Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 1, St. Louis CITY SC 5

FC Cincinnati headed to the gateway to the West on Saturday to take on the high-pressing St. Louis CITY SC squad. And, instead of a gateway, they found a door that got slammed on their undefeated record, falling by the resounding score of 5-1.

Let’s look and see if any FCC players merited an “average” score or better.

Check out Cincinnati Soccer Talk’s post-match report HERE for more details.


  • Each player starts off with a six 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 on/off before any quantifiable statistics are available.

Expected Goals (xG): FC Cincinnati – 1.4, St. Louis – 1.5, per

Formation: 3-4-3

Now onto the ratings:

Manager – Pat Noonan – 5

I think even Pat would admit that he got this one wrong from the start. Trying to play 3-4-3 left FC Cincinnati’s double pivot badly exposed… especially with Obinna Nwobodo coming off an injury. The front 3 had some moments but largely got in one another’s way and struggled to make an impact.

Then, instead of switching back to the 3-5-2 he’s been using all year, he elected to come out of halftime in a 4-2-3-1. Things got worse from there as Mosquera struggled with the increased defensive responsibilities, and Angulo struggled to make an impact at the #10 spot.

It’s tough to fault Noonan too much since he was missing two of his most important players, but I would have liked to see him set his team up on the road to frustrate St. Louis, force them to have the ball, and try to hit on the counter.

GK – Roman Celentano – 5

Giving up 5 goals is never a good day between the sticks. Doing it to just 1.8 PSxG is just terrible. It wasn’t all Roman’s fault, as his unlucky own goal will account for some of that. However, he really should have done better getting beat at the near post by Löwen’s for CITY’s 2nd goal. He also was a bit quick to come out on Giocchini’s goal that put the match out of reach.

RWB – Santiago Arias – 5

78% passing, 5 progressive carries, 4 crosses and a shot-creating action sounds like the stat line of a player that deserves at least a “6.” However, only 1 of those 4 crosses found a target, and at least 2 of the others would have been golden opportunities had he managed to miss the first defender.

To make matters worse, he was badly beaten by John Nelson, of all people, in the run-up to CITY’s 2nd goal. He had a golden chance to direct a beautiful Barreal cross onto frame in the 41st minute, but whiffed. And, he led all FCC players with 3 fouls conceded. He was also dispossessed twice.

RCB – Nick Hagglund – 4

Hagglund had a mistouch and was dispossessed once, along with passing at a meager 54.5% clip. He was also megged twice in the lead-up to CITY’s 2nd goal and it might well have been his mark that scored the third. Finally, Nicky Haggs lost both of his ground duels before being replaced in a tactical switch at half time.

Not much of a surprise that Hagglund struggled the most out of all the defenders against the CITY press since he isn’t known for his passing and technical ability.

CB – Matt Miazga – 6

Miazga was part of a back line that gave up 5 goals, so how does he maintain an “average” score? By winning all 6 of his ground duels, both of his aerial duels, and adding a tackle and 4 blocked shots. Without him, believe it or not, the score could have been much worse.

However, it wasn’t all roses for the US international. His sub-70% passing wasn’t great, and he certainly failed to keep his team organized enough to stem the CITY tide.

LCB – Yerson Mosquera – 6.5 (Man-of-the-Match)

If anyone deserves man-of-the-match in this one (and I’m not sure anyone does) it might have been Yerson Mosquera. “Ourson” led all FCC players with 11 recoveries and 5 interceptions. He also won 3 of 4 aerial duels and 7 of 10 ground duels. He was fouled a whopping 6 times, and only conceded 1.

His passing could have been better (73.6%) but was still the best of any FCC center back. Finally, his 100-meter dash to chase down and tackle Tomáš Ostrák when he had Miazga back pedaling in 1v1 defense was great to see when his team was already losing 5-0. However, being on the back line when your team ships 5 goals is never good.

LWB – Álvaro Barreal – 5.5

Barreal’s game was a mixed bag. At times he looked like the most dangerous player in orange and blue. He tied for the team lead with 5 shot-creating actions and 4 key passes, and added 6 progressive passes.

However, defensively he was a bit of a mess. He won only 3 of 8 ground duels and committed 2 fouls in dangerous spots, including the one that led to CITY’s opener. His 63.8% passing was also far too low, and he committed 2 mistouches and was dispossessed once.

CM – Junior Moreno – 6.5 (Man-of-the-Match)

Speaking of deserving man-of-the-match, Moreno might not have been great but for me, he was the best of what was out there. His 13 progressive passes were the most of any FCC player by far, and he didn’t suffer a mistouch or dispossession despite playing in the middle of that vaunted CITY press. He also managed 89% passing and added a key pass.

However, he passed up two pretty good opportunities to shoot in the first half, electing instead to pass. He also failed to log a block or an interception and managed only 1 tackle.

CM – Obinna Nwobodo – 5

Obi looked like a player that hadn’t played a competitive match in nearly 3 weeks and only trained once prior to stepping on the field in St. Louis. He managed only 72.4% passing and a few of the ones he misplaced led directly to CITY transitions. He was credited with a mistouch and was dispossessed once. He also had 0 shot-creating actions, key passes, or passes into the offensive third.

However, it wasn’t all bad. In a match where the FCC midfield was badly outmatched for much of it, Obi had a tackle, a block, and 3 interceptions.

FWD – Arquimides Ordoñez – 5

Quimi looked so good at moments in this match dropping in to link up play. Several times he was able to show for a pass, receive it, and then spray the ball wide to a wing back transitioning forward. In his single half of play, he received 4 progressive passes, was 12 for 12 passing, and added a shot-creating action.

However, the times he didn’t pass the ball he gave it away in bad spots. His 4 dispossessions led all players despite his being pulled at half time. He also added 2 mistouches and only won 4 of his 10 ground duels. The young homegrown shows potential, but has a ways to go before he’s contributing regularly to the first team.

FWD – Sergio Santos Gomes – 5

Santos is so enigmatic that it’s frustrating. He can be fast and powerful and wreak havoc on an opponent. He can also look like his feet are made of cinder blocks to the tune of 5 mistouches. His goal certainly helps, but it’s tough to tell if he had much to do with it other than being in the right place.

He did manage to win 6 of 11 ground duels, but his lack of involvement was noticeable considering his 76 minutes played. His 33 touches only outpaced Hagglund and Quimi for outfield starters, and both of them were pulled at half time. With those 33 touches, he only managed to attempt 17 passes… only 12 of which were completed.

FWD – Brandon Vazquez – 5

Vazquez was another player that struggled to get into the game. He led his team with 5 shots, but only 2 were on frame. He had a decent opportunity at a header off a set piece in the first half but failed to make good contact as Santos backed into his space. His 65.4% passing is far from good enough, but he was able to add 5 progressive passes and a key pass.

Ultimately, CITY thrives off of clogging up the middle and forcing teams to play wide. It is telling that of the 3 other players that tied Vazquez for progressive passes received with 10, 2 of them were wingbacks. Brandon’s 40 touches were more than his per-90 average, but he still only managed 1 shot-creating action.


Marco Angulo (46th minute) – 5

I can’t imagine Angulo is thrilled with continually being asked to play the 10. It is so clearly not his strong suit. His 88.2% passing was pretty good. However, only adding 1 key pass and 1 shot-creating action from that position is just not good enough. Furthermore, adding only 1 progressive pass from that position is less than not good enough.

Defensively he didn’t add much either, winning only 1 of 3 ground duels and being dribbled once. It wasn’t all bad for Ecuadorian Kante though. He only had 1 mistouch and 1 dispossession, which is something to build on.

Dominique Badji (46th minute) – 6

Badji’s 45+ minutes were his most of the season by far. Despite his shorter time on the pitch, he tied for the team lead with 5 shot-creating actions. And, of course, he added the assist. Badji’s play was characteristically helter-skelter, as he worked hard for the team but had several sloppy touches. I’m not sure he did anything in this match to warrant more playing time, but he certainly didn’t stand out as someone who needed less.

Malik Pinto (59th minute) – 6.5

Pinto came on for Obi to play alongside Junior Moreno in the double pivot of Noonan’s 4-2-3-1, and he had another solid outing. His 89% passing included 5 progressive passes, which is outstanding for only playing 32 minutes. He also added a progressive carry.

Defensively, however, he looked a bit lost. He got pulled to the ball side a little too often and only managed one block. He did manage to win 2 of his 3 ground duels. Every time I see this kid I’m impressed. I hope he gets more playing time going forward.

Alvas Powell (77th minute) – 5

It’s tough to grade a guy coming on when the score is so lopsided and both teams just want to hear the final whistle. However, we can grade the fact that he attempted 2 dribbles and didn’t succeed with either of them, and the fact that he won only 1 of 4 ground duels. He was also dispossessed once and had a mistouch.

Ray Gaddis (87th minute) – N/A

Availability Notes: Yuya Kubo (knee), Lucho Acosta (shoulder), Brenner (impending transfer)


  • 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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