FC Cincinnati 2

FC Cincinnati 2 visit Atlanta United 2 in Sunday afternoon road test

20240410 FCC2vsNEii Match CL 023

FC Cincinnati 2 travel south to Kennesaw, Ga. on Sunday, April 21, for an afternoon matchup against Atlanta United 2 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. It will be the third all-time meeting between the two sides as both clubs look to get back in the win column. The match kicks off at 3 p.m. ET and can be streamed live on mlsnextpro.com.


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WELCOME, KENJI – Kenji Mboma Dem inked an MLS NEXT Pro deal Wednesday afternoon after being selected in Round 2 of the 2024 MLS SuperDraft by FC Cincinnati. Mboma Dem is the tenth player to sign an MLS NEXT Pro contract for the 2024 season and the forward will be available for selection this weekend against ATL UTD 2.

Mboma Dem scored nine goals with the Dayton Flyers in 2023 and added three assists across 15 appearances. Mboma Dem’s performances earned the forward a First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection.

ONE FOR THE CAPTAIN – Nico Benalcazar scored his first goal for the Orange and Blue last Sunday against Toronto FC II. Benalcazar has made back-to-back appearances since recovering from injury earlier in the year and has donned the captain’s arm band in his first two appearances after joining FCC 2 from New York City FC II this offseason.

GOALS AGAINST ATLANTA – Forward Ben Stitz, who finished the 2023 season with seven goals, knows how to find the back of the net against ATL UTD 2. Stitz has scored in each of the Orange and Blue’s two matches against Atlanta, one of which sent the match to a shootout where FCC 2 earned an extra point.

Stitz enters the weekend matchup with one goal and two assists and has played a part in half of FCC 2’s goals in 2024. In addition to leading the team in assists, Stitz paces the team in shots (11).

Atlanta United 2 will host FC Cincinnati 2 Sunday afternoon in the fourth match of a five-game home stand to start the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season. ATL UTD 2 have earned one win, against Carolina Core FC, and suffered two defeats against Orlando City B and Philadelphia Union II and currently sit 12th in the Eastern Conference on three points.

ATL UTD 2 have a big hole to fill in attack after midfielder Nick Firmino, who scored 16 goals and finished fourth in the MLS NEXT Pro Golden Boot race in 2023, signed a first team contract this offseason. Javier Armas, who was selected by Atlanta United in Round 2 of the 2024 MLS SuperDraft, has stepped up early in the season, scoring two goals in three matches.

Seven players join ATL UTD 2 for their first season with the club, including Atlanta United Academy U17 forward Ashton Gordon. Gordon helped lead the Atlanta United Academy U16s to an MLS NEXT Cup championship, scoring four goals in the tournament. Gordon also featured for the Jamaica U17s in the 2023 CONCACAF U17 Championship, scoring on his debut.

A new crop of goalkeepers will guard the sticks for ATL UTD 2 this season. John Berner, who joins Atlanta from Huntsville City FC, has picked up starts in the club’s first three, making nine saves but allowing eight goals. Jayden Hibbert, another MLS SuperDraft selection of Atlanta United, is an option after being drafted out of University of Connecticut, where he played two seasons with the Huskies.

Steve Cooke leads ATL UTD 2 in his second season in charge. Cooke joined the ATL UTD 2 staff in 2023 after serving as the Academy Director for the Seattle Sounders. In addition to Cooke’s developmental work with the Sounders, the Sheffield, England native served as an assistant coach for the Colorado Rapids and as the interim Head Coach 2017.