CONCACAF Champions Cup

FCC hosts C.F. Monterrey (and Brandon Vazquez) in the CCC RO16

Brandon Vazquez returns to TQL Stadium this time as White and Blue.


FC Cincinnati is in its first campaign in the Concacaf Champions Cup. In the team’s first-round matchup against Cavalier FC of the Jamaican Premier League, the club won 6-0 on aggregate.

In the initial draw, the club was conveniently placed near CF Monterrey, who advanced over Comunicaciones. Now, they must face each other in the Round of 16.

The two will play in a two-legged match, with the first leg being at home on March 7 and the second being away at Estadio BBVA on March 14.

It is a match on the highest stage in North America and one that will most certainly deliver.


Rayados, as they are commonly known, were busy in the winter window, signing Jorge Rodriguez, Tony Leone and Gerardo Arteaga. Their biggest signing, however, was Brandon Vazquez, our club-legend striker who departed after four seasons.

Their new additions, combined with the quality they already had, have made them very successful. They’re unbeaten through 10 matches in the Torneo Clausura, and with 22 points, are tied for the top of the table.

Rayados are led by first-year head coach Fernando Ortiz, who employs an offensive, dominating and versatile style of play. That has proved well for him and his side.

In this half of the season, they’ve dominated possession in 83 percent of their games, and have outshot their opponents 66 percent of the time. They’ve used a variety of formations, having played in a 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1 and 3-5-2.

The dominance in play makes them a tough opponent, but their varied structure is even tougher to face.


The Knifey Lions started the season less knifey than usual, but a lot of that can be attributed to the early season and a lack of chemistry with the new starters.

The team got a 6-0 victory over Cavalier in CCC. Then, they played to a 0-0 stalemate against Toronto. On Saturday, they got back to winning ways with a 2-1 result over Chicago, and in that match, the seasonal issues looked fixed. 

That is a positive sign for the continental encounter on Thursday.

Noonan has stuck to the 3-4-1-2 this season, and even with the new additions, has consistently employed the sustainable, balanced style of play that propelled them to the top. 

In this early part of the season, they haven’t conceded any open play goals, have dominated possession in every match but the Chicago one and have outshot their opponents in every match.

Despite the seasonal issues they’ve faced, FCC is more than capable of being a tough opponent for Rayados.


Rayados have been brilliant this season, but the Orange & Blue haven’t yet been at that level. Still, though, a lot of that can be attributed to the early season.

Rayados possesses quality and that is obviously worrying. Their aforementioned style, with dominance of play and varied structure, will be hard for the club to face. It’s unpredictable and chaotic, which is in stark contrast to Noonan-Ball. 

Despite that, the club has found its familiar form and ison an upward trend.

We can expect a very competitive match, with both sides holding nothing back. Rayados will be off to their usual shenanigans and Cincinnati will be trying to maintain that familiar form.

Oh, and we’re going to see Brandon Vazquez’s homecoming, just two months after his move.

When: Thursday, March 7, 7 p.m. ET

Where: TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

How to Watch: FS2

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