FCC travels to struggling and weakened D.C. United side

Pavel Bucha dribbles against New York City FC. Photo courtesy Brian Mack.
Pavel Bucha dribbles against New York City FC. Photo courtesy Brian Mack.

FC Cincinnati will look to build on a strong defensive performance against FC Dallas when the team travels to D.C. United for a midweek matchup.

FCC currently holds a record of 13-3-4, totaling 42 points, placing the team in second place in the Supporters Shield standings behind Inter Miami CF, which is Saturday’s matchup.

FCC comes into the match off a decent 1-0 win over a sputtering Dallas side, with newly-minted 2024 MLS All-Star Luca Orellano scoring the go-ahead goal. Orellano had a spectacular performance in the match, creating multiple chances for others while also scoring on his own.

Orellano’s performance was even more important considering FCC Captain Lucho Acosta’s disappointing and lackluster night. Acosta didn’t quite look right, not spreading the ball around or going at defenders with his usual ferocity. Also, if I remember correctly, should Acosta pick up a yellow in Wednesday’s match, he would miss Saturday’s titanic struggle, which FCC can ill afford.

However, the defense is where I think all of us expected to see bouts of ineptitude and that really didn’t happen. There were points where Dallas should have scored, absolutely, but there were also points where the defense played pretty well. The defense will need to continue to play in the latter manner should the team want to meet any of its 2024 goals.

The Opposition

D.C. United is currently 4-8-9 for a point total of 20, now 13th in the Eastern Conference.

D.C. has so far scored 28 goals on the season so far. That isn’t great, but isn’t horrific when the whole team is playing. However, that won’t be the case on Wednesday.

According to Carter Chapley on Twitter, Christian Benteke, D.C. United’s star striker, will miss Wednesday’s match due to yellow card accumulation. This is a massive break for FCC. Funnily enough, Benteke also missed the prior matchup against FCC, a 0-0 draw at TQL Stadium.

Unfortunately for D.C., that problem on Wednesday is exacerbated by forward Cristian Dájome’s red card on Saturday against New York Red Bulls.

Benteke is obviously a massive loss for the home side, as he accounts for half, yes, you read that correctly, of D.C.’s goals. Dájome hasn’t got on the stat sheet nearly as much, but it’s still a loss to a starter.

D.C. United’s defense also isn’t very good, having allowed 39 goals on the season, good for fourth-worst in all of MLS. This is an area where FCC needs to capitalize prior to a massively important game in the upcoming weekend. The team needs to flex its offensive muscles and get on the scoring sheet in a big way to be in a good rhythm.

FCC will need to watch out for left winger Jared Stroud, central midfielder Mateusz Klich and right back Aarón Herrera. The three have eight, seven and six assists, respectively. If D.C. scores, it will almost assuredly come from one of these players.

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