FC Cincinnati 0-0 Toronto FC: Player ratings as the Reds impress in first game of John Herdman era | OneFootball

FC Cincinnati 0-0 Toronto FC: Player ratings as the Reds impress in first game of John Herdman era | OneFootball

Icon: 90min


·25 February 2024

FC Cincinnati 0-0 Toronto FC: Player ratings as the Reds impress in first game of John Herdman era

Article image:FC Cincinnati 0-0 Toronto FC: Player ratings as the Reds impress in first game of John Herdman era

Toronto FC opened the John Herdman era with a 0-0 draw against FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium.

The first half saw the Canadian side look a completely different team when compared to the one we saw in 2023. John Herdman, in his first game as TFC head coach, implemented a back-three that saw wingbacks Richie Laryea and Federico Bernardeschi look threatening early on.

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The first 45 also saw Laryea trip over himself in Cincinnati's penalty area to try to earn a penalty kick after being tripped up by Obinna Nwobodo, as Lorenzo Insigne forced Roman Celentano into action after an impressive free-kick strike. FCC's Corey Baird lined up an overhead kick from close range, but his effort was tipped over by Sean Johnson.

It was the same story after the restart, with Toronto dominating possession while Cincinnati picked up scraps in transition to kickstart counter-attacks. Johnson was called to action a few times to keep the game in a 0-0 deadlock.

Cincinnati had brief flashes where they looked like the team that lifted the 2023 Supporters' Shield, but Toronto were the more impressive side and will be delighted to take home a point in their first game under former Canada men's national team boss John Herdman.

FC Cincinnati Player ratings ( 3-4-1-2 )

Miles Robinson made his FCC debut / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

GK: Roman Celentano - 7/10 - Denied Insigne with an impressive save at his near post but wasn't called into action for much of the game.

CB: Kipp Keller - 6.5/10 - Stepped in to make a few key clearances at the back.

CB: Miles Robinson - 6.5/10 - A quiet debut for the former Atlanta United figure as he led the backline in Matt Miazga's absence.

CB: Ian Murphy - 6.5/10 - A quiet game from the left-sided defender, which is what you want from your center-back.

RM: Yuya Kubo - 6/10 - Looked out of sorts in a position he isn't used to playing.

CM: Pavel Bucha - 7/10 - Complimented Nwobodo nicely in the middle of the park on his MLS debut.

CM: Obinna Nwobodo - 7.5/10 - Excellent passing in tight spaces and he worked tirelessly to win the ball back for FCC.

LM: Luca Orellano - 6.5/10 - Got forward to make a few dangerous runs in opposition territory but still needs time to gain chemistry with his teammates.

AM: Lucho Acosta - 7/10 - The reigning MVP started slow and improved as the clock ticked, but Toronto's ability to keep hold of the ball meant he had limited chances to work his magic.

ST: Sergio Santos - 6/10 - Good passing in the final third but didn't make a huge impact in front of goal.

ST: Corey Baird - 7/10 - Needed to be sharper in the final third but his pressing and linkup play was solid.


SUB: Aaron Boupendza (58' for Santos) - 6/10 - Wasn't a threat up front but did well to create space out wide and send a couple of crosses in.

SUB: Alvas Powell (78' for Orellano) - N/A


Pat Noonan - 6/10 - No problems with his lineup, but he didn't try to make any impactful changes outside of bringing on Boupendza up front -- which didn't do much.

Toronto FC player ratings ( 3-4-2-1 )

Feb 25, 2024; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Toronto FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson (1) signals his team in the / Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports

GK: Sean Johnson - 7/10 - Produced arguably the save of the first matchday by reacting quickly to Corey Baird's overhead kick effort.

CB: Shane O'Neill - 6.5/10 - A few awkward moments in possesion but wasn't bad.

CB: Kevin Long - 7/10 - Didn't put a foot wrong in his MLS debut.

CB: Raoul Petretta - 6.5/10 - Solid for the most part but put his team under pressure with a careless challenge near his own box.

RM: Federico Bernardeschi - 7/10 - Looked more comfortable in a different role as a wing-back while also contributing on the defensive end.

CM: Deybi Flores - 8/10 - Cleaned up the loose balls in the midfield and did much of the dirty work to regain possession for his team. An outstanding MLS debut.

CM: Alonso Coello - 6/10 - The player neither helped nor hindered his side.

LM: Richie Laryea - 7.5/10 - Was everywhere on the left-wing for Toronto and looked dangerous each time he drove into FCC's penalty area.

AM: Jonathan Osorio - 7/10 - His first minutes as the team's new captain were shaky as he was booked, but he rebounded and got better as the game wore on.

AM: Lorenzo Insigne - 6.5/10 - Displayed some magic here and there but was inconsistent throughout with the lingering hamstring problem affecting him.

ST: Prince-Osei Owusu - 6/10 - Muted up front but had a few nice moments where he linked play together.


SUB: Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty (62' for Insigne) - 6.5/10 - Tried to make things happen upon coming on and threatened the FCC defense.

SUB: Ayo Akinola (73' for Owusu) - 6/10 - His touch failed him after coming off the bench.

SUB: Kobe Franklin (71' for Laryea) - 6/10 - Helped shore up the defense after coming on.

SUB: Kosi Thompson (71' for Coello) - 6/10 - Played his part in the latter stages to take home a point to BMO Field.


John Herdman - 8/10 - His Toronto team looked head and shoulders clear of last year's team. There was real intent to get something from the game with a more defensive system deployed, and Toronto fans have a lot to be excited about in the new season based off Matchday 1.

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