FC Cincinnati coach Ron Jans compared the team to the Pirates of the Caribbean last week. Knowing it was out of the playoffs, the team now played to plunder treasure in the form of points from the opposing teams and to be spoilers. There wasn’t any treasure to be had, though, as the Orange and Blue suffered a 5-1 defeat Saturday at Nippert Stadium at the hands of Toronto.
Jans made eight changes to the lineup. Four players, Allan Cruz, Derrick Etienne Jr., Alvas Powell and Kendall Waston were all unavailable having been called up to their respective national teams. Fanendo Adi, Victor Ulloa, Maikel van der Werff and Spencer Richey were unavailable because of injury, and Kekuta Manneh was absent because of a red card suspension. Frankie Amaya and Mathieu Deplagne both returned from injury to help fill up the 18. Tommy McCabe and Joseph-Claude Gyau both got their first MLS starts.
Whatever the lineup, though, one thing is consistent. FC Cincinnati is not doing well on the pitch. In the first 30 minutes of the game, the Orange and Blue struggled to effectively clear the ball at critical moments, and unmarked Toronto players capitalized quickly. By the 28th minute, the score was 3-0 and the game was effectively over. Toronto managed to net two more in the second half, again when FCC struggled to get the ball out of its box. In the final minutes of the game, VAR helped with a call missed by the referee, and FC Cincinnati was awarded a penalty kick that kept it from being shut out at home.
It was an emotional night for Emmanuel Ledesma. After scoring his stoppage-time penalty kick, he displayed his undershirt with “I’m going to miss you dad” written on it.
“To my father that on Thursday passed away,” Ledesma said about the goal and celebration. “He was in Argentina and I’ve lost him. I dedicate it to him, who’s never seen me play soccer, not even when I was a child, due to circumstances in life. That’s what happens when you play with time. I was thinking about bringing him next year so that he could see me. Due to circumstances in life, he had surgery about a month ago and could not travel. I was thinking about bringing him over next year so that he could see me play for the first time, but that happens when you play with time. You don’t play with time. Time has taken him away from me and today I mourn him. I think that somewhere in heaven he is watching me and I want to dedicate this goal to him.”
By the Numbers:
- In the first half, FCC only had one shot. Toronto had five shots, three on target. All three hit the back of the net.
- In the second half, FCC tallied seven shots. Toronto took eight.
- FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tytoń made no saves. Toronto counterpart Quentin Westberg made three saves.
- Cincinnati had less than 40% of the possession.
- Cincinnati has only been shut out once in the last 12 games.
- FCC is the first team to start three MLS Super Draft picks this season.
FC Cincinnati vs. Toronto FC
Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati — Attendance 25,339
Result: Toronto FC 5, FC Cincinnati 1
FC Cincinnati Starting XI:
Przemysław Tytoń (GK), Mathieu Deplagne, Nick Hagglund, Greg Garza, Andrew Gutman, Tommy McCabe, Caleb Stanko, Frankie Amaya 71’, Joseph-Claude Gyau, Rashawn Dally 45′, Roland Lamah 45′
Bench: Jimmy Hague, Fatai Alashe 71’, Leonardo Bertone, Corben Bone, Justin Hoyte, Emmanuel Ledesma 45′, Darren Mattocks 45′
Toronto FC Starting XI:
Quentin Westberg (GK), Laurent Ciman, Omar Gonzalez, Auro 67’, Nick DeLeon 71’, Marky Delgado, Nicolas Benezet, Erickson Gallardo 56’, Michael Bradley, Alejandro Pozuelo, Patrick Mullins
Bench: Alex Bono, Jozy Altidore, Tsubasa Endoh 56’, Drew Moor, Ashtone Morgan 67’, Jacob Shaffelburg, Eriq Zavaleta 71’
TOR – 10′ Patrick Mullins (Marky Delgado)
TOR – 21′ Nick DeLeon
TOR – 28′ Marky Delgado (Alejandro Pozuelo)
TOR – 63′ Michael Bradley (Tsubasa Endoh, Alejandro Pozuelo)
TOR – 85′ Nicolas Benezet
CIN – 90+2′ Emmanuel Ledesma (penalty)
TOR – 23′ Michael Bradley (caution)
TOR – 72′ Eriq Zavaleta (caution)
CIN – 81′ Fatai Alashe (caution)
TOR – 87′ Eriq Zavaleta (caution/ejection)
at Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Stade Saputo, Montreal