2024 Match Reports

Nashville SC stuns FCC and breaks winning streak with 2-0 victory

Photo: Anders Saling

FC Cincinnati saw its seven-game win streak come to an end at the hands of Nashville SC, losing for only the second time this season at home, 2-0.

The match started with FCC holding a solid attacking advantage. A fifth-minute run into the box saw Luca Orellano take a shot with pace at frame but Joe Willis was there to make the save. The following attacking series for FCC was extinguished by a lack of awareness to open players around the field. Frustration appeared to have crept in early for the Orange and Blue.

The next big opportunity came when Obinna Nwobodo gained possession in the 20th minute and sprung the counterattack. After playing the ball to Luciano Acosta, Nwobodo got the pass back and was off to the races in open space. Just before reaching the endline, Nwobodo crossed the ball back in front of frame. Kevin Kelsy was there to receive it and uncorked a shot that went straight at Willis. The momentum fizzled out and Nashville was able to win possession.

Nashville opened the scoring sheet in the 25th minute when a corner kick found Jack Maher. Maher did well to dive out and get his head on the ball to redirect it into the net. The marking was pretty poor from FCC as it appeared that both Miles Robinson and Matt Miazga went with Walker Zimmerman and Nick Hagglund lost him in the chaos.

Nashville wasn’t satisfied with gaining the lead and bunkering, as was all too common under former head coach Gary Smith. In the 29th minute, a poor back pass from Dado Valenzuela was intercepted by Dru Yearwood and the ball fell to Hany Mukhtar. Nashville was then off on a counter. Mukhtar drove the ball straight at FCC’s backline, forcing the defense to collapse on the former MLS MVP. Mukhtar held the ball as long as he could before passing it out to Jacob Shaffelburg. Shaffelburg ripped his first touch off the foot of Roman Celentano into the net.

Facing unfamiliar territory, FCC was down 2-0 with just over 60 minutes to play. The Orange and Blue had several more chances to bring the score closer. In the 34th minute, there were two such chances. An Acosta cross found DeAndre Yedlin at the far post. Yedlin headed the ball down at the foot of Kelsy but, unfortunately, Kelsy lost his footing and misfired the shot wide. Seconds later. Pavel Bucha delivered a laser shot but it too went wide of frame.

The second half held a few more precious opportunities for FCC to cut the lead. The 63rd minute was perhaps the best opportunity. Another Acosta cross found Kelsy in the box. Kelsy laid it off for Sergio Santos who cracked a shot straight at the arms of Willis for another save.

With the rain starting to come down and fans heading to the exits, FCC found no late-match heroics. When the final whistle sounded, FCC was handed its first defeat since April 13th.

FCC manager Pat Noonan shared his remarks on the match.

“A disappointing night. Credit to Nashville.” Noonan said, “I thought they did a good job with getting in front with a set piece goal and then you know punishing us in that transition moment and they defended the box in a nice way. So, they certainly deserve the credit for the win tonight. On our end, there were certainly plenty that we could do better. I think that was clear from how we allowed that first goal, just switching off on a throw-in and allowing the set piece, the corner, and then how we turned the ball over for the second goal. At that point, you’re in a hole. Plenty of game left, and I thought there were enough opportunities there to get a goal and get momentum. But our final product tonight is kind of indicative of how the game played out. So, we’ll take the result and then try to move into the break and come back in a positive way.”

FC Cincinnati will now have over two weeks until the team’s next match on the road at San Jose. This break in the schedule is due to the FIFA International Break which will allow players to compete with their respective national teams. Miles Robinson is one such player who will be suiting up for the US Men’s National Team for their international friendlies against Colombia and Brazil.


CIN: None

NSH: 25’ Jack Maher, 29’ Jacob Shaffelburg


CIN: Roman Celentano, Luca Orellano (Bret Halsey 81’), Miles Robinson, Matt Miazga, Nick Hagglund (Yamil Asad 55’), DeAndre Yedlin, Pavel Bucha, Obinna Nwobodo (Malik Pinto 87’), Luciano Acosta (C), Kevin Kelsy, Gerardo Valenzuela (Sergio Santos 55’)

Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Alvas Powell, Kipp Keller, Ian Murphy, Stiven Jimenez

NSH: Joe Willis, Daniel Lovitz, Jack Maher, Walker Zimmerman (C) (Brent Kallman 66’), Shaq Moore (Josh Bauer 46’), Dru Yearwood (Anibal Godoy 78’), Tah Brian Anunga, Jacob Shaffelburg (Tyler Boyd 66’), Hany Mukhtar, Alex Muyl, Teal Bunbury

Substitutes not used: Elliot Panicco, Amar Sejdic, Sam Surridge, Forster Ajago, Taylor Washington

 Next Match

MLS Regular Season – at San Jose Quakes – Saturday, June 16th 10:30 PM – AppleTV+

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