FC Cincinnati 2

PREVIEW | FC Cincinnati 2 host Huntsville City FC in first MLS NEXT Pro meeting


FC Cincinnati 2 return home this Sunday, April 9, as the Orange and Blue take on Huntsville City FC in their second home match of the MLS NEXT Pro season. FCC 2 look to rebound from a 2-1 defeat against Crown Legacy FC, while Huntsville will be in search of their first win.

The match will also be streamed live on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV. For more information on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, visit fccincinnati.com/seasonpass.


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Sunday’s match will mark the first ever league meeting between FCC 2 and Huntsville. The two sides met in a preseason friendly on March 14, with Huntsville picking up a win.

Huntsville City FC get set for their third match of a seven-week road trip to start their inaugural season in MLS NEXT Pro. Huntsville will play an additional three matches before their home opener on May 19. Huntsville earned two points on Matchday 1, claiming a shootout win against Crown Legacy FC before falling to Orlando City B last Friday.

Azaad Liadi scored Huntsville’s first goal in club history in Matthews, North Carolina, as his brace helped secure two points against the Crown. Liadi is responsible for two of the team’s first three goals of the year and is an experienced forward with an eye for goal.

Kemy Amiche, who was acquired by Nashville SC in January, is off to a hot start as the team’s danger man out of the midfield. Amiche has a goal and an assist to his name through two matches and is tied for a league high in key attacking passes (6). Amiche has featured against both Crown Legacy FC and Orlando City B playing 174 minutes and should be a key attacking figure for Huntsville on Sunday.

Huntsville has done well in limiting early season chances for their opponents, allowing just seven shots on target through the first two matchday’s of the season. However, Huntsville haven’t been able to keep those limited chances out of the net, allowing four goals and holding a 42.9 save percentage, the second lowest mark in the league.

Former West Ham United midfielder Jack Collison leads the team as the club’s first head coach. Collison joins Huntsville from Atlanta United 2 where he managed the team for two seasons. Prior to joining Atlanta, Collison managed in the youth academies of Peterborough United FC and West Ham United.

WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD – Sunday’s match against Huntsville City FC will be the second consecutive week in which FC Cincinnati 2 will face an MLS NEXT Pro expansion side. It will be the first expansion team to visit Scudamore Field at NKU Soccer Stadium following last week’s away match against Crown Legacy FC. The Orange and Blue will make the away trip to Huntsville on August 6.

ACADEMY GOALS – Ryder Mills became the third active FC Cincinnati Academy player to score a goal for FC Cincinnati 2 with his goal against Crown Legacy FC last Friday (Ruszel, Valenzuela; 2022). Mills’ first goal for the club earned the young forward MLS NEXT Performer of the Matchday and is now the second weekly honor earned by a player featuring for FC Cincinnati 2 (Ordoñez, Player of the Matchday; MD1).

THE BEST OFFENSE IS… – A good offense starts with a good defense, and in this case the Orange and Blue’s defense really is a good offense. Three defenders (Akpunonu, Govea and Marshall) are top five on the team in chances created. Govea and Marshall have registered three of the team’s four total assists on the young season, with Marshall’s two assists tied for the third best mark in the league.

LET EM FLY – FC Cincinnati 2 have taken 31 shots this season, tied with New York Red Bulls II and Portland Timbers 2 for the fourth most in the league. The Orange and Blue are also top five in shots on target (12) and are on pace to top last year’s totals of 251 shots and 101 shots on target.

“Huntsville are a little more of a mature side. They pull from Nashville as well, so they have that feeder system from them. But Huntsville is a team that you give them time and space, they can hurt you.

“We played them in preseason and saw some of their qualities, some of the players that they have are really good players are they have really good young players, that are up and coming. However, we have some good players on our side as well that I think we can hit them in certain areas. I think we could have a great opportunity.

“They're playing on the road and coming into our environment. I saw a quote from Pat where the expectation is, now you start winning home games, no matter who comes in, no matter who the opponent is, we want to win games. And hopefully we can translate that mentality to our players

“Again, we know Huntsville and who they are, what they've done. And so, we'll look to repay the favor after they beat us down there. Let's see if we can repeat the favor up here and get a result in the game.”