FC Cincinnati will look to solidify its playoff spot in its final regular season home matchup of the season on Saturday night against Chicago Fire FC.
FCC is coming off a late-night draw against Seattle Sounders on Tuesday, one in which the squad had a few chances to win. The team was able to get a point from this match, helping its chances, but a win would have allowed FCC to clinch the playoff spot all by itself on Saturday.
FCC didn’t look at its best during the Tuesday matchup against Seattle, and whether that was the turf, the travel, time in between matches or anything else, the team will need to improve on itself to get the win this weekend.
The biggest factor in the equation is Brandon Vazquez’s fall and Brenner’s rise. The Brazilian has become the team’s go-to player, bagging six goals in his last three matches for FCC, while Vazquez hasn’t scored for FCC in the regular season since the August 27 match against Columbus Crew SC. Brenner is also only one goal behind Vazquez on the season. Yes, it is good that Brenner is picking up the slack on Vazquez, but FCC will need both forwards firing on all cylinders if it wants to move forward into the latter parts of the MLS calendar.
However, one part of the team that has been doing its part is the defense. FCC has not allowed more than one goal in a match since August 27 against the Crew. This is a huge factor as to why FCC has been able to tally up points. The team has been able to stay in matches and get all of the chances it needs to either win or draw. A massive reason for that is the arrival of Matt Miazga and the rise of Roman Celentano. Both of those two have been huge factors in allowing the team to do everything it needs to get that possible playoff spot.
Chicago Fire FC is currently 12th on the Eastern Conference table with a record of 9-8-15 and a point total of 35. Chicago has scored 35 goals and allowed 45, in comparison to FCC, who has scored 57 this season and allowed 51.
Chicago’s leading player on the season is Xherdan Shaqiri, who has tallied up the most goals and assists for the team, with him bagging seven goals and 11 assists. Shaqiri will, obviously, be the main player that FCC will need to contain if it wants to win the matchup.
WhoScored.com said Chicago Fire FC’s strengths include stealing the ball from the opposition, creating long-shot opportunities and winning aerial duels.
The site also said the team’s weaknesses include keeping possession of the ball, finishing its scoring chances and avoiding fouling in dangerous areas.
WhoScored.com also said the team’s style of play includes attacking down the left, playing the offsides trap and having the opponents play aggressively against them.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
In-Market Video Stream: fccincinnati.com
Out-of-Market Video Stream: ESPN+
Local Radio: ESPN 1530
Audio Stream: iHeart Radio app