web

Decision Day is here, and FC Cincinnati face D.C. United in one of the most important fixtures in club history. Kickoff from Audi Field is set for 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon, and the game can be watched on Star64, streamed in-market at fccincinnati.com, out of market on ESPN+ and listened to on the radio on FOX Sports 1360.

Let’s break down this matchup, by the numbers.

3

First and foremost, no other results throughout MLS matter if FC Cincinnati secure a victory and take all three points Sunday at D.C. United. That would see the Orange and Blue clinch a berth in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in club history. A draw, or even a loss with a winner resulting from the Orlando City – Columbus Crew matchup, would also see Pat Noonan’s squad among the Eastern Conference’s final seven teams.

But the objective is simple: take care of business, earn all three points, and FC Cincinnati are playing in the postseason.

8

Since joining the league in 2019, FC Cincinnati have failed to defeat two of the current 13 other Eastern Conference teams: D.C. United and New York City FC.

The Orange and Blue hold an 0-4-3 record against the Black and Red and have never found strong footing against the squad from the nation’s capital. FC Cincinnati have never scored a first half goal against D.C. and have been outscored 11-4 in seven previous meetings.

A win on Sunday would mark the eighth opposing side that FC Cincinnati have defeated for the first time in 2022. (ORL, MIA, MIN, PHI, CLT, SJ, RSL).

19.5

D.C. United’s season has gone far from planned, with the Black and Red set to finish dead last in MLS this year. But perhaps the brightest glimmer for D.C. was the notable signing on August 5 of Belgian International forward Christian Benteke from Crystal Palace in the English Premier League on a permanent transfer. The 31-year-old scored 86 goals and recorded 23 assists in 280 career Premier League appearances.

In just six appearances with D.C., Benteke already ranks third on the team for the entire season with 24 shots, only behind their leading goal scorer Taxi Fountas (80) and Ola Kamara (36).

In just 467 minutes of MLS action, Benteke is averaging a shot roughly every 19.5 minutes.

30

D.C. United have struggled to score, having scored just 30 non-penalty kick goals this year, the franchise’s fewest since managing 27 non-PK goals in 2017.

In their last 12 games since the calendar turned to August, D.C. United have been shutout in nine of those games. Should FC Cincinnati maintain a clean sheet on Sunday and keep the Black and Red from scoring in 10 of their final 13 games, it would mark goalkeeper Roman Celentano’s sixth shutout of the season, a new club record (5 – Spencer Richey, 2019).

223

Two keys to FC Cincinnati’s resurgent 2022 season has been the midfield duo of Luciano Acosta and Junior Moreno, each of whom previously played in D.C.

Acosta (126 MLS appearances with D.C. United) scored 24 goals and added 35 assists from 2016-19, while Moreno (97 MLS appearances with D.C. United) scored one goal and tallied nine assists from 2018-21. Both played with current D.C. United gaffer and English legend Wayne Rooney, who played stateside in 2018 and 2019.

By The Numbers is presented by CTI.