Major League Soccer

Charlotte FC 2-0 FC Cincinnati player ratings: Swiderski brace delivers another win

Chris Smith
Swiderski was the star of the show again.
Swiderski was the star of the show again. / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Charlotte FC proved their first-ever MLS win was no fluke by beating FC Cincinnati 2-0 on Saturday.

With a reduced slate of games due to the international break, all eyes were on Miguel Angel Ramirez's side as they looked to build on that historic 3-1 victory over the New England Revolution last week.

And just as they did that night, Charlotte got to work quickly with Karol Swiderski firing home at the far post for 1-0 after just six minutes. The Poland international would double the lead after the break with an absolute scorcher of a free-kick - perhaps an early contender for Goal of the Season.

Cincinnati had their moments, too, and Charlotte have goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina to thank for the win. The Croatian stopper made a number of vital, acrobatic saves to hold onto his first MLS clean sheet. Luciano Acosta, Brandon Vazquez, Brenner, and Alvas Powell were all thwarted by the in-form goalkeeper.

This win sees Charlotte move up to eighth in the Eastern Conference, level with Cincy on six points. Read on for full player ratings from Saturday's match:


Charlotte FC player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Kristijan Kahlina (GK) - 9/10 - Made some huge and very impressive saves to keep a well-deserved clean sheet. Distribution was solid as usual. Charlotte FC have themselves a real one in goal.

Jaylin Lindsey (RB) - 6/10 - Didn't offer too much going forward but was solid enough defensively.

Guzman Corujo (CB) - 6/10 - Kept his defending simple, solid, and effective.

Christian Fuchs (CB) - 5/10 - Was bailed out by Kahlina for a bad mistake in the first half. Did well otherwise.

Joseph Mora (LB) - 7/10 - A little too narrow as Cincy created a chance down his side in the first half. But had Charlotte's left flank locked down other than that.

2. Midfielders

Derrick Jones (CDM) - 6/10 - Simplistic on the ball but mopped up well in front of his defense and drew plenty of fouls to relieve pressure.

Sergio Ruiz (CM) - 6/10 - Decent performance. The highlight was working his side out of a hole in their own half to start the move for the opening goal.

Jordy Alcivar (CM) - 7/10 - Moved the ball well in midfield and looked good under pressure.

3. Forwards

Daniel Rios (RW) - 6/10 - Once again, it wasn't about what Daniel Rios did himself, rather how he creates space for and connects with Swiderski. Does that thankless task very well. Missed a good chance to score for himself in the final quarter of the match.

Karol Swiderski (ST) - 9/10 - Crept in at the back post to make it 1-0 early on again, then hit an absolute rocket of a free-kick to double his side's lead after the break. Links play and leads the line brilliantly. Charlotte FC have struck gold with their first DP.

Ben Bender (LW) - 8/10 - Provided another assist for Swiderski to start the match and stayed dangerous and creative throughout. A great advert for the SuperDraft.

4. Substitutes

Cristian Ortiz (for Ruiz, 74 minutes) - 7/10 - Tidy with his passing and looked dangerous.

Brandt Bronico (for Jones, 74 minutes) - 6/10 - Got the job done.

Yordy Reyna (for Rios, 85 minutes) - 6/10 - Looked good in his short time on the pitch, tested Kann with an effort late on.

Harrison Afful (for Alcivar, 92 minutes) - N/A - Brought on for the final minute.

Anton Walkes (for Swiderski, 92 minutes) - N/A - As above.


FC Cincinnati player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Alec Kann (GK) - 7/10 - Maybe could have donebetter with Swiderski's free-kick, if we're being harsh. But came up with a couple of big saves to keep the score down.

Nick Hagglund (CB) - 6/10 - Got through a lot of defending and gobbled up every single aerial ball that came his way. Dragged out of position for the opening goal, though.

Geoff Cameron (CB) - 5/10 - Slow to react to the danger on the opening goal, should have covered for Hagglund.

Tyler Blackett (CB) - 4/10 - Had absolutely no idea where Swiderski was for the first goal.

6. Midfielders

Alvas Powell (RWB) - 5/10 - Given a lot of freedom to get forward and caused problems, but missed a great chance just before half-time.

Yuya Kubo (CM) - 7/10 - Worked very hard to give Cincinnati a foothold in midfield, disrupting Charlote's rhythm as much as he could.

Luciano Acosta (CAM) - 7/10 - Fluffed a couple of chances but once again proved an immensely effective creative outlet. Should have been rewarded with a couple of assists but his teammates didn't bring their shooting boots. Tested Kahlina with a wicked effort just before half-time.

Junior Moreno (CM) - 6/10 - Battled hard with Kubo in the heart of midfield.

Alvaro Barreal (LWB) - 6/10 - Unlucky to be taken out of the game just before the hour mark after a lively performance.

7. Forwards

Dom Badji (ST) - 5/10 - A couple of bright moments but far too quiet.

Brandon Vazquez (ST) - 3/10 - Missed a massive chance to equalize in the first half, being denied one-on-one by Kahlina. Struggled to get into the game thereafter.

8. Substitutes

Brenner (for Barreal, 59 minutes) - 7/10 - Tested Kahlina with a dangerous, low effort and added life to the Cincy attack.

Raymon Gaddis (for Powell, 59 minutes) - 4/10 - Sloppy and a little suspect defensively.

Haris Medunjanin (for Moreno, 78 minutes) - 7/10 - Used the ball well and passed with purpose.

Allan Cruz (for Kubo, 83 minutes) - 5/10 - Couldn't get into the game.

Nick Markanich (for Badji, 83 minutes) - 5/10 - Couldn't reach a tempting Brenner cross and struggled to get going.

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