Player Ratings: FCC 2 – Toronto FC 1

FC Cincinnati traveled north of the border for the first of two games against Toronto FC on Saturday. Pat Noonan, who was without 8 players through injury, included Álvaro Barreal, Nick Hagglund and Haris Medunjanin in the starting XI. The Orange-Blues took the lead after 44 minutes when rookie Ian Murphy scored his first professional goal from a corner. Just after halftime, Lucho Acosta made it two by spinning and hitting a quick snap from a long throw by Alvas Powell. TFC recouped one with 25 minutes to play through Jesus Jimenez who set up a tense end to the game but FCC held on strong to earn their 3rd win of the season.

Watch the post-game report from Cincinnati Soccer Talk here for more details.

REGULATE:

  • Each player starts with a 6 as their default rating. Six means “average performance” for the game.
  • Players gain or lose their score based on individual moments and overall team performance.
  • We will look at several criteria such as statistics and player rating systems from Who Scored and FOTMOB
  • We won’t use 0.5 steps because that’s a weak sauce.
  • We won’t be afraid to give players a perfect 10 if they deserve it, but we will never give a 0 rating because there’s always something positive.
  • A player may receive N/A for being substituted or substituted before quantifiable stats are available.

Expected Goals (xG): FC Cincinnati – 0.8, TFC – 1, according to mlssoccer.com

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Now for the reviews:

Manager – Pat Noonan – 8

With few players available, Noonan relied on veterans Haris Medunjanin and Nick Hagglund to keep TFC at bay. He also came on as a substitute for Calvin Harris with Álvaro Barreal. Despite his team falling out of possession and shot, his selection paid off, earning an important away win.

To improve the result, Noonan also bought Brandon Vazquez some crucial minutes as he looks to return from injury and also brought in new designated player Obi Nwobodo for an introduction.

TW – Roman Celentano – 6

With a margin xG of 0.9 and conceding 1 goal, Celentano was slightly in the red. His distribution was poor once again, completing only 29% of his passes and 25% of his long balls. He wasn’t asked to do a ton, but he made several key interventions by claiming balls from the air.

RB – Alvas Powell – 7th

Powell achieved the highest player rating for defenders on Fotmob. His long throw was a key component of FC Cincinnati’s game-winning goal. He also contributed an excellent 7 combined tackles and interceptions and won 56% of his tackles on the ground. However, he completed a dismal 41% of his passes and was dribbled over several times, keeping his rating lower than it otherwise could have been.

CB – Nick Hagglund – 7th

The much-maligned Nick Hagglund delivered another feat of craftsmanship. He won 80% of his duels on the ground and 50% of his duels in the air. He completed 78.3% of his passes and was credited with one assist. The Cincinnatian native hasn’t really done anything wrong, but something tells me that many fans will still take issue with him being rated above average.

CB – Ian Murphy – 7th

Ian Murphy made it big by staying calm in the box and taking his chance well to put his team in front. He also completed the most long balls and a respectable 70.6% of his total passes. His speed and composure on the ball were an asset to the team and it seems clear he will be at least a solid MLS centre-back. The only sign against him that night was that he won just 1 out of 3 header duels and was the top defender for Toronto FC’s only goal. If Shane O’Neill was on side for his header back over the goal to Jesus Jimenez (and that’s a big IF), it was Murphy who saved it.

LB – John Nelson – 6th

Nelson was solid defensively all night, recording 3 interceptions, 1 tackle, 4 blocks and 5 clearances. However, he continues to add very little, completing only 61% of his passes, including 0 of his 6 long balls, despite adding 3 progressive carries. He was also skipped by O’Neill for TFC’s goal.

DCM – Haris Medunjanin – 7th

Haris completed the best 86% of his passes, including 2 of 2 on long balls. He was also surprisingly active defensively, recording 8 recoveries, 2 tackles and one interception. However, his mobility continues to be a drag on the midfield as he has been over dribbled more than any other player and won just 2 of his 6 tackles on the ground. It seems the veteran is still up to the task of contributing to the team, albeit in limited minutes.

DCM – Junior Moreno – 8 (Man of the Match

Moreno had his job to do without Yuya Kubo in midfield to help him cover the ground and he didn’t disappoint. His 85% pass rate was excellent, and his 4 shot-making actions and 3 progressive passes led the team. Defensively he was everywhere and collected 6 tackles, 26 pressings, 3 blocks and 4 interceptions. His work on both sides of the ball was key to FC Cincinnati’s victory.

CAM – Luciano Acosta – 8th

If Moreno was the man of the match, Lucho was a close second. His 70% passing accuracy is just right for such a creative player. He interfered with 2 shot actions, leading all players with 0.4 xA and of course scoring the game winner. He also worked hard defensively, recording 40 pressings and 4 tackles. The only disappointing stat on his scoresheet is his ground duel percentage, which sits at a low 29%.

RW – Dom Badji – 6th

Dom Badji was the lowest rated player on Fotmob as he passed 67% and had little involvement overall. He only touched the ball 25 times and struggled to get into the game. However, he picked up a shot-producing action and 2 shots. His work performance continues to be top notch, and even when he’s not at his best you can always count on him to work his cock off.

LW – Alvaro Barreal – 6th

Barreal looked good in his preferred position on the wing. The team chose to attack from his side almost half the time and he handled the ball well with 83% passing. However, he couldn’t do much with it and couldn’t log a shot-making action or a shot. His 36% ground duels and poor 1v1 defense (he was dribbled over three times) were also a liability. His talent is obvious, but he still falls short of becoming a full-time starter.

ST – Burner – 5th

Brenner ran around a ton and was really active defensively. He led the team under pressure, which is excellent for a striker. He also added 3 recoveries, 5 tackles and one interception. However, the fact that this review starts with its defensive contribution is telling. The young Brazilian was not outstanding offensively. He only logged 1 gunshot action and 1 shot. His 57% passing just isn’t good enough. Finally, his 0.04 xG shows that he has no threat as a goal-scoring option at the moment.

SUBS

Brandon Vazquez (67th minute) – 4th

Vazquez looked rusty in his 23+ minutes on the pitch. He completed only 63% of his passes and touched the ball only 12 times, 3 of them without control. Finally, he missed an incredibly good chance to spoil the game, dawdling over the ball on a counterattack and allowing the defense to recover.

Obinna Nwobodo (67 minute) – 6

Obi’s MLS debut was a great sign for orange and blue fans. He looked good in his short time on the pitch, winning 2 tackles and grabbing 3 recoveries. It’s hard to ask too much of the Nigerian’s first appearance after just one training session, but surely more good things are to come.

Calvin Harris (80th minute) – 5th

Harris was late to end a close game. His single shot earned the highest xG on the team at 0.4. Of his 6 presses, 5 were successful.

Nick Markanich (90th minute) – N/A

Notes on availability: Alec Kann (lower body), Yuya Kubo (foot), Geoff Cameron (self righteousness), Tyler Blackett (leg), Allan Cruz (leg), Ray Gaddis (leg) and Ronald Matarrita (ankle surgery).




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