FC Cincinnati won its seventh MLS match in a row at home with a resounding 3-0 romp of CF Montreal. The win also marked the first time FCC won by more than the slimmest of margins. A Montreal own goal in just the second minute certainly aided in the win, but FCC’s performance was comprehensive nonetheless.
Let’s look at where your favorite FCC players ranked for this match.
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 fbref.com 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 – 1.3, CF Montreal – 1, per mlssoccer.com
Now onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 10
Noonan elected to slightly rotate his squad for this mid-week matchup, perhaps with an eye toward Saturday’s Hell is Real Derby. The rotation was the perfect amount, making only two changes to his prior starting XI, bringing Ian Murphy and Dom Badji into the lineup.
From there, it appeared that his instruction to his players was to get on the front foot early, set the line of confrontation high and put a shaky Montreal side under pressure. His team responded and cruised to victory. Furthermore, getting Badji and Powell (two players who haven’t logged a ton of minutes) out of the match relatively early allows both players to be fresh for the weekend. I also like that he pulled Obi (on a yellow) and Barreal (one yellow away from an accumulation suspension) once the match was out of reach. I can’t find anything wrong with the gaffer’s choices in this one.
GK – Roman Celentano – 7.5
Roman Celentano had almost nothing to do in this match. Despite making five saves, his PSxG was only .4, showing that none of those chances were well-taken. However, you can only stop the shots you face and he did that. Furthermore, he held onto each save, providing no rebounds for Montreal to try to capitalize on.
Roman still only completed seven of 14 long passes, showing that he isn’t consistently hitting his goal kicks into areas where his team can maintain possession, but all in all, he was good in this one.
RWB – Alvas Powell – 5.5
Alvis Powell was tasked with tracking the crafty Ariel Lassiter throughout this match. And, even though they may not all have been completely on Powell, Lassiter did tie for second on his team in shot-creating actions with three. Powell fell asleep on several occasions, including in the 57th minute when he failed to listen to Hagglund’s clear communication leading to Montreal’s best scoring chance of the match, a .51 xG chance that Sunusi Ibrahim put over the bar.
With FCC’s success on the press and moving the ball in the midfield, the wingbacks were not asked to do as much offensively as compared to normal. His four progressive actions (one pass, three carries) were adequate, but he only managed one cross that didn’t find a target. Finally, he won only one of his five ground duels. After an incredible outing last match, Powell definitely fell back down to earth in this one.
RCB – Nick Hagglund – 7.5
Perhaps because of Powell’s relative lack of performance, Nick Hagglund led the squad with five tackles and three interceptions, putting forth a solid defensive outing. However, he was dribbled once, and weirdly only won two of four aerial duels.
In possession, the Cincinnati Kid was very good. His 76.6 percent passing wasn’t jaw-dropping and included completing only three of nine long passes, but his six progressive passes and four passes into the final third were amongst the team leaders. He also scored a goal that was disallowed for a questionable foul and contributed a shot-creating action as well.
CB – Matt Miazga – 8
Matt Miazga not only organized things defensively for the clean sheet, but he also was a key pivot point when in possession. His 63 touches were second only to Lucho Acosta. With those touches, he completed 83.6 percent of his passes and had four progressive passes.
Defensively, he was ever-present as always. His communication with the youngster Ian Murphy starting alongside him was key, and he contributed a tackle, two interceptions and a key blocked shot.
LCB – Ian Murphy – 7
Ian Murphy started the game a little shaky but ultimately settled down and had a solid match. After a really poor giveaway in the 12th minute that went unpunished by Montreal, he ended up completing 82.2 percent of his passes and had four progressive passes and four passes into the final third. His key offensive contribution was actually a defensive step in the midfield that allowed FCC to win the ball and led directly to Lucho Acosta’s effort that made the game 2-0.
His two tackles, one block and one interception were pretty good numbers for a center back. However, he did lose all three of his aerial duels, which is a big dropoff from Yerson Mosquera who he replaced in the lineup.
LWB – Álvaro Barreal – 8
Álvaro Barreal had a very good match, even though it fell a bit short of exceptional. His dangerous free kick led to Waterman’s own goal in the second minute and he contributed five crosses in total. However, none of those crosses found a target … at least not one in Orange and Blue. I also think there were a few moments early when he could have put in a dangerous service that he elected to cut the ball back instead and he lost the ball each time. He also had two mistouches and was dispossessed once.
I stated on The Walkthrough that I thought Barreal’s matchup with Aaron Herrera defensively might be the key to the match. In this regard, Barreal was excellent, tying for the team lead with three successful tackles and not getting dribbled once. In fact, Herrera only ended up with two crosses in the match … far below his average of 4.17 per 90 minutes.
DCM – Junior Moreno – 6.5
I thought it looked like Junior Moreno and Obi Nwobodo got overrun defensively in midfield a few times in the first half. Bryce Duke and Sean Rea often had lots of space to dribble into in the middle third of the field. They combined for six progressive carries and seven carries into the final third, even though Duke was pulled at halftime. However, Moreno gets to share this blame with Obi so I can’t grade him down too much. That said, he was dribbled once and failed to log an interception.
In possession, he did a much better job of taking the space given to him in this match. He ended the match with three progressive passes, three passes into the final third and two passes into the penalty area. This is the kind of offensive contribution that FCC will continue to need from the defensive midfielder going forward.
DCM – Obi Nwobodo – 8.5 (Man of the Match)
As mentioned above, Obi Nwobodo was part of a midfield that struggled defensively at times in the first half. Obi was dribbled once, though he also logged two tackles that both won the ball back for the team, a block and two interceptions. And, as usual, his 11 recoveries led the team.
Like Moreno, Obi also turned up the heat offensively in this match, and was more effective than his positional counterpart. Along with his three progressive passes, he led the team with five passes into the final third and tied for the lead with three key passes. Furthermore, his three shot-creating actions meant that he was a constant threat going forward, and he even logged the rare assist for his contribution to Brandon Vazquez’s game-sealing goal in the 65th minute. If Obi continues this kind of offensive output while also remaining a defensive stalwart, this team has a real chance at winning silverware.
CAM – Lucho Acosta – 8
At times in this match, Lucho Acosta was a borderline disaster in possession. his four mistouches, three dispossessions and 63.3 percent passing were all the worst of the team’s starters. However, he led the team in positive categories as well: shot-creating actions (seven), progressive passes (seven), progressive carries (six), key passes (tied with three) and passes into the penalty area (three). Even when Acosta is a turnover machine, he is still incredibly dangerous every time he touches the ball.
Even with his goal and offensive contribution, where Lucho really impressed me in this match was on the defensive side of the ball. The attacking midfielder’s defensive work rate was phenomenal and led to several opportunities for the Orange and Blue off of Montreal turnovers. His pressure and deflection were part of Vazquez’s goal, and he harried the Montreal back and midfield lines throughout the match, ending with three tackles and two interceptions.
ST – Dom Badji – 7
Minutes have been few and far between for the veteran striker Dom Badji. And, to be honest, it looked like this match was going to be another rusty performance that left us wondering whether or not he still had what it takes to be a viable backup striker in this league. However, he settled down quickly and was a good contributor to the flow of this match.
Badji’s work rate is never in question. And though he didn’t put up any defensive stats in this one, his pressing was important and his battling for 50/50 balls stood out. In his 65 minutes, he got into 10 duels (six ground and four aerial), though he only won five of them. His movement and effort also contributed to four shot-creating actions. Finally, he finished with four progressive actions and received seven progressive passes.
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 7.5
Brandon Vazquez’s 69 percent passing and only two shot-creating actions might have made for a lower score for the American, except for the fact that his goal was so well taken. His hold-up play was also much better in this match. He received seven progressive passes and had only two mistouches.
Like Badji, Vazquez’s work off the ball was tireless and really contributed to the team’s overall performance. He got into 16 duals (10 ground, six aerial), winning nine of them.
Yuya Kubo (66th minute) – 7
In his 25 minutes of play, Yuya Kubo looked both rusty and extremely dynamic. Asked to play forward alongside Vazquez, Kubo was once again thrust into another position and didn’t look entirely sure where to be. While he was dispossessed once and had a few moments of indecision, he also had two shot-creating actions and six progressive actions (three passes, six carries) … more than many of the starters. He was also active all over the pitch, getting into four ground duels and winning three of them. It will be interesting to see if the Japanese international continues in his utility role, or starts to nail down more consistent minutes at a single position.
Santiago Arias (67th minute) – 4.5
Santi Arias was presumably brought in for Powell for numerous reasons: lock down the game with fresh legs, give the Jamaican a bit of rest heading into the weekend and get some minutes to gain match sharpness. He may have accomplished all of those goals, but it wasn’t pretty. In his 24 minutes, Arias completed just seven of 13 passes. His turnover in the 78th minute nearly led to the visitors pulling a goal back. Finally, though he did have one shot-creating action, he failed to log a progressive action or receive a progressive pass.
Malik Pinto (74th minute) – 6
In his 17 minutes on the pitch, Pinto didn’t have much of an opportunity to impact the game, having only 11 touches. He managed to get off a shot, but a few of his threaded passes into the box seemed a bit off, though the ideas were there. However, his presence was stable, his positioning was good and he didn’t have any bad giveaways … all things you want to see from a rookie coming into the game as a late-game sub.
Ray Gaddis (75th minute) – 6
Ray wasn’t on the pitch long, but he was active on the left side. He ended with an interception and two blocks, as well as contributing a shot-creating action.
Marco Angulo (81st minute) – N/A
Availability Notes: Sergio Santos (undisclosed knock), Yerson Mosquera (coach’s decision), Quimi Ordoñez (international duty), Brenner (ankle)
- 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).