FC Cincinnati hosts Philadelphia Union in midweek action

Lucho passes against Jonathan Osorio. June 21, 2023 - Photo Courtesy of Haggard Media
Lucho passes against Jonathan Osorio. June 21, 2023 - Photo Courtesy of Haggard Media

On Wednesday, FC Cincinnati (11-3-3) and Philadelphia Union (4-5-8) dual for the first time since FCC defeated The Union 1-0 in last year’s Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, which also took place at TQL Stadium. A goal by former Cincinnati center back Yerson Mosquera sent Phildelphiea packing, a goal that many thought would be the end of an era for Jim Curtin’s side.

These two teams have put on some good battles over the past couple of years, and Wednesday should be no different.


The Union leads the all-time series, with a 6-3-3 record against The Orange and Blue.

These teams have met twice in the postseason, each winning a game in the knock-out rounds.


You can feel the frustration surrounding the entire Philadelphia Union organization right now. From fans to players, it’s been grim the past couple of months, especially for a club, like Philadelphia, which wants to be in contention to win an MLS Cup.

The Union are coming off a 2-1 loss to Inter Miami at home. After they led early in the match and Miami went down to nine men, the Union conceded a goal in stoppage time to lose their fifth home match of the season. Subaru Park has been an absolute fortress for Philadelphia in years past, but this season they are 1-5-3 at home.

Yes, you read that right.

Left back Kai Wagner was pretty frustrated in his post-game comments, which one might assume was an echo that the entire locker room has, that being a lack of investment in the transfer market since their MLS Cup appearance in 2022. It feels like they have reached their ceiling with this group. With striker Julian Carranza now on his way to Feyenoord, the Union will have to replace his production on the score sheet.

That being said, Philadelphia finds themselves winless in four games and sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 20 points on the year.

The Union is more than capable of getting a result on Wednesday. Despite their poor home record, they are undefeated on the road. Three wins, five draws. That’s 14 of their points coming away from home.


The Orange and Blue are coming off an electric 4-2 win on the road in San Jose, after a hat-trick from Yuya Kubo.

Unfortunately, the one glaring negative from the match was defender Matt Miazga, who had to come off in the second half with an injury. Head coach Pat Noonan spoke earlier this week, informing the media that Miazga won’t be available for Wednesday and that his injury is “not great,” which makes you believe the injury could be long-term. With Miles Robinson with the U.S. Men’s National Team for Copa America, FCC will be down both their star center backs. There is a possibility he might be recalled from that assignment, but at the moment, Robinson remains with the USMNT.

So who steps in the backline? Ian Murphy and Nick Hagglund are two obvious ones, with the third spot being possibly rotational. Kipp Keller looked good coming on for Miazga, but FCC has also tinkered with DeAndre Yedlin as a right center back before. London Aghedo and Brian Schaefer have looked good for FCC 2 this season, and one might imagine one if not both of them could be in the 18 moving forward.

Lucho Acosta assisted all three of Kubo’s goals last weekend, and when he’s on the field, FCC will always have a chance. But that’s nothing groundbreaking.

Three-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake is gone with Jamaica, a good opportunity for Kevin Kelsey, Sergio Santos and company to test an unproven Oliver Semmle.

A win and a Miami loss to Columbus on Wednesday would put FCC in first place in the East, and in turn, first in the Supporters Shield race.


Mikael Uhre – #7, Philadelphia Union

With the Union team missing key players like Daniel Gazdag, Jose Martinez, Andre Blake and others, Uhre was brought on to Philadelphia to score goals. He’s been up and down in his tenure, but he’s coming off a goal against Miami. He needs to step up on Wednesday if the Union wants to come away with a win.

Kai Wagner – #27, Philadelphia Union

I talked about Wagner’s postgame comments, but he’s been one of the best left backs in the MLS for many years now. The two-time MLS All-Star can get forward and create chances, especially with a team missing their prime chance creator in Gazdag. A big performance from Wagner could spell trouble for FCC.

Yuya Kubo – #7, FC Cincinnati

After that performance on Saturday, everyone is gonna be watching Kubo on Wednesday. He’s the most versatile player on the team, so you’d have to imagine he’s going to be rewarded with a start, but if not, he could make a real difference as a super-sub. It’ll be interesting to see how Noonan uses Kubo against Philadelphia.

Roman Celentano – #18, FC Cincinnati

It’s been four matches since Celentano has had a clean sheet. Going up against a Union team that is missing a lot of firepower up top, a shutout for the former Indiana Hoosier gives FCC a good chance of getting all three points, especially now that the team will be without Miazga and Robinson for this match.


Watch along on the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. EST.

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