Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 0, C.F. Monterrey 1

Despite looking like the better side for much of the match on Thursday, FC Cincinnati fell at home to CONCACAF giants C.F. Monterrey in the first leg of the Champions Cup round of 16 tie. The Orange and Blue generated 11 shots and three “big chances” but were unable to score while the visitors were put ahead by a familiar face, Brandon Vazquez.

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 are taken from
  • 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 – 5.5

Pat Noonan fielded a full-strength lineup for this match, showing that he is giving the competition priority. The only real choices he had to make were at the wingback position, where he elected to slot newcomer DeAndre Yedlin straight into the lineup and roll out Yuya Kubo once again. For my money, he got both of these choices correct. His gameplan was pretty straightforward, and I didn’t notice any tactical wrinkles.

The real problem I have with Noonan for this match is with his substitutions. Excruciatingly, he waited until the 76th minute to make any changes. By this time, his team was trailing by a goal and up a man due to Rodrigo Aguirre’s red card six minutes earlier. However, Noonan elected to make a like-for-like change, bringing Sergio Santos on for Corey Baird. In fact, Noonan didn’t attempt to capitalize on his man advantage until the 83rd minute when he brought on Dado Valenzuela for Obi Nwobodo… a change that I thought should have been made as soon as the red card was awarded. Finally, he brought on Bret Halsey in another like-for-like change in the dying moments of the match. The gaffer made three subs when five were allowed, and only one of them did anything to increase the offensive firepower on the pitch. One could question whether Pat Noonan was trying to win the game, or settling for the narrow defeat.

GK – Roman Celentano – 5.5

Any discussion of Roman Celentano’s match has to begin and end with Brandon Vazquez’s 24th-minute goal. It wasn’t particularly well-struck, and the goalkeeper got his hands on it but couldn’t keep it from creeping over the line. He slightly made amends in the 86th minute, when he made a save at full stretch to keep the visitors from taking a two-goal lead. In possession, Roman wasn’t asked to do a ton. Notably, he completed three of his four long passes, and though he looked shaky at times under pressure, he managed to play out of it without making any big mistakes.

RWB –  DeAndre Yedlin – 6.5

DeAndre Yedlin put in a workman-like, professional appearance for his first in the Orange and Blue. His ability to play in “soft coverage,” seeming to give the attacker space before exploding forward to close him down, was obvious from the jump. However, he wasn’t super involved on either side of the ball. He won two of his three ground duels while providing only two ball recoveries. Offensively, he managed only one cross. However, it was a nice one-touch volley across the face of the goal that created a dangerous moment. I think there are better things ahead for Yedlin as he settles into the team, but I’ll be surprised if he breaks past the “slightly above average” mark too often.

RCB – Miles Robinson – 7

Miles Robinson’s ability to pick passes is going to continue to be an asset for this team. He tied for the team lead with 13 passes into the final third. He also completed five of his seven long passes, including a fantastic line-splitting pass in the 21st minute that led to Pavel Bucha hitting the ground in the box and asking for a penalty (spoiler alert… it was a dive).

Defensively, Miles was sound but not spectacular. He only had one tackle and was also dribbled once. He was dominant in the air, winning three of four duels, but less so on the ground, winning only one of three.

CB – Matt Miazga – 6.5

Like Robinson, Matt Miazga had an up-and-down match. Offensively he was fantastic, completing five of six long passes and also dribbling two defenders to create passing lanes. Defensively, he won four of five ground duels and was not dribbled. However, Brandon Vazquez had Miazga’s number a bit more than the veteran would have liked. Miazga won only two of his six aerial duels. Finally, he failed to get touch-tight to Vazquez, allowing the former FCC frontman to swivel and shoot without pressure to score the only goal of the match.

LCB – Ian Murphy – 7

Ian Murphy started this match extremely slow offensively. He struggled to connect passes early and sent several straight out of bounds. However, he settled down and played really well after the opening half hour. In the end, he completed four of his eight long passes and was credited with a chance created.

Defensively, Murphy was fantastic outside of one moment. He was credited with two each of tackles and interceptions while also providing eight ball recoveries. His dueling percentage was also very good, as he won three of four ground and two of four aerial. However, the one moment that he didn’t get right was in the build-up to the only goal in the match, when he got drawn too far inside, leaving Maximiliano Meza far too open and able to easily pick his moment to cross.

LWB – Yuya Kubo – 7.5 (Man of the Match)

Maybe it’s ignoring a few bone-headed plays toward the end of the match. Maybe it’s playing favoritism since I’ve vocally supported the Japanese international this season. Or maybe Yuya Kubo is the man of the match by default because none of his other teammates were fantastic. Whatever the reason, the utility player gets the nod for me this week. Offensively, he was a constant menace to Los Rayados, completing seven passes into the final third and tying Lucho Acosta for the team lead with three chances created. He should have had an assist in the 15th minute when his fantastic pick out of Corey Baird sent the striker in on goal. He wasn’t perfect, though, as he left some chances on the table. Notably, he missed Lucho on a cutback in the 66th minute where he should have probably shot for himself.

Defensively, Kubo was dribbled once but otherwise put in a very solid performance. He led the team with three interceptions and didn’t have any glaring mistakes. It will be interesting to see whether Pat Noonan continues to roll with him at wingback when the team is back to full strength.

DCM – Pavel Bucha – 6.5

Pavel Bucha has yet to take control of a match and display the passing ability and offensive threat that has me so excited for him as a replacement for Junior Moreno. However, he has shown flashes, including in this match when he picked out Corey Baird in the box with a lovely chipped-through ball. He also completed 96 percent of his passes.

Bucha was very good positionally on the defensive side of the ball. He led the team with 10 ball recoveries and was very good at filling in for wingbacks on both sides as they bombed forward. However, he isn’t the defensive ball-winner that Obi is and managed to best only three of his six ground duels. Finally, I’ve graded him down a bit for his horrendous dive in the 21st minute, which I feel has no place in the game.

DCM – Obi Nwobodo – 7.5

If I’m being honest, Obi would be my man of the match if I wasn’t such a Kubo shill. Because he is incredibly solid, he could win the award any match where there isn’t a standout performer. In this match, he completed an impressive 98 percent of his passes and wasn’t dispossessed. He displayed great range, including in the 19th minute when he chased down the speedy Meza and dispossessed him with an inch-perfect tackle that stopped a transition.

Obi wasn’t perfect in this match, however, winning only three of six ground duels. His five ball recoveries were also below his average, and he was dribbled once.

CAM – Luciano Acosta – 5.5

Lucho Acosta was guilty of leaving a lot of chances on the table in this match. In the 51st minute, he missed an open Corey Baird on the back post. In the 54th minute, he left a pass into the box short for Baird, forcing the striker to dig a shot out from under his feet instead of hitting it in stride. Perhaps most notably, after a match where FCC looked dominant on set pieces, Lucho was not accurate with a single one of his 10 crosses. This included a corner that he put straight out of bounds in second-half stoppage time when everyone was forward to try to score the equalizer.

Lucho also didn’t have a vintage performance on the ball. He was only successful with one of his three dribbles. He also won only three of his 10 ground duels. All in all, any night that FCC fails to score is probably going to be seen as a night that Lucho Acosta didn’t perform.

ST – Aaron Boupendza – 5.5

What do we make of Aaron Boupendza’s night? Does he get a low score for his missed chances? In the 56th minute, he found himself unmarked in the box but dragged his shot wide. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, he had a wide-open header that could have tied the match at the death, but he failed to hit the target. He wasn’t able to hit the target with any of his four shots on the night. Or should Boupendza get credit for being in so many great positions and forcing Monterrey to scramble defensively? He completed all four of his dribbles and also had a fantastic cross-field pass that sent Lucho into the box in the 51st minute that should have led to a chance but for the captain’s wayward cross.

Despite his highs on the night, we also have to consider Boupendza’s struggles that didn’t include missing his shots. His passing in the opening quarter-hour of the match was woeful. He ended the night with the lowest passing percentage on the team (67 percent) and was dispossessed twice. Strikers often have lots of turnovers, and we can stomach them when they’re scoring. However, on a night when you miss two golden opportunities, you better be very good in other facets of the match if you want to be graded at average or above.

ST – Corey Baird – 6

Speaking of being graded at average or above… Corey Baird also missed some big chances. I mentioned his 15th minute chance from Kubo above. Baird was in on goal and couldn’t beat goalkeeper Esteban Andrada. He was able to finish from a similar position just two minutes later but had strayed just offside. The striker also had a few moments that could have been half-chances but for his tough letting him down. In the 44th minute, Bucha chipped him into the box, but he couldn’t settle the ball effectively. In first-half stoppage time, he brought down a lovely Lucho chip with his first touch, only for his second to let him down, causing him to give away the ball in the box when it looked certain that he would get a shot off.

However, unlike his strike partner, Baird still did enough to say that his performance was solid. In the 37th minute, he showed a bit of the combination play that we should see more of as the season goes on, linking Kubo and Acosta to give the Argentinian a shot to finish from a tight angle. He also should have had an assist when his brilliant touch in the 56th minute in transition allowed him to find Boupendza in the box for one of the Gabonese’s missed chances. He also put both of his shots on target and completed his only dribble attempt.


Sergio Santos (76th minute) – 5

Sergio Santos was not involved enough in his 14-plus minutes. He only managed six touches in that time. To make matters worse, one of those touches was an open shot from six yards that he failed to score.

Gerardo Valenzuela (83rd minute) – N/A

Bret Halsey (88th minute) – N/A

Availability Notes: Luca Orellano (family matter), Marco Angulo (family matter), Alec Kann (hand)


  • 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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