Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 3, Chicago Fire 3

Coach is back with the long-awaited player ratings.

I tried to put off doing player ratings because I refuse to do it without doing extensive research. However, enough of you reached out to me on Twitter (@FCCincyTacTalk) to tell me that you missed them so I decided to bring them back! Or, at least try to bring them back for as long as I can muster up the energy.

This week FC Cincinnati took their undefeated record on the road to take on a weakened Fire side in the frigid cold of Chicago. After taking the lead in the 8th minute, through a Junior Moreno deflected shot, they capitulated it away and were down 2-1 by half. Then the Fire added to their lead just 16 seconds off the 2nd half kickoff, and all seemed lost. However, the Orange and Blue stormed back behind a goal from Sergio Santos and a 2nd from Junior Moreno. They left Chicago with a point and their undefeated record intact.

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 and statistics from websites like FB Ref, Who Scored, and FOTMOB.
  • All statistics used will be taken from when possible.
  • A player may receive a N/A if they are subbed in/off before any quantifiable statistics are available.

Expected Goals (xG): FC Cincinnati – 1.9, Chicago Fire – 1.8, per

Formation: 3-5-2

Now onto the ratings:

Manager – Pat Noonan – 9

Noonan’s side didn’t do him any favors by failing to keep possession throughout the night, giving away cheap free kicks, and generally not looking up for the task. The manager didn’t have many choices that he could make with the starting lineup given that Yuya Kubo was out injured, Nick Hagglund was on Red Card suspension, and captain Lucho Acosta picked up a knock in training. After seeing his squad go down 3-1 early in the 2nd half, Noonan changed formations to a 4-2-3-1 by bringing on Sergio Santos and Santiago Arias. This freed up Brenner to be more impactful and helped his team take control of the game.

If we give Noonan the benefit of the doubt that Lucho Acosta couldn’t have gone more than the 10 minutes plus stoppage time that Noonan gave him, it seems that the gaffer pulled the right strings at the right time to leave Chicago with a point.

GK – Roman Celentano – 7

Roman faced a post-shot xG of 1.9 while allowing 3 goals. That’s never a great sign for a goalkeeper. However, his team didn’t do him many favors. He might have done better on Kacper Przybylko’s right-footed curler from a poor angle, but his angle seemed spot on and the shot nestled just inside of the post. He nearly saved Rafael Czichos’s penalty, but nearly doesn’t earn you much of an upgrade in points. Finally, I’m not sure what goalkeeper would have stopped Mueller’s rocket just after the halftime break.

Outside of the goals, Roman patroled his penalty area well, twice straying far from his goal line to pick corners out of the air. He was also alert to Brian Gutiérrez running through on goal to snuff out the danger. His distribution was fine but not great. All in all, a just above-average score seems fair for the young goalkeeper.

RWB – Ray Gaddis – 4.5

The veteran defender drew the ire of many FC Cincinnati fans as Chicago seemed to target his side of the pitch all night. He managed only 1 interception and 1 block, and he lost the only tackle he attempted. He was also credited in the stat sheet with an error for being dispossessed in the first half. However, he didn’t get dribbled and won 2 of his 3 ground duels. You also can’t fault him for any of the 3 goals that the Orange and Blue conceded.

Offensively was another story, and where Ray Ray really gets his sub-par score. He managed only 64% passing, didn’t contribute a cross or a shot-creating action, and had a mistouch. I don’t think he was terrible overall but added basically nothing positive.

RCB – Yerson Mosquera – 5

The young Columbian center back has been excellent so far this season, but he’ll want to forget this frigid match. Besides needlessly giving up the penalty, he was also late to challenges all night, racking up a team-high 4 fouls conceded. He also only won 3 of his 7 ground duels. He was successful on both of his attempted tackles (2) and added a block and 3 interceptions.

He wasn’t great on the ball either, completing just 64.3% of his passes, with only 2 of them being progressive. He did, however, add a key pass. His night was up and down overall, and he might have scored higher had he not been solely responsible for giving away the penalty kick that allowed the Fire to take the lead in the first half.

CB – Matt Miazga – 5.5

Matt Miazga was put in the position of anchoring a back line that included three youngsters and a veteran on the back end of his career. Defensively he contributed when he needed to, including an excellent last-second block to deny Haile-Selassie in the first half, as well as blocking two other shots. He also added an interception.

On the ball he was comfortable, completing over 80% of his passes. However, he didn’t make a big difference here, adding only 1 progressive pass. He also failed to win his only aerial duel. His lower-than-average score comes mostly from his failure to contribute. He only got into 1 ground duel and failed to attempt a tackle.

LCB – Ian Murphy – 5

Murphy came into his 2nd year as a pro with a lot of high hopes based on his solid performances from last season. He didn’t live up to them in his first start. He was only 48% passing with only 2 progressive passes. This included being only 5 of 10 on passes that were under 15 yards!

Defensively he won only 1 of his 4 attempted tackles and was dribbled twice. He did, however, add a blocked shot and 3 blocked passes and won 4 of his 6 ground duels.

LWB – Álvaro Barreal – 5.5

The young Argentinian has looked like one of the best left-sided defenders in the league in some matches and well like a winger trying to play wing back in others. This was one of the latter. Barreal completed just 67.3% of his passes. He only added 2 progressive passes and was only successful on 2 of his 4 take-ons. Despite all of this, he still proved to be FC Cincinnati’s most consistent attacking option, with 4 shot-creating actions and 3 key passes.

Defensively, however, he really struggled to make an impact. He won a single tackle, was dribbled past once, and failed to earn an interception. Finally, he managed to win only 6 of 11 ground duels.

DCM – Obinna Nwobodo – 7

Perhaps because of the cold, or maybe because of the stop-start nature of this match, Obi failed to make his typical impact defensively. He did not win a single tackle or provide a single block. His 4 interceptions still led the team, however.

Without Lucho on the pitch, Obi had much more pressure to help progress the ball. He stepped up as well as he could with 2 progressive carries and 5 progressive passes and completed 87.5% of his passes. However, the added pressure caused him to struggle a bit in possession. He had 3 mistouches and was dispossessed twice, including some key turnovers in key spots on the field. That said, on a night when not many FCC players could say they played well, Obi still put in a solid performance.

DCM – Junior Moreno – 6

Junior Moreno scored a brace, so he could have sat down in the center circle for the rest of the match and still got at least a “7” in most people’s books. However, I notoriously discount goals, especially when they come from deflected shots and corner scraps. Moreno was typically tidy in possession, completing 86.5% of his passes, with 4 being progressive. However, he did have 2 mistouches and was dispossessed once. That dispossession was extremely costly, leading directly to the Fire’s 3rd goal.

Defensively Moreno continues to show very little as far as stats are concerned. He only won 1 of 3 tackles and had just 2 interceptions. Furthermore, he got caught ball chasing badly on several occasions leading to opportunities for the home squad. It’s probably a little unfair, but he’s getting “average” from me.

CAM – Marco Angulo – 6

An “average” performance for Angulo will be the score that I take the most flack for on this one. Many of you were tweeting your displeasure at the play from the young Ecuadorian. However, I don’t think he was that bad. He completed a respectable 76.7% of his passes and helped to create his team’s opening goal. He also tied for 2nd on the team with 4 progressive passes. Defensively he was a bit all over the place, but as an attacking mid, he was afforded that luxury.

The U22 signing will need to improve his speed of play and clean up his turnovers to be a real contributor. Perhaps the place he needs the most growth is movement off the ball. He struggled to find space in the center of the park and often got caught clogging things up for Brenner trying to check back to the ball. I don’t think he added much to this match, but for a first run-out, he wasn’t all that bad.

ST – Brenner – 7.5 (Man of the Match)

More grading controversy! How can Brenner get man of the match when he didn’t score a goal or provide an assist? Simple, he was the most consistent attacker throughout the night and was near excellent in dropping in to provide much-needed creativity without his talisman Lucho Acosta on the field. Once Noonan shifted to a 4-2-3-1 and he had more space to check into, the Young DP created 4 successive chances by spraying passes from deep. His 6 shot-creating actions led the team, and his 83.8% passing was pretty darn good.

Brenner also drew 5 fouls, providing his team with some much-needed relief at key moments of the match. Finally, he contributed defensively by getting into 12 ground duels and won 7 of them.

ST – Brandon Vazquez – 5

Vazquez struggled mightily in this match as he still searches for his first goal of the season. His 15th-minute wide-open shot that nicked the outside of the post could have changed the game completely. His 57.9% passing wasn’t good enough, and his hold-up play was not nearly as excellent as it has been of late, as he had a team-high 5 mistouches.

Outside of the clear-cut chance mentioned above, he also had two runs down the right channel that could have been promising. He stumbled over the ball on one and took a poor touch leading to home-grown teenage defender Jonathan Dean tackling the ball away on the other.


Sergio Santos Gomes (61st minute) – 8

Santos provided some much-needed energy when he entered the match for Ian Murphy in the 61st minute. In his 30ish minutes, he had 2 shot-creating actions and 3 shots on target. His run to drift off the back shoulder of Carlos Terán and his first touch to bring the ball down were only outdone by his excellent finish in the 84th minute.

It wasn’t all perfect for the Brazilian. His 44.4% passing was pretty poor, and he added very little defensively despite the fact that his team was chasing the game.


Santiago Arias (61st minute) – 8

“Santi” entered the match for Ray Gaddis and immediately showed how important it can be to have a quality attacking option at wing back. he passed at a 90.9% clip, including 2 progressive passes and 3 key passes. Despite playing only 3o minutes he also had 3 shot-creating actions.

Defensively he won the only tackle he attempted and wasn’t dribbled past at all. Hopefully, he can stay healthy and be a consistent option for the Orange and Blue going forward.

Lucho Acosta (79th minute) – 8

Lucho made an immediate impact after entering the match with his team down 2 goals and only 10 minutes left to play. His assist to Santos was sublime, and he was also integral in helping to set up another chance that goalkeeper Chris Brady barely kept out. Furthermore, grabbing 2 shot-creating actions is an excellent haul for just a handful of minutes.

He clearly wasn’t at his best, completing just 42.9% of his passes and not adding anything defensively, but his presence was immense nonetheless.

Quimi Ordoñez (79th minute) – 6

Quimi was a surprise introduction along with Acosta in this match. Maybe Noonan thought the game was out of reach and wanted to give the youngster a runout. Or, maybe Noonan thought Quimi gave him the best chance to make a comeback. Whatever the reason, Ordoñez didn’t make much of a difference. He completed 2 passes and had only 4 touches. One of those touches looked great as he wriggled away from pressure but ended poorly with a giveaway.

Availability Notes: Yuya Kubo (leg), Nick Hagglund (red card suspension)


  • xG – Expected goals (or xG) measures the quality of a chance by calculating the likelihood that it will be scored from a particular position on the pitch during a particular phase of play
  • xA – Expected assist (or xA) is directly related to the xG of a shot that the pass creates.
  • Post-Shot xG (PSxG) – Post-Shot xG is calculated after the shot has been taken, once it is known that the shot is on-target, taking into account the quality of the shot.
  • Progressive Pass – A pass that advances toward the opponent’s goal where the distance between the starting point and the next touch is:
    • at least 30 meters closer to the opponent’s goal if the starting and finishing points are within a team’s own half
    • at least 15 meters closer to the opponent’s goal if the starting and finishing points are in different halves
    • at least 10 meters closer to the opponent’s goal if the starting and finishing points are in the opponent’s half
  • Progressive Carry – Carries that move the ball toward the opponent’s goal at least 5 yards or any carry into the penalty area. Excludes carries from the defending 40% of the pitch.
  • Dribble – Moving past the opposing player while maintaining possession of the ball. When a player shields the ball or otherwise uses physical strength to maintain possession, this is not a dribble.
  • Key Pass – A pass that immediately creates a clear goal scoring opportunity for a teammate. A key pass does not have to lead to a shot, and thus is different than a shot-creating action.
  • Long Pass – Definition depends on the site being used. Typically, a pass that travels a distance greater than 30 yards.
  • Mistouch – When a player fails when trying to gain control of the ball without a defender earning a tackle or a ground duel.
  • Ground Duel – A challenge between two players to gain control of the ball, progress with the ball, or change its direction.
  • Dispossessed – The times a player loses control of the ball after a tackle from an opponent, not including attempted dribbles.
  • Recovery – Any action that ends the possession of the opponent without the ball going out of bounds. Recoveries are typically duels (44%) or interceptions (16%), but can happen without any specific action from the player doing the recovery (positioning himself correctly or simply collecting the ball).
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