FC Cincinnati goes away to Orlando City

Photo by Joe Craven.

FC Cincinnati is set to go on two road trips, the first of which is being played against Orlando City at Inter & Co Stadium.

Last season, this match would’ve been seen as a contest between two top teams of the East. This season, though, both teams have gotten off to a staggered start, but they are still looking to the top.

FCC won its match at the Teek against Colorado last weekend, and Orlando lost at home to Herdman’s Toronto FC.


Orlando City’s start to the season is one of the more surprising stories in the East.

Last season, the Lions finished just six points from the Garys in the Supporters’ Shield Standings. But they’re near the bottom (13th place) this season, with only two wins in nine matches and a -6 goal differential.

Out of six matches at home, they’ve gotten two wins. They’ve also scored only 11 goals, which is tied for the third-fewest scored in the league. They’ve also conceded 17, which is the second-most in the league.

It is confusing to see them so low, especially after the offseason they had. They bolstered their defense (which already had Robin Jansson and Rodrigo Schlegel in it) with David Brekalo, and added impressive attackers in Luis Muriel and Nicolás Lodeiro. They also signed Iván Angulo on a permanent deal.

Under Óscar Pareja (who is one of the East’s best coaches), they try to play a dominant, attacking style that keeps the ball on the ground. 

So, why the slow start? Perhaps, it is the unpredictability of MLS.

What is true is that despite their staggered start, Orlando will still be a very hard opponent. The same unpredictability that has them at the bottom is stopping us from being confident about this match.


The Orange & Blue are starting to pick up where they left off.

They sit in second place and have won their last two matches. The last match, especially, was one of the best wins of the season. They pulled off a dominant victory against a Colorado team that likes to press.

The goalscoring problem also looks like it’s in the process of being fixed, with the club having scored at least two goals in their last two matches. They also added a target-man striker in Kevin Kelsy to complement the attack, and he is eligible to make his debut in this match.

As has been mentioned before, the defense has been immense. They’ve conceded nine goals, which is tied for the lowest in the league. 

All of this makes them likely to win, but don’t forget about the unpredictability of MLS.


On Orlando’s side, there is one player who has excelled for them this season: Duncan McGuire.

The American striker, who could’ve moved to Blackburn Rovers this winter, has been scoring at an even better rate than last season. He has five goals in 11 matches, making him the Lion’s top scorer in all competitions.

He is in good form as well, having scored a goal in the previous match. He is the easy pick for their player to watch.

On Cincinnati’s side, there would be one obvious option for a player to watch: Lucho Acosta. The problem with that is that we can’t pick him every week. Instead, there was a player last week who seems to have found his form, and that’s Corey Baird.

Baird was an offseason addition who didn’t have a great start to the season. Last week though, he assisted Lucho’s goal and scored his first for the club, a chip over Zach Steffan. He was the game changer.

If he continues this form, he’ll be the game changer again.


It does feel repetitive to say to expect a hard-fought match, but it’s the truth. 

Orlando is trying to get itself out of 13th place, and they have a quality team that can help them do so. Cincinnati has been looking very good in these last few matches, but they’re still an unfinished team.

This match has been very physical in the past, so expect more of that. Despite not being rivals in the table at this point in the season, that competitive nature will doubtlessly carry over. 

It won’t be an easy match for Lucho and Co., but if they play as they have been, they should get a positive result.

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