FC Cincinnati 2

PREVIEW | FC Cincinnati 2 face Toronto FC II in second meeting of young season

20230327 FCC2vsTORII Match CL 125

FC Cincinnati 2 are set for their second-straight road match as they take on Toronto FC II on Sunday, May 7 at York Lions Stadium in Toronto, Canada. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET. 

The Orange and Blue will look to pick up their first road win of 2023 after splitting points in a wild contest against New England Revolution II on April 30 while the Young Reds are in search of their first win of the season.

The match will be streamed live on mlsnextpro.com.


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The Orange and Blue square off against Toronto FC II for the fifth all-time meeting between the two sides Sunday night. FC Cincinnati 2 are 2-2-0 against Toronto FC II after playing the Young Reds three times in MLS NEXT Pro’s inaugural season.

FC Cincinnati 2 hosted Toronto FC II at Scudamore Field at NKU Soccer Stadium in their first match of 2023. The Orange and Blue scored four goals on the back of an Arquimides Ordoñez brace, while Jesus Castellano scored his first goal for the club.

Toronto FC II took a 2-1 lead into halftime after Reshaun Walkes and Alec Diaz each scored over a six-minute span following Castellano’s opener in the 7th minute. Ordoñez grabbed his first of the season to level things early in the second half before FC Cincinnati Academy product Gerardo Valenzuela netted the match-winner in the 55th minute to give the Orange and Blue three points on Matchday 1.

It’s been a rough start for the Young Reds in year two of MLS NEXT Pro play after finishing second in the Eastern Conference in 2022. Toronto FC II have lost four of five to open the season and have earned just a single point to date. Toronto FC II have scored seven goals, the second-lowest total in the Eastern Conference while their 14 goals conceded is the third-highest total across all of MLS NEXT Pro.

Hugo Mbongue, who scored four goals last season for the Young Reds, and Jesus Batiz, who inked an MLS NEXT Pro contract before the start of the season, will look to get things turned around for Toronto FC II. The pair have four goals split between them, with each scoring in Toronto’s last two matches.

Reshaun Walkes, who scored against FC Cincinnati 2 on Matchday 1, is an ever-present threat in the attacking third for the Young Reds. Last season Walkes scored six goals for Toronto FC II, trailing only Paul Rothrock, who is now with the Tacoma Defiance, for a team lead in goals. Two of his six goals came against the Orange and Blue with the forward eager to bag his second of the season come Sunday.

Toronto have deployed a young backline this season, which could explain some of their defensive struggles. The average age of the Toronto defenders that have seen the field this season is just 19, with 16-year-old Lazar Stefanovic, and 18-year-old Adam Pearlman starting four of five matches and logging 315 minutes. Those numbers are team highs amongst Toronto FC II defenders.

Gianni Cimini is the head coach for Toronto FC II. Cimini took charge of the Young Reds in 2022 after spending 10 years in the Toronto FC Academy and served as the Technical Manager from 2015-2017. Prior to his time with Toronto, Cimini served as the Technical Director at Woodbridge Soccer Club. 

ABOUT LAST WEEKEND… – FC Cincinnati 2 picked up a point last time out against New England Revolution II in the highest-scoring match in MLS NEXT Pro history. The match finished 5-5 with Arquimides Ordoñez scoring his fifth and sixth goals of the year and registering his third brace in as many appearances for the Orange and Blue.

Ordoñez leads all MLS NEXT Pro goal scorers but will miss this weekend’s match against Toronto after being called to participate in a preparation camp for Guatemala ahead of the U-20 World Cup.

FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS – The Orange and Blue’s attack has been rolling early this season. The five goals scored against New England ties a club record for the most goals scored in a single match (Orlando City B, May 29). FC Cincinnati 2 have scored 15 goals through five matches and boast the best goals per match average (3) in MLS NEXT Pro.

FC Cincinnati 2 have scored multiple goals in all five matches this season and have scored three or more goals in three of those matches.

A HELPING HAND – Jordi Govea registered his third and fourth assists of the season against New England Revolution II on Sunday. With those assists, Govea leads MLS NEXT Pro in assists per 90 minutes (1.4) among players with two or more assists.

And it’s not just Govea who is contributing from an assist standpoint. Seven players have tallied at least one assist for FC Cincinnati 2, as the team is tied for the second most assists in MLS NEXT Pro (11) and trail only Whitecaps FC (12).

THE TABLE TAKES SHAPE – Heading into Matchday 7, the Eastern Conference table is starting to take shape with FC Cincinnati 2 currently sitting seventh in the table. Crown Legacy pace the east with 16 points while four teams battle for a top four spot on 11 points. Toronto FC II are just one of three clubs yet to win a match in league play (Huntsville City FC, LAFC 2) and sit last in the east.