June 26, 2021
MLS SOCCER: FC Cincinnati 2, Toronto FC 0
Orange and Blue posts second straight clean sheet win
ORLANDO, Fla. – FC Cincinnati defeated Toronto FC, 2-0, Saturday night at Exploria Stadium to earn the club’s second road match victory in four days.
The Orange and Blue (3-5-1, 10 points) has won three consecutive road matches for the first time in club history and won two consecutive matches overall for the first time since the MLS is Back Tournament last July.
Toronto FC (1-7-2, 5 points) lost its fifth consecutive match. FC Cincinnati defeated Toronto for the first time in franchise history in the fourth all-time meeting between the sides.
Allan Cruz scored the third-fastest goal in FC Cincinnati history when in the 4th minute his high defensive press in Toronto’s defensive third won possession. Isaac Atanga received the ball and slid it back into Cruz behind the Toronto defense, who slotted the shot past TFC goalkeeper Alex Bono.
The Costa Rican scored his ninth-career goal for FC Cincinnati, his second this season. He holds all five of the five fastest goals in FCC history.
Luciano Acosta doubled the FC Cincinnati lead in the 68th minute. From 24-yards out he spun Michael Bradley and hit a curler with his right foot into the side netting past an outstretched Bono. Brandon Vázquez, who entered as a substitute five minutes prior, received an assist.
For Acosta, it was his second goal of the season and the 26th of his MLS career.
Goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer recorded the 100th career clean sheet of his club career. He made one save on the lone Toronto FC shot on goal, when he stopped a point blank header from TFC’s Marky Delgado in the 18th minute.
FC Cincinnati completes its three-game road trip next Saturday, July 3 at Houston Dynamo FC. Kickoff from BBVA Stadium is set for 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT, and 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, Toronto FC 0
Exploria Stadium | Orlando, Florida
June 26, 2021
CIN – Allan Cruz (Isaac Atanga) – 4’
CIN – Luciano Acosta (Brandon Vázquez) – 68’
FC Cincinnati: Kenneth Vermeer, Ronald Matarrita, Gustavo Vallecilla (Caleb Stanko 64’), Geoff Cameron, Joseph-Claude Gyau, Luciano Acosta ©, Allan Cruz, Yuya Kubo (Haris Medunjanin 81’), Isaac Atanga (Nick Hagglund 52’), Brenner (Jürgen Locadia 63’), Álvaro Barreal (Brandon Vázquez 63’)
Bench: Przemyslaw Tyton, Edgar Castillo, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Franko Kovacevic
Stats: Shots 10, Shots on Goal 4, Saves 1, Corners 3, Offside 2, Fouls 14, Possession 49.1%, Passes 472 (85.6%)
Toronto FC: Alex Bono, Chris Mavinga (Ralph Priso-Mbongue 69’), Omar González, Justin Morrow (Kemar Lawrence 46’), Eriq Zavaleta, Dom Dwyer (Ayo Akinola 60’), Marky Delgado (Tsubasa Endoh 46’), Michael Bradley ©, Patrick Mullins, Jonathan Osorio (Jacob Shaffelburg 69’), Richie Laryea
Bench: Auro, Kevin Silva, Noble Okello, Jayden Nelson
Stats: Shots 3, Shots on Goal 1, Saves 2, Corners 6, Offside 2, Fouls 9, Possession 50.9%, Passes 469 (87.4%)
TOR – Michael Bradley (caution) 33’
CIN – Yuya Kubo (caution) 38’
CIN – Ronald Matarrita (caution) 62’
CIN – Allan Cruz (caution) 78’
Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
Ast. Referees: Jason White, Brian Dunn
4th official: Silviu Petrescu
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez
AVAR: Jozef Batko
Weather: 79 degrees and clear
- Head coach Jaap Stam made no changes to the Starting XI from Wednesday’s win at Chicago Fire FC
- Allan Cruz scored the third-fastest goal in FC Cincinnati history. Impressively, he holds the five-fastest goals in FCC history (7/13/19 at CHI (1st minute); 9/14/19 at MTL (1st); 6/26/21 at TOR (4th); 8/3/19 vs VAN (6th); 5/11/19 vs MTL (7th))
- Of Cruz’s nine career goals for the Orange and Blue, seven have come in the first half. Even one of his two career second half goals came quick, his lone 2020 goal came in the 46th minute on 3/1/20 at New York Red Bulls
- FC Cincinnati has its first winning streak since the MLS is Back Tournament last July when the club knocked off Atlanta United 1-0 followed by a 2-0 win over New York Red Bulls
- Luciano Acosta scored for the first time against Toronto FC in his 10th career appearance against ‘The Reds.’ He has now scored against 15 different MLS sides
- FCC has not conceded a goal in 198 minutes of game action. It is the sixth-longest streak in franchise history
- FC Cincinnati is the third team in MLS to reach three road wins this season (Orlando, Seattle)
- The Orange and Blue is 2-0-1 when scoring first this season
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Jaap Stam
On the 1-0 win over Toronto FC
“Very happy of course with the win. Difficult week because three games in a week is not easy, especially in the beginning of the season…Another three points, it’s been a good week, after today we can relax a little bit more and we can enjoy tomorrow. Hopefully this week we can get everybody ready to do well next week.”
On the approach with two games in four days
“We spoke about how to go into these games, to show ourselves with good intentions. To be very aggressive and to be direct in going forward in terms of being positive in going forward and hopefully getting good chances and scoring goals. Today we scored a very good goal and in the first half we had more opportunities to score even more goals. Plus in the heat and humidity we were playing in and when you’re not used to it, sometimes you’re going to defend more than you want because the opposition is going to push on. To be honest, at times they made it dangerous for us but we also defended very well and concentrated, which is of course very positive.”
On Luciano Acosta’s goal
“It killed the game a little bit, because it gives the opposition a feeling of, ‘well this is going to be difficult to get back into the game.’ [Toronto] tried to at times but you can see it makes it difficult to believe. And it was an exceptional goal as well. He has the ability of doing that, he’s sure been important for us in how we play, what he can do with the ball not only for himself but also to create for others. To give us more composure at times as well. That’s why he’s been brought in as well.”
FC Cincinnati defender Joseph-Claude Gyau
On the win over Toronto FC
“Everybody’s in good spirits, we just want to keep this going. We’ve been working long and hard for this, the performances have been there, the results haven’t. I think these last two games we have shown a lot of resilience, we’re playing well together, we’re playing within ourselves, the system is working and we want to keep building on this.”
On the mindset of the team after the winning streak
“[Toronto is] a strong team, and at the end we really closed out the game well. The Chicago game, we won, but it was a little bit shaky at the end, but today we really showed dominance. We were keeping the ball, we were moving the ball well, they were tired, we weren’t. We showed really good game management today, that’s a huge positive.
FC Cincinnati defender Nick Hagglund
On the road trip
“It was a good road trip for us, six points. We were kind of looking ourselves in the mirror at the beginning of the week saying what were we about and what believing we could still do. We put two good performances together and I think the group is feeling the momentum, the positivity and the belief in the group.”
On the team’s mindset
“I think we’re always keeping an eye on the table but ultimately our focus is on the next game. So when we’re playing Chicago, we’re playing Chicago, we’re not looking forward. At this point in the season it’s about getting better every single game so for us, every time we get on the field it’s an opportunity to get better.”