FC Cincinnati picked up three straight wins as they headed north to the Allianz Arena and picked up an away win over the Minnesota United Loons on Saturday. With no seven injured or suspended, coach Pat Noonan has mastered his squad. After the first 15 minutes, during which Orange and Blue made only 15 passes and didn’t have a single touch in the opponent’s third of the field, the team calmed down and had the better chances throughout the game. Then, just when it looked like they were leaving the Twin Cities with a valuable point, substitute Calvin Harris got some space to put the ball on a plate for Brandon Vazquez to shoot home and give FCC all three points . The team has improved to 5-5-1 over the season and is 5th in the East.
Watch the post-game report from Cincinnati Soccer Talk here for more details.
- 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 – 2, MNUFC – 1, per mlssoccer.com
Now for the reviews:
Manager – Pat Noonan – 10
Coach Noonan brought an exhausted roster to Minnesota that had only one defender on the bench. He opted to save Alvas Powell’s legs by handing the start at right-back to Zico Bailey. Although it initially looked like his 3-5-2 was far too defensive to create anything going forward, his team settled down and came into play. He boldly made a change that had to happen at halftime and brought in Powell for Bailey. Then, late on, when other coaches had closed shop and played away, Noonan went for the win, bringing in Calvin Harris and Álvaro Barreal at full-back and Haris Medunjanin in midfield. It was second-year player Calvin Harris who rewarded his coach with the assist.
With options so limited, I’m not sure Noonan could have done anything better as a coach.
GK – Roman Celentano – 8
Celentano is increasingly looking like the number 1 between FC Cincinnati’s posts, even if Alec Kann is healthy. He put in an excellent performance again and was rewarded with a goal. He made 5 saves on the night, 2 of which were from close range. Giving up 0 goals at 1 xG means he exceeded what was expected of him. His pass rate was also better in this match as he landed 64% of his long balls. The young goalkeeper was not overwhelmed but when challenged he rose to the challenge.
RWB – Zico Bailey – 5th
Bailey looked completely lost in the first half. His defensive position was everywhere and it was his positional error that gave the Loons their best chance of the game in the 28th minute when Bongokuhle Hlongwane was sent on target. It wasn’t all bad though as he still contributed 3 interceptions and 1 tackle and won 60% of his tackles on the ground. His 79% pass rate didn’t let the team down either.
CB – Nick Hagglund – 7th
Nick Hagglund continues to put in solid performances for Orange and Blue down the back line. He was FCC’s top-rated defenseman according to Fotmob, winning 2 tackles, 6 interceptions and 9 ball recoveries. Although MNUFC appeared to be targeting the right flank of the FCC defense, Hagglund was able to remain strong, limiting the Loons’ scoring chances. His passing of 58% has room for improvement and he only has 2 of his 5 tackles down, but overall his performance was solid if unspectacular.
CB – Geoff Cameron – 6th
Cameron was the FCC’s lowest-rated defender, according to Fotmob. He couldn’t win a tackle, won only 1 of 4 tackles on the ground and late on gave a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box, which also went into the referee’s book. Despite this, he still commanded defense well, helping MNUFC shoot mostly from outside the box and helping his team keep the ball by completing 77% of his passes.
CB – Ian Murphy – 6th
Ian Murphy continued his trend of solid performances with little impact on the stats. He only won 1 of 3 ground duels and recorded only one tackle. However, he added an interception and 6 ball recoveries. His 63% passing rate wasn’t great and playing 0 of his 6 long balls wasn’t ideal, but the rookie centre-back continues to not look out of place in MLS.
LWF – John Nelson – 5th
Nelson looked a bit leggy as he started his third straight match without much rest. As a full-back, he struggled to influence the game offensively, only crossing accurately once out of his 6 attempts. He was dispossessed twice and was not quick enough to get used to a passport that was mailed to him on multiple occasions. He had no tackles defensively, but was able to win 50% of his tackles on the ground. His real contribution came in the form of his solid positioning with 4 interceptions and 6 recoveries. He also wasn’t over-dribbled by any of the fast Minnesota wingers. If this is his rock bottom then John Nelson looks like a solid addition to the squad.
DCM – Obinna Nwobodo – 7th
Obi appears to be an excellent addition to FC Cincinnati’s midfield. His 90 percent passing ability was key in a game where FCC struggled at times to keep possession. He was 4 for 4 on long passes and wasn’t disowned at all. His defensive contribution was notable, with 1 block, 3 interceptions, 3 tackles and 9 recoveries. However, he was dribbled over once, won only half of his 10 ground duels, was caught in 4 fouls and received a yellow card. He’s already playing well, and as he makes friends with his teammates, he should only get better.
DCM – Junior Moreno – 6th
Moreno wasn’t at his best on Saturday, possibly due to fatigue. Still, his performance was solid. He recorded one interception, 2 tackles and 5 ball recoveries. His 89% pass was good too. However, he was uncharacteristically over-dribbled twice and only won half of his tackles on the ground. If that’s what Moreno looks like off-game, then like Nelson, he’ll be a mainstay in FCC’s midfield.
CAM – Luciano Acosta – 8 (Man of the Match)
Lucho only got his first offensive touch in the 18th minute, but then immediately made the difference for his team. He created 6 chances, had 2 shots and had an xA of 0.76. He didn’t score or assist, but could easily have had one or more of the two. In addition, he completed 81% of his passes, dribbled 2-3, and even helped win two tackles defensively and recorded one interception. His creativity on the ball continues to be key to FCC’s attack.
ST – Dom Badji – 6th
Dom Badji was once again the lowest rated player on Fotmob. His 91% passing and 3 shots were good, but with a 0.64 xG he probably should have scored. He was also dispossessed once and failed to win either a ground or air duel. However, Badji still works tirelessly for the team and continues to be a pro on the pitch.
ST – Brandon Vazquez – 7th
Vazquez’s movement for his game-winning goal was great. He keeps working hard and putting himself in good goal positions. Outside of goal, however, he only cleaned 65% of his passes, failed on all 3 of his dribbles and struggled with his first touch throughout the game. Still, he was there when it counted and calmly finished his chance when given the chance.
Alvas Powell (46th minute) – 6th
Powell’s introduction at halftime really solidified the right side of the FCC defense. He continues to play solid defense while also contributing on the offensive side of the ball. He completed 75% of his passports and was not dispossessed at all. His clever toe kick on goal forced St Claire to save and earned his team a corner kick. However, he wasn’t as involved as he could have been as he failed to deliver an accurate cross and only recorded 1 tackle and 3 ball recoveries.
Alvaro Barréal (63 minute) – 7
Barreal entered the game to play left-back for John Nelson. In his limited time on the pitch, he created a chance, forcing St Claire to tip a powerful shot over the bar and extracting two precise crosses. Perhaps most impressively, in the unfamiliar full-back role, he wasn’t dribbled past at all and was solid defensively. Trusting Pat Noonan to add to the attack without being a defensive liability, he rewarded his gaffer with a nice performance.
Arquimides Ordoñez (76th minute) – 6th
Quimi was late for his 2nd MLS appearance and was better than expected. He seemed a little calmer on the ball, dribbled well and was instrumental in keeping possession of the ball for FCC’s decisive goal. He also recorded 2 tackles and won 4 of his 6 ground duels. However, his passing was far from optimal at 67%, he was shot down once and when he had a good view of the goal he missed his shot. There’s room to grow for homegrown from Cincinnati.
Haris Medunjanin (76th minute) – 6
The experienced midfielder had only a few minutes to influence the game but made the most of his opportunity. He created 2 chances and completed 88% of his passes. He wasn’t given much space to dictate the game, but wasn’t a liability in the middle of the park either.
Calvin Harris (84th minute) – 7th
Harris came on at right-back late when Geoff Cameron had to get off. He had very limited minutes but was still able to complete all 9 of his passes, creating 2 chances and recording an excellent assist getting to the end line and cutting back a nice pass for Brandon Vazquez to finish it off. Normally a player with that limited time wouldn’t score but he made an impression in his precious minutes.
Notes on availability: Alec Kann (lower body), Yuya Kubo (foot), Brenner (back), Tyler Blackett (yellow card), Ray Gaddis (leg) and Ronald Matarrita (ankle surgery).