Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 0, New England Revolution 2

FC Cincinnati conceded a first-half brace to much-maligned striker Giacomo Vrioni on Saturday. Despite the deficit, the Orange and Blue were able to play much better in the second half. However, despite cutting the lead in half due to Yamil Asad netting his first goal for FCC, the team couldn’t complete the comeback.

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 – 1.2, New England Revolution – 0.5, per

Formation: 3-5-2

Now, onto the ratings:

Manager – Pat Noonan – 5.5

Pat Noonan had some difficult decisions to make in the lineup for this match due to a host of injuries, absences and fatigue in the center back corps. And, even though hindsight is 20/20, I would venture to guess that he wishes he wouldn’t have elected to roll with Alvas Powell and DeAndre Yedlin flanking the inexperienced Ian Murphy to start the match. This wasn’t the only decision he got wrong, in my opinion. Starting Luca Orellano on the left also weakened the team defensively. In all, the gaffer made six positional or personnel changes to his lineup from Wednesday’s win over the Philadelphia Union. That amount of rotation is difficult for any team to deal with, much less one with so few team leaders in the lineup.

That said, I have to give credit to Noonan for being quick to make changes at half to get his team back into the match. After a first half that created just 0.22 xG, Noonan’s changed team was able to generate more chances and even claw a goal back in the second half. However, even with these changes, he failed to recognize the danger of leaving Obinna Nwobodo in the match, already carrying a yellow card.

GK – Roman Celentano – 6

Roman Celentano gave up two goals on just 0.8 xG. Even so, it’s tough to see whether or not he could have made a play on either ball that beat him. From my point of view, he may have been unsighted for the Revolution’s opening goal. Even so, his dive was painfully slow because he set his feat far too early and lacked the ability to push off.

Roman also made a few other mistakes that didn’t cost the team, including dropping a cross at the feet of a Revolution attacker when it should have been caught easily. The young goalkeeper isn’t actively hurting the team at the moment, but he isn’t in top form either.

RWB –  Luca Orellano – 6

Luca Orellano is a top-class player but not a top-class defender. Even so, he is much better at defending from the left than the right. In this match, he made only two tackles while getting dribbled once. He also failed to limit the Revolution attack down his side on multiple occasions, including both of the goals that they scored. However, he was able to win five of 10 ground duels, which ordinarily wouldn’t earn him plaudits, but for the inability of so many FCC players to win more than half of their duels in the match.

Orellano didn’t have a great game offensively, either. Much of this may have been due to the fact that his teammates seemed intent on forcing the ball up the opposite side of the field, and Orellano only logged two progressive receptions. He had moments where he looked really good on the ball but could never quite make the final play. One such moment happened in the 43rd minute when he spun DeJuan Jones and carried the ball forward. However, hethen tried to stab a pass across with his left foot, which was easily cut out by the defender. In the end, he had four shots but only managed to put one on target. He also only managed a 75 percent passing accuracy without logging a key pass. Orellano’s saving grace was his outstanding output in ball progression, where he tallied 10 progressive actions, including four passes and six carries.

RCB – Alvas Powell – 4

Alvas Powell only lasted for one half in this match, and even with that short time, he is not going to want to watch that tape. Defensively, he had some real veteran moments of guile and played mostly well. However, he looked very unsure of himself anytime he got crossed up with one of his teammates. The Revolution relentlessly attacked down his side, and he and Orellano couldn’t keep them from sending in multiple cutback passes and crosses. Of his five ground duels, he won only two and also committed two fouls.

In possession, Powell was even more of a train wreck. His 66.7 percent passing rate would be poor for any player, but it is absolutely unconscionable from a center back. He also didn’t manage to make a pass into the final third or log a progressive pass. Powell hasn’t had a lot of game time of late, and he was playing out of position, so I wouldn’t expect this type of performance to continue. That said, he made it a little bit tougher for Noonan to justify inserting him as a starter any time soon.

CB – Ian Murphy – 5.5

Ian Murphy cannot really call himself an inexperienced player anymore. However, he has had the luxury of playing most of his minutes alongside veterans like Matt Miazga, and thus hasn’t developed the leadership necessary to play in the center of the defense, and it showed. He was mostly good at defending on the ball. He won both of his tackles and five of nine ground duels. He also wasn’t directly responsible for either New England goal. However, he failed to effectively communicate to make sure the necessary runners were tracked on both. For the opening goal, he tracked Vrioni into midfield, failed to win the ball,and then got pulled way out to the left in the aftermath, leaving Powell to marshall the back line. Then, for the game-winner, he failed to realize that Yedlin had tracked a runner in behind him, then collided with his teammate, trying to scramble to pick up that runner.

In possession, Murphy struggled right along with some of his teammates, logging a sub-78 percent passing rate. He did tally five progressive passes, but only one found the final third. I think Murphy has the physical tools to play in the center of a back line, but he’ll have to grow up in a hurry in the vocal leadership department if he’s going to be asked to do so again.

LCB – DeAndre Yedlin – 5.5

DeAndre Yedlin is an experienced enough defender to slide in from wingback and fill in as an outside center back. However, being asked to do so in a back line that also included Powell and anchored by Murphy was a bridge too far. As an individual, he was pretty good. He logged a tackle, a blocked shot and three interceptions. He also won all four of his aerial duels and two of his four ground duels. However, as part of the backline unit, he struggled to find his place. He shares a lot of the blame for the New England opener since he failed to recognize that Vrioni had peeled off the backline and was wide open. Then, watch below as he tracked a runner into an offside position, failed to communicate with Murphy and slipped trying to recover on Vrioni when the Albanian scored the game-winner:

In possession I thought Yedlin looked okay, considering he was playing on his less-favored left foot for much of the match. He managed two shot-creating actions and five progressive passes, even though only two of his passes found the final third.

LWB – Yamil Asad – 7.5

Yamil Asad got his first start in the Orange and Blue in this match and did his best  Orellano impression throughout. His teammates must have forgotten that he wasn’t Orellano because they forced the ball to his side time and time again, allowing him to lead the team with 12 progressive receptions. He ended up contributing four shot-creating actions and two key passes while scoring his side’s only goal of the match. However, it wasn’t all glitz and glamour as he passed at only a 78 percent rate and had three mistouches. He also failed to get himself back onside in the 52nd minute when Obi’s shot was saved right into his path for what could have been an easy goal.

Defensively, Asad didn’t do anything that made me think he looked out of place. He won both of his tackles and added two blocked passes. He did, however, manage to only win two of his six ground duels, but that wasn’t much worse than many of his teammates on the night.

DCM – Pavel Bucha – 6

Pavel Bucha had a hot and cold match. Uncharacteristically, he was quite good offensively while struggling to get a foothold in the game on the defensive side of the ball. He was second on the team with 12 progressive actions and also played a part in the play that led to the corner kick from which his team scored. He did, however, have two mistouches.

Defensively, he had one each of tackles, blocks, and interceptions while also logging five ball recoveries. But, he also was dribbled twice and won just two of his seven ground duels. Bucha looked like a player in need of a rest. Unfortunately, with Nwobodo out next match due to suspension (see below), he’s unlikely to get one.

DCM – Obi Nwobodo – 5

Any discussion of Obi Nwobodo’s performance has to start with him getting sent off. While his first yellow was a little soft, considering Vrioni had just gotten away with a similar challenge without a booking, his second was a head-clutchingly stupid decision to go to the ground from behind when he was already on a card. I guess it was indicative of his match as a whole however, as he never got going defensively. He didn’t log a tackle and failed to win any of his four ground duels. It still looks to me like he is chasing the game, trying to make plays that he doesn’t need to make. Just watch as he needlessly overcommits toward Vrioni’s right, allowing the striker to come onto his more favored left foot and score:

Interestingly, the Nigerian had some good moments offensively. He tallied six progressive actions. Furthermore, both of his shots were on target, including a well-improvised 36th-minute volley from distance and a nice snapshot in the 52nd that may have led to a rebound goal for Asad but for the wingback having strayed offside.

CAM – Luciano Acosta – 6.5

Did we get good Lucho or bad Lucho in this match? His 12 shot-creating actions, five shots, seven progressive passes, eight progressive carries and one assist would say that he was awesome. However, his only one shot on-target, mere three key passes and ability to complete just four of his 10 dribble attempts would say that he was poor on the night. He also won just six of his 17 ground duels.

The conclusion that I’ve come to is that Lucho was tuned in and fired up for this match but just too leggy to make it work. A case in point is the play in the 67th minute, where he had a chance to set up or score the game-tying goal while leading a 4v2 break. First, he uncharacteristically made the wrong decision to play the pass to the defense’s strong side to Pavel Bucha when Kubo was open on the left. Then, when Bucha returned the ball to him, he couldn’t get it out of his feet to get a shot off. If I’m Pan Noonan, I’m finding a way to leave Lucho on the bench for more minutes down the stretch, even if it makes the Captain angry.

ST – Gerardo Valenzuela – 6

Dado Valenzuela was one of the three players given the hook at halftime. However, I feel it was a little unfair due to the fact that he hadn’t really negatively impacted the match. He passed at an 84.6 percent rate and was only dispossessed once. Though, he also didn’t add any value in his 45+ minutes on the pitch. In the second minute, he had the chance to stride forward and shoot but elected to pass to Lucho on the left and turned the ball over instead. And, it didn’t get better from there. He failed to log a shot-creating action, managed only three progressive receptions and failed to get back and defend the quick free kick that resulted in the Revolution’s game-winning goal.

In all, the youngster could feel hard done that he didn’t get a second half to redeem himself, but he will have to up his game offensively if he hopes to keep getting put in the starting XI.

ST – Kevin Kelsy – 5.5

While I agree with Mike in principle (outside of the Kubo at CB comment!), Big Kev never really got going in this match. It’s tough to rely too much on stats since he only played in the first half, but his 63.6 percentpassing, zero shots, and zero shot-creating actions show that he wasn’t exactly hitting on all cylinders. I mentioned on this week’s Talking Tactics that, if I had to guess, Noonan also wasn’t happy with the way that he and Dado were triggering the press. However, only those in the locker room know for sure why the youngster didn’t get more time to make a contribution in this match.


Yuya Kubo (46th minute) – 7.5

Yuya Kubo has been one of the most consistent performers for FC Cincinnati in 2024. He didn’t manage to score in this match, but his impact was felt all over the pitch with his great movement and tireless work ethic. Despite playing only the second half, he tied for the team lead with three key passes and was second with eight progressive receptions. He also logged four shot-creating actions.

Nick Hagglund (46th minute) – 8 (Man of the Match)

I may get accused of giving the Cincinnati Kid my man-of-the-match award only because I’m a homer and he took a season-ending injury (I’m looking at you, Rupesh). However, I honestly thought the introduction of Nick Hagglund into the back line made an incredible difference. In a match where Vrioni seemed to be able to get on the ball at will, link play and receive long balls out of the back, Hagglund came in and completely cut off the target man’s pipeline. The striker got so frustrated trying to gain some sort of advantage over Haggs that he eventually committed a frustration foul and picked up his team’s lone yellow. In the end, Hagglund had two tackles and an interception, won all three of his ground duels, and won six of his seven aerial challenges.

Hagglund was also calm and collected on the ball. In less than 45 minutes of play, he passed at a 90.5 percent rate and was second on the team with three passes into the final third.

Sergio Santos (46th minute) – 6.5

The oft-maligned Brazilian may not have made a big contribution in this match, but I was pretty happy with his performance nonetheless. His two shots and one shot-creating action put him among the team’s offensive leaders despite playing just one half. He also completed all 11 of his passes. Finally, I thought his energy was good as he pressed and tried to help out defensively. He ended the match with a tackle won and an interception to show for it.

Bret Halsey (75th minute) – N/A

Bret Halsey hasn’t had a lot of great performances of late. However, he acquitted himself pretty well in this match. In his limited minutes, the Revolution were defending deep trying to hold onto a one-goal lead. Therefore, Halsey didn’t have a lot to do defensively. On the offensive side of the ball, he added a shot and two shot-creating actions. Most impressively, he finished second on the team with 0.5 xA.

Aaron Boupendza (88th minute) – N/A

Availability Notes: Matt Miazga (knee), Miles Robinson (international duty)


  • 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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