Welcome to your match thread for a Sunday afternoon match-up between Orlando City (9-14-9, 36 points) and MLS expansion side FC Cincinnati (6-22-4, 22 points) at Nippert Stadium. It’s the second of two scheduled meetings between the teams this season. It’s hard to believe, but this is the Lions’ last road game of the 2019 MLS regular season. Where does the time go?
Orlando City leads the all-time series, 1-0-0. This series dates all the way back to May 19, when the Lions pummeled the expansion side, 5-1. Both Nani and Tesho Akindele bagged braces in the match and Dom Dwyer added a goal as well.
This is Orlando City’s first trip to Cincinnati.
The Lions are 0-3-3 in their last six matches and just 3-7-6 on the road. Orlando City can’t just grind out a road draw today. The team must find a way to win and hope to get help from Toronto FC, New York City FC, and Atlanta United — all on the road. I can’t think of anything worse than needing both NYCFC and Atlanta to win but that’s the position the club has put us in with this recent downward spiral. NYCFC must win for the Lions to stay alive because a draw would help the New England Revolution eliminate the Lions. Technically, Toronto could lose at Chicago and Atlanta could lose at Montreal and Orlando would stay in play for the postseason as long as the Lions win and New England loses, but it would make the final weekend much more tricky.
At any rate, the first step is winning a game — something the team hasn’t done since Aug. 14 vs. Sporting Kansas City — so it’s best not to worry about anyone else’s game.
Cincinnati has been awful this year but there’s a caveat. The team is in the midst of one of its best runs of form all season, having gone 1-1-1 in its last three, posting shutouts in a win at Montreal and a home draw vs. Chicago. The only loss was in the middle of that sandwich when Atlanta went into Nippert Stadium and won 2-0 11 days ago.
If Orlando City can avoid being Cincinnati’s third shutout victim in four games, it can get a huge monkey off its back. One more goal conceded this season and Cincinnati will break Orlando City’s record for most goals conceded in an MLS season (74, set last season).
FC Cincinnati is no more effective at home than on the road over the course of the season, with an identical 3-11-2 mark both within and outside Nippert Stadium in 2019. The MLS newcomers FC Cincinnati started the season OK but then fell off a bit, leading to the firing of Alan Koch as head coach after a five-game losing streak in which the team failed to score a single goal. Koch was replaced by Yoann Damet on an interim basis and has since been replaced by Ron Jans.
As of Friday’s MLS Injury Report, Orlando City listed Cristian Higuita (lower body) as out, but he would have missed this game with yellow card accumulation anyway. Left back Joao Moutinho (hamstring) is listed as questionable but he is close to a return. Cincinnati lists goalkeeper Spencer Richey (back), forwards Darren Mattocks (ankle) and Kekuta Manneh (shoulder surgery), and midfielder Jimmy McLaughlin (right ACL surgery) as out. Center back Kendall Waston picked up a yellow card last week and should miss this match due to suspension.
Mandatory Match #Content
- Our Intelligence Report provides more info about FC Cincinnati from Bill Wolf of Cincinnati Soccer Talk.
- This week’s PawedCast features our key match-ups and score predictions for Sunday’s match.
- Our Jenn Glasheen discusses three keys to an Orlando win in this match-up.
Orlando City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Brian Rowe.
Defenders: Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Ruan.
Midfielders: Will Johnson, Sebas Mendez, Mauricio Pereyra.
Forwards: Nani, Dom Dwyer, Tesho Akindele.
Bench: Greg Ranjitsingh, Kamal Miller, Kyle Smith, Uri Rosell, Carlos Ascues, Benji Michel, Chris Mueller.
FC Cincinnati (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Przemysław Tyton.
Defenders: Greg Garza, Nick Hagglund, Maikel van der Werff, Mathieu Deplagne.
Midfielders: Frankie Amaya, Leonardo Bertone, Allan Cruz.
Forwards: Roland Lamah, Emmanuel Ledesma, Joe Gyau.
Bench: Jimmy Hague, Justin Hoyte, Andrew Gutman, Fatai Alashe, Thomas McCabe, Derrick Etienne, Rashawn Dally.
Ref: Robert Sibiga.
AR1: Matthew Nelson.
AR2: Kyle Longville.
4th: David Barrie.
VAR: Malik Badawi.
AVAR: Peter Balciunas.
How to Watch
Match Time: 5 p.m. ET.
Venue: Nippert Stadium — Cincinnati, OH.
TV: Fox 35 Plus (formerly My65) (local only).
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), Accion 97.9 FM (Spanish), 810 AM.
Streaming: The match can be streamed on ESPN+ and YouTube TV.
Match Thread Rules
This is your live thread for posting comments on the match. So use our comments section below to talk about the game in real time with other supporters. If you’re new, welcome to our happy home! While you’re here, please observe a few basic rules:
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Enjoy the match! Go City!
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