FC Cincinnati will look to roll out the red carpet for itself in the team’s first home matchup since winning the 2023 Supporters Shield over the weekend. Following the conclusion of the Wednesday matchup against New York Red Bulls and former FCC #1 pick Frankie Amaya, no matter the result, FCC will be presented with the 2023 Supporters Shield.
However, a celebration is always better with a win and I’m sure head coach Pat Noonan will look to give the FCC faithful something to cheer about during the 90-minute preamble. While I expect Lucho Acosta and the rest of the most important players to feature at the matchup’s conclusion, I think Noonan will begin the game with a heavily rotated squad.
Noonan will look to mix staying on top of the team’s chemistry and rhythm while also making sure to keep the side healthy and well-rested. That begins on Wednesday.
As the season has rolled on, new FCC signing Aaron Boupendza has started to seriously look like what fans and management were hoping for, especially alongside his chemistry with Acosta. In eight games played, Boupendza has scored five times. Not only that, but he has played multiple passes that easily could have been assists were it for better finishing.
It was also nice to finally get back both Matt Miazga and Yerson Mosquera into the lineup, with Ian Murphy also showing up well as the third center-back. While FCC did allow two goals in the match, one of them was a howler that can be squarely placed on Roman Celentano’s shoulders.
I was still mostly happy with how the defense performed, however, and had the howler not happened, I honestly believe FCC would have pitched a shutout.
New York Red Bulls are currently 12th on the Eastern Conference table with a record of 8-10-13. Red Bulls have scored 30 goals on the season and allowed 38, compared to FCC’s 53 and 35, respectively.
The Red Bulls defending, judging by the statistics, show a team that should at least be in the playoff picture. However, their scoring record is abysmal, as it is third-worst in all of Major League Soccer, only in front of the Colorado Rapids and Toronto FC.
Four years later and Red Bulls are still looking to replace club talisman Bradley Wright-Phillips. The team’s leading goalscorer, Omir Fernandez, only has six on the season, with former FCC midfielder Amaya on four so far. Red Bulls don’t even have a player on the team with more than five assists, with both John Tolkin and Amaya on five apiece.
If FCC allows more than one goal in the matchup, something has gone terribly wrong. In Red Bulls’ last 15 matches, they have only scored more than once three times, twice with two goals and once with a staggering five-spot on D.C. United. However, that five-spot also came only a short two matches ago.
Whoscored.com said that New York Red Bulls’ strengths include winning aerial duels, protecting the lead and stealing the ball from the opposition.
The site also said the team’s weaknesses include finishing their scoring chances, keeping possession of the ball and avoiding individual errors.
Whoscored.com also said Red Bulls’ style of play includes playing long balls, attempting crosses often and playing aggressive defensively.