2024 Match Reports

Garden Statement: FC Cincinnati no longer undefeated, toppled by New York Red Bulls 2-1

Photo by Anders Saling

Once could be considered a random occurrence, but twice could be considered a trend.

FC Cincinnati entered Saturday’s matchup against New York Red Bulls undefeated, only to suffer its first MLS loss of the season. Despite an early goal from Yuya Kubo and a mammoth penalty-kick save from Evan Louro, the Orange & Blue bowed for the first time this season from a 2-1 loss at home.

Cincinnati (3-3-1, 12 pts.) entered the match facing the Red Bulls (4-2-1, 14 pts.) for the sixth time in 12 months, losing only once to New York last season. However, their last MLS regular season defeat was that loss to the Red Bulls at home last October, a similar 2-1 score line.

Both teams approached Saturday after late 1-1 draws the past week. Cincinnati pulled out their result with a late goal over Charlotte FC, while New York stumbled at the end at Orlando City SC.

FCC started a familiar formation with tweaks and needed adjustments. Goalkeeper Roman Celentano missed his first start of the season with an ankle injury picked up from the last match against Charlotte FC. Evan Louro made his first MLS start in his place, facing the team he once called his own.

Yuya Kubo and Kipp Keller also started in place of Corey Baird and Nick Hagglund, who both occupied positions on the bench. Yamil Asad made his first appearance on the roster since his signing last week.

The Red Bulls’ formation hung mostly on the health of midfielder Emil Forsberg, who missed  last match with a hamstring concern. He returned to the lineup to produce a healthy Starting XI for a New York team that needed the offense after a 1-1 draw against Orlando last weekend.

First blood was drawn by the Orange & Blue. Luciano Acosta keyed an attack in the third minute that produced a shot by DeAndre Yedlin. The rebound went to Acosta, who looped a cross to Kubo on the far post. His header was good for his second goal of the season and an early 1-0 lead.

Plenty of time was left for drama, and it started with a familiar name.

New York’s press produced an equalizer in the 19th minute. Dante Vanzeir tapped a pass to midfielder Frankie Amaya atop the box. The former FCC player drove a one-timer past Louro to knot the score at 1-1. The goal was Amaya’s first of the season and second against his old club.

While New York owned much of the first-half possession (60/40), the biggest opportunities may have been in Cincinnati’s favor. Luca Orellano almost opened his account, hitting the top of the woodwork in the 23rd minute.

It appeared that New York had their golden opportunity at the end of the first half. Matt Miazga was whistled for a foul in the box for holding an opponent during a corner kick during stoppage time. However, Louro guessed correctly on Lewis Morgan’s penalty kick, saving it with his left arm to keep the game 1-1 at halftime.

“I kinda went with my gut a little bit,” Louro said after the match. “We obviously do videos on penalties and stuff like that, and Paul (Rogers) and Simon (Wigley) do an unbelievable job in preparing us. I’m not going to say I went against it a little bit, but I just felt something in my gut. If I missed it because I followed my gut, I could live with that, and fortunately, I got a piece of it.”

While the save was the biggest headline, FCC was statistically behind in the match at halftime. New York owned advantages in shots (5/8) and shots on goal (3/4) in the first half.

While Cincinnati started the second half on the front foot, New York took the lead after stabilizing the offense. Vanzeir managed to skirt the defense on a feed from Forsberg in the box. Louro got a hand on Vanzeir’s shot, only for the ball to slide behind him into the goal.

Vanzeir’s first goal of the year made it 2-1.

FCCwas not able to find much more offense for the last 30 minutes. The last opportunity was a buckling shot from Gerardo Valenzuela in the 81st minute that Carlos Coronel palmed away.

The 2-1 loss is Cincinnati’s first loss of the season, pushing the team down to fifth in the standings. New York currently finds itself atop the Eastern Conference after their fourth win of the season.

Head coach Pat Noonan did not mince words in the post-match conference.

“Probably our poorest performance of the year,” he said. “That was disappointing in front of our home fans to not be able to get something more after a really good start, which was a short about of time. For the game as a whole, we were really poor. Just a lot of struggles within the group to have guys step up and play better, and it starts with me. It’s not just one player. As a group right now, we’re not good enough.”

FCC will have to recover from its first loss on the road next Saturday against a CF Montreal side finally returning to their home stadium after a six-match away spell. New York will return to Red Bull Arena to face Chicago Fire FC.

Match #7 – FC Cincinnati vs. New York Red Bulls
TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Attendance: 25,513
Result: FC Cincinnati 1, New York Red Bulls 2


FC Cincinnati Starting XI (3-5-2):

Evan Louro (GK); Miles Robinson, Matt Miazga, Kipp Keller (Ian Murphy 46’); DeAndre Yedlin, Obinna Nwobodo (Corey Baird 63’), Luciano Acosta (c), Pavel Bucha (Gerardo Valenzuela 75’), Luca Orellano (Yamil Asad 85’); Aaron Boupendza (Sergio Santos 74’), Yuya Kubo.

Bench: Alec Kann, Alvas Powell, Nick Hagglund, Malik Pinto.

New York Red Bulls Starting XI (4-4-2):

Carlos Coronel (GK); Dylan Nealis, Andres Reyes, Sean Nealis, John Tolkin (Kyle Duncan 66’); Wikelman Carmona (Noah Elie 88’), Peter Stroud, Frankie Amaya, Emil Forsberg (c) (Daniel Edelman 78’); Lewis Morgan (Serge Ngoma 88’), Dante Vanzeir (Elias Manoel 67’).

Bench: Ryan Meara, Dennis Gjengaar, Julian Zakrzewski, Cameron Harper.

Scoring Summary:

CIN – Yuya Kubo 3’ (Acosta)
RBNY – Frankie Amaya 19’ (Vanzeir)
RBNY – Dante Vanzeir 60’ (Forsberg)

YC – Obinna Nwobodo 32’ (CIN, foul)
YC – Matt Miazga 45+4’ (CIN, foul)
YC – Frankie Amaya 70’ (RBNY, foul)
YC – Luca Orellano 74’ (CIN, foul)
YC – Serge Ngoma 90+5’ (RBNY, foul)

Next up:
at C.F. Montreal, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 13th, Saputo Stadium (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

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