Deeper Cuts: Deplagne, xG, Adi & International Absentees

Image: Ryan Meyer

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.

Mathieu Deplagne

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.

His Audi Index score was higher than any player in the match and he was the man of the match based on statistics tracked by Whoscored.com.

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.

TRANSFER: Deplagne Bolsters Defense with Ligue 1 Experience

Mathieu Deplagne brings years of experiece from the French top flight to FC Cincinnati to bolster the right side of the defense.

Photo Credit: 34 super héros  Creative Commons License

Mathieu Deplagne
Age 27
Position: Defender – Right-Back
From: Montpellier, France (international spot)
Former team: ES Troyes AC, Ligue 2 France
Market Value: $1.4M
Deal: International transfer – terms not disclosed
Tranfermarkt Profile

Mathieu Deplagne joins FC Cincinnati as a veteran right-back who hit his prime during a long stint in the French first division with Montpellier HSC. He made 100 Ligue 1 appearances for his hometown club between 2012 and 2017. Interestingly, the Montpellier native was playing with MHSC when they surprised France and won Ligue 1 in 2012. However, he didn’t make any appearances in that campaign as a 21-year-old, his first year as a professional.

Similar to Przemysłav Tytoń’s situation in La Coruña, Deplagne joined Troyes as a Ligue 1 side, but they were relegated to Ligue 2 after the ’17/’18 season. This season, the fullback only logged 180 minutes with Troyes in the second division before joining FC Cincinnati.

We touched base with Hady Raphaël, proprietor of MLS en Folie, a French-language website dedicated to coverage of America’s first division. Hady is also a dedicated follower of Ligue 1 and a podcaster covering Olympique de Marseille. Raphaël had the following to say about Deplagne.

“In 2013-2014, Deplagne established himself as a first team regular in Montpellier before joining Troyes in 2017. His experience in Ligue 1 will be an asset for Cincinnati since he played over 100 games there. He’s more of a defensive right-back but does go forward from time to time, so you will see him on the bylines but not much in the box. Fanendo Adi should be happy to have him there since Deplagne has good crossing abilities.”

When asked why Troyes was willing to part with Deplagne, Hady stated that it was clear that Deplagne was not in the manager’s plans, perhaps because of a “minor problem” with “loss of concentration” in defense (Raphaël’s opinion). It also stands to reason that Deplagne wants to play first-division football and was originally on a first-division contract at Troyes, so the player’s ambitions and finances may be part of the equation.

Alan Koch had the following to say about Deplagne’s arrival in the Queen City.

“We look forward to adding a player of Mathieu’s caliber to our organization. He has played in matches against some of the best clubs in the world and has a history of success on the pitch. We are excited to see him embrace a new challenge here in Cincinnati.”

FC Cincinnati has also been heavily linked with Portland Timbers right back, Alvas Powell. Between Deplagne and Hoyte, the right side of the Orange & Blue’s defense seems to be buttoned-up heading into the 2019 season. It will be interesting to see if Deplagne’s arrival means that the pursuit of Powell is over, or whether the Jamaican may still be in Alan Koch’s plans.

Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for continued coverage of FC Cincinnati’s MLS roster build.

Photo Credit: 34 super héros  Creative Commons License