FC Cincinnati finished off a brutal run of 8eightgames in just 25 days with a 1-1 draw at BC Place against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. With Lucho Acosta rested, the Orange and Blue struggled to score through much of the match, though they created a few chances. After Lucho Acosta’s introduction in the 68th minute, it took just 15 minutes for FCC to take the lead. It was short-lived, however, as Vancouver was awarded a penalty just six minutes later, leaving the match tied for the final whistle.
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 – 1.6, Vancouver Whitecaps – 1.3, per mlssoccer.com
Now onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 6
I can’t fault Noonan for his starting lineup decisions since Acosta was the only obvious name to be left off the team sheet and giving the captain a rest when playing on turf after such a hectic schedule is never a bad idea. However, I can grade him down a bit for his lack of tactical adjustments.
Offensively, FCC was having little success possessing through the thirds and had a few really good opportunities arise off of long balls in behind the defense. Yet, Noonan never chose to emphasize the long game, even after a first half that was sloppy to say the least. Defensively, FCC played a very high line, as is typical. Yet, Vancouver’s only successes came off of balls in behind that high line. Despite this, Noonan didn’t choose to drop his line at all. Both of these decisions are … fine, but not ones that I would have made.
GK – Roman Celentano – 7
Roman Celentano had virtually nothing to do for much of this match. Once the penalty kick is removed, Vancouver managed a meager .35 xG on target. Therefore, it only makes sense to grade Celentano on his other interventions and touches.
Celentano commanded his area fairly well. In the 39th minute, he came out to punch a corner kick that he probably could have caught and sent it straight back up in the air. Luckily, Vancouver couldn’t do anything but head it skyward, and he was able to claim the second ball. He also came out and claimed a dangerous cross toward Sergio Cordova in the 48th minute.
In terms of possession, much has been made about his lack of skill on the ball. This is because some of his more glaring mistakes seem avoidable. He shanked a backpass out of bounds in the 48th minute. He also punted a ball straight out of bounds in the 82nd minute when the score was still knotted at 0-0. However, outside of these cases, his goal kicks and general distribution have gotten a lot better. He completed 46.7 percent of his long passes in this one, which is excellent for a goalkeeper who is mostly hitting 50/50 balls toward his attackers.
RWB – Alvas Powell – 7.5
It was interesting to see Noonan elect to start Powell out on the right. Arias had played midweek, but Gaddis has typically been favored over the Jamaican international. And I thought he showed that he should be considered as either 1 or 1A at the position. His 73.2 percent passing wasn’t great but included three progressive passes. He also really should have had an assist when he got in behind the defense and cut the ball back for Brandon Vazquez in the 14th minute.
Defensively, he was solid all night, even when he was asked to move inside to play right-center back late in the match. He ended with two tackles and two blocks and won six of eight ground duels.
RCB – Yerson Mosquera – 6
Yerson Mosquera didn’t have the dominating performance in this match that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. He was largely responsible for giving up Vancouver’s best chance from open play when he let Brian White juggle a ball over his head and poke it toward goal in the 79th minute. In the 85th minute, when his team had just taken the lead, he badly misread a run by Cordova and gave up a corner kick that resulted in the Whitecaps sustaining pressure on the FCC goal and eventually earning the penalty that tied the match. Finally, he won only three of seven ground duels, two of four aerial duels and was dribbled twice.
Offensively, he was fine, logging 87 percent passing and two progressive passes. But he didn’t do anything in possession to warrant a higher-than-average grade.
CB – Matt Miazga – 7.5
Miazga had a few rough moments in this match. His heavy first touch in the 22nd minute let Cordova have a chance to run at goal, which luckily he wasn’t able to capitalize on. In the 79th minute, he turned the ball over trying to carry it forward, which ultimately led to White’s chance mentioned above. Then, of course, it was his clumsy “bump” of Cordova that led to the Whitecaps being awarded a penalty late in the game. Oddly, he also went zero for three in aerial duels.
However, for most of the match, he was excellent. He dropped a few dimes downfield, including the assist to Acosta for FCC’s only goal. All in all, he completed six of seven long passes and was credited with two key passes. He finished the match with a tackle, a block and an interception. And his best contributions are not quantifiable by statistics. His presence on the field is calming for those around him, and his leadership is paramount. The images below show just one example, where he tracked Cordova’s run to keep Gressel from being able to play him in the channel (Image 1). Then, as the ball switched fieldsm Miazga had to shift to cover Simon Becher who had made a run forward. Mosquera was late to rotate back and cover Cordova, but Miazga made sure to cue him to make the recovery run (Image 2). This type of back-line organization is absolutely invaluable and shows Miazga is one of the most important players on the pitch for FCC.
LCB – Ian Murphy – 7
Ian Murphy had a relatively quiet game, which isn’t always a bad thing as a center back. He didn’t make any huge mistakes and was solid defensively throughout. He had an 81 percent passing rate, though he played it mostly safe, only attempting two long passes. He did, however, log two progressive passes and two passes into the final third.
Offensively, I’ll continue to bang the drum that Murphy has big upside as a ball-playing center back. In the third minute, he flashed these skills making a line-splitting pass to Álvaro Barreal that gave FCC its first look at goal. Defensively, his two tackles and a block without getting dribbled are more than solid enough.
LWB – Álvaro Barreal – 6.5
Barreal got forward early and often in this match. He was able to log 10 crosses and three progressive passes to go along with his two key passes and five passes into the final third. Furthermore, he really should have had an assist when his excellent out-swinger found Vazquez just 3 yards from goal, but he failed to make solid contact and sent his header over the bar. However, despite all of that, only two of his crosses found a target, he managed a mere 64 percent passing rate, and he led the team with three mistouches.
Defensively he didn’t have a ton to do, but when he was called upon, he often wasn’t great. He was dribbled three times and failed to log a tackle. He was able to chip in with two blocks and an interception.
DCM – Junior Moreno – 6.5
Junior Moreno had a Jekyll and Hyde-type performance. Once again, he found himself in the familiar position of leading the team in passing rate (91.7 percent). Unfamiliarly, he was also very key in contributing to the attack. He tied for the team lead with five passes into the final third, added two progressive passes and had two shot-creating actions. However, also unfamiliarly, he was dispossessed twice and credited with a mistouch.
Moreno was able to contribute two tackles and an interception and also got into nine ground duels when typically he doesn’t show up much on the defensive score sheet. However, he was also dribbled twice and won just four of those duels.
DCM – Obi Nwobodo – 8.5 (Man of the Match)
Vancouver managed just .5 non-penalty xG in this match despite averaging 1.7 npxG at home. A huge reason for that was Nwobodo. Not only did he lead the team with five tackles, FCC ended up with possession after four of them. He also added three blocks and wasn’t dribbled at all despite being challenged three times. Finally, he won eight of his 1o ground duels, making him an absolute monster in the center of the park.
Nwobodo also impressed me a lot on the offensive side of the ball here. His 88.6 percent passing was excellent and he led the team with four progressive passes and four progressive carries. In fact, the next closest players had just five progressive actions. He also contributed three shot-creating actions and a key pass, and tied for the team lead with five passes into the final third.
If he can continue to play like this when Acosta is also on the pitch, FCC’s opponents could be in for some long matches.
CAM – Yuya Kubo – 7.5
Yuya Kubo showed flashes of being the kind of midfielder that could really help this team create chances. His excellent pass down the line to Powell in the 14th minute set up one of the two golden chances that Vazquez missed. He also had a lovely through ball to Dom Badji that was whistled dead for offside. In all, he had three shot-creating actions and a key pass. Furthermore, his defensive presence, even from the attacking midfield position, is palpable. Though it didn’t show up a lot in the box score, I noticed multiple times that his tracking back defensively disrupted the Whitecap’s rhythm.
However, Kubo continues to have head-clutching moments that bely his clear skill on the ball. In the 43rd minute, Vazquez knocked a long ball down into his path and he was dribbling toward the goal from 25 yards out. He hesitated and had the ball poked away from behind when he really should have been able to create a chance on goal. Later, in the 69th minute, he wasted a fantastic chance when Nwobodo tackled the ball away in midfield creating a 4v2 for the Orange and Blue. Instead of passing to Acost overlapping on the left or Vazquez running the channel on the right, he elected to shoot and missed the target (image below).
ST – Dom Badji – 6
Dom Badji had his typical workman-like performance. His effort was superb and he showed some nice moments of holdup play. He was on hand in the box with a chance to open the scoring in the 40th minute, but an excellent block denied him the opener. He also worked a decent look for himself in the 51st minute, receiving a ball from Kubo and taking it onto his left foot for a shot that was saved by the goalkeeper. His 89 percent passing and only one mistouch and one dispossession were also very good numbers for a forward.
However, sometimes this team needs more than a workman up top. Badji failed to log a shot-creating action or a key pass. He also had only one progressive action.
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 7
Vazquez is struggling to score. There is no doubt about it. He missed what were easily the two best chances of the match when he scuffed Powell’s cutback in the 14th minute and headed Barreal’s cross into his own shoulder and over the bar in the 52nd. His movement to help create both of those chances was fantastic, but he really needs to hit the back of the net with at least one.
Despite this, calling to bench Vazquez is absolutely ludicrous. He continues to play a vital role for this team as a target player. A great example of this was the buildup to the chance he missed in the 52nd minute. He dropped into the middle third on the FCC right to receive a pass from Miazga, turned on his defender and used nimble footwork to bypass a tackle, after which he played a nice switching pass to Badji. He finished with three progressive actions, a key pass and three shot-creating actions.
Lucho Acosta (68th minute) – 7.5
Lucho Acosta’s goal was not only brilliant, but it also came at a time in the match when FCC was struggling to create. Most of the Orange and Blue’s good chances came in the first half until Acosta entered the match. However, outside of that moment of brilliance, he didn’t do much. He won only one of four duels, logged zero progressive passes and failed to earn a key pass or shot-creating action.
Santiago Arias (68th minute) – 6
Santi Arias had only seven touches in this match but still managed two progressive passes. He also intercepted two passes, one of which led to a decent transition opportunity. However, in just seven touches he also managed to misplay two of his five passes and have a mistouch.
Malik Pinto (77th minute) – 6
It’s tough to grade anyone beyond average when they enter the match late and have only six touches. I thought Pinto looked good in this cameo, and he managed a progressive pass in his short time on the pitch.
Ray Gaddis (90th minute +4) – N/A
Availability Notes: Sergio Santos (groin), Nick Hagglund (knee)
- 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).