Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 2, Colorado Rapids 1

FC Cincinnati returned to the friendly confines of TQL Stadium and dominated the visiting Colorado Rapids. The scoreline only finished 2-1, but the Orange and Blue were the much better side on the night, controlling possession and outshooting the visiting side 25-9.

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 – 2.1, Colorado Rapids – 0.6, per

Formation: 3-5-2

Now, onto the ratings:

Manager – Pat Noonan – 7.5

Justin Hoyte and I discussed how Pat Noonan adjusted the way that FCC build possession out of the back to get the strikers more involved on this week’s Talking Tactics podcast. And,the tactic worked really well in this match. It seemed like Corey Baird, Yuya Kubo and Lucho Acosta had no trouble getting on the ball in space to help the team transition through the thirds of the field. For the past two matches, the gaffer has been able to tweak things to get his star playmaker in dangerous positions, and Acosta hasn’t disappointed.

It’s tough to criticize a manager after such a comprehensive win, but I’m going to do it anyway. First, FCC had a lot of trouble defending set pieces in this match. Not only did the Rapids get their only goal off a corner kick, but they had a myriad of other chances from dead balls or from the chaos in their immediate aftermath. I think this is because the coaching staff has not changed the set-piece defending to account for the fact that, without Aaron Boupendza on the pitch, there are really only three players (the center backs) out there who are decent headers of the ball. Furthermore, I simply can’t understand Noonan waiting until the 87th minute to make substitutions, especially when the opponent had already made three and clawed a goal back.

GK – Alec Kann – 6.5

Alec Kann may not be the long-term starter for this team, but he has proven to be a capable backup. He wasn’t asked to do a ton in this match, making only two saves. Both of them were pretty straightforward, though he did push a bouncing shot away instead of catching it in the 48th minute, creating a bit of chaos. Kann was also in the hole in terms of post-shot xG. His PSxG of 0.5 came almost entirely from the one goal the team conceded. Even so, the metric says it was saveable.

The thing that Kann gives the team that Roman Celentano has yet to provide is calm on the ball in possession. His ability to play out of the back led directly to FCC’s first goal. I’m not worried by his only completing three of eight long passes since many of them were hit well but the target on the other end got pushed under the ball by a much bigger defender.

RWB –  DeAndre Yedlin – 7

DeAndre Yedlin played only 16 minutes before being substituted with a hip injury. In that short time, he created two shots. He wasn’t able to log a progressive action, but he did tally three progressive receptions. He may have eventually settled into the game and provided some more thrust offensively, but as it stands, he did well in his limited time on the pitch.

RCB – Miles Robinson – 7.5

The Rapids only tried playing Kevin Cabral in behind on the FCC right side a few times before they realized that Miles Robinson would give them no joy in that area. His speed and positioning were outstanding throughout this match. He tallied only one tackle and one interception, but his three blocks show that he was in the right spots. The only defensive concern with Robinson was that he won only four of his eight aerial duels.

Offensively, Robinson didn’t stand out as a chance-creator. He has long-ranging diagonal passes in his locker but didn’t use them in this match. However, he did log a respectable four progressive passes and four passes into the final third.

CB – Matt Miazga – 8

Matt Miazga was a commanding presence in the middle of the back three in this match. He was tasked with tracking the Rapids’ center forward, Rafael Navarro, as he checked into space to link play. He gave Navarro nearly no time, like in the 34th minute when he was on the striker’s tail all the way to the edge of the FCC offensive third and won the ball back before Colorado could transition. He led the team with three tackles and was excellent in winning all four of his ground duels and six of his eight aerial duels.

Miazga was also a big offensive contributor (for a central defender) in this match. Not only did he tally five progressive passes and four passes into the final third, but he also added three shot-creating actions. Unlike Robinson, Miazga hit some really nice long balls that, even when they didn’t come off, constantly forced the Rapids’ defense to be aware of players running in behind.

LCB – Ian Murphy – 8.5

I was highly impressed by Ian Murhpy in this match. I even gave him consideration, albeit slight, for man of the match. I’ve said for some time now that I think Murphy’s passing is an underrated part of his game that he doesn’t utilize enough. Well, in this match he used it. He was third on the team with eight progressive passes while also playing five passes into the final third and picking up a shot-creating action.

However, Murphy’s offense isn’t what impressed me the most against Colorado. In a game where the visitors attacked down Murphy’s side 41 percent of the time, the third-year center back won all four of his ground duels and tied for the team lead with 10 recoveries. Murphy was really good in 1v1 defense but even better positionally, and had two blocked passes and three interceptions to prove it.

LWB – Luca Orellano – 8

I’ve been clamoring for Luca Orellano to add shot creation to his outstanding ball progression numbers, and he definitely stepped up to the plate in this match. He had an incredible nine shot-creating actions, including a perfectly weighted ball that earned him the assist on Baird’s goal. These statistics were already good, but he added five key passes to the mix as well. Furthermore, he was only dispossessed once. He still wasn’t perfect offensively, however, as he managed to be accurate on only two of seven crosses and didn’t put either of his two shots anywhere close to the frame.

Defensively, Orellano continues to make strides while showing he isn’t a true defender. He was only dribbled once and had a respectable six ball recoveries. However, he also won only three of eight ground duels. Finally, Orellano’s job on the corner kick that produced Colorado’s goal was to bump and bother Moïse Bombito. You can see from the clip below that he didn’t quite do enough to make the big center back think about anything other than scoring.

DCM – Pavel Bucha – 8.5

Pavel Bucha is another player that has come into his own in the last few matches. In this match, he did enough to be considered for man of the match despite not grabbing the honors from me. Offensively, Bucha had a season-high five shot-creating actions. He also was a key contributor in the run-up to both FCC goals. Even outside of these key moments, he was quite good. In the 22nd minute, he dribbled forward and hit a nice shot at Zack Steffen’s near post that forced the goalkeeper to parry it out for a corner. In all, he tallied four shots, even though just one was one target. He also led the team with eight passes into the final third and was second on the team with 10 progressive passes. His 92.6 percent passing included completing all four of his long pass attempts.

Bucha is also starting to click defensively. His ability to shift and cover space as Obinna Nwobodo goes looking to win the ball back is a key part of why the FCC midfield has looked better for the past two games. In this match, he made two tackles and tied for the team lead with 10 ball recoveries. He was, however, dribbled twice.

DCM – Obi Nwobodo – 6

Obi Nwobodo still isn’t back to his best following the time he spent on the sidelines injured. In this match, he won only one of five ground duels while tallying only one tackle. He was also dribbled once. However, the eye test says that Obi is getting there. I thought his movement around the pitch was good, even if he still went ball-chasing a bit too often. He ended the match with a respectable seven ball recoveries.

Obi also isn’t completely clicking offensively. At first, his nearly 90 percent passing rate looks good. However, that included only four progressive passes and zero shot-creating actions. If he was sitting in front of the back four in rest defense when FCC controlled the ball, I wouldn’t expect those numbers to be better, but it looked to me like he was a full part of possession in the double pivot. Furthermore, he was credited with two mistouches and a dispossession.

CAM – Luciano Acosta – 8

Lucho Acosta is getting close to being back to his MVP form from the 2023 campaign. In this match, he tallied 14 shot-creating actions and led the team with 11 progressive passes. And, even though it was his only shot on target, his goal was an incredible take that only the best players can convert. The shot was registered as a 0.18 xG chance, but he put it in the side netting like it was a tap-in. Furthermore, when Lucho is cooking, he is usually a really pesky defender. This match proved that case as he added two tackles, two interceptions, and a blocked pass to his excellent attacking numbers.

However, I said that he is “getting close” because he is still leaving too many chances on the table. In this match, he had moments where he seemed to ignore Corey Baird in really good positions. In the 17th minute, after a brilliant diagonal from Orellano, Lucho elected to take one too many touches instead of playing in Baird and turned the ball over. Then, in the 40th minute, there was another opportunity to slot Baird in on goal but he again ignored the striker and lost the ball trying to dribble. Lucho is always going to try to dribble opponents, but he completed only three of his seven attempts in this match. He was also credited with four mistouches and two dispossessions.

ST – Yuya Kubo – 7

Yuya Kubo does a lot for this team, even when he isn’t scoring. Some may bemoan the fact that he didn’t end up on the score sheet in this match despite registering a team-high 1.1 xG (looking at you, Bryan Weigel), but it looked to me that only two of his seven shots were legitimate chances. His two best chances were a 0.27 xG shot in the 50th minute that he turned into a 0.48 PSxG shot and a 0.3 xG shot from distance that he should have done better with. Even without a goal, his 12 progressive receptions and six progressive carries show that he is really helping move the ball through the thirds.

My complaint with the Japanese international is less about scoring and more about chance creation. He passed the ball at a 95 percent rate but didn’t log a key pass. He had three shot-creating actions, which isn’t terrible, but he also was behind players like Bret Halsey and tied with center back Matt Miazga. Furthermore, I had to grade him down a bit for his ill-advised defensive header back to the middle in the 16th minute that led to Cole Bassett heading the ball off the post.

ST – Corey Baird – 8.5 (Man of the Match)

I promise I’m not giving Man of the Match honors to Corey Baird because I’m so happy for him… but I am very happy for him. Justin Hoyte and I spoke on Talking Tactics about how much he does for the team defensively through his incessant running. In this match, he won five of his seven ground duels, chipped in with five ball recoveries and tracked back several times in the closing stages of the game when others seemed too tired to do so. Furthermore, he took good care of the ball in this match, going two for two on dribbles, only being dispossessed once and passing at an 80 percent rate.

But, of course, that alone wouldn’t win Baird such accolades. The veteran striker tallied two key passes and three shot-creating actions, including a well-timed and executed wall pass with Lucho Acosta to earn the assist on the opening goal. Finally, and most impressively, he did this:


Bret Halsey (17th minute) – 7

It is incredibly difficult to come into a game as a substitute so early in the match. Bret Halsey looked nervy when he was called upon after Yedlin’s injury but quickly settled down to be a solid contributor in the 2-1 win. He didn’t do anything flashy but still managed four shot-creating actions and three key passes. Furthermore, even though he only had one progressive pass, he supplied seven progressive carries and completed five of six long passes.

Halsey was also very solid defensively. To start, he wasn’t dribbled. He also tallied two tackles, winning them both.

Yamil Asad (87th minute) – N/A

Malik Pinto (88th minute) – N/A

Kipp Keller (88th minute) – N/A

Aaron Boupendza (90 minute +1) – N/A

Availability Notes: Roman Celentano (ankle), Sergio Santos (leg), Nick Hagglund (bone bruise)


  • 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
  • xAG – Expected assisted goals (or xAG) is directly related to the xG that follows a pass that assists a shot
  • 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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