The Bonus Track segment is an abridged version of Orange & Blue Press’ Deeper Cuts series. It takes one component of a recent match and breaks it down in more detail.
Both Michael Lahoud and Paddy Barrett received their first starts of the 2018 season and played the full 90 minutes in a 3-2 win over Indy Eleven. Let’s take a deeper look at how they fared on the field during Wednesday’s victory.
— Michael Lahoud (@MikeLahoud) May 2, 2018
FC Cincinnati’s #13 produced 46 passes at an 87% passing accuracy, including a 78% passing accuracy in the opponent’s half. Lahoud added a calm and efficient influence on FC Cincinnati’s attempts to control possession on Wednesday. He took up a defensive midfield position next to Kenney Walker but played slightly closer to the back line, allowing Walker to get forward periodically when FCC had the ball. He also intercepted the ball and started the break to assist on Corben Bone’s game-winning goal.
Paddy Barrett won 7 of 10 duels in his center back role next to Forrest Lasso. Additionally, he put in 4 tackles and made 7 clearances. The Waterford, Ireland native handled the ball well throughout the match. In his 45 passes (most of any defender and only one less than Lahoud), he had an 80% pass accuracy. That accuracy was the second highest of any starting defender for either team (Blake Smith was higher at 91.4%). Barrett conceded just one foul during the match, but that was the fateful and dubious penalty kick that Indy was awarded in the first half.
Beyond statistics, both Lahoud and Barrett replaced key players that have been critical to FCC’s success this season. FC Cincinnati was able to give a much-needed rest Richie Ryan and Dekel Keinan as a result. Prior to Wednesday, those two had started and played every minute of FC Cincinnati’s season. Now, the only player that has played every minute of FCC’s 2018 campaign is Forrest Lasso – 7 matches, 7 starts, 630 minutes played.
Alan Koch’s side did not miss a beat with the rotation. They exceeded expectations and earned another road victory, their fourth of the season. If the Orange & Blue can continue to use their depth this effectively, they will find themselves in a lofty position in the standings after a 34 game USL season. It’s also worth a tip of the cap to the contributions of Jimmy McLaughlin, Daniel Haber, Emery Welshman, and Matt Bahner who all started the match after being out of the eleven against Ottawa Fury FC.
FC Cincinnati’s head coach had the following to say about the rotation after the match.
“Tonight it was necessary for us to rotate (players). We’ve got a long, long season and we’ve got so many games in a short amount of time. But we also want to reward players and give them opportunities. If I go and look the players in the eye and say I have confidence in them, I better give them opportunities … The guys tonight that haven’t played that much so far this season or made their debuts tonight, all embraced those opportunities.”
Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for coverage of Saturday’s first-ever match against Atlanta United 2.