After a nervy first half that saw the hosts strike the woodwork three times, FC Cincinnati settled down enough to collect a 1-0 win on the road, eliminating Inter Miami CF from the playoffs in the process. Álvaro Barreal netted the winner in the 78th minute, latching onto a rebound from a Yuya Kubo shot. It felt fortunate for the Orange and Blue to leave Miami with all three points, but they just about kept the clean sheet and added another road win to an already impressive season.
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 – 2.1, Inter Miami CF – 0.9, per mlssoccer.com
Now, onto the ratings:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 8
Through the first ten minutes of the match, it looked as if Noonan’s game plan to sit back, absorb pressure and hit on the break was working to perfection. But for some sloppy Sergio Santos finishing, the visitors easily could have been ahead heading into the quarter-hour mark. However, after that, Inter Miami really took control of the game, amassing over 61 percent possession on the night. Still, the hosts only managed .9 xG, showing that Noonan’s tactics paid off to some extent.
Where Noonan really made his impact in this match is with his in-game changes. Bringing on Aaron Boupendza at halftime and having the big striker drop into the pockets of space vacated by the aging Sergio Busquets opened the game up quite a bit. Then, getting Yuya Kubo on to add athleticism to a midfield that was contending with Lionel Messi proved effective. Add to that, the fact that Kubo got forward to hit the shot that led to Barreal’s game-winner, and it’s easy to see how much that change made a difference in the outcome of the match.
GK – Roman Celentano – 5.5
Roman Celentano made both of the saves that he was called on to make on the night, but neither were shots that should have troubled him much. Outside of those moments, he looked rather nervy at times. When the ball was at his feet, he often looked panicked, and many of the long balls that he sent out of the back never had a chance to be completed. He conceded a corner, making a play on a ball that was sailing out of bounds in the first minute of stoppage time, adding tension to an already nervy situation. Then, minutes later, with his team still clinging to a one-goal lead, he sent a goal kick straight out of bounds, awarding possession back to Miami.
RWB – Santiago Arias – 6
Santi Arias’ 72 percent passing isn’t atrocious, but when you factor in the fact that he only completed 10 of 16 short passes, it looks much worse. He was, once again, active offensively, getting forward to good effect at times. On one occasion, in the 50th minute, he hit a decent shot on frame that saw Drake Callender push the ball right into Boupendza’s path for what should have been an easy finish. He ended the match with two shot-creating actions and a key pass, as well as two successful take-ons.
Defensively, he had some up-and-down moments. He ended the match with a tackle and three interceptions but was also dribbled once. He inexplicably stood still while Ben Cremaschi ran by him, resulting in the youngster waltzing in on goal and striking the crossbar with a great opportunity. He also gave the ball straight to Cremaschi while in easy possession, leading to a Facundo Farías shot that drew one of Roman’s two saves on the night. Lastly, he had a really poor giveaway dribbling backward toward his own goal in the 77th minute when the game was still tied, which eventually led to a Miami corner kick.
RCB – Nick Hagglund – 6.5
Outside of Cremaschi’s chance mentioned above, which was greatly aided by Hagglund lurching forward in an ill-advised attempt to pull the Inter Miami midfielder offside, Hagglund had a quiet but effective match. His 84.4 percent passing was excellent but didn’t include a progressive pass. Defensively, he ended with two tackles and a block, and was among the team leaders in ball recoveries. He also won all three of his duels (two ground, one aerial).
CB – Matt Miazga – 6
Matt Miazga joined the ranks of players who struggled in possession in this match. His 76 percent passing was depressed by a few turnovers with short and medium-range passes. Defensively, I thought Miazga struggled in the first half with recognizing when he needed to step into the midfield to mark a checking striker. He got his hips turned around in the 24th-minute Cremaschi chance mentioned above and he allowed Josef Martinez to drop in and facilitate play for the hosts on numerous occasions. I thought he did a much better job organizing the defense to account for this in the second half, however.
That said, he still got torched by Messi in the 58th minute, leading to him having to foul the Argentinian, setting up a very dangerous set-piece opportunity. And, in all, he only won two of his five ground duels. He ended the match with two blocks and three interceptions.
LCB – Ian Murphy – 6
I thought Ian Murphy had some moments where he showed excellent maturity in this match. He was well-positioned throughout, good on the ball and made a few nice interventions. His match wasn’t without mistakes, however. He tried to win a header well out of his zone on a ninth-minute corner kick that gave Tomás Avilés the space to hit a volley that luckily struck the crossbar. He also had a few clumsy challenges on the edge of the box, resulting in dangerous free-kick opportunities.
Murphy was one of the better players for FCC in terms of pass completion but wasn’t able to log any progressive passes. He finished the match with two tackles and an interception, but was also dribbled once and won only two of his five ground duels.
LWB – Álvaro Barreal – 7.5
Álvaro Barreal didn’t have the best day in 1v1 situations, letting DeAndre Yedlin get the better of him on several occasions. In the 42nd minute, Yedlin left him on the floor, smacking the turf in frustration when he dove in and failed to win the ball. He was dribbled twice and didn’t log a tackle, interception or block. Offensively, he attempted six take-ons and was only successful with one. In the end, he won just one of seven ground duels.
Offensively, however, he was consistently the most dangerous FCC player on the field. He sent several long passes forward that caused the Herons’ defense some trouble. In the 70th minute, he nearly found Lucho Acosta behind the defense, but for Serhiy Kryvtsov lunging to head the ball out for a corner. He tied Acosta for the team lead with four shot-creating actions. And, of course, it was his incredible finish off a Yuya Kubo rebound that allowed the Orange and Blue to collect all three points.
DCM – Junior Moreno – 6
Junior Moreno had a solid outing, though he didn’t have any remarkable plays. His 85 percent passing and four progressive passes were among the team’s best, and he also added a shot-creating action. He was credited for two mistouches, however. Defensively, he added a tackle, block and interception but was called for two fouls. He also won one of two ground duels. Moreno’s match was the definition of average.
DCM – Obi Nwobodo – 8 (Man-of-the-Match)
In a match where FCC was constantly on the back foot due to poor turnovers and bad offensive execution, Obi’s rangy defense stood out. His 17 ball recoveries were the most of any player on the pitch and nearly double that of Arias, the second-place player on his team. He also led the team with three tackles, though he was also dribbled once.
Like most of the players in orange and blue, Obi wasn’t at his best offensively.He did well to carry the ball all the way up the left touchline in the 52nd minute, beating two Miami players on the way, only to give the ball away cheaply, trying to cut it back to Acosta at the top of the box. That said, he still logged two shot-creating actions, four progressive passes, and two progressive carries.
CAM – Luciano Acosta – 6
Lucho Acosta’s “average” score is definitely based on his lofty expectations. He led the team in progressive passes with nine and tied with Barreal with four shot-creating actions. However, his three key passes are below his usual output. Once the rain started, he had several passes that were either badly mishit, or he was just looking to get rid of the ball. In the 43rd minute, Brandon Vazquez played him into the left side of the box, and he let Sergio Busquets tackle it away from him before dribbling it into the hands of the goalkeeper.
Acosta simply didn’t have the normal juice that he plays with. He attempted ten take-ons but was only successful with three. He was also credited with three mistouches and three dispossessions, more combined than anyone on the team.
ST – Sergio Santos – N/A
I don’t know how to grade Santos in this match without it feeling like I’m just slinging mud at the Brazilian. In his 45 minutes on the pitch, he just made so many errors. He made a great run to meet a Arias cross in the ninth minute, only to blast his shot wide of the near post. Then, after Vazquez found him running through on goal in the 12th minute, his poor first touch meant he could only poke the ball toward the left post, allowing goalkeeper Callendar to steer the ball out for a corner kick. In the 14th minute, he squandered a counterattack by passing directly out of bounds with both Acosta and Arias streaking forward. In all, he completed only five of nine passes, was dispossessed twice and had two mistouches.
If I’m looking for some sort of positive, I thought he was active defensively. Twice, he tracked back to nick the ball off of an unsuspecting Miami midfielder. He was also able to draw three fouls.
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 5.5
Bradon Vazquez had some nice moments in this match. He beautifully brought the ball down and found Santos running through the middle for his 12th-minute chance that he missed mentioned above. He ended with two shot-creating actions, two progressive passes and a progressive carry.
However, like many of his teammates, Vazquez also seemed off the pace for much of the match. He was unable to finish a great pass from Boupendza in the 66th minute and was ruled offside in the aftermath anyway, though VAR certainly would have had to take a look had the big man scored. He was unable to put his only credited shot on target. Finally, 56 percent passing, three mistouches, and two dispossessions is not a good stat line.
Aaron Boupendza (46th minute) – 5
Aaron Boupendza was brought on for Sergio Santos at halftime to change the game and he did. He had several dangerous-looking moments. He couldn’t hit the target from 29 yards in the 61st minute, though his shot was struck well enough to send Callender sprawling toward his post. He also took a vertical pass from Arias in the 66th minute, played a give-and-go with Acosta, then sent the beautiful ball across the box for a wide-open Vazquez that was mentioned above. He chopped his way through the Herons’ defense in the 71st minute, creating a shot out of nothing that Callender was just able to deal with. In his one half of play, he managed three shot-creating actions and three progressive carries.
However, Boupendza also had another match full of head-clutching moments as well. After Callender pushed an Arias shot right into his path, he couldn’t settle the ball and turned an almost certain goal into a half-chance that saw Callender save with his feet. He did very well to pounce on a second ball and carry forward in the 78th minute, only to leave his pass to Vazquez short, slowing down the play and allowing Inter Miami to recover. Boup also had some Sergio-Santos-US-Open-Cup-level moments in possession when he gave the ball away late in the game with his team clinging to a one-goal lead. He turned the ball over in the 82nd minute, trying to dribble in transition when his only job was to hold onto the ball and relieve a bit of pressure. Finally, in the 86th minute, he failed to spot Lucho Acosta in acres of space on the left side of the field, instead trying to play Vazquez with a square ball that he hit right to an Inter Miami defender (see image below).
Yuya Kubo (64th minute) – 8
Yuya Kubo had an incredibly bright 26 minutes on the pitch. Foremost, he pressured Busquets into a turnover before getting on the ball himself, driving toward the defense, and unleashing the shot that led to Barreal’s rebound goal. Outside of that moment, however, he also had several key interventions. He tracked Messi at times, and doubled back on the Argentinian at others. He ended the match with two tackles and should have had another, but for a terrible foul called by the official. He also added two blocks and completed all six of his passes.
Brett Halsey (81st minute) – N/A
Dom Badji (88th minute) – N/A
Malik Pinto (88th minute) – N/A
Availability Notes: Quimi Ordoñez (leg), Stiven Jiminez (leg)
- 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).