some game time at the 10 in case the team loses Acosta for any reason down the stretch. I also thought getting Vazquez and Barreal off the pitch was a good idea. I was less convinced by the substitutions of Junior Moreno and Matt Miazga. I thought perhaps getting Obi off the pitch to avoid a possible yellow card, and Cameron to avoid a potential red card could have been a good idea. However, the decision didn’t end up costing the team.
GK – Roman Celentano – 8
Roman Celentano would have been my man of the match had it not been for the undeniable statistical dominance of Brenner. In the 25th minute San Jose looked to have opened up the FCC defense with a line-splitting through pass, but Roman was alert to the danger and came out of his box to sweep it up. Then, his 3 saves in the 28th minute to keep San Jose off the board when the score was still 0-0 were phenomenal.
All in all, Celentano made 5 saves and pitched a shutout with a post-shot xG of .9. His distribution remained shaky at best, but if he’s keeping the ball out of the back of the net one can hardly complain about goal kicks.
RWB – Alvas Powell – 7
Powell had a solid match but didn’t stand out. That could have changed if Barreal would have done better in the 2nd minute when Powell’s fantastic dribble forward led to Álvaro attempting to shoot when a cross might have been better. Defensively Powell was the definition of average. He got dribbled once, won 50% of his ground duels, and logged a block and 2 interceptions with 0 tackles.
Offensively, however, the Jamaican was particularly effective. The only players to outperform his 4 shot-creating actions and 5 progressive dribbles were Brenner and Acosta. He also tied Brenner for the team lead with 6 progressive passes.
RCB – Nick Hagglund – 7
The Cincinnati Kid has proven himself to be one of, if not the most solid defender on the Orange and Blue. He was once again dominant in the air, winning 3 of 4 duels and having a rocket header clawed away by San Jose goalkeeper James Marcinkowski to keep him from scoring in his 2nd game on the bounce. His 85% overall passing was excellent, but he only managed to complete 1 of 4 long balls and 1 progressive pass.
However, it wasn’t all good for the newly bald center back. He was badly beaten by Cade Cowell in the 38th minute leading to Roman Celentano having to make a diving save. He also didn’t record a tackle and had the fewest number of pressures of any defender (6).
CB – Geoff Cameron – 6
Geoff Cameron played more organizer than destroyer in the center of FCC’s back 3 on Wednesday. He only recorded 7 pressures, but 3 of them resulted in his team regaining possession. He made a tackle, but wasn’t able to record a block or an interception.
He lost his only ground duel but was unbeaten in the air, winning 3 of 3 aerial challenges. Finally, his 81% pass rate was good, but he wasn’t able to progress the ball and completed only 1 of his 2 long passes.
LCB – Matt Miazga – 7
This hectic mid-week matchup may have exposed Matt Miazga’s lack of a preseason. He completed only 62% of his passes, including going 0 for 2 on long balls and failing to complete a progressive pass. He was ultimately given a rest in the 73rd minute.
However, defensively he was very solid. In a match where the opponent attacked down his side more than half the time the big American recorded 2 tackles, 12 pressures, and 1 each of blocks and interceptions.
LWB – Álvaro Barreal – 8
Barreal wasted a golden opportunity in the 2nd minute of the match when Alvas Powell squared the ball for him and he elected to shoot when he had open runners in the box. However, from there he settled in nicely. Defensively he led the team in pressures (27) and successful pressures (9). He also added a tackle, an interception and 2 blocks while winning 2 of his 4 ground duels.
Offensively he was outstanding. Not only did he take his goal really well in the dying moments of the first half, but he also recorded 3 shot-creating actions. Finally, his 4 of 6 accurate crosses gave FCC some much needed width in the attack.
DCM – Obinna Nwobodo – 7
In a match where San Jose attempted to press high, Obi’s 97% pass rate was insane. He also added a successful dribble, 4 passes into the final third, and 3 shot-creating actions.
Defensively he was oddly quiet. His 23 pressures were only good enough for third on the team. However, he was still able to lead the team in combined tackles and interceptions (5) and blocks (3).
DCM – Junior Moreno – 5
Junior Moreno had a decent match but was only good enough to be FCC’s lowest-rated starter on FotMob. He was calm on the ball, completing 91% of his passes and helping to progress the ball 3 times. He added a shot-creating action and 3 progressive passes.
However, Moreno didn’t quite live up to the “defensive” tag in “defensive midfielder.” On the night he failed to win a single tackle, was dribbled twice, and won only one of his five ground duels.
CAM – Lucho Acosta – 7
Throughout much of this match, Lucho Acosta seemed like he couldn’t quite click into gear. In the 15th minute, he had a good opportunity to open the scoring but scuffed his shot from 12 yards out. In the 34th minute, he had the chance to connect with Brenner in transition but passed it behind the Brazilian, then a minute later squandered a 3v3 situation by lingering too long over the ball and having it tackled away. Even his assist for Barreal’s opener took a slight touch off a defender before finding the Argentinian.
However, the captain still found a way to get things done. His 81% passing was excellent, and his 11 progressive carries were more than double any other FCC player. Finally, not only did he show good awareness to latch onto the deflected shot in time to be fouled to earn a penalty kick, he showed how cool he can be under pressure by smoking the spot-kick into the upper corner.
ST – Brenner – 9 (Man of the Match)
With 3 goals and an assist on the night, there aren’t any other statistics needed to earn Brenner man of the match. He received a 9.8 rating on FotMob, which is virtually unheard of. This goes beyond the surface-level numbers. Brenner was excellent throughout the match at dropping in and linking play. He had 49 touches on the night while he typically only averages 40 touches per 90.
What Brenner did with those touches was key to the success that the Orange and Blue had. He had a 95% pass rate and played 6 passes into the final third. He also added 6 progressive passes and 5 progressive carries.
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 7
Brandon Vazquez failed to score in a match where his team saw 6 balls hit the back of the net, and that is disappointing. However, he played really well on the night holding the ball up under pressure. He won all 3 of his aerial duels and drew 3 fouls, including earning the set piece that led to his assist. Most impressively, he wasn’t credited with a mistouch all night and was dispossessed only once.
The problem has been that Brandon has been key to battling for 50/50 balls in the midfield and hasn’t been able to get as many touches in attacking portions of the field. Only 13 of his 24 touches came in the offensive third. However, he still generated 3 shots and was a direct part of 2 of FCC’s 6 goals.
Yuya Kubo (73rd minute) – 8
Yuya Kubo made a profound impact when he entered the game for Lucho Acosta in the 73rd minute. Not only did he score an excellent goal just after coming on, but he also completed 92% of his passes (3 progressive) and added 3 progressive carries. His 7 pressures were well spread out, with 2 in the attacking third showing that he was active out of possession.
Ian Murphy (73rd minute) – 6
Ian Murphy replaced Matt Miazga in the 73rd minute and struggled to get into the game. Admittedly, with his team already up 3-0, he wasn’t asked to do much. He completed only 78% of his passes and failed to complete either of his two long balls. He also only made 1 tackle and didn’t record an interception or a block. However, of his 5 pressures, 2 occurred in the attacking third and 2 in the middle third, showing that he was a big part of FCC being able to press for goals 4, 5, and 6 instead of sitting back and cruising to an easy win.
Sergio Santos (78th minute) – 7
Santos only played 12 minutes plus stoppage, but once again his presence was felt immensely. He completed all 5 of his attempted passes and had 2 dribbles. He also won all 4 of his ground duels and managed to draw 2 fouls, including the penalty that led to Brenner’s 3rd tally on the night.
Ronald Matarrita (78th minute) – 6
It was good to see Mata slightly increase his minutes from the last match, and one would hope he continues to do so as the team heads down the stretch. His rust was noticeable, as he wasn’t accurate with either of his cross attempts and didn’t hit his free kick in the 90th minute well enough to clear the wall.
Dom Badji (83rd minute) – N/A
Availability Notes: Other than backup goalkeepers the squad was fully healthy for this match.