FC Cincinnati will meet Charlotte FC for the first time in club history Saturday at Bank of America Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. from North Carolina.
Let’s break down this matchup, by the numbers.
First time for everything, FC Cincinnati and Charlotte FC meet for the first time. No relation to the current MLS sides, but the USL FC Cincinnati club (2016-18) went 3-2-1 against Charlotte Independence. The first home game in club history, at Nippert Stadium (April 10, 2016), was against Charlotte Independence, a 2-1 win for FCC. The winner was scored in the 52nd minute by current FCC Strength and Conditioning Coach Austin Berry.
All-time, FC Cincinnati are 5-17-4 in first all-time matchups with MLS squads, making Saturday’s game the first matchup with the league’s 28th club. FCC’s last win in a first meeting was July 13, 2019 at Chicago Fire.
The amount of goals Brandon Vazquez has scored for FC Cincinnati, the most in the club’s MLS history. The striker scored twice in his 19 appearances in 2020, and four times across his 31 appearances in 2021, notably three times in the final five games of the season. With his four goals already in 2022, Vazquez is tied for the MLS lead in goals through four weeks of competition.
FC Cincinnati midfielder Luciano Acosta leads MLS in key passes, otherwise known as total attacking assists, with 16. He leads the statistical category among strong company, leading Lucas Zelarayán (CLB, 15), Carles Gil (NE, 13) and others with 12 KP (Yimmi Chara, POR; Gonzalo Higuaín, MIA; Maximiliano Moralez, NYC; Xherdan Shaquiri, CHI).
Goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina has been a solid netminder for the expansion side this season. The Croatian international has completed 39 accurate long balls, most in MLS ahead of Philadelphia keeper Andre Blake (38). His 16 saves are tied for third most in the league, and his six clearances are tied for second most in MLS.
Captain Christian Fuchs made 152 appearances with Premier League side Leicester City FC, where he was part of the Foxes’ historic Premier League-winning squad in 2015. Fuchs’ nearly 20-year career brought him to MLS with Charlotte FC, where the 35-year-old captain has been a glue for the backline so far this season.
FC Cincinnati know that when taking the field in Charlotte, the home crowd will be loud and hostile. The third home game in club history at Bank of America Stadium will be especially raucous following last weekend’s impressive win over New England Revolution. 74,479 fans attended the club’s home opener on March 5 vs. LA Galaxy, which set the all-time MLS attendance record.
By The Numbers is presented by CTI.