Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 2, Cavalier FC 0

FC Cincinnati took the field in a competitive match for the first time in 2024 when the team traveled to Kingston, Jamaica to take on Cavalier FC in the CONCACAF Champions Cup on Thursday. After struggling to create many opportunities against a bunkered defense, the Orange and Blue took the lead on the stroke of halftime. They doubled the lead in the 88th minute and cruised to a 2-0 aggregate lead in the tie.

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.
  • Statistics are all from FotMob, as FBRef does not keep stats for CONCACAF Champions Cup
  • A player may receive a N/A if they are subbed on/off before any quantifiable statistics are available.

Formation: 3-5-2

Now, onto the ratings:

Manager – Pat Noonan – 8

With limited options due to the health of Alvas Powell and Isaiah Foster and the Visa issues of Aaron Boupendza, Noonan fielded an experimental lineup with Yuya Kubo at right wingback. To his credit, against a side that rarely ventured into the attacking half, the team performed well. I found it interesting that he had Obinna Nwobodo and Pavel Bucha playing in a true double pivot when the former looks more suited to sitting back defensively and the latter looks very dangerous driving forward on the ball. I’m also happy that he got some substitutes on late in the game, though I wonder if Pinto deserves more than the six minutes of game time he was given.

GK – Roman Celentano – 6.5

Roman faced one shot on goal, and it wasn’t particularly challenging. Furthermore, because FCC was so ball-dominant, the goalkeeper also had very little to do in possession. He had only 23 touches on the night. Celentano’s best moment came in the 58th minute when he had to alertly spring off his line and claim a through-ball before an attacker could latch onto it. He also had a shaky moment at the end of the match where he misjudged the bounce of a ball and was forced to lunge and kick it out of bounds somewhat awkwardly. Other than that, things were relatively quiet for the third-year pro.

RWB –  Yuya Kubo – 8

Against a team that provided virtually no threat going forward, Kubo was the perfect kind of wingback. The Japanese international was dangerous all night, constantly challenging in behind the Destroyers’ back line. In the 38th minute, he got down the right flank before squaring the ball perfectly into the box for Lucho Acosta whose shot was blocked. He also showed an ability to come inside and combine to create overloads in the midfield for the Orange and Blue, like in the 33rd minute, when he helped to set up Acosta for a shot that was just pushed wide by the goalkeeper. In all, he created four chances for his squad while tallying three shots himself.

Kubo’s defensive prowess wasn’t really tested, though. He showed his athleticism and range in the 64th minute when he had to track back and make a last-ditch tackle to save a potential goal. However, he showed a bit of naivety as well, sometimes chasing the ball to close it down instead of tracking runners up the flank. In the 13th minute, his ball chasing led to a wide-open pass down the FCC right which the Cavalier attacker was only able to cross into the side netting, but against better opponents, Kubo might be a defensive liability.

RCB – Miles Robinson – 7

None of the FCC center backs were asked to defend on the night, though Robinson did manage to win 100 percent of his duels (2 ground and 4 aerial) while chipping in with three ball recoveries. In possession, Robinson kept the ball moving well and completed 86 percent of his passes. He strode forward on occasion and contributed 15 passes into the final third. However, he struggled to switch the fields or spring any counterattacks, completing just one of five long passes.

CB – Matt Miazga – 7

Playing in the center of a back three, Miazga shouldn’t ever have eye-popping defensive stats. In this match, he logged four ball recoveries and made a tackle. He read the game well, contributing two interceptions and ensuring the Cavalier attackers were not able to run in behind his back line often. Offensively, he passed into the final third nine times and completed four of his six long passes.

 LCB – Ian Murphy – 7

It was evident to me that Pat Noonan wanted Ian Murphy to push high often in this match. As the highest center back, he was in a good position to lead the position group in ball recoveries with seven. He also added an interception and two tackles, making him the most active FCC defender on the night. However, Murphy wasn’t without his defensive frailties. He let an attacker dance past him on the goal line in the 58th minute, which could have been a disaster but for the player losing the ball just out of bounds. He also won only two of his five ground duels.

Murphy’s offensive contributions were also up and down. He completed three of six long passes and added 13 passes into the final third. However, he also failed to complete either of his two dribble attempts, and neither of his two crosses found targets in the box.

LWB – Bret Halsey – 8.5 – Man of the Match

It might be controversial to give a player who only played 60 minutes man of the match. It also might be controversial that I gave him the honor after picking him as my preseason breakout player of the year (Listen to our preseason prediction special HERE). However, you can’t deny the youngster’s impact on the match, if only for his excellent assist to break the deadlock just before the halftime whistle. That assist was only one of his three successful dribbles on the night as well. Halsey created two chances in all and contributed two shots.

Halsey’s defensive effort was also serviceable. Though he was dribbled past once, he contributed two tackles and won the second most ground duels on the team (five). He also tied for the team lead with seven ball recoveries. He will need to increase his fitness to live up to my breakout player hopes, but this was a good first match to start his campaign.

DCM – Pavel Bucha – 7.5

Pavel Bucha showed a bit of what we hoped he would bring to the team offensively in this match. His 89 percent passing included completing three of four long passes and creating two chances. He also wasn’t dispossessed and was able to contribute four shots. Though none were on target, he did rattle the crossbar with a “Barreal Special,” volleying the ball toward goal from a Lucho Acosta corner kick. He also showed an ability to get the ball forward quickly at times, driving the ball into the attack on the dribble.

Defensively he was positionally solid, contributing seven ball recoveries. However, he also showed that he isn’t much of a ball-winner, failing to log a tackle or interception, and winning only one of three ground duels.

DCM – Obinna Nwobodo – 7

Obi was extremely active in this game but seemed to be flying around erratically at times. He got into three tackles but won the ball on just one of them. He got into ten ground duels but won just four of them. Finally, he committed two fouls and was dribbled past three times, more than anyone else in the match. However, Nwobodo was still a constant menace in the midfield, tying for the team lead with seven ball recoveries.

Offensively, Obi contributed more than I expected. He created two chances, got forward for two shots (neither on goal), and completed both of his long passes.

CAM – Luciano Acosta – 7.5

Acosta found things difficult in this match with the congestion from Cavalier usually putting 11 players behind the ball. He settled for an incredible 17 crosses, connecting with just five of them. He also led the team with seven shots but managed to only put two of them on target. Despite all this, he still led the team with five chances created, 133 touches and 19 passes into the final third. Lucho definitely wasn’t hitting on all cylinders in this match but still managed to keep things ticking for the Orange and Blue.

ST – Corey Baird – 6.5

Baird looked out of rhythm in this match, struggling to find the space he should occupy alongside Sergio Santos. This makes sense since most of Baird’s preseason minutes have come playing with Aaron Boupendza. He had the fewest touches of any outfield starter on the night with 29. However, he showed some great one-touch play, dropping in to link up with his teammates on a few occasions. He ended the night completing 85 percent of his passes and helping to create three chances. His lone shot was a really well-taken volley that he smashed on target in the ninth minute, forcing the Cavalier goalkeeper into one of his five saves.

ST – Sergio Santos – 7

I thought that Sergio Santos looked refreshingly bright in this match. Of course, he displayed his characteristic unreliability when he headed the ball straight at the goalkeeper from three yards out in the 23rd minute, but he managed to make amends by stabbing home Halsey’s cutback on the brink of halftime to give his team a much-needed breakthrough goal. However, “bright” is not enough to earn him a fantastic score here, even with his well-taken goal.

The problem with Santos continues to be his lack of consistency. I already mentioned the big chance that he missed, but he also led the team in being dispossessed three times and had the lowest passing percentage of any starter at 73 percent.


Gerardo Valenzuela (61st minute) – 6

Valenzuela came on to play as a pseudo-forward underneath Corey Baird. In his 30 minutes of play, he completed all of his passes and created one chance. However, he needlessly drifted offside, ruling out his potential goal, and didn’t complete either of his two dribble attempts. The 19-year-old didn’t look out of his element but also didn’t look ready to meaningfully contribute in his first continental competition match.

Alvas Powell (61st minute) – 6

Alvas Powell must have felt good to get to play in a competitive match in his home country. He was solid in his 30 minutes, making a tackle and winning his only ground duel. However, he wasn’t able to make a big impact offensively, failing to log a cross and only contributing two passes into the final third.

Qrquimides Ordonez (77th minute) – 7

Quimi didn’t do much in his 13 minutes of play. He only logged four touches and two passes. However, one of those passes was a clever drag-back in the box that freed Malik Pinto up to double the FC Cincinnati lead.

Malik Pinto (84th minute) – N/A

Malik’s goal was REALLY well taken, but six minutes of game time is not enough to warrant a full score.

Kipp Keller (84th minute) – N/A

Availability Notes: Aaron Boupendza (Visa Issues)


  • 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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