Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 1, Red Bull New York 2

FC Cincinnati tumbled down the table after a 2-1 home loss to the Red Bulls of New York in which they looked bereft of ideas and well off the pace of the match. The Orange and Blue got off to a dream start when Yuya Kubo gave them the lead just three minutes in. However, they never looked like they would come away with the victory as the visiting team dominated them for long stretches of the game. 

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 – 0.8, RBNY – 1.2, per

Formation: 3-5-2

Now, onto the ratings:

Manager – Pat Noonan – 5

The Red Bulls had a very specific offensive tactic in this match: overload the left side of the field and ensure they always had at least one spare man there. Then, if they had the ball on the left, they would use the spare man to try to combine and get a shot. If they had the ball on the weak side, they would cross, knowing that even when FCC’s central defenders won the first ball, they would have extra players in the vicinity to win the second ball. Pat Noonan didn’t adjust to this game plan until halftime, meaning that his team was dominated through large portions of the first half. Furthermore, Obi Nwobodo and Pavel Bucha really struggled against the Red Bull press, yet Pat Noonan didn’t change anything to help them out.

I don’t know what I expected from Noonan, but I know I expected some sort of reaction. However, he was slow to make substitutions, didn’t change the formation and didn’t appear to give his players any specific ways to handle the RBNY pressure. Finally, hindsight is 20/20, but it seems like Alec Kann might have been a better choice to fill in for Roman Celentano (see below).

GK – Evan Louro – 6

Evan Louro didn’t have a nightmare in goal, especially considering it was his first MLS start. His big highlight came when he made an incredible penalty kick stop to keep the score tied at one headed into halftime. Earlier in the match, he had a couple of decent reaction saves as well, but none that he wouldn’t have been expected to make.

However, the two goals that Louro gave up had a total PSxG of just 0.72. The Frankie Amaya goal was well-struck but had to travel quite a ways to get to the goal. Then, the Dante Vanzier goal was hit hard, but so close to Louro that the goalkeeper got a solid hand to it and still couldn’t keep it out. I’d think that the league-average goalkeeper would save at least one of those two. Furthermore, the former Red Bull keeper really struggled with backpasses against the high press of his former team. He completed only two of his eight long passes and sent several of them directly to a Red Bull player or out of bounds.

RWB –  DeAndre Yedlin – 5.5

DeAndre Yedlin did some good things in this match, including leading the team with 10 ball recoveries. He was a constant outlet on the right side of the pitch and covered a ton of ground. It was his ability to get forward and hit a venomous shot on frame that helped set up Yuya Kubo’s opening goal. However, like most of his teammates, he struggled to advance the ball against the press. He tallied only two progressive passes and two passes into the final third. He also led the team in mistakes with three mistouches and two dispossessions. Finally, it was his poor pass to the back foot of Nwobodo that led to Amaya’s game-tying goal.

Yedlin also didn’t cover himself in glory defensively. He won only three of seven ground and one of three aerial duels. For a veteran, it was an inexplicable act when he stopped to plead his innocence on a handball in the 44th minute when the referee hadn’t blown the whistle, leading to a Red Bull corner kick. Lastly, his defending was woeful for the go-ahead goal, when he should have pushed Vanzier further to the outside but instead overcommitted and let the forward cut back onto his right foot.

RCB – Miles Robinson – 5.5

Miles Robinson was not great in this game… but as you can see so far, no FCC player really was. Miles was slow to react and caught in no-man’s land in the runup to Vanzier’s go-ahead goal (see him step forward in the video below), then was left flying along with Yedlin by Vanzier’s simple Cruyyf turn. Furthermore, he was the worst of all of the center backs, completing just 75 percent of his passes, including only nine of 18 long balls.

However, Robinson made some good contributions as well. He ended the match with five progressive passes and was second on the team with five passes into the final third.

CB – Matt Miazga – 5.5

Matt Miazga conceded one of the dumbest penalties possible when he grabbed ahold of the jersey of Sean Nealis at the end of the first half. Even though Louro bailed him out, he deserves a full-point downgrade just for that. However, that wasn’t his only mistake. In the first minute of first-half stoppage time, he fell asleep, allowing Lewis Morgan to get on the end of a long ball and get off a shot, which he fortunately blazed well over the bar. He also struggled to track Morgan and Vanzier as they dropped off the back line all night.

Miazga, however, was also one of FC Cincinnati’s better players in possession. He had several great long passes to relieve pressure, including the ball down the middle in the run-up to Kubo’s goal. He ended the night completing eight of 11 long passes. Miazga also was credited with a tackle and a blocked shot.

LCB – Kipp Keller – 6

Kipp Keller struggled a bit on the ball, playing on his unfavored left side. However, this meant that he spent more time passing sideways and backward, not necessarily turning the ball over. He only had one progressive pass in his 45 minutes of play, but also completed 87.5 percent of his passes. Keller was also mostly fine defensively, though he wasn’t credited with a defensive action and didn’t win his only ground duel. In all, his halftime hook was down more to Noonan admitting that starting a right-footer on the left against the Red Bull press was a mistake than to the youngster’s performance.

LWB – Luca Orellano – 6.5

Luca Orellano was a few inches away from being man of the match in this game. He rattled the crossbar from the right half-space in the 23rd minute and sailed a shot just over the bar minutes later. However, with neither of those shots finding the back of the net, his game looked rather mundane. Orellano recorded no accurate crosses and only one shot-creating action. He also only completed one of his four attempted dribbles. He was, however, the only non-Lucho player to log a key pass and also managed a respectable seven progressive pass receptions.

As stated above, Red Bull focused their overloads on their left side of the pitch, meaning Orellano didn’t have a lot to do defensively. Accordingly, he didn’t log a defensive action. However, when he did have the chance to win the ball, he struggled mightily. He won only three of his 10 ground duels and also led the team in fouls committed with three.

DCM – Pavel Bucha – 5

For my money, Pavel Bucha had his worst match to date for the Orange and Blue in this one. To start, three progressive passes just aren’t enough for a deep-lying midfielder. Also, seven touches in the attacking third aren’t enough for a “box-to-box” midfielder. Bucha also didn’t tally a long pass attempt, a shot-creating action, a pass into the final third or a key pass.

If Bucha isn’t contributing offensively, then he has to be excellent defensively, and he was not. In the end, his only defensive stat was one tackle, and he won only four of his 10 duels (three ground, one aerial).

DCM – Obi Nwobodo – 5

As Adam stated in the above tweet, Obi Nwobodo looked well off the pace all evening. I talked a bit in Noonan’s blurb about how I thought his tactics could have been better. However, tactics can’t fix that Obi was positionally undisciplined. For example, in the third minute of first-half stoppage time, he was slow to drop in on a Red Bull throw, leaving Emil Forsberg wide open to stride forward and hit a shot. To make matters worse, that shot had to be pushed out for a corner by Louro, and that corner led to the RBNY penalty kick. Tactics also can’t fix that Obi won only two of 10 ground duels.

Obi had some decent moments in possession, completing seven of eight long passes while tallying five progressive passes and two shot-creation actions. However, whenever he was put under pressure, he seemed to really struggle. To start, he wasn’t alert to Amaya’s presence when Yedlin gave him the difficult pass in the midfield in the build-up to Amaya’s goal, or he might have done better with it. He was also uncharacteristically dispossessed three times.

CAM – Luciano Acosta – 4.5

I’ve been known to grade on a curve, and all things being equal Lucho probably deserves better than the score I’ve given him. After all, he did lead the team with six shot-creating actions and 11 progressive passes. It was also his fantastic take-down of Miazga’s long pass that led to the opportunity for Kubo’s goal, then his lovely clip to the back post that earned him the assist. However, when a player is as influential as Lucho is, the scrutiny is high. He led the team by far with 14 progressive receptions but turned the ball over often once he received it. He attempted an incredible 10 dribbles and succeeded with only three of them. He also completed only 58.1 percent of his passes, including only five of 17 long passes.

Lucho’s score isn’t only influenced by his low numbers and my high expectations. He also turned the ball over in some really key moments, including in the 18th minute when it looked like FCC would have a 2v2 break but for Lucho’s giveaway. In the 51st minute, RBNY gifted him the ball with a terrible backpass, only for him to turn it over, trying to complete a backheel to Bucha. In the 53rd minute, he ignored the run of Aaron Boupendza and tried to dribble two defenders, only to lose it there as well (see image below). Finally, his needless giveaway trying to volley a 70-yard pass off the touchline led directly the the RBNY go-ahead goal. He also let his frustration boil over far too often in this match, leading the team with six fouls committed.

ST – Yuya Kubo – 7.5 – Man of the Match

Certainly, Yuya Kubo might not have been man-of-the-match if any of his teammates performed better than average. However, he was asked to do a job, and he did it admirably. His finish to give the Orange and Blue the lead less than three minutes in might have been simple, but it was his creative movement that freed him up. He used that creative movement to receive six progressive passes and get into good positions. Kubo was also fantastic on the ball throughout the match, passing at a 94.3 percent rate and tying for second on the team with seven progressive passes.

Kubo didn’t just play forward well, but he defended from the front and then continued to defend well after sliding back to the midfield in the 63rd minute. In a match where RBNY outdueled FCC 63 to 52, Kubo did his part by winning five of his seven.

ST – Aaron Boupendza – 4

Aaron Boupendza showed a few flashes of the skill that has made him a DP in this league. He turned a defender with a single touch in the 10th minute before finding Acosta running forward, then made the same move in the 56th minute to spring the playmaker again. However, he simply wasn’t involved in this match, taking zero shots and having zero shot-creating actions. In his 74 minutes on the pitch, he had only 17 touches and attempted only nine passes. I was vocal on Talking Tactics that I thought some of this is down to Pat Noonan’s tactics. We can also blame Lucho Acosta and the other midfielders some. However, as a DP forward only, receiving three progressive passes and failing to contribute a meaningful offensive stat simply isn’t good enough, no matter what the game plan is.


Ian Murhpy (46th minute) – 7.5

I’m not sure why Pat Noonan didn’t start Ian Murhpy, but his performance made the decision look even sillier. He was unbelievable by any stretch but performed much better on the ball than Keller ever could have. Murhpy completed 88.6 percent of his passes and tied for second on the team with seven progressive passes despite playing only the second half. Murphy was also solid defensively. In the end, he was credited with two tackles and won five of his six duels.

Corey Baird (63rd minute) – 4

Once again, Corey Baird failed to be involved meaningfully in a match. It was a bit more forgivable in this one since he didn’t start, but he still managed only three touches across his 26 minutes.

Gerardo Valenzuela (75th minute) – 6

Dado Valenzuela didn’t end up having any big plays in his limited minutes. He had the chance to play the hero in the 81st minute when a deflected cross fell to him in the box, and though he deserves credit for getting his volley on target, he probably would’ve liked to have struck it cleaner. He also added only one progressive pass and didn’t manage a shot-creating action.

Sergio Santos (75th minute) – 5

Like Baird, Santos added incredibly little to the team after coming on. He only had three touches and lost both of his aerial duels. His one saving grace is that he didn’t turn the ball over.

Yamil Asad (85th minute) – N/A

Availability Notes: Stiven Jiminez (foot), Roman Celentano (ankle)


  • 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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