FC Cincinnati 2

PREVIEW | FC Cincinnati 2 look to build on strong start to the season against Crown Legacy FC

20230327 FCC2vsTORII Match CL 122

FC Cincinnati 2 will look to follow up Monday’s convincing Matchday 1 win against Toronto FC II with another strong showing against Crown Legacy FC this Friday, March 31, at Mecklenburg County Sportsplex at Matthews at 7 p.m. ET.


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Friday’s match will be the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Crown Legacy FC opened their inaugural season in MLS NEXT Pro Sunday afternoon against fellow expansion side Huntsville City FC. The Crown took one point from the 2-2 draw after snatching a late second half goal to force a penalty shootout where they would fall to Huntsville, 4-3.

Brandon Cambridge bagged Crown Legacy’s first ever goal and led the line as the number one attacking option. Cambridge registered four shots on the afternoon and paced Crown Legacy in that department, with no other player taking more than one. It’s a small sample size, but Cambridge looks like the danger man for Crown Legacy up front.

A number of Charlotte FC youngsters, including Ben Bender, who was the first overall selection in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, featured for the Crown on Sunday. Nicholas Scardina, Charlotte’s second round pick in this year’s draft, scored the all-important equalizer to send the match to penalties. He played 90 minutes and started alongside Homegrown talent in Nimfasha Berchimas and Jack Neeley.

Through Matchday 1, Christopher Hegardt is tied for third in MLS NEXT Pro in successful crosses (4) and key attacking passes (4). Hegardt pulled the strings for Crown Legacy in the team’s opener, attempting 48 passes to lead all Crown midfielders. Crown Legacy will also have Nikola Petković available for the match after the Serbian featured for his U-21 international side earlier this month.

Jośe Tavares brings a wealth of coaching experience to Crown Legacy, having spent more than a decade with F.C. Porto. Tavares specialized in player development while at Porto, capturing a Liga Portugal 2 title as an assistant with F.C. Porto B. Tavares has claimed 11 titles within the F.C. Porto system and will look to earn the club their first MLS NEXT Pro cup.

WHAT A START – FC Cincinnati 2 couldn’t have asked for a better start to the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season after taking three points in a 4-2 win against Toronto FC II on Monday. The Orange and Blue top the Eastern Conference standings heading into Matchday 2 and FCC 2’s four goals scored were the most across MLS NEXT Pro on the opening weekend.

TAKE A BOW, QUIMI – Arquimides Ordoñez had himself a night against Toronto, scoring two goals and assisting on Jesus Castellano’s 8th minute opener. Ordoñez brought the Orange and Blue level early in the second half and iced the match in the 81st minute to secure three points. His six shots led all players and his performance against the Young Reds earned him Player of the Matchday for MLS Next Pro’s opening week of play.

WELCOME TO THE LEAGUE – FCC 2’s next two matches come against MLS NEXT Pro expansion sides in Crown Legacy FC and Huntsville City FC. Friday’s match against the Crown is the first away match of the season for the Orange and Blue, and last until April 30. Huntsville visit Scudamore Field for the first time on April 9.

DEBUTS ALL AROUND – Seven players made their FCC 2 debut Monday night. Joey Akpunonu, Jesus Castellano, Isaiah Foster, Bret Halsey and Stiven Jimenez all picked up starts, with Castellano scoring his first goal in league competition for the club. Ben Stitz and Haroun Conteh saw their first minutes of MLS NEXT Pro action coming on as second half substitutes.

The match will be streamed live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. For more information on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, visit FCCincinnati.com/SeasonPass.