Player Ratings

Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 6, Inter Miami 1

FC Cincinnati put a royal beatdown on the self-appointed Kings of MLS on Saturday, beating a heavily depleted Inter Miami squad 6-1. Five different goal scorers and four different providers combined to lead the Orange and Blue to a comprehensive win, moving them to first place in the Supporter’s Shield standings.

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 – 3.7, Inter Miami – 1.2, per

Formation: 3-5-2

Now, onto the ratings:

Manager – Pat Noonan – 8.5

Pat Noonan has to be given credit for rolling out the innovative formation that some are calling “the Sword.” Playing Yuya Kubo as a lone forward with Lucho Acosta and Luca Orellano underneath as duel #10s brought a ton of team speed and versatility to the lineup and helped FC Cincinnati dominate a slow and ponderous Inter Miami back line. I also thought the team showed the proper levels of intensity and energy throughout this match, bringing the heat to a top-of-the-table clash without boiling over or melting down and getting unnecessary cards.

My one complaint with Noonan continues to be his substitutions. I’m really glad that he didn’t leave any subs until late, making his final change by the 75th minute, but I question leaving players like Lucho Acosta on the pitch once the team was up 5-1 and playing against 10 men following the Sergio Busquets red card. This match looked great on the gaffer’s resume, but I wonder if his lack of rotation will cause problems down the stretch.

GK – Roman Celentano – 7.5

Roman Celentano gave up just a single goal on a PSxG of 2.0, and that goal was a wide-open header from six yards out. He had to be alert to keep the match scoreless in just the third minute when Serhiy Kryvtsov was left free on a set piece, and though the defender didn’t make great contact with the header, Roman did well to scramble across the net and push it wide. He also made a great reaction save in the 18th minute when Robert Taylor got the best of Alvas Powell and fired a shot at the near post.

However, FCC continues to hemorrhage goals on set pieces and I have to put some of that blame on the goalkeeper. Celentano seems to be glued to his line when it looks as if he should come out to claim or punch the ball clear. He also needs to be more forceful and commanding when setting his defense. So long as FCC can’t defend set pieces, I can’t imagine them winning silverware.

LWB –  Yamil Asad – 8

Yamil Asad was instrumental in ball progression, tying for the team lead with 10 progressive receptions and chipping in with six progressive passes himself. He continually showed great willingness to get forward into the attack and combined effectively with Lucho and others in the final third, tallying six shot-creating actions. He showed incredible awareness to explode forward when Lucho won the ball off the press late in first-half stoppage time, then just watch his patience as he waited for the perfect opportunity to finish through the recovering defenders and scrambling goalkeeper:

All of that being said, Asad contributed four shots but put only one on target. He also only managed to win two of his eight ground duels and had some pretty head-clutching turnovers. He was credited with two mistouches and a dispossession on the night. Finally, what little joy Inter Miami had on the night seemed to involve exploiting the space behind Asad and his clear lack of effort recovering defensively.

LCB – Ian Murphy – 7.5

Ian Murphy had another incredibly solid but unspectacular night. He was excellent on the ball, completing 94.4 percent of his passes. He tallied five progressive passes and led the team with seven passes into the final third. As stated above, Miami seemed intent on attacking the FCC left as Asad bombed forward, and Murphy did well putting out fires on his side all night.

Murphy had one glaring mistake when he kept Leo Compana onside in the 19th minute, allowing him to get a free shot at goal. However, the striker screwed the shot wide, and Murphy got to exhale and learn from the mistake without being punished. Murphy continues to be a vital part of a very good defense, but he needs to clean up the slight positional mistakes before he can be considered an elite defender.

CB – Miles Robinson – 8.5

I think the performance of Miles Robinson in the center of defense was a huge reason that FCC was able to suffocate Inter Miami’s offense in this match. Not only did the veteran win both of his tackles, he added a block and two interceptions. Impressively, he both of his ground and all four of his aerial duels. He limited Compana’s influence all evening, cutting off any hope the Herons had of using him as a target to transition through. In fact, 40 of Robinson’s 80 touches came in the middle third of the pitch, indicating that he was often stepping forward to win the ball defensively and help control things offensively.

Speaking of offensively, Miles was pretty excellent in that phase of the game as well. He passed at a 91.8 percent rate, including completing five of seven long passes. Lastly, he added three passes into the final third.

RCB – Alvas Powell – 6

In a match where there were very few weak spots for the Orange and Blue, Powell has the honor of being the worst performer. He wasn’t terrible by any stretch, drawing three fouls and winning all four of his ground duels. He was good positionally for the most part, not allowing Taylor to run in behind him despite Miami trying to force the issue on several occasions.

However, Powell’s 83.3 percent passing, though not bad, was worse than most on his team. He added very little in ball progression and turned the ball over, trying to dribble out of pressure early in the match when a goal still could have been costly. He was torched by Taylor in the 18th minute but was bailed out by an excellent Celentano save. He got picked on a set-piece in just the third minute, giving Kryvtsov the opportunity at a free header, which he luckily failed to capitalize on. However, Powell wasn’t as lucky when he fell for the exact same play in the 21st minute, leading to the only Inter Miami goal on the night. Powell is not a natural center back, but has shown in the past that he could be a capable fill-in. He wasn’t great in this match but he did enough of the little things to make me think that is still the case.

RWB – DeAndre Yedlin – 6

DeAndre Yedlin got to move back to his more natural right wingback position in this match and showed the qualities that make him a solid veteran presence on this team. He helped the team in ball progression, logging seven progressive passes and five passes into the final third.

The problem with Yedlin continues to be his lack of a cutting edge. He had a few really nice long diagonal passes in this match but often failed to push the ball forward effectively. Twice he tried to receive passes in behind the back line but couldn’t do anything with them. He wasn’t able to log a progressive carry, and in a match where FCC was on the offensive most of the time, he received only five progressive passes. Finally, even though he logged a tackle and two blocks, he was dribbled three times.

DCM – Pavel Bucha – 7

Pavel Bucha had a workman-like game, connecting passes and showing good instincts and ball retention throughout. His goal was a bit fortunate, but he did well to put it on target and not try to overhit it or do too much. Even though he logged only three progressive actions, he completed six of seven long passes to help the team keep the ball moving.

Speaking to Obinna Nwobodo’s fantastic performance (see below) and the lack of need for Bucha to spend much time defending, he wasn’t a significant contributor with locking down the middle when Miami had the ball. He was dribbled three times and won only two of five ground duels. He also only grabbed two ball recoveries.

DCM – Obi Nwobodo – 8.5 (Man of the Match)

FC Cincinnati has been missing the presence of an in-form Obinna Nwobodo. Defensively, they got him back in this match. He had an incredible 19 ball recoveries, dominating the middle of the pitch all game. The next closest player had only seven. He earned an assist with his excellent defensive instincts, stepping forward to win the ball at the edge of the offensive third and then giving it to Lucho to do the rest. He read the game so well all evening that he was a constant presence defensively, yet he needed to make only one tackle. Though at least three players could have won man-of-the-match, I thought the reason FCC could play so much of this game on the front foot was due to the sheer dominance of Obi in the middle of the park.

Offensively, Obi continues to struggle at times. When he’s asked to keep the ball moving simply, he connects passes and doesn’t turn it over. He passed at a 91.5 percent rate in this match. However, when he tries to split lines or carry the ball forward, he has some real struggles. His turnover in the 19th minute trying to pass out of pressure led to the best chance Inter Miami had from open play all night. However, when he is as dominant defensively as he was in this match, I can live with the struggles in possession.

CAM – Luciano Acosta – 8.5

Lucho Acosta’s 17 progressive passes were more than three times that of anyone else, and he added seven progressive carries. He officially tallied a goal and two assists and could have had more. In the 15th minute, he followed some fantastic combination play with Luca Orellano by hitting a shot right at goalkeeper Drake Callender when Yuya Kubo was wide open to his left for a tap-in. However, he made up for it in the 36th minute when he showed fantastic patience in the box to sit down two defenders before finishing to the far post.

Acosta also had six key passes on the night and put both of his shots on target. I’m not sure whether or not it was a coaching directive, but he elected to take nearly all of his corner kicks short, eliminating the set-piece woes that I love to criticize him for. Finally, Acosta’s work rate defensively was fantastic. At the end of the first half, when he would have been forgiven for having one foot in the locker room, he tracked back defensively to win a ball, then followed it with an unreal chip to the back post for Asad, leading to the wingback’s goal. He tallied seven ball recoveries on the night.

CAM – Luca Orellano – 8.5 

Young Luca Orellano got to play in a purely offensive position for the first time in his FCC career, and he did not disappoint. Both of his assists were goals that he created out of virtually nothing. The first goal of the night came when he received the ball at midfield, and he would have been expected just to hold it up. Instead, he did this to Kryvstov:

Later, he cooked Busquets in the 57th minute en route to laying the ball back for Kubo again on a platter for the Japanese’s second goal. He led the team with 1.5 xA and could have had more. In the sixth and 45th minutes, he had good chances to set up Kubo for simple finishes but elected to shoot both times and couldn’t beat Callender on either occasion.

Orellano was also really good in other areas. He had seven progressive actions and tied for the team lead with 10 progressive receptions. One of his major areas of growth, however, needs to be in his strength on the ball. When he can’t use his speed and illusiveness to avoid defenders, he gives the ball away far too easily. He had two mistouches and four dispossessions on the night and only won three of 11 ground duels.

ST – Yuya Kubo – 8

Despite scoring two goals, Kubo actually didn’t have a stand-out performance on the ball. He had the fewest touches of any outfield starter with 27. However, even though he only logged two shots, he scored with both of them.

For me, Kubo’s biggest contribution to this match was his incredible movement. He was a constant menace to the Inter Miami back line, tirelessly dropping in to link play and running in behind to stretch the center backs and give Acosta and Orellano space to operate underneath. Despite having so few touches, he logged eight progressive receptions. Virtually every goal that his teammates scored involved Kubo pulling a defender by making a darting run or dropping into space.


Sergio Santos (56th minute) – 6.5

Sergio Santos put in another workman-like performance in this match, doing well for his team despite not adding a lot of offensive output. He had only 14 touches, but four of them were progressive receptions. He also tallied a key pass and a shot-creating action. Defensively, he pressed well and logged three ball recoveries. However, he also only won one of six ground duels.

Gerardo Valenzuela (66th minute) – 7

Dado Valenzuela got a bit lucky to log the first MLS goal of his young career, megging Callender with a shot that the goalkeeper would want to have back. However, he hit it with enough pace and texture to force the goalkeeper into a save, and good things happen when you do that. Dado also took good care of the ball in his cameo, completing all 20 of his passes.

Bret Halsey (66th minute) – 6.5

Bret Halsey had the luxury of coming into this match when it was already well out of reach and playing against 10 men in his time on the pitch. Though he didn’t log a key pass, he could have had an assist in the 70th minute when he came inside from the right and found Santos with a fantastic outside-of-the-foot pass, but the Brazilian had strayed just offside. Halsey also had a great opportunity to score when he took an Acosta pass up the left and cut into the box on his right foot, but he hit his shot tamely at Callender in the end.

Kipp Keller (75th minute) – 6

Kipp Keller had virtually nothing to do in his time on the pitch. He completed all 22 of his passes, including one long and two progressive passes.

Kevin Kelsy (75th minute) – 6

Kevin Kelsy had only seven touches in his 16-plus minutes and didn’t have the chance to make much of an impact.

Availability Notes: Matt Miazga (leg), Nick Hagglund (Leg), Malik Pinto (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
  • 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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