FCC 2 head to North Carolina to take on Carolina Core

Stefan Chirila celebrates his go-ahead goal, putting FCC 2 ahead 1-0. Photo by David Starcher.

For the first time, FC Cincinnati 2 (7-4-1) will travel down south to face off against Carolina Core (1-6-3). The Orange and Blue are coming off a massive result, a 2-0 win at Philadelphia.


Saturday will mark the first-ever meeting between these two sides.


The 2024 MLS Next Pro season is the Core’s first year of existence. The team came to be under the ownership of Megan Oglesby, along with Matt Penley and Mark Penley.

Carolina is coached by former Major League Soccer star Roy Lassiter, who served as an assistant coach for the Houston Dynamo before taking over as the first head coach in club history.

Their inaugural season has been rough to start, with only one win in their first 10 matches, with them sitting bottom of the Eastern Conference at just eight points. They are coming off a 2-2 draw against Orlando City B and a 6-5 penalty shootout loss.

Their attack has only scored 10 goals this season, averaging a goal per game. But defensively, they have given up 21 goals.

Midfielder Jacob Evans has been having an excellent season so far, with three goals and three assists, he is the danger-man for this Carolina side which has been lacking in offensive production.


The Orange and Blue are coming off one of their biggest results of the season thanks to a brace from Kenji Mboma Dem, who got his first two goals for FCC 2 in the team’s big 2-0 win over Philadelphia Union II.

Despite taking down the Eastern Conference leaders, FCC 2 now sits in third place in the East with 22 points. six points behind Chattanooga FC and seven behind Philadelphia.

Cincinnati has an impressive (4-2-0) record on the road this season and posts the second-best defense in the league with only 15 goals allowed. The back three of Isaiah Foster, Brian Schaefer, and London Aghedo have been rock solid. Gaël Gilbert and Kipp Keller have also soaked up some minutes for FCC 2 in the back as well of late.

It’ll be intriguing to see more of Mboma Dem, who has only made one start for FC Cincinnati 2 so far. We’ll see if head coach Tyrone Marshall rewards the former Dayton Flyer with a start.


Jacob Evans – #10, Carolina Core

Evans’s importance to this team can’t be overstated. The attacking midfielder pulls all the strings for Carolina. If The Core are going to be dangerous going forward, it starts and ends with Evans.

Facundo Canete – #24, Carolina Core

A midfielder who covers a lot of ground, Canete has also chipped in on the box score with two goals and three assists on the season. Canete has played the third most minutes on Carolina this year and has been key in their inaugural campaign.

Stiven Jimenez – #24, FC Cincinnati 2

Jimenez is one of the most important players on this team, with his presence is felt on and off the ball. His physical and ‘ball-winner mentality’ will be crucial this game in stopping Evans and company for Carolina.

Ben Stitz – #44, FC Cincinnati 2

Stitz has been in great form as of late, with three goals on the season, and five assists which leads the team, Stitz will look to make his impact, going up against a suspect defense.


You can watch the match on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, kick-off is set for 7:30 pm EST.

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