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Player Ratings: Cincinnati, March 1st

SOCCER: MAR 01 MLS - New York Red Bulls v FC Cincinnati Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

David Jensen - 6.5

Jensen was mobile and communicative in the back and even wore a neat hat for the second half. Though he was nutmegged after being hung out to dry for Jurgen Locadia’s debut goal, Jensen largely neutralized Cincinnati’s isolated breakouts.

Kyle Duncan - 8

Another eventful performance from the right back, who found plenty of space in the attack as Cincinnati became bunched and confused in the middle. Duncan made up for an early muffed finish by scoring the opener on a similar play. Though his touch and passing was occasionally erratic, the third year man won frequent duels on the side of defense (including a headed interception that sparked the sequence for the second goal), enough to earn a league player of the week nomination.

Tim Parker - 5.5

Though the second goal by Locadia was largely the product of fluke circumstances, it’s hard to rationalize Parker’s lost positioning on the Allan Cruz goal that opened the second half. Largely quiet on the ball as RBNY found space higher up the field easily.

Amro Tarek - 6

Tarek at least made a better effort tracking back on the Cruz goal and was otherwise serviceable in clearance and distribution while understudying for the hobbled Aaron Long.

Patrick Seagrist - 6.5

The rookie from Marquette did not look out of place in his debut, showing sound positioning and the ability to distribute from his left back spot, though his lack of burst on overlaps was noticeable after years of watching Kemar Lawrence participate in the same moves.

Sean Davis - 6.5

Davis was surelyy glad to grab a win on his first day as captain. However despite the free-form midfield positioning of the 4-2-2-2 leading to increased involvement for Davis in the final third, his presence as a midfield tranquilizer largely disappeared in stretches of the second half as Cincinnati clawed back into the game.

Cristian Casseres Jr - 6.5

Casseres appeared to play in almost a pulley system with Davis, popping up all over the field. Though he wasn’t a direct participant in the goals, his energy and bite in the middle helped free up the lethal overlapping play of the fullbacks.

Florian Valot - 8

It was a return that will excite any Red Bull fans. After essentially two years on the sidelines with knee setbacks, the French midfield linker was energetic and visionary in the final third, providing the set up on each of the first few goals and actively contributing to the press.

Kaku - 7

Though his production decreased as the game carried on, Kaku wasted no time in 2020 reminding fans and critics of his quality. His finish for the second goal was essentially a through ball into the net after a clever diagonal run that was hopefully a sign of more to come from the Paraguay man’s role in the 4-2-2-2.

Brian White - 6.5

Despite not getting on the score sheet, White set the tone at the top of the press with constant running and played a key role in the dragging around of Cincinnati’s defense that led to the first two goals.

Daniel Royer - 7.5

Though his dribbling finish in the 70th minute put the game away, the afternoon provided an excellent showcase of how the 4-2-2-2 may compliment Royer’s talents as a creator. Deployed with White as part of the front two, Royer was the main target for entry passes and his flicks and dummies frequently created danger. After years of seeing Royer’s flair isolated on the sides of the pitch, he may have found a role more congruent to his game.

Subsititutes - no grades

Marc Rzatkowski and Josh Sims did their part in high pressing roles as the team preserved the lead late, while striker Tom Barlow saw a chance gobbled up and was otherwise quiet besides a scary clash of heads with FCC’s Kendall Waston that both emerged from unscathed.