FCC 2 looks to extend winning streak to five against NYRB II

Photo: Courtney Nicole

FC Cincinnati 2 (5-3-1) looks to continue their club-record winning streak to five games on Sunday when the Orange and Blue 2 take on New York Red Bulls II (4-2-3) at Montclair State University Soccer Park in Montclair, New Jersey.

Cincinnati is coming off a 1-0 victory in the ‘Heck is Plausible’ derby against Columbus Crew 2, via a goal from Stefan Chirila, who has scored in back-to-back games for FCC 2.

The Red Bulls, who started the season going unbeaten in their first six games, have now lost four of their last five matches, coming off a 3-1 loss to Orlando City B.

The two sides met earlier this year in March at Scuadmore Stadium in Northern Kentucky. In that match, the opposition came away with a 3-2 victory over FCC 2 in a back-and-forth match. NYRB II striker Roald Mitchell scored a brace, including a 90th-minute winner which gave the Red Bulls all three points.

An FCC 2 win in Sunday’s affair would put the Orange and Blue in second place in the Eastern Conference, jumping NYRB II in third place, and also Philadelphia Union II in second.


This will only be the fourth meeting between FC Cincinnati 2 and New York Red Bulls II. The Red Bulls have won the first three matches against FCC 2 with an impressive 3-0-0 record, and have outscored the Orange and Blue 8-3 in those three games.


It’s hard to talk about NYRB II without discussing their homegrown striker and current MLS Next Pro Golden Boot leader, Mitchell. The New Jersey native has scored eight goals this season, including four goals in a 5-5 draw against Chicago Fire II in April.

Unfortunately, shortly after that match against Chicago, a knee injury surfaced for the star forward that has kept him out of action for the last month, as the injury will also make him unavailable come Sunday. His injury has been a big reason for the inconsistent form recently from the Red Bulls.

On a positive note, midfielder Ibrahim Kasule has been a bright spot in Mitchell’s absence. The Uganda native has scored four goals and also recorded two assists. He has scored in his last two matches and has won a starting spot in the team the past four games.

Midfielder Steven Sserwadda is the only player to have started and played all nine matches for The Red Bulls this season. He has been a crucial part of the midfield for the team.

NYRB II has also started four different goalkeepers this season, but the two mainstays have been 16-year-old Aidan Stokes and 17-year-old Alan Rutkowski who have played a combined seven games.

Interestingly enough, NYRB II is still looking for their first home win of the season, as all four of their victors have come on the road.


Things have been very good for FCC 2 in the four-straight winning streak. They have outscored opponents 10-3 and got their first shutout of the season last game against Columbus.

Chirila has been in good form as of late, scoring two goals and an assist, while forward Ben Stitz leads the team in assists with four to go along with his pair of goals. Right wing-back Amer Daley has had a great spell of games too, scoring three goals and three assists so far on the year, having also played the third-most minutes on the team.

Similar to the first team, the Orange and Blue have just been able to grind out results and have gotten good performances from their key players.

Consistency has not been an issue for FCC 2 as of late as it’s been in seasons past. You are seeing the same group of players get starts and play the majority of the matches, especially along the backline. Centerbacks Brian Schaefer and Isaish Foster have started every game, and London Aghedo has fit nicely in the left center-back spot. Goalkeeper Evan Louro is in great form as well.

Midfielder Peter Mangoine has been quietly very good this season too. He’s been the glue in the midfield for Cincinnati this season.

FCC 2 is a club that has been making history as of late, so a first-ever win against NYRB II would be fitting for the current run the team is on.


Ibrahim Kasule – #82, New York Red Bulls II

Kasule has been one of the more dangerous Red Bull attackers on the pitch, especially in Mitchell’s absence. Look for him to be the one creating chances for NYRB II and to also get on the end of them.

Steven Sserwadda – #65, New York Red Bulls II

As mentioned, Sserwadda is the only player to have started every game so far, with his ability to cover ground and move the ball up the field of paramount importance. He’s also not afraid to get stuck in some challenges and try to break up the opposition’s rhythm.

Peter Mangoine – #49, FC Cincinnati 2

Mangonie currently leads MLS Next Pro in key passes with 22. The former Penn State striker has adjusted well to his midfield role, so well that he has quickly become one of the most effective line-breaking passers in the league.

Brian Schaefer – #38, FC Cincinnati 2

For a team like the Red Bulls who build their identity on high-pressing and defensively having a high line, Schaefer is going to be important in organizing the backline and making sure Cincinnati can build out of the back effectively.


Kick-off for the match is set for 5:00 p.m. at MSU Soccer Park in New Jersey. You can watch along on

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