The Orange and Blue are back on the road, as FC Cincinnati prepare for their first-ever trip to CITYPARK to face expansion side St. Louis CITY SC on Saturday, April 15 at 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT.
Let’s break down this matchup by the numbers, presented by CTI.
Defense has been the story of the 2023 season for FC Cincinnati, with FC Cincinnati tied for the most clean sheets in MLS with five.
FC Cincinnati have conceded just one second half goal this season, which is the best in Major League Soccer. That goal came from Chicago’s Chris Mueller in the 46th minute on March 18. FCC are the only club in the league to have not conceded a goal after the 47th minute this year.
Four other clubs (Seattle Sounders FC, Orlando City SC, Nashville SC) have allowed the next-fewest second half goals, two. St. Louis CITY entered last weekend in that same category, but three second goals allowed last Saturday furthered CITY from that distinction.
St. Louis CITY SC Designated Player João Klauss has led the potent CITY attack this season. Though seven matches, his seven goal contributions (5G/2A) rank fourth-most in MLS, behind Atlanta’s Thiago Almada (9), Seattle’s Jordan Morris (8) and LAFC’s Dénis Bouanga (8).
FC Cincinnati enter Saturday on a nine-game road unbeaten streak, the longest active streak in MLS and tied for the fourth-longest streak in MLS history.
Only two other clubs have an active road undefeated streak longer than two games, that’s LAFC (4) and Toronto FC (3).
FC Cincinnati, with a win or tie on Saturday, can match the second-longest such streak in MLS history (10: Seattle Sounders FC, Aug. 6, 2010 – May 26, 2012; Portland Timbers; Oct. 21, 2012 – June 19, 2013). The Orange and Blue are chasing the league-record 12 game streak set by FC Dallas (May 1, 2010 – Sept. 25, 2010).
Just 15 miles separate CITYPARK from De Smet Jesuit High School in nearby Creve Coeur, Missouri. That’s the high school alma mater of FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan, where he shined prior to his distinguished All-American college career at Indiana and his professional playing career in MLS.
In his time at De Smet, Noonan notched honors including Player of the Year by the Missouri High School Soccer Coaches Association and by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He notably led his Spartans to the 1997 Missouri High School 4A State Championship.
St. Louis CITY SC, the 29th and newest club in MLS, chose FC Cincinnati defender John Nelson in the 2022 MLS Expansion Draft this past offseason.
Nelson, the first player in FCC club history to have been selected by an expansion side in a draft, made a career-high 24 regular season appearances in 2022 with the Orange and Blue, adding two assists. The Medina, Ohio native has been vital for St. Louis this season, he’s started all seven matches for CITY, and has played all but four minutes to the 5-2-0 squad.
Saturday marks FC Cincinnati’s 28th all-time regular season matchup against a Western Conference opponent. The Orange and Blue’s overall record of 7-15-5 in those matchups simply do not tell the full story.
FC Cincinnati are 5-2-3 in their last 10 against the West, 4-0-1 in their last five against the West and they went 2-1-1 on the road last year in their four Western Conference fixtures.
St. Louis marks the first of three regular season road trips against the West this season (Colorado Rapids – May 27; Vancouver Whitecaps FC – June 10). So far this season, FCC are 2-0-0 with wins over Houston Dynamo FC and Seattle Sounders FC, and will host Portland Timbers, their third and final Western Conference squad – at least in regular season play – next Saturday.
By The Numbers is presented by CTI.