Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 0, DC United 0

Once again, FC Cincinnati found itself playing at home after midweek CONCACAF Champions Cup action. And, once again, the Orange and Blue found themselves creating plenty of shots, winning the possession battle and creating more expected goals (xG) than their opponents. However, once again, FCC played to a stalemate in front of its home crowd. The match was highlighted by a good, if inconsistent, start from youngster Luca Orellano and a nice all-around match from new midfielder Pavel Bucha. However, players like Lucho Acosta, Corey Baird and Sergio Santos couldn’t prove dangerous enough in the attack to put the ball in the back of the net.

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 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, DC United – 0.8, per

Formation: 3-5-2

Now, onto the ratings:

Manager – Pat Noonan – 6

It has always been difficult for MLS managers to manage midweek Champions Cup matches and maintain any sort of consistent league form. Pat Noonan elected to rotate four players who started against Monterrey on Thursday. My only quibble was playing Kipp Keller on the left instead of Miles Robinson. I think the experienced Robinson can handle playing on his weaker side a bit better than the youngster. Tactically, Noonan appeared to have his team ready to deal with D.C. United’s press. The game plan looked solid to me, but the players were not making quick enough decisions to execute it… and I can’t fault Pat for that.

Once again, however, the manager elected to use his substitutions sparingly. He was forced into an early change with Obinna Nwobodo coming off injured in the first half, and got presumed starters Aaron Boupendza and DeAndre Yedlin into the match early in the second, but then didn’t make another change until the closing moments of the match. With such a hectic schedule and players like Corey Baird and Lucho Acosta not yet clicking on all cylinders, I think FCC would be better served getting fresh legs into the match early and often.

GK – Roman Celentano – 6.5

Roman Celentano wasn’t asked to do enough in this match to stand out. His one good save came in the 20th minute when he was at full stretch to deny Mateusz Klich. However, the shot came from 29 yards out, so the goalkeeper always would have been expected to keep it out. In all, he faced just 0.5 PSxG, so the clean sheet was the most likely outcome.

In possession, Roman was erratic at best. He didn’t have any head-clutching moments, but also only completed five of his 12 passes of 40 yards or more.

RWB –  Alvas Powell – 7

Alvas Powell was active in this match. He showed really nice footwork at times, completing three of his four dribble attempts. In the 44th minute, he was able to beat his defender and put a shot on frame at the near post that goalkeeper Alex Bono was able to block out for a corner. He also contributed four progressive actions (one pass, three carries). However, despite this activity, Powell was also somewhat ineffective on the offensive side of the ball. He received only two progressive passes and didn’t attempt a cross. He had a genuine chance to make a big mark on this match in the 51st minute when he found himself on the ball and in on goal, but he squandered the opportunity when he couldn’t fit a square pass past Pedro Santos. Powell was also dispossessed three times.

Defensively, Powell had three tackles and wasn’t dribbled. He got up and down the line effectively and didn’t make any errors. Overall, Powell will rarely give FCC much of an offensive boost, but he did enough for me in this one to earn a decent grade.

RCB – Miles Robinson – 7

The FCC back line put in another solid performance. Robinson contributed to that with four blocked shots and two interceptions. His ability to read the game and drop with runners in transition continues to stand out, and often he doesn’t earn stats for the chances he eliminates by preventing them before they happen.

Offensively, Miles created two opportunities by showing his quality in the box on set pieces. In the 44th minute, he did well to nod a corner down to Corey Baird, creating the best chance of the match. Later, in first-half stoppage time, he showed excellent skill to combine with Luca Orellano and send the youngster in for a shot at the near post. However, the American center back didn’t do enough for me in possession to warrant a high score. In a match where FCC struggled to progress the ball at times, Miles only completed five of 10 long passes and had just one pass into the final third.

CB – Matt Miazga – 7

Any match where the team keeps a clean sheet probably means the player in the center of the back three did his job. In this case, it was Matt Miazga, and he marshaled the team well. His defensive stats weren’t flashy, but he won five of his seven aerial duels and provided six ball recoveries. However, like Robinson, Miazga didn’t do enough in possession to add to the attack. He showed flashes of being able to play those raking long balls that can unlock a defense but only completed six of 12 attempts.

 LCB – Kipp Keller – 8 (Man of the Match)

Kipp Keller did really well for a young player being asked to play slightly out of position. His discomfort playing on the left showed, and he struggled at times to complete passes when forced to play with his left foot. However, he had three switches of play, spraying long passes when allowed to come in on his right.

Keller earned his high score in this match with his defensive play. DC United attacked nearly half the time down his side, and he handled it well, racking up the stats to show for it. He ended the match with an incredible 12 aerial duels won, losing only two. He also won both of his tackles and had an excellent block in transition when he had to come across in the 47th minute to deny Cristián Dajome the chance to put a shot on goal when running in behind Miazga. In a scoreless draw, playing as well defensively as Keller did is enough to earn you man of the match.

LWB – Luca Orellano – 7.5

Luca Orellano had flashes of being able to provide the offensive threat that FCC so desperately needs from the outside in the absence of Álvaro Barreal. He has incredible feet and he showed them off on several occasions, completing five of eight dribbles. He was second on the team with four shot-creating actions and had other close opportunities, like in the 23rd minute, when he just missed Baird with a curling cross to the back post, or the 51st minute when he combined with Acosta to beat the press and create a four on three transition, but Powell’s blocked pass squandered the chance. Orellano also showed his youth at times, turning the ball over or making poor choices. In the 47th minute, he tried to score from beyond midfield and didn’t come close. He also was credited with being dispossessed five times and two mistouches.

In all, the youngster stepped up in a major way to generate offense when it wasn’t coming from elsewhere. He led the team with four passes into the penalty area and nine progressive receptions. He also chipped in with eight progressive actions (three carries, four passes) and provided four shot-creating actions. Finally, he stayed strong enough defensively, only being dribbled once and leading the team with nine ball recoveries. If not for his having so many turnovers, he might have been in the man-of-the-match conversation.

DCM – Pavel Bucha – 8

Pavel Bucha continues to grow in his midfield role with each match. His 94.6 percent passing in this one was excellent and included him leading the team with six progressive passes and four passes into the final third. Bucha also chipped in with three shot-creating actions, though two of those were his own shots that were fairly innocuous. Despite this good output in possession, the Czech still needs to clean up his play in moments. He had four mistouches and a dispossession in this match, including the 42nd minute when Klich caught him on the ball, leading to a very dangerous chance that the DC United midfielder luckily blazed over the bar.

Bucha was also good defensively in this match, especially after Obinna Nwobodo left injured. His eight ball recoveries were good enough for second on the team. He also contributed two tackles, a blocked shot and two interceptions. Had Keller not been so stout defensively, Bucha would have nicked man of the match for me.

DCM – Obi Nwobodo – 7.5

Before leaving this match injured, Obi was an absolute menace defensively. Playing only 31 minutes, he still managed four tackles, an interception and a block. However, he never really got going in possession, logging no progressive actions. It would have been interesting to see if the combination of Bucha pushing the ball forward and Obi eating up defensive transitions would have paid dividends for the Orange and Blue. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long for another chance to find out.

CAM – Luciano Acosta – 5.5

Lucho Acosta still hasn’t clicked into gear for 2024. However, that isn’t atypical. Through three matches last season, in which Acosta won the MVP award, he had fewer shot-creating actions than he does so far this season. However, I can’t grade him based on how I expect him to perform as the season goes on, and he wasn’t good enough in this match. There are lots of folks clamoring for him to quit trying to be too cute, and his 34th-minute attempted Rabona pass that he sent straight out of bounds would be evidence that this is the case. He is also missing on many near moments that he will eventually capitalize on, like in the 22nd minute when he just missed Sergio Santos with a curling cross. In all, he attempted 10 dribbles, which is too many, and completed only five, which is too few. He also had a whopping five mistouches and was dispossessed once.

That said, when Lucho is just about the only player making things happen offensively, it’s tough to grade him down too much for overplaying. He led the team with eight shot-creating actions and nine progressive actions. He also created some great chances down the stretch with his pressing, like in the 74th minute when he won the ball and forced Bono into a diving fingertip save. I think Lucho will continue to settle into the season, get on the same page with his teammates, and start to cook. Until then, he’s going to continue to come in just below average for me.

ST – Sergio Santos – 4

Sergio Santos simply wasn’t involved enough in this match. He didn’t manage a shot or receive a progressive pass, in large part because he didn’t win a single of his four aerial duels. He had chances, like in first-half stoppage when he failed to get himself back onside for a Luca Orellano cross that could have sent him in on goal. However, he continues to not produce despite getting lots of early-season run due to rotation and Aaron Boupendza’s early travel issues. In his 55 minutes of play, he only attempted nine passes. It may be time to look at other alternatives in the starting lineup when Boupendza can’t go.

ST – Corey Baird – 5

Corey Baird wasn’t much better than Santos in this match. He managed only 18 touches on the night, and only attempted two more passes than Santos despite playing nearly 30 extra minutes. Baird also couldn’t finish on the best chance of the match, a chest-high volley from point-blank range. That said, Baird scores higher than Santos for me because he was more active off the ball, grabbing five ball recoveries. Also, though he didn’t score his big chance, he did well to put a difficult shot on frame, and the PSxG indicates that it was more of a save by Bono than a miss by Baird.


Malik Pinto (32nd minute) – 7.5

If you turned on the television after Obi’s injury, you would be forgiven for not noticing that he wasn’t out there because Malik Pinto filled in so well. In his 59 minutes of play, he did his best Obi impersonation by leading the team with five tackles, winning them all. He also wasn’t dribbled in two attempts and provided seven recoveries. He’ll never be as explosive as Obi, but his game sense and positional play help him to be in the right spot to thwart attacks.

Offensively, Malik still needs to grow in confidence. His 76 percent passing wasn’t terrible but also wasn’t quite up to snuff for a player in his position. He contributed three progressive passes but had the opportunity for more if he was willing to be a bit bolder. Ultimately, the Princeton product is good enough on the ball to make a difference, as evidenced in the 70th minute when he received the ball in the defensive third facing his own net, shielded a defender to get turned, and carried the ball forward out of pressure.

Aaron Boupendza (57th minute) – 7

Aaron Boupendza made an immediate impact on the match when he entered for Sergio Santos in the 57th minute. In his 35 minutes, he received five progressive passes… four more than Baird and Santos combined. He also out-touched either striker with 19 touches in his shorter stint on the pitch. Finally, he helped move the ball with two progressive passes and two shot-creating actions. The one bad mark on Boupendza’s play was his inability to stab home his 84th-minute chance, but once again, much of the credit can go to the goalkeeper for keeping that one out.

DeAndre Yedlin (57th minute) – 5.5

DeAndre Yedlin was fine… just fine. He made no major mistakes, though he was dispossessed once and had a mistouch. However, he also didn’t add any offensive value when the team clearly needed a bit of thrust up the right flank. In his 34 minutes, he managed only one progressive pass and one progressive reception. He provided no crosses and didn’t create any shots. Overall, if you’re entering a tied match at home you need to help the team win, not just keep them from losing.

Gerardo Valenzuela (84th minute) – N/A

Yuya Kubo (84th minute) – N/A

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


  • 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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