Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 1, Monterrey 2

It was always going to be a tall task for FC Cincinnati to win the CONCACAF Champions Cup tie after losing the home leg 1-0, but the team acquitted itself well by playing on the road in Mexico. Things even looked hopeful when Lucho Acosta scored to even the match at 1-1. However, “solid” performances with few outstanding moments aren’t typically enough to get the job done against “los gigantes” in Mexico.

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.
  • 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 – 6

I think the gaffer did just about all he could in this one. Monterrey knew that FCC was going to have to come out and try to be aggressive, and they punished the Orange and Blue on the counter. Despite the loss, playing in a match like this in a hostile environment was a good experience for this team. Furthermore, they acquitted themselves well, only losing narrowly. That said, FCC was ravaged on their left side with the young converted winger Luca Orellano getting torched time and time again, and one could wonder whether playing the experienced Miles Robinson on that side and bringing Kipp Keller in on the right could have shored that up.

I love that Noonan got players like Malik Pinto, Kipp Keller and Dado Valenzuela into the match to be part of that experience. My only quibble with him is that I thought he could have given Bret Halsey the same benefit, but he elected to roll out Alvas Powell instead.

GK – Roman Celentano – 6.5

Roman was not very good on the ball in this match. The team clearly decided to build out of the back less often and play long instead, and the goalkeeper was erratic with his long passes. He completed just six of his 14 long attempts and only 14 of his 22 passes overall.

However, Celentano’s main job is to mind the net and he did well there. Even though he gave up two goals, he had a number of decent saves, the best of which occurred in the 62nd minute when he was down quickly to his right to deny the home side. He also patrolled his box well, including a strong punch in the 18th minute to avoid any danger.

RWB –  DeAndre Yedlin – 6.5

I’ve been vocal about the fact that DeAndre Yedlin is more of a rich man’s Ray Gaddis than a locked-on starter in MLS for a team with championship aspirations. Once again, he didn’t do anything to make me change my opinion in this match. He was solid defensively and worked tirelessly up and down the right flank, but he didn’t really add a lot of value on either side of the ball.

Yedlin was able to create two chances. He also earned the assist, though I think that stat is a bit generous to the veteran. His other best moment was a superb diagonal to put Aaron Boupendza in on goal in the 9th minute. However, he had zero accurate crosses and only two passes into the final third. Defensively, he won just over half of his duels (six of 10) but was dribbled twice. A very solid but unspectacular performance from FCC’s newest right wingback.

RCB – Miles Robinson – 6.5

Miles Robinson had his worst game for FC Cincinnati in this match… and it still wasn’t too bad. He let Brandon Vazquez get free for a header in the fifth minute but wasn’t punished by the former FCC striker. In all, he won only one of his three aerial duels, but was able to win all three of his ground duels.

On the ball, Robinson had some uncharacteristically bad turnovers. In the 23rd minute, he had easy possession but elected to force a pass to the middle instead of playing the ball back to Roman and turned the ball over cheaply. He had a similar poor turnover in the 34th minute trying to play an ill-advised long diagonal. However, he still completed 86 percent of his passes, including six into the final third.

CB – Matt Miazga – 7

Matt Miazga didn’t have any errors in this match. On several occasions, his excellent positioning allowed him to cut out crosses after Monterrey was able to get in down FCC’s left side. He also displayed supreme calm on the ball in several key moments helping his team to keep possession when other center backs might have just booted it long. The big central defender won his only ground duel and had two interceptions on the night.

LCB – Ian Murphy – 5.5

A lot of how you feel about Ian Murphy’s performance on the night is contingent on whether you expect him to be able to clean up all of Luca Orellano’s messes (see below). Undoubtedly, Murphy was the least experienced central defender on the pitch and at this stage in their careers, probably the least talented. So, Noonan asking him to play behind the even greener Orellano was always going to be a tall task. I thought Murphy handled it fairly well winning both of his tackles, two of his three ground duels, and not getting dribbled on the night.

So why the low score? Offensively, things should be a bit easier for Murphy with the talented Orellano on his side, yet in this match, he struggled. Murhpy completed only one of five long balls and had just a single pass into the final third. His passing percentage was the lowest of the back three at 77 percent. His struggles were epitomized in the 43rd minute when he gave the ball away with a poor touch, then clattered the defender in frustration, earning himself a cheap yellow card.

LWB – Luca Orellano – 5

Luca Orellano will have growing pains as he converts from a wing to a wingback. I expect him to get caught ball-watching at times, dive in unnecessarily and stray out of position. However, in this match, his lack of awareness was so costly, leading to both goals for Los Rayados and a handful of other chances. It seemed like, any time the home team wanted, they could put a ball in behind Orellano to a wide-open runner.

Some of these defensive worries can be overlooked if Orellano can step up in a big way offensively. He showed flashes of his talent in this match, like when he came inside and accelerated past defenders in the 13th minute, but he hasn’t been able to link up with the attackers after doing so. However, it wasn’t enough in this match to make a difference. He completed only one dribble, had just two passes into the final third, and was only credited with one chance creation.

DCM – Pavel Bucha – 6

Pavel Bucha had a bit of an up-and-down match in his first continental away trip. He shares some blame for Monterrey’s first-half goal when he chased to the ball side even though Orellano and Kubo were both caught out, and he should have filled in down the left. He was also dribbled twice on the night and won only two of seven ground duels. However, he still grabbed seven ball recoveries.

Offensively, he was solid but didn’t have a huge impact on the game. He passed at a 92 percent rate but didn’t create any chances or take any shots himself. Finally, as has been his custom so far in this young season, he was dispossessed twice while dwelling too long on the ball.

DCM – Yuya Kubo – 5.5

Outside of his worst moment, I thought Yuya Kubo did well in Obi Nwobodo’s stead for the first 60 minutes of this match. Defensively, he had three tackles and six recoveries. Offensively, he was able to have five passes into the final third. However, his worst moment was in the 41st minute, when he cheaply lost the ball trying to dribble an opponent with Luca Orellano already caught forward, leading to the runout where Monterrey grabbed their first goal.

Then, I’m not sure whether he was gassed or frustrated, but his final 30 minutes in this match were forgettable. He ball-watched in the 60th minute leading to a golden Luis Romo chance that was luckily missed. He was also dribbled twice and seemed to walk back defensively several times. In all, he won only four of nine ground duels on the night with many of those lost attempts occurring down the stretch.

CAM – Luciano Acosta – 8 (Man of the Match)

Lucho Acosta was just about the only player that I thought kicked it up a notch for this match. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but he had some real moments of magic. In the 27th minute, his clever run and far post snapshot forced Esteban Andrada into an excellent save. Then, in the 47th minute, he dribbled four Rayados en route to a magical goal to give his team a breath of life in the tie. In all, he had five chances created and 11 passes into the final third. Furthermore, his 86 percent passing was uncharacteristically high in this match and he added six ball recoveries defensively.

ST – Aaron Boupendza – 7

Aaron Boupendza had a match that could have been perceived very differently but for a couple of bounces. His excellent slip pass in the 27th minute led to Lucho’s chance mentioned above. He had a fantastic little chop turn in the 50th minute, faking a layoff pass to Acosta before turning and forcing Andrada into a good near-post save. Then, in the 76th minute, he stung the post with an acrobatic overhead scissors kick. If any of those chances find the back of the net, Boupendza’s night would have been excellent. However,  strikers live with fine margins, and the Gabonese fell on the wrong side of them in this match.

Instead of a stat line with one or multiple assists or a goal, Boupendza’s shows a player that was dispossessed twice and won just five of 12 duels (3 of 7 ground, 2 of 5 aerial). He also passed at only a 68 percent rate.

ST – Corey Baird – 5.5

Corey Baird cuts a frustrated figure for FC Cincinnati of late. Had his difficult header in the 11th minute found the side netting, perhaps it would have given him the confidence to continue on and produce. However, it just missed, and he put in another uninvolved and detached performance.

Baird completed only 69 percent of his passes and created only one chance. Perhaps even worse, however, he didn’t get credit for a single defensive action and provided just two ball recoveries.


Sergio Santos (67th minute) – 5

Santos is another player whose night could have looked different but for a singular moment. He probably drew a penalty while he was on the pitch, but the referee didn’t call it on the field, and it wasn’t a big enough error to get VAR involved. As it stands, he played 24 minutes but only attempted eight passes. To make matters worse, he completed just four of them. He also committed two fouls to relieve pressure on the opponent.

Malik Pinto (72nd minute) – 7

Malik Pinto entered the match with a point to prove. Whether he just wanted to show well on the road in Mexico or thought he should have started at the base of midfield instead of Kubo, the young Princeton product flew around the pitch with venom while he was out there, getting into four tackles and winning four of five ground duels.

On the ball he also did his best to pull his team back into the tie, completing 91 percent of his passes including two into the final third.

Kipp Keller (72nd minute) – 6

Kipp Keller entered the match with his team trailing by two goals in the tie and the opponent content to just see the match out. Consequently, he wasn’t asked to do much. He was able to contribute two passes into the final third, and he won his only aerial duel. He did have one worrisome moment, however, when he was nutmegged in the 81st minute, forcing Bucha to come over and tackle the ball out for a corner.

Gerardo Valenzuela (84th minute) – N/A

Alvas Powell (84th minute) – N/A

Availability Notes: Alec Kann (hand), Marco Angulo (famil 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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