Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 4, Cavalier FC 0

FC Cincinnati cruised to a resounding 4-0 win in the CONCACAF Champions Cup on Wednesday, winning the tie 6-0 on aggregate. However, the scoreline wasn’t the headline. Instead, the conversations after the game were about the strength and depth being shown by the Orange and Blue. Coach Pat Noonan heavily rotated his starting lineup, rewarding youngsters like Gerardo “Dado” Valenzuela with starts and giving some other players their first-team debuts.

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 since FBRef doesn’t keep stats for the 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 – 10

Pat Noonan got the mixture of young talent and veteran leadership right in this match. I was skeptical at the amount of rotation, but the team proved that worry to be overblown. It also looked to me like Noonan gave some of his youngsters specific instructions, allowing them to play a simpler game. I was also happy to see the halftime subs, which made the lineup even younger and gave players like Ian Murphy some extra time to recover before Saturday’s league match. Finally, I loved the decision to keep Aaron Boupendza on the pitch into the second half, allowing him to build fitness, and to give Lucho Acosta a runout to keep him sharp heading into the next match. It’s tough to find any fault with the coaching in a match that was so one-sided.

GK – Roman Celentano – 7.5

Roman Celentano was not tested at all on Wednesday night. He did end up with two saves but would have been expected to make both of them easily. Because FCC held the ball so high up the pitch for much of the match, Roman also wasn’t asked to do much in possession. However, he did play three long balls and completed two of them. His one lapse of concentration came in first-half stoppage time when his indecision about coming to collect a ball played through on the ground forced Matt Miazga to concede a corner kick.

RWB –  Alvas Powell – 6.5

Alvas Powell’s score here relies mostly on his goal. Though it was a simple tap-in, he had to be in the right spot and hold himself onside in the process. Outside of that moment, he didn’t really stand out, creating only one chance on the night. Cavalier didn’t force any FCC player to have a fantastic defensive night, but Powell’s four ball recoveries and one tackle were still below most of his teammates. However, he is a veteran defender and it shows in how he reads the game. He led all players with three interceptions in this match. Powell is a solid depth option, but he looks labored in his runs. Either he still isn’t fully healthy or he is becoming much better suited to being a backup center back than a wingback.

RCB – Kipp Keller – 7.5

Kipp Keller put in another solid performance at right center back before moving to the center of the defense for the second half. His defensive numbers aren’t much to look at, as he provided only three ball recoveries and an interception and didn’t get into a ground duel all night (see Ian Murphy’s numbers below in far fewer moments for reference). However, that one interception was in the 34th minute and led directly to Aaron Boupendza’s thunderstrike that doubled the lead. Keller also put in a solid effort in possession, completing 91 percent of his passes, including three of four long balls and 10 passes into the final third.

CB – Matt Miazga – 7.5

Matt Miazga didn’t put a foot wrong in his 45 minutes of play. He completed all but one pass, including two of two long balls, and won his only aerial duel. Matt also contributed 13 passes into the final third.

LCB – Ian Murphy – 8

Ian Murphy put in an outstanding half of play in this match. He led all players with 17 passes into the final third despite playing just 45 minutes, contributed four ball recoveries, and won his only tackle. He also was able to win four of his five aerial duels. However, the glaring thing on his stat sheet that seems to show up every match is his ground duel percentage, where he won just one of four. He was also dribbled once on the night. In a match where defending was secondary, I’m going to give him a pass on those numbers and bump his grade up due to his good offensive numbers.

LWB – Bret Halsey – 8.5

In his 87 minutes of play, Bret Halsey was direct, positive, and always looking to get at the defense. Halsey completed five of six dribbles on the night and created seven chances. Both of his assists were evidence of this, where he drove at the defenders before sliding the ball across to his opposite wingback. Bret also won his only tackle and provided seven ball recoveries. However, before we go anointing him as a full-time starter, we should remember that Cavalier is not the stiffest of oppositions and he was still dribbled twice on the night. I called Bret Halsey my “Breakout Player” candidate on our Talking Tactics Preseason Prediction Special, and I stick by that. However, I think we need to see him put in some performances against better opposition before writing him on the team sheet in pen.

DCM – Malik Pinto – 8.5

Malik Pinto did his best Obi Nwobodo impression on the defensive side of the ball in this match. He led all FCC players with 13 ball recoveries and five tackles while adding two interceptions. He also won six of his eight ground duels.

Pinto was no slouch offensively, either, creating three chances and contributing two shots. It seemed like he was taking a positive touch and pushing the ball forward every time he received the ball. He was also among the team leaders with 13 passes into the final third. Pinto hasn’t shown anything to make me believe he can’t contribute real minutes this season. However, like Halsey, he needs to show he can do it against stiffer opposition.

DCM – Obinna Nwobodo – 8

Obi Nwobodo would have had through-the-roof statistics had he played a full 90 minutes. In his one half of play, he racked up 10 ball recoveries, two interceptions and a tackle. He even showed a bit of offensive prowess, getting forward to shoot in the 41st minute and forcing goalkeeper Vino Barclette into a save at full stretch.

CAM – Gerardo Valenzuela – 9 (Man of the Match)

Gerardo “Dado” Valenzuela has looked the part of an up-and-coming MLS player in all of his appearances so far. Against a weak Cavalier FC squad, he tipped into looking like an up-and-coming MLS star. At just 19 years of age, he has already started doing the little things that set apart good players from great players. His little disguised square-pass assisting Aaron Boupendza’s goal was a simple skill, but most players fail to freeze the defender like Dado managed to do. His take of Acosta’s bouncing ball to seamlessly set up his wonderful goal was also expertly done.

Valenzuela also completed two successful dribbles, five of eight crosses and three of four long balls. Many fans have wondered whether Dado has earned the right to be the first forward off the bench over guys like Quimi Ordoñez or Sergio Santos. I think his playing time will need to be much more situational for now, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see him play 1,500 minutes this season.

ST – Aaron Boupendza – 7

Aaron Boupendza’s “SportsCenter Top 10” strike was what we all dreamed about when the Gabonese striker was signed. He was able to connect with seven shots in all and put five on target, with two being blocked. However, maybe it’s being picky since he is not only a striker but was the only DP attacker on the pitch, but he still showed a lack of willingness to bring his teammates into the action. One of his blocked shots came in the 58th minute when he shot from a poor angle with Isaiah Foster and Ordoñez both lurking open at the back post. He also only won two of nine ground duels and failed to complete three of his four attempted dribbles. I think this was a tough night for a player who should have been classes above his opposition, but maybe that’s more indicative of not having the rest of his starting counterparts on the pitch.

ST – Arquimides Ordoñez – 5.5

This tweet sums up Quimi Ordoñez’s performance pretty well:

A tweet reading "I really want Quimi to be good. But if he can't deliver against Cavalier..."

Quimi’s technical ability is undeniable. He showed clean touches on several occasions. In the 51st minute, he was able to weave his way into the box on the dribble to create a dangerous look. His quick feet to roll his defender in the 67th minute forced the defender to bring him down, earning a penalty. However, he still seems lost for ideas and low on confidence. In the 51st-minute look, he hesitated at the key moment allowing the defender to see the ball out for a goal kick, and he failed to convert on the penalty kick that he earned.

In the end, Quimi managed to put only one of his five shots on target. He also won only two of six ground duels and was dispossessed twice. I’m still not writing the academy product off yet, but Pat Noonan needs to find a way to get this kid some confidence.


Stiven Jimenez (46th minute) – 7.5

If anyone was wondering if Jiminez would play timidly against full-grown men at just age 16, he dispelled that in the 65th minute when he put a full-blooded sliding challenge in to win the ball off a Cavalier attacker in transition. In fact, Jimenez didn’t look out of place at any point in this match. He logged a respectable nine passes into the final third and completed a dribble. His lone shot in the 66th minute was blocked but looked to be on target. Finally, in the 71st minute, he did an excellent job carrying the ball forward and committing a defender before laying the ball off to Valenzuela in the buildup to Foster’s goal.

Isaiah Foster (46th minute) – 7

Isaiah Foster opened his MLS scoring account, and that alone is enough to earn the youngster a decent score. I don’t think he looked excellent, and at times he seemed to struggle to know what to do with the ball, but he also showed some good flashes. In the 66th minute, he cut inside his defender and found Jimenez at the top of the box for a decent shooting opportunity. However, he also didn’t have a huge impact on the match. He managed only two crosses on the night and three passes into the final third. Finally, he won only two of his five ground duels.

London Aghedo (46th minute) – 7.5

Mark London Aghedo down as one of the players who didn’t look out of place for his Champions Cup debut. He tied for the team lead with three tackles won while adding six ball recoveries and an interception. The Air Force grad also carried the ball forward at times, creating a chance and playing four passes into the final third.

Sergio Santos (62nd minute) – 6

By the time Santos entered the match, the team was cruising, up 2-0 and pushing for a third. To further complicate things, Santos’ strength of running in behind was never going to be useful against a Cavalier team that was bunkered defensively. That said, the Brazilian still had the lowest passing percentage of any FCC player (68 percent) and was unable to create a chance. It wasn’t all bad, though, as he put two of his three shots on target, with the third one being blocked.

Luciano Acosta (74th minute) –

Lucho Acosta made a surprise appearance, coming on for the final 16 minutes of the match with his team up 3-0 on the night and 5-0 on aggregate. He would have been forgiven for just jogging around and getting some fitness in. However, he was still able to create four chances and contribute five passes into the final third, also grabbing an assist on Dado Valenzuela’s goal.

Luca Orellano (87th minute) – N/A

Availability Notes: 

Injured: Nick Hagglund, Alec Kann

Suspended: None


  • 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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