Team Profile: FC Cincinnati
Updated: Feb 9
Year founded: 2018.
First season in MLS: 2019.
Stadium: TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, OH.
2023 highlights: there are a few pockets in the season in which FC Cincinnati has a run of home or road games. They begin at TQL Stadium on February 25th against Houston Dynamo FC. Three of the four games in March are away from home. The one home game is against the Sounders. April includes home games against Miami, Philadelphia, and Portland. They begin May with three in a row at home, the third of which is against Columbus Crew (May 20th). On returning from Leagues Cup action in August, there will be 11 games remaining, with two encounters north of the border, a trip to Philly and Miami, before finishing at home to Atlanta on October 21st.
Head Coach: Pat Noonan.
Players to watch: Brandon Vazquez, Brenner, Luciano Acosta.
Joey Akpunonu (Generation adidas) Marco Angulo (transfer from Independiente de Valle) Santiago Arias (free transfer)
Isaiah Foster (transfer from Colorado Springs) Stiven Jimenez (homegrown) Yerson Mosquera (loan from Wolves)
Malik Pinto (waivers) Paul Walters (homegrown)
Zico Bailey (option declined) Tyler Blackett (option declined) Geoff Cameron (option declined) Allan Cruz (option declined) Nick Markanich (option declined) Ronald Matarrita (option declined) Ben Mines (option declined) Calvin Harris (trade to Colorado) Beckham Sunderland (option declined)
2022 summary: season four was a much brighter one for fans of the Orange and Blue, because after finishing bottom in their first three seasons (12th, 14th, 14th), they leapt up to fifth in the Eastern Conference last time out. They confirmed their spot in the playoffs with a 5-2 win over D.C. United on the final day of the regular season. That result, coupled with a defeat in Orlando for Columbus, confirmed a postseason debut for Cincinnati. The arrival of Chris Albright as GM and Pat Noonan as head coach at the end of 2021 proved the catalyst for success in 2022. The Cincinnati faithful were certainly entertained last season, witnessing home games in which their side scored three goals three times, four goals once, and six goals in a 6-0 thrashing of San Jose Earthquakes. On the road they were equally entertaining, hitting four in Miami and five at D.C. United in the final game. Cincinnati won their first playoff game, a 2-1 win at New York Red Bulls, before being edged 1-0 by eventual MLS Cup finalists Philadelphia Union in the conference semifinals.
Facts and Stats: after three dreadful seasons, when they were the whipping boys of the Eastern Conference, FC Cincinnati certainly turned heads in 2022, and they have the numbers to show for it. Brandon Vazquez and Brenner both scored 18 goals each. Luciano Acosta also hit double figures in goals (10) and led the league in assists (19). Cincinnati scored more goals (64) than previously, smashing their high of 37 set in 2021. They secured most wins in franchise history (12), suffered fewest defeats (9), and enjoyed a positive goal difference for the first time. Vazquez scored more goals in 2022 than his other five seasons combined (9). Brenner bagged three hat-tricks in 2022, the first of which - against NYCFC on June 29th - was the first in club history. His other trebles came against the Quakes and D.C.
Milestones in 2023: six more goals will lift Cincinnati to 150 in MLS. Luciano Acosta is 13 games away from 200 regular season appearances, and nine goals away from joining the 50-50 Club (at least 50 goals and 50 assists). He is currently on 64 assists.