FC Cincinnati tied with its in-state rival Columbus Crew, 2-2, Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 25,701 at TQL Stadium.

The match had a dream start for the Orange and Blue as Edgar Castillo’s first career goal for FC Cincinnati came in the 1st minute. His screamer from just outside the 18-yard box was the fastest goal by any team in MLS this season. Luciano Acosta earned the assist.

Acosta doubled the lead in the 24th minute to give FC Cincinnati a 2-0 lead, with an assist from Isaac Atanga.

Columbus Crew played down a man following Harrison Afful’s second yellow card in the 42nd minute. Despite playing down to 10 men, the Crew scored right before halftime and equalized in the 77th minute.

FC Cincinnati (3-5-3) has 12 points and earned its first point in TQL Stadium. The team is unbeaten in its last four matches (2-0-2).

FC Cincinnati returns to action next Saturday, July 17 when the club takes on CF Montréal for the second time this season. The game will be televised on WSTR 64, carried on the radio on ESPN 1530, streamed regionally on fccincinnati.com/stream, out of market on ESPN+, while an audio stream will be available via the iHeartRadio app.

For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. Additionally, fans are encouraged to download the team’s official mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.

Information about seating options at the club’s state-of-the-art TQL Stadium is now available at TQLstadium.com. For more information about 2021 Season Ticket Memberships, which are now on sale to the general public, visit TQLstadium.com or the stadium’s social properties on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram at @TQLStadium, or by calling the team’s sales and service staff at 513-977-5425.

**FC Cincinnati 2, Columbus Crew 2
TQL Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio
July 9, 2021

**CIN – Edgar Castillo (Luciano Acosta) – 1’
CIN – Luciano Acosta (Isaac Atanga) – 24’
CLB – Lucas Zelarayan (unassisted) – 45+1’ 
CLB – Miguel Berry (Zelarayan) – 77’ 

FC Cincinnati: Kenneth Vermeer, Edgar Castillo, Gustavo Vallecilla. Geoff Cameron, Joseph-Claude Gyau, Luciano Acosta ©, Haris Medunjanin (Caleb Stanko 64’), Yuya Kubo, Isaac Atanga (Brandon Vazquez 73’), Brenner, Álvaro Barreal (Franko Kovacevic 73’)

Bench: Przemyslaw Tyton, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Nick Hagglund, Avionne Flanagan, Ben Mines, Tom Pettersson

Stats: Shots 13, Shots on Goal 3, Saves 0, Corners 2, Offside 3, Fouls 17, Possession 49.7%, Passes 434 (88.7%)

Columbus Crew: Evan Bush, Vito Wormgoor (Aboubacar Keita 57’), Jonathan Mensah ©, Perry Kitchen (Saad Abdul-Salaam 46’), Harrison Afful, Lucas Zelarayan, Darlington Nagbe, Marlon Hairston (Isaiah Parente 75’), Waylon Francis (Miguel Berry 57’), Pedro Santos, Alexandru Matan (Erik Hurtado 75’)

Bench: Matt Lampson, Grant Lillard

Stats: Shots 9, Shots on Goal 2, Saves 1, Corners 1, Offside 0, Fouls 15, Possession 50.3%, Passes 440 (85.7%)

CLB – Harrison Afful (caution) 17’
CIN – Edgar Castillo (caution) 28’
CIN – Yuya Kubo (caution) 32’
CLB – Jonathan Mensah (caution) 39’
CLB – Harrison Afful (second caution, ejection) 42’
CIN – Geoff Cameron (caution) 45+7’
CIN – Gustavo Vallecilla (caution) 61’
CIN – Álvaro Barreal (caution) 72’
CIN – Caleb Stanko (caution) 88’

Referee: Kevin Slott*
Ast. Referees: Cory Richardson, Jeffrey Swartzel
4th official: Guido Gonzales Jr.
VAR: Hilario Grajeda
*Eric Boria

Weather: 72 degrees and sunny

Attendance: 25,701 (sellout)


  • FC Cincinnati is 1-3-3 against Columbus Crew since joining MLS, 1-1-2 at home.
  • Edgar Castillo’s 1st minute goal was the fastest goal in MLS this season.
  • Castillo’s 1st minute strike was the third goal in FC Cincinnati history in the opening minute, the first this season. The previous two 1st minute goals were scored by Allan Cruz (July 13, 2019 at Chicago; September 14, 2019 at Montreal).
  • Luciano Acosta’s goal, his third of the season, was the 27th of his MLS career and his second career against Columbus (May 4, 2019 with D.C. United).
  • Acosta became the fourth player in club history to tally a goal and assist in one match (Kekuta Manneh and Kenny Saief, 3/24/2019 at NE; Emmanuel Ledesma, 7/6/2019 vs. HOU).
  • With Harrison Afful’s red card for Columbus, it was the first red card for the opposing team since November 8, 2020 at Miami (Andrés Reyes).
  • The club’s four match unbeaten run matches its longest in club history (July 16, 2020 – August 21, 2020, 2-0-2).


FC Cincinnati Head Coach Jaap Stam

On Trying to kill the game off against Columbus:
“You don't need to against ten men make certain subs to kill the game off in terms of keeping that lead. The thing is, from the start of the second half start well in what you need to do and what you have been doing, then there shouldn't be a problem with all due respect to the competition. The opposition has got a good team; they've got good players we all know that. When you have one player extra in possession you should make a difference in the second half, and that's what we didn't do well enough in the second half.”

On the outcome
“Then yeah, you can see as well if you're not focused enough at times when you lose that ball there's a ball between Eddie and Gustavo, Gustavo's positioning is not right, the striker runs it in between that gap and he finishes it off and yeah it's a good goal but the thing before, the situation before, we should've handled better. Managing again is also about what can you deliver as a team in that particular second half or even in the first half in maybe scoring even more goals.”

FC Cincinnati defender Geoff Cameron

On the draw
“Disappointed, obviously, in not getting three points. We were a little naive, simple mistakes kind of undid ourselves, really. Columbus is a good team with good players and they made it difficult for us in the second half. The first half we were on it and we played some good football. It was a tale of two halves, and we need to be better. We need to close out the game in a 2-nil situation. Their first goal was a great strike and kind of against the play, essentially. But if you lose the ball in particular areas, they have good players to hurt us. Disappointing, but it's still a point, it's still a positive. Unbeaten, you could say, but it still feels like a loss.”

On the second half
I think we were maybe a little anxious; nerves. We had a few players on yellow cards and we were a little bit more cautious, you could say, kind of thinking the ref might do something to even up the red card. Just little things. We've got to be a little more ruthless in the final third. We had some good opportunities to see the game out. We should have closed shop and we should have had three points, but you can't take anything away from Columbus. They have good players and play good football. Like I said, it's just disappointing.”

On the rivalry with Columbus Crew 
“You can see the enthusiasm and the importance of this game. Obviously Columbus and Cincinnati, there's a rivalry there. It's my first time playing in this. I've played in a bunch of derbies before so I kind of know what to expect. I know there's going to be physicality, there's going to be decisions made by the referee and things you can't control, and I think we just have to be better at understanding and controlling the things you can control. If you go up 2-nil in the beginning of the game you should be able to see the game out, but you know there's always going to be something in a game where it's a rivalry and there's some tension there between the two cities. They had a good fan base here today and you could hear them, and obviously you could hear our fans as well. It's great for the sport, it's great for a match like this, and it's a good experience overall.”

FC Cincinnati defender Joseph-Claude Gyau

On the start to the match
“We started off really well, we had the crowd behind us, we executed perfectly. We attacked and isolated on the wings, we had runners in the box, Edgar (Castillo) was there for the rebound. We pounced on them early on and then later in the half we had a couple breakdowns … really they didn’t have much, the one popped out to (Lucas) Zelarayan and he does what he does.”

On the takeaway from the match
“Coming into the second half, we wanted to finish them off, but that’s not how it went. They were pushing, they didn’t let up. I felt we could’ve come away with the win but that late little miscue, we ended up with a tie. I felt like we deserved to win, bittersweet, but I’m still proud of the guys. That’s still four games unbeaten and we’ll take it.”