Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 1, FC Dallas 0

FC Cincinnati traveled to the scorched earth of Dallas, Texas, to take on FC Dallas in what turned out to be the hottest kickoff temperature in this franchise’s history. The team was without at least three certain starters due to injury, suspension or international duty, and gave up a number of gilt-edged chances to the home side, but still managed to leave the Lone Star State with all 3 points thanks to a fantastic goal by Luca Orellano.

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 – 1.1, FC Dallas – 1.0, per

Formation: 3-5-2

Now, onto the ratings:

Manager – Pat Noonan – 5.5

Pat Noonan admitted that he got the lineup wrong against New England and returned to a more traditional setup featuring the youngster Kipp Keller in the center of defense. He also was forced to rotate in the midfield with Obinna Nwobodo missing this match after his red card last week. However, perhaps his biggest decision came in once again starting Luca Orellano on the right and Yamil Asad on the left, and it paid dividends.

However, I thought that was where Noonan’s good decisions ended. Justin Hoyte and I talked during this week’s Talking Tactics about how his game plan seemed to be to let Lucho Acosta rest as a forward. This meant that the captain was woefully uninvolved but still put more miles on his legs, took some tough tackles and generally looked worn out throughout the match. Furthermore, playing in incredible heat, he waited until the dying moments of the match to make two of his five subs. One of the players that he brought on was Aaron Boupendza, who failed miserably at helping the team kill the game off. For me, using his subs sooner, getting Lucho off the pitch after taking a one-goal lead and putting ANYONE on in place of Boupendza would have made Noonan’s score a bit higher.

GK – Roman Celentano – 7.5

You have to give Roman Celentano props for achieving something in this match that he hadn’t in the previous six: a clean sheet. He didn’t have a ton to do, making only two saves while facing a PSxG of just 0.5. However, he made one excellent save, doing well to react to a deflected shot in the 72nd minute to push it wide of the post. He also came to punch a free kick clear that could have caused some problems and made three other “high claims” of crosses, though they were all routine. 

Roman’s downside continues to be struggling at times playing with his feet. In this match, he was just 11 for 20 passing and completed a mere two of 11 long passes.

RWB – Luca Orellano – 8 (Man of the Match)

Luca Orellano looked like he was going to struggle to get into this match, as FC Cincinnati seemed intent on focusing on attacking up the left side. However, when he did get on the ball, he was mostly fantastic. He had just 37 touches on the night but still led the team with 0.6 xG. He looked like he could beat defender Marco Farfan at will, and even though he didn’t log a progressive pass he tallied five progressive carries. Only one of his three shots was on target, and he really should have scored in the 38th minute when he was in on goal after a sublime Dado Valenzuela pass. However, his other “off-target” shot struck the crossbar, and this game-winning goal was a thing of beauty:

Defensively, Orellano also had less to do, as FC Dallas played mostly up Asad’s side. When he was called into action, he wasn’t very good, winning just one of six ground duels while being dribbled once. His only defensive stat was a blocked pass. However, when you have an offensive night like the youngster had and DeAndre Yedlin is playing well behind you (see below), defense isn’t so much of a concern.

RCB – DeAndre Yedlin – 7

I agree with Pat that DeAndre showed some real composure and helped this team quite a bit in this match. However, I think most of that work was done in chasing balls down, being positionally sound and in possession. He logged one tackle and one interception, but his on-ball defending was suspect at times. He dove in twice on attackers deep in the corner when they had nowhere to go, bailing them out with a foul. He picked up a needless yellow card on the second one. 

In possession, Yedlin led the center back group with three progressive passes. He also had three passes into the final third, and completed three of four long balls. I am still skeptical that Yedlin is a huge value-add for this team, but I think that his presence behind Orellano on the right made a world of difference as compared to Powell playing there last match.

CB – Kipp Keller – 6.5

I’m guessing that y’all will be clamoring in my mentions, wondering how I have Keller rated so “low” despite anchoring a back line that has been very leaky to a clean sheet. To see if it stems the tide, I’m going to start with the positive here. In possession, Keller was solid, if unspectacular. He completed 96.2 percent of his passes, including four of five long balls. Defensively he was positionally solid and seemed to have a decent understanding of when to step and when to drop and ended the match with a tackle and a blocked shot.

So why didn’t he get the glowing score that you wanted? Simply put, when you play in the center of defense, any mistakes you make can be glaring. Keller conspired with Asad to both mark Nkosi Tafari on a set piece in the 33rd minute, allowing Bernard Kamungo to get a free header, which, luckily, he put wide. He also got beat in the air on a long ball in the 68th minute, allowing Sebastian Lletget to get in and hit a shot that narrowly missed being the equalizer. Lastly, he was dribbled once, which just can’t happen as the central defender. I think Keller has done well and will continue to grow under the leadership of Pat Noonan and the FCC coaching staff. However, I’m going to wait on anointing him as Miazga’s heir apparent.

LCB – Ian Murphy – 7

The best thing I can say about Ian Murphy in this match is that he didn’t stand out. He made no glaring mistakes, either offensively or defensively. He completed 90.6 percent of his passes, including three into the final third. He didn’t have any of the line-splitting passes that I know he’s capable of, but he also took good care of the ball.

Defensively, he won all three of his tackles while adding a blocked pass. He also won all three of his ground duels. In a match where FC Dallas attacked down his side 44 percent of the time, he played solid defense despite getting little help from Asad in that area.

LWB – Yamil Asad – 6.5

As mentioned above, Asad was incredibly involved in this match as FCC focused on moving the ball up the left side. He had an amazing 55 touches in his 54 minutes of play. On my first watch, I didn’t think he was very good. He seemed to turn the ball over way too easily and way too often. He didn’t log a shot-creating action and managed only one progressive pass. However, he must have settled down pretty well because he ended up with a respectable 81.3 percent passing rate.

Defensively, when he was matched up on the ball, he was very good. He won both of his tackles and added four blocks, including two shots. He also won five of seven ground duels. However, he looked lost when defending in space, allowing the FC Dallas players to get behind him way too often, putting Ian Murphy under quite a bit of pressure. He also was part of giving up Kamungo’s free header (see above). Ultimately, his lack of fitness forced Noonan to pull him off fairly early.

DCM – Pavel Bucha – 7.5

I thought that Pavel Bucha had an excellent match in this one. With his normal partner sidelined due to suspension, he took on a bit more of a defensive role and did it pretty well. He dropped into the back line to provide cover for Murphy or Yedlin when they got stretched on several occasions, and tied for the team lead with seven ball recoveries. He also won both of his tackles while adding a blocked shot and two interceptions. However, he has yet to show he can be a real ball-winner, going just two for six in ground duels in this match.

Offensively, Bucha also contributed well. He opened his hips well to receive the ball and push it forward in the lead-up to Orellano’s goal, and had two shot-creating actions overall. He passed at a 97.7 percent rate, including four progressive passes and three into the final third. However, he failed to complete a dribble despite attempting three and didn’t log a key pass.

DCM – Yuya Kubo – 7.5

Is there anything that Yuya Kubo can’t do? Until he has a bad game, I’m going to keep asking that question. In this match, he slid back to his once-familiar defensive midfield role in place of Obi Nwobodo and didn’t look out of his depth. He led the team with four tackles and tied for the team lead with seven ball recoveries. He also had five blocks, including two shots and added an interception. Finally, even though he picked up an early yellow card with a rash challenge in the 18th minute, making the rest of the match hard on himself, he committed only one other foul the rest of the match and was never in danger of being sent off.

Offensively, Kubo was not as potent as when his starting position is further forward. Still, he added a ton in this department that FCC usually doesn’t get out of its defensive midfielders, contributing two shot-creating actions and two key passes. He also led the team with seven progressive passes while passing at a 95 percent rate overall. If I had to pick a weak spot for Kubo, and I really don’t want to, I’d say the fact that he failed to complete any of his three dribble attempts while winning just five of 12 ground duels should be improved.

CAM – Luciano Acosta – 5

Lucho Acosta’s performance was flat and uninspired in this match. Was it his fault that he had only 52 touches on the night when he averages 74 per 90 minutes? Or did Dallas just defend him really well? I’m guessing if you read this column very often, you’re going to know where I came down on this question. Lucho was certainly not as involved as he usually is, and the defense paid particular attention to getting in his passing lanes so that he couldn’t receive the ball. However, when he did get the ball, and even when he had space, he was rarely very effective. He completed just two of his six dribble attempts and only one of his four long balls. He had a few moments of magic, like in the fifth minute of stoppage time when he torched a player in the midfield to spring a 4v2 break, but made the wrong play by trying to force the ball to Santos on the right when Kubo was wide open on the left. He also looked tired and disinterested at times and won only three of his 14 ground duels. In the end, he was credited with four mistouches and four dispossessions.

However, despite his lack of involvement and lack of energy, he still led FC Cincinnati with four shot-creating actions and six passes into the final third. Finally, he probably should have had an assist in the 79th minute when he created a moment of magic by wriggling free down the right and somehow finding Dado with a cutback pass, though the youngster wasn’t able to finish.

ST – Gerardo Valenzuela – 6.5

Dado Valenzuela had a very up-and-down match. With Lucho Acosta checked out and hanging around the opponent’s back line for much of the match, Dado stepped up with four progressive receptions. At times, he looked out of his depth, trying to open his hips and touch the ball forward but getting it wrong over and over. However, he also drew five fouls by receiving the ball under pressure and inviting contact. He led the team with 0.6 xAG on three shot-creating actions, including a brilliant slipped pass to Orellano in the 38th minute that should have earned him an assist. He ended up getting that assist in the end, even if it was for simply playing a square ball to Orellano, who then did all the work to score.

Dado got into some good positions to score as well, coming in second on the team with 0.4 xG. However, he snatched at those chances and wasn’t able to find a shot on target. Overall, Dado continues to grow in his role, and I think if he ever gets clarity about whether he’s a forward, a midfielder or a false 9, he may have the chance to be quite good.

ST – Kevin Kelsy – 5

Kevin Kelsy was disconnected in this match, struggling to get involved. I think a lot of that was the fact that Lucho was playing as the highest player on the pitch, taking up the spaces near the opponent’s central defenders that Big Kev typically likes. He managed only 14 touches, with a mere six of them occurring in the offensive third. He also only had one progressive reception, was dispossessed twice and had a mistouch. To add salt to the wound, he picked up a silly yellow card for kicking the ball away after an offside.


Alvas Powell (55th minute) – 7

When Alvas Powell came on for Yamil Asad in the 55th minute, most of us thought he’d move over to the right and shift Orellano back to the left. However, the veteran showed his versatility by staying on his weaker side and helping to limit the Dallas attack that was thriving there. On his first defensive play, he got torched by Logan Farrington and had to foul, earning a yellow card. However, from there he settled down and was effective.

Most surprising to me is how good he was in possession even though he was on the left. He didn’t manage a progressive pass, but logged four progressive receptions and took good care of the ball. He also did well to get in behind in the 68th minute but took his touch too wide, narrowing his angle so that he could only shoot right at the goalkeeper.

Sergio Santos (78th minute) – 6

Sergio Santos has come on in the last few matches and added some value. He’s not scored or really done anything of note, but he’s worked hard, pressed and taken pretty good care of the ball. This match was no different. In his 12 minutes plus stoppage time, Santos managed only five touches. However, he completed both of his pass attempts while adding a tackle and a blocked pass.

Bret Halsey (78th minute) – 6

Halsey came on for the cramping Kipp Keller late in this match, pushing Powell to center back and manning the left side of the pitch. He then shifted to the right to see out the end of the match when Foster came on. He wasn’t asked to do a lot and didn’t make much of an impact. His 71.4 percent passing looks worse than it is since he only attempted seven passes, completing five.

Isaiah Foster (87th minute) – N/A

Aaron Boupendza (88th minute) – N/A

Availability Notes: Matt Miazga (knee), Nick Hagglund (leg), Obinna Nwobodo (suspension), Miles Robinson (international duty)

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  • 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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