FC Cincinnati 2 are set to square off against Philadelphia Union II on Sunday, August 7 at Mercy Health Training Center at 6 p.m. ET. It’s the second and final meeting between the two sides with Philadelphia claiming three points against FCC 2 on March 27.
FC Cincinnati 2 vs Philadelphia Union II
Date: August 7, 2022
Competition: MLS NEXT Pro Regular Season
Site: Mercy Health Training Center, Milford, OH.
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
March 27, 2022 – PHI (2:0) CIN
PHI – C. Paternina Molina (4’), J. Bueno (58’)
The Orange and Blue picked up one point against Inter Miami CF II on Sunday night in the team’s first penalty shootout of the season. Harrison Robledo opened the scoring fifty-seven seconds in with a perfectly placed free kick from twenty-five yards out. Dairon Reyes equalized for Miami in the 61st sending the match to penalties where Miami would go on to win 4-3.
Philadelphia Union II took down Eastern Conference leaders, Columbus Crew 2, at Subaru Park last Sunday. Paxten Aaronson and Noah Fuson traded goals before Stefan Stojanovic broke the 1-1 tie with a stunning volley in the first minute of second-half stoppage time to sink the crew.
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
Philadelphia started MLS NEXT Pro play with a bang winning four of their first seven matches, suffering just one loss, and totaling fifteen points over that span. Since the win against Orlando City B on May 16, Union II have managed just eight points through nine matches, conceding eighteen goals while scoring seven. Philadelphia has put together back-to-back wins against Orlando City B and Columbus Crew 2 and look to make it three straight against the Orange and Blue this weekend. The Union currently sit 7th in the East and are three points back of Toronto FC II, who occupy the four spot.
WHO/WHAT TO WATCH
Nico Campuzano – Beckham Sunderland left Sunday's match against Inter Miami CF II with an injury and will likely miss FCC 2's match against Union II. That means Nico Campuzano is in line for a start between the sticks Sunday evening. In replacement of Sunderland, Campuzano made one save to keep Miami from taking the lead and saved Miami's first penalty. Campuzano has started one match this season making four saves.
PHILADELPHIA UNION II
Christopher Donovan – One Union II player looking to regain his early season form is Christopher Donovan. Donovan scored three goals in the opening five matches of the season but hasn’t scored since April 24th. Despite the drought, Donovan remains one of Philadelphia’s most dangerous attacking players with three goals and a team lead in shots (37), shots on target (14), and attacking assists (18).
EVERYONE GETS A GOAL – It’s been an attack-by-committee approach for both teams this season as neither side has a clear-cut number one goal scorer. Ten players have found the back of the net for FCC 2 while four have scored multiple goals this season. Philadelphia has similar numbers, eleven and five, respectively.
BACK TO THE TRAINING GROUND – Sunday’s tie will be the first MLS NEXT Pro match held at Mercy Health Training Center. Three of FCC 2’s final four home games will be hosted at Mercy Health. FCC 2 beat Brazilian side, Mogi Mirim Esporte Clube, in a friendly at MHTC on July 26.
IT'S BEEN A WHILE – It’s been over four months since FCC 2 played Union 2 to open the MLS NEXT Pro season. Since then, FCC 2 have played every team at least twice and wrapped up two, three-match series against Inter Miami CF II and Rochester NY FC.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW – On Thursday, MLS NEXT Pro announced its first league expansion with seven MLS-affiliated clubs set to begin play in 2023. Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and New York will join FCC 2 in the Eastern Conference while Austin and both L.A. clubs fill out the West.
“This weekend is going to be a challenge. Philadelphia is a good team and we played them earlier this year when they were one of the best in the East. Obviously, they are dealing with the ups and downs of the season, but they are starting to get back into form. But it’s important for us to continue what we are doing, continue to work on us.”
– On this week’s match against Philadelphia
“Results are starting to turn our way. The boys are starting to believe, and they are a bit more focused. I think their determination, and willingness to work on both sides of the ball, are apparent now. We are still going through a learning curve, and we are making fewer mental mistakes each week. You can see the guys continuing to grind and that’s why we are starting to see better results.”
– On recent results
ABOUT FC CINCINNATI 2
FC Cincinnati 2 began play in MLS NEXT Pro in 2022. FCC 2 is designed to serve as the bridge between the FCC first team and the Academy and is a professional pathway for players to grow and develop at FC Cincinnati. The club plays its matches at NKU Soccer Stadium, Mercy Health Training Center, and TQL Stadium.
ABOUT MLS NEXT PRO
Launched in March 2022 by Major League Soccer, MLS NEXT Pro is a professional men’s soccer league in the United States and Canada that completes the pro player pathway. With 21 Clubs competing during the inaugural season – 20 MLS-affiliated and one independent club, Rochester New York FC – MLS NEXT Pro is growing the game through innovation and diversity by bringing professional soccer to new communities and creating opportunities both on and off the field. Seven MLS-affiliated clubs will join MLS NEXT Pro in 2023, pending sanctioning by the U.S. Soccer Federation: Atlanta United, Austin FC, Charlotte FC, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles Football Club, Nashville Soccer Club and New York Red Bulls. Additional MLS-affiliated and independent clubs will join in the years ahead. Beginning in 2023, MLS NEXT Pro matches will be streamed live on the Apple TV app as part of the monumental partnership between Apple and Major League Soccer. For more information about MLS NEXT Pro, visit mlsnextpro.com.