FC Cincinnati 2 closed out the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season with a 2-1 loss against Orlando City B at Osceola Heritage Park Sunday afternoon. The Orange and Blue finish the season 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 7-17-4 record and 27 points.
Orlando’s Jack Lynn opened the scoring in the 16th minute for his 19th goal of the season. Wilfredo Rivera assisted on the goal, lining up a free kick from distance and whipping a cross into the box towards Lynn. Lynn was able to rise above the defense and head his attempt into the back of the net.
Ryan Belal, making his first start for FC Cincinnati 2, brought the match level in the 61st minute with his first MLS NEXT Pro goal. Gerardo Valenzuela found Belal near the top of the box as the FC Cincinnati academy forward pushed into space and lost his defender with a skillful fake shot before curling a left-footed effort past Javier Otero.
But Shakur Mohammed restored Orlando’s lead minutes later after replacing Juninho in the second half, which proved the crucial goal for the Lions in the win. Mohammed netted his sixth of the season after spinning off a defender and firing a low driven shot from a tight angle near the end line.
Hunter Morse, FC Cincinnati’s second round pick in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft, made his first appearance for FC Cincinnati 2. Morse made four saves in his Orange and Blue debut.
FC CINCINNATI 2 GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati 2 at Orlando City B
Date: September 24, 2023
Venue: Osceola Heritage Park
Competition: MLS NEXT Pro regular season
Kickoff: 2:03 p.m. ET
Weather: 85 degrees, clear
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
ORL – J. Lynn (W. Rivera) 16’, S. Mohammed (Juninho) 63’
CIN – R. Belal (G. Valenzuela) 61’
ORL: J. Otero, F. Pérez, A. Salim, N. Kibunguchy, J. Almaguer, J. Solís (T. Bowe, 90’+1), Juninho (Z. Taifi, 89’), C. Medina (D. Bell, 89’), A. Freeman, J. Lynn, W. Rivera (S. Mohammed, 63’)
Substitutes not used: D. Pereira, C. Acuña, T. Reid-Brown, F. Sanchez, M. Tablante
Head Coach: M. Perelman
CIN: H. Morse, C. Stout, J. Machado, J. Akpunonu, N. McHenry, H. Conteh (J. Mora, 58’), S. Adams, L. Tamarez (J. Ineh, 86’), G. Valenzuela, J. Castellano, R. Belal
Substitutes not used: P. Walters, D. Van Der Heide, N. Brice
Head Coach: Tyrone Marshall
STATS SUMMARY: ORL/CIN
Shots: 18 / 12
Shots on goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 7 / 3
Fouls: 8 / 13
Offside: 4 / 1
Possession: 58.6 / 41.1
CIN – S. Adams (Yellow card) 29’
CIN – J. Machado (Yellow card) 41’
ORL – C. Medina (Yellow card) 65’
Referee: Luis Arroyo
Ast. Referees: Rhett Hammil, Preston Joyner
Fourth Official: Sarieni Vasquez