Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 3, Chivas de Guadalajara 1

FC Cincinnati punched their ticket into the knockout rounds of the League’s Cup as the top seed from the Central 3 group by handing Chivas de Guadalajara a 3-1 loss. The match got off to a roaring start, with Brandon Vazquez on a brace after eight minutes. Then, after Chivas center back Gilberto Sepulveda was sent off and halftime came and went, the match was suspended due to lightning in the area. When the teams resumed play the next day, it looked like a different match for FCC after they gave up a goal off the restart, putting the tie in the balance at 2-1. However, the Orange and Blue regained control when Vazquez netted a third for his first career hat trick, giving the home side a 3-1 victory.

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.

*Note: FBRef does not provide data for League’s Cup Matches, so statistics used were mostly taken from FotMob.


  • 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 – 2.8, Chivas de Guadalajara – 0.4, per

Formation: 3-5-2

Now onto the ratings:

Manager – Pat Noonan – 7

I didn’t see anything that Pat Noonan did tactically here that really changed the tie. However, you have to give the manager credit that his team stayed focused through two quick goals, a red card, an overnight weather delay and the opponent pulling one back after the break.

FCC had some trouble dealing with Chivas’s false 9 formation coming out of half-time. However, the visitors never really looked like scoring outside of the fluke goal that they got off of a long throw-in. Finally, how do you grade a manager on his substitution patterns when his players are all given a night off after 60 minutes of play?

GK – Alec Kann – 6

You never like it as a goalkeeper when you face only one shot on goal and it goes in the back of the net. And, I do think that Kann got caught cheating a bit toward the near post on the long throw-in, allowing Antonio Briseño’s simple flick header to beat him at the back post.

However, after a couple of poor clearances on back passes in the opening 20 minutes, Kann showed some good command of his box despite facing no shots on target. He came decisively to punch a cross away in the 19th minute. Then, he got his fists to corner kicks in the 25th, 31st and 41st minutes, clearing them well out of danger.

RWB –  Ray Gaddis – 6

Ray Gaddis had a Ray Gaddis game. He was good defensively but didn’t wreak havoc, and got forward at times but didn’t really create opportunities. He ended the match with three ground duels (all won) and two tackles.

The one bad moment for the veteran was his poor backward header in the 60th minute that led to Kann having to boot the ball out for a deep throw-in just before play was called due to lightning. That play would have been innocuous, but for the fact that Chivas scored off of that throw-in when the match resumed the next day.

RCB – Nick Hagglund – 7

Nick Hagglund had an uncharacteristically impressive passing stat line with 92 percent completed, including five of six long balls and eight passes into the final third. It was his lovely direct ball down the channel in the 45th minute that led to Gilberto Sepulveda getting sent off for denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

Defensively, the Cincinnati Kid was solid, even though he didn’t have much to do. He finished the match with a block, two tackles and two interceptions as well as winning two of his four ground duels and two of his three aerial duels.

CB – Matt Miazga – 7

Matt Miazga’s most impressive stat line in this match was his seven headed clearances. With Chivas resorting to many long balls and hopeful crosses, the veteran center-back was an ever-present obstacle for them. His most decisive intervention was when he did well to slide in and block a shot from point-blank range in the 36th minute to send the ball out for a corner when Alvarado looked to be in on goal.

Miazga contributed to the offense by completing four of five long balls. His line-splitting pass opened up the Chivas midfield and allowed Kubo to carry forward and create Vazquez’s third goal.

 LCB – Ian Murphy – 7

Ian Murphy was FCC’s lowest-rated outfield player on FotMob. This is most likely due to his low duel percentage, winning just two of five ground duels and neither of his two aerial duels. He also got skinned by Alvarado in that 36th-minute chance that Miazga had to block. Lastly, his poor first touch on a ball in behind in the 67th minute sent the ball out for an unnecessary corner that led to a period of pressure for the short-handed visitors.

That said, Murphy was probably FCC’s most effective defender in terms of building in possession. He made an immediate impact in this match with a line-splitting pass to Lucho Acosta that put seven Chivas players on the wrong side of the ball in the build-up to Brandon Vazquez’s opening goal. All in, Murphy finished with 10 passes into the final third and a 95 percent passing rate that included completing five of seven long balls.

LWB – Álvaro Barreal – 6

Álvaro Barreal’s stat line was impressive in this match, including two assists and three key passes. His ability to look up and hit an inch-perfect dart to Brandon Vazquez’s foot made the target striker’s job much easier in scoring his second and third goals of the night. He was much poorer, however, in building possession, only playing five balls into the final third and completing just two of seven long balls.

Barreal looked really shaky to me defensively. Several times he got baited into lunging into a tackle on the wing, only to miss the ball and be taken out of the play. Perhaps the most egregious example was when he got torched by Roberto Alverado in the 25th minute. In all, he got dribbled a whopping four times. Looking great on the stat sheet and poor on the eyeball test leads to an average score.

DCM – Marco Angulo – 6.5

Angulo’s ability to drop deep in the build to serve as a pivot, and also get forward and be an option in the attack, frees up Obi to do the same. This was evident for Vazquez’s eighth-minute goal, where Angulo got touches 35 yards from his own goal in the build before then getting a vital touch at midfield to help maintain possession and finally picking up a deflection in the attacking third and moving it on to Acosta to set up the goal. Beyond this incredible mobility, he also completed 97 percent of his passes and wasn’t dispossessed.

Angulo looks to be more and more comfortable with every match. However, he has yet to find the ability to really change games. He only had three passes into the final third in this match, didn’t have a key pass and failed to record a shot.

DCM – Obinna Nwobodo – 7

Obi did Obi things in this match, leading the team in tackles (five) and duel percentage (winning nine of 11). He also added two interceptions and eight recoveries. However, with Angulo sitting next to him for much of the match, he wasn’t forced into eating up so much space as to make these stats eye-popping.

Angulo’s presence meant that Obi got to stretch his legs a bit offensively. He completed a dribble as well as three of four long balls. He also added six passes into the final third while completing 95 percent of his passes overall. Finally, he got forward and had a really nice curling effort saved in the 34th minute.

CAM – Lucho Acosta – 7.5

It is staggering to know that FC Cincinnati scored three goals and Lucho didn’t officially get credit for any of them. However, his pass leading up to the second goal of the match, though not eye-catching, was made with such a perfect weight that Barreal could one-touch the cross and keep Vazquez’s timing perfect. He tried to do the same in the 50th minute but Barreal’s cross was just saved by the goalkeeper. He had countless fantastic touches and flicks, including the one that he put into space for Yuya Kubo in the lead-up to Vazquez’s third goal. Finally, he was really active defensively for much of the game, leading the team’s press and getting into 16 ground duels.

However, Acosta had some tough moments as well. He practically took a volley off of Aaron Boupendza’s foot in the 34th minute and had his effort saved when the striker looked certain to score. For me, the biggest black mark in Acosta’s game came after his team took a 3-1 lead. From that moment, he turned the ball over, trying to do too much too often. He also didn’t continue to show defensive effort. In the 88th minute, he looked disinterested in pressuring Gutierrez, who had time to look up, carry forward, and ping a 60-yard ball that Matt Miazga was forced to head out for a corner. Giving a team that is short-handed a set-piece opportunity at the end of a match is one of the ways wins can turn into draws.

ST – Aaron Boupendza – 6.5

Aaron Boupendza got touches all over the pitch in this match. His ability to move around and take up good space has already proven vital in allowing Acosta to stay in dangerous positions. This was evident in the second goal of the match, where Boupendza dropped all the way to the left touchline in the build-up, and Acosta stayed in a central position to earn the second assist. Boupendza also offers a fantastic option as a target. He had a lovely touch and flick in the 17th minute to send Vazquez off and running toward goal, and again in the 30th minute when he trapped with his chest before flicking the ball up over a defender’s head and then moving it on. Lastly, Boupendza also has deceptive burst. He showed this in the 45th minute when he brought a long ball from Nick Hagglund down and accelerated by Sepulveda, causing the defender to resort to dragging him down and getting sent off.

However, despite earning the assist on Vazquez’s opener, Boupendza has yet to settle in offensively. In the 5th minute, when FCC’s press won the ball and presented him with a momentary 2v1, he lashed the ball badly over the bar with Vazquez lurking in tons of space to his left. He stumbled over the ball before turning it over in the 50th minute when Acosta looked to have set him up to run in at the near post. In all, he was dispossessed twice and failed to hit the target with either of his shots.

ST – Brandon Vazquez – 9 (Man of the Match)

If you score a hat trick, you’d have to be terrible in every other regard to not get man-of-the-match. When Brandon Vazquez got a surprise start because Sergio Santos picked up an injury in warmups, he must not have been too put off because he scored in just the second minute of the match. After receiving the ball in the corner of the box on a broken play, he cut to his right and curled the ball to the back post for a gorgeous finish. His movement was excellent and his timing was impeccable to peel off of his defender and stab home Barreal’s cross for his second. Then, he bagged the hatty in the 73rd minute by starting on the left side of the box and curling his run to the back post as Kubo played Barreal into the space that he had just vacated. From there, the tap-in off of Barreal’s cross was simple.

And Vazquez wasn’t even terrible in any other regard. His hold-up play was very good, and his passing continues to be one of the most underrated of his vast array of skills. His trademark big switches after dropping deep to link up play continue to impress. He also had a nice cutback to Lucho Acosta in the 34th minute that could’ve easily been a goal had Lucho left it for Boupendza. Finally, he dropped deep on the left after a corner in the 37th minute and played a fantastic ball to Obi in the middle to start a transition attack. However, Vazquez must have left a bite of pancake on his plate that morning, because he did miss a golden opportunity in the 65th minute, scuffing a left-footed shot wide at the near post after a bad Chivas turnover.


Yuya Kubo (61st minute) – 6

Yuya Kubo entered the match for Boupendza immediately following the weather delay, and it took him a bit to get acclimated to the physicality of the match. Three of his first four touches were turnovers due in large part to him getting bumped off the ball. However, he made good on his fifth touch by carrying through midfield before playing Barreal into the box and setting up his cross to Vazquez. From there he seemed to settle down and was a constant in helping FCC keep possession by dropping deep to link up play.

Junior Moreno (76th minute) – 6.5

Junior checked in for Marco Angulo just after FCC took a 3-1 lead, presumably to be sound on the ball and help his team kill off the game. He did this with aplomb, completing every one of his 18 passes and adding a tackle. However, he did commit two fouls in his short time on the pitch and only won one of his three ground duels.

Alvas Powell (90th minute) – N/A

Malik Pinto (90th minute) – N/A

Brett Halsey (90th minute) – N/A

Availability Notes: Dom Badji (quad), Dado Valenzuela (quad), Santiago Arias (visa issues), Sergio Santos (Being Santos)


  • 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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