This week’s edition of Deeper Cuts focuses on topics that were meaningful from Sunday’s match but didn’t quite make the headlines. The story starts with Cincinnati’s favorite French fullback.
Deplagne influenced Sunday’s match even though he didn’t earn Team of the Week or Man of the Match honors. The Montpellier native posted an 87% passing accuracy, 3 shots on goal, 1 key pass, scored the final goal and helped secure a first MLS clean sheet for FCC.
Deplagne’s influence has been important in each of the first three matches. The 27-year-old had a good performance in Atlanta and secured the side of the field where Julian Gressel roamed. Additionally, his interplay with Lamah in Seattle was one of only a few bright spots in that match. What is more impressive is that Deplagne is not a natural left back, although Koch highlighted his versatility when he signed. Deplagne spoke after Tuesday’s practice about his first experience at Nippert Stadium.
Expected Goals (xG) — #CINvPOR
The xG from Sunday’s match shows that FC Cincinnati slightly outperformed their expected goal metric of 2.49, while the Timbers underperformed on their xG of 1.15. Thus, the final tally was a little flattering for FC Cincinnati, but the xG metric reinforces that a win was well deserved based on the chances FCC created.
Portland’s expected goal graphic below also highlights Spencer Richey’s work to keep a clean sheet, especially considering the big chance that Dairon Asprilla had in the 32nd minute (the big blue circle on the left).
If you’re not familiar with Opta’s expected goals metric, it measures how many goals each team should have scored based on the quality of the chances they created. While the calculation of the metric is complex, the concept is straightforward and you can read more about it here if interested.
Adi Injury, International Absentees and New England
The prognosis doesn’t look good for Fanendo Adi after suffering a leg injury during the first half of Sunday’s match. Alan Koch did not provide specifics but said today that “it’s almost certain he won’t be good to go” for New England this weekend. Another medical evaluation on Tuesday afternoon should reveal more about the severity of the forward’s injury.
This upcoming Sunday will be a big test of FC Cincinnati’s depth. Aside from Adi, five players will miss the New England match due to international duty including Kendall Waston, Allan Cruz, Darren Mattocks, Alvas Powell, and Frankie Amaya.
Alan Koch was positive about the situation at Tuesday’s practice. He said the competition is intense for a spot in starting 11 amongst the players still with the squad.
“It’s a great opportunity for the other guys in the group to show what they can do. In some respects, it makes my job a little bit easier as a manager, because the guys have played well the last 2 games. We probably would not have made any more changes, but now the players get an opportunity. I have to make some changes, and now they are fighting for opportunities to see who can step up to the plate this weekend.”
Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s 2019 season.