Brandon Vazquez (FC Cincinnati) – Scout Report

Brandon Vazquez is a 23-year-old striker who plays for F.C Cincinnati in MLS. Vazquez joined Cincinnati in 2019 when he was traded from Atlanta United. Vazquez was a bit of a late bloomer. He struggled to nail down a consistent starting spot at Cincinnati, despite strong performances when he got on the pitch, until last season. It is also worth noting that Cincinnati, since joining MLS in 2019, has been one of the worst sides in the League. They finished last in the supporter’s shield race three years running from 2019-2021. So Vazquez’s ability to score non-penalty goals at a rate of one every two games for them is all the more impressive. Vazquez is eligible to represent both the United States and Mexico. He has played for both at the youth level but as yet has not made a senior appearance for either.

Vazquez, in many ways, is an old-school target man. He is big, fantastic in the air, and has great off-the-ball movement. Vasquez absolutely gobbles up crosses and cutbacks. This efficiency in the box is why he has been able to be a reliable scorer on such a poor team. Vazquez has quite good hold-up play.

Vazquez has a strong defensive work rate. Vazquez has been very willing to pressure opposing defenders for his whole career but playing for Cincinnati has forced him to track quite far back when defending. He’s not necessarily the most successful defender but he tries hard.

Vazquez is not the most gifted passer in the world but his size and strength allow him to serve as a pivot point in his team’s attack. You shouldn’t expect anything complex from his passing but he is more than capable of playing simple 1-2 passes. His first touch is not very good and his dribbling ability is only average. So if you are looking for a striker who is very involved in possession then Vazquez is probably not the best option for you. However, if you are looking for a striker whose main job is to win physical battles and finish off moves then Vazquez is one of the best in his price range.

Vazquez might not be the best striker in MLS (though he’s currently second in the golden boot race without taking penalties) but I think he might be the most undervalued. A slightly rocky start to his career prevented him from gathering the accolades that other MLS strikers like Daryl Dike, Ricardo Pepi, and Valentin Castellanos have been able to. But I think he could be very effective at a higher level in the right role. I would really like to see him sign with a big club in a top 15 European league. Someone like Celtic, Benfica, Ajax, etc. I think his off-the-ball movement and physicality could allow him to really excel at a club like that. But his mediocre technical skills might scare away clubs like that. But if a move like that is forthcoming, he has already shown he can be productive on a really bad team. If a European team is expecting a relegation battle and is looking for a physical striker they can launch 50 long balls/crosses a game too then they could do a lot worse than Vazquez.

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