FCC fall in tournament opener


ORLANDO – FC Cincinnati fell to Columbus Crew SC, 4-0, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday night.

Columbus Crew SC (2-0-1, 7 pts.) opened the scoring in the 30th minute when Lucas Zelarayán curled a free kick off the near post and beyond an outstretched Przemysław Tytoń from just outside the 18-yard box. Just minutes later, Crew SC’s Youness Mokhtar slipped a pass through to Gyasi Zardes who doubled Columbus’ lead. The Black and Gold added two more goals in the second half.

FC Cincinnati (0-3-0, 0 pts.) head coach Jaap Stam made his coaching debut for the Orange and Blue in tonight’s match. Additionally, three players made their club debuts in the match – Saad Abdul-Salaam, Siem de Jong and Tom Pettersson.

FC Cincinnati will return to the pitch for their second Group E match of the MLS is Back Tournament on Thursday, July 16, when the team plays Atlanta United FC. First kick is set for 9 a.m., and the game will be televised live on ESPN and streamed on WatchESPN.

For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. For more information about the Orange and Blue’s activities and events at and supporting the MLS is Back Tournament, please visit the team’s website at, or the club’s tournament landing page at

Information about seating options at the club’s state-of-the-art West End Stadium – which will open in Spring 2021 – is now available at The priority deadline for premium seating deposits has passed, and deposits for traditional reserved seating will open later this year. For more information about 2021 season memberships, visit or the stadium’s social properties on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram at @WestEndStadium, or by calling the team’s sales and service staff at 513-977-5425.

Columbus Crew SC 4, FC Cincinnati 0
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex | Orlando, Fla.
July 11, 2020

CLB – Lucas Zelarayán (unassisted) 27’

CLB – Gyasi Zardes (Younes Mokhtar) 30’

CLB – Gyasi Zardes (Lucas Zelarayán) 49’

CLB – Younes Mokhtar (Hector Jimenez, Lucas Zelarayán) 60’

FC Cincinnati: Przemysław Tytoń, Saad-Abdul Salaam, Tom Pettersson, Kendall Waston ©, Greg Garza (Andrew Gutman HT), Haris Medunjanin (Caleb Stanko 63’), Frankie Amaya, Yuya Kubo, Adrien Regattin (Allan Cruz 63’), Kekuta Manneh (Brandon Vazquez 53’), Siem de Jong (Fatai Alashe 68’)

Bench: Spencer Richey, Bobby Edwards, Zico Bailey, Mathieu Deplagne, Nick Hagglund, Tommy McCabe

Stats: Shots 6, Shots on goal 3, Saves 2, Corner kicks 1, Offsides 1, Fouls 14, Possession 37.7%, Passes 382 (84.8%)

Columbus Crew SC: Eloy Room, Jonathan Mensah ©, Vito Wormgoor (Aboubacar Keita 17’), Hector Jimenez, Harrison Afful, Darlington Nagbe (Aidan Morris 77’), Artur (Sebastian Berhalter 77’), Lucas Zelarayán (Derrick Etienne Jr’ 62’), Luis Diaz (Chris Cadden 62’), Younes Mokhtar, Gyasi Zardes

Bench: Matt Lampson, Andrew Tarbell, Josh Williams, Miguel Berry, Axel Sjoberg

Stats: Shots 13, Shots on goal 6, Saves 3, Corner kicks 6, Offsides 2, Fouls 6, Possession 62.3%, Passes 626 (91.2%)


CIN – Frankie Amaya (caution) 44’

CIN – Fatai Alashe (caution) 82’

CLB – Jonathan Mensah (caution) 87’

Referee: Ismail Elfath

Assistant Referees: Andrew Bigelow, Cory Richardson

4th Official: Ramy Touchan

VAR: Dave Gantar

AVAR: Chris Elliott

Weather: 78 degrees and clear

Attendance: N/A


  • With tonight’s loss, the Orange and Blue are now 0-3-0 through three MLS matches … in addition, FC Cincinnati drop to 0-1-0 in the MLS is Back Tournament … FC Cincinnati’s all-time, all-competition record against Columbus Crew SC sits at 1-2-1 … The Orange and Blue are now 0-3-0 against Eastern Conference opponents
  • Tonight’s match was FC Cincinnati’s first MLS match to be played at a neutral venue … it was also the first time a #HellisReal Derby match has been contested outside the state of Ohio
  • Tonight’s match was the first match in FC Cincinnati’s MLS history where the club was able to make five substitutions in a match … the Orange and Blue were permitted to make up to five substitutions in their inaugural USL season in 2016 … prior to tonight’s contest, the most recent time FC Cincinnati used five substitutions in a match was a 2016 USL regular-season match at the Charlotte Independence on Aug. 31, 2016
  • For the first time in club history, the Orange and Blue fielded a 22-man matchday roster … prior to tonight’s contest, FC Cincinnati had never had more than 18 players named to a matchday roster
  • Originally scheduled to start at 10:30 p.m. ET, tonight’s match was delayed nearly an hour and ultimately started at 11:20 p.m. ET … tonight’s first kick was the latest in club history, regardless of time zone.
  • Siem de Jong made his FC Cincinnati debut in this evening’s contest … the midfielder played 68 minutes and created two chances … FCC officially acquired de Jong on Feb. 25, 2020; however, the midfielder was unavailable for each of the Orange and Blue’s first two regular season matches while he awaited his approved work visa
  • Tom Pettersson made his FC Cincinnati debut in tonight’s match … the defender started and played all 90 minutes and completed 58-of-63 total passes … Pettersson was acquired by FC Cincinnati on a free transfer on Dec. 19, 2019
  • Additionally, Saad-Abdul Salaam made his FC Cincinnati debut in the Orange and Blue’s first group-stage match … the defender played all 90 minutes and created one chance … Abdul-Salaam was selected by FC Cincinnati in Stage 2 of the 2019 MLS Re-Entry Process on Dec. 3, 2019.
  • Przemysław Tytoń earned his first start of the 2020 season … Tytoń registered 2 saves … the Polish goalkeeper made 15 starts, including both matches against Columbus Crew SC, in FC Cincinnati’s inaugural season
  • Allan Cruz made his 25th career MLS regular-season appearance in today’s match … the midfielder made his first substitute appearance of the season when he replaced Adrien Regattin in the 63rd minute … it was Cruz’s second all-time substitute appearance with FC Cincinnati, the Costa Rican came off the bench in FC Cincinnati’s match at New York on April 27, 2019
  • Haris Medunjanin registered his 100th career MLS start in tonight’s match
  • Derrick Etienne Jr. became the first player to play both for and against FC Cincinnati in MLS … Etienne logged 29 minutes for the Black and Gold as a substitute … Etienne made five appearances, including two starts, for the Orange and Blue while on loan from the New York Red Bulls last season
  • Joseph-Claude Gyau (precautionary), Jurgen Locadia (quad), Jimmy McLaughlin (ankle) and Maikel van der Werff (precautionary) were unavailable for selection because of injury

FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam
On players having a letdown after conceding a goal

“Well I can understand, because I've been in these situations myself as well as a player. You know when things are not always going how you want them to be – and it's difficult – and then when you’re conceding, well, there's a lot of disappointment … You know I've played games myself as well when you're three-nil up, and then within six minutes you can concede three goals and – that's even with the best teams in In Europe. And that’s what I mean before, you need to stay positive, and you need to react in a certain way, you're a professional. I think all the players are willing to do that, you know, they're willing to work very hard for it. In a way, I can understand that there's disappointment, but we need to find that switch that even when there's disappointment, we can turn that around and we were willing to go for that.”

On the performance of FC Cincinnati’s backline

“You know, we don't always look only at the backline, the back four or five with the goalkeeper. You know, sometimes you need to make changes because of small injuries. Sometimes, you make changes because of choices. In a way, that's good as well because every player that can play or haven't been playing in the past can show himself, and that's why we play these games as well. And of course, like everybody else, you want to have points, but sometimes that becomes a little bit more difficult. Yeah, there's sometimes choices being made … Like your colleague has asked me before, sometimes when you're joining a team, you need to go off by the first impressions in what you see in the first couple of weeks, and that's how you make choices. Sometimes, you know, choices are being made because of other issues and that's how it goes in soccer. The thing needs to be that everybody who is in this roster and wants to play, they need to show themselves again and they've got the opportunity to do that.”

On what positives he saw from the team in tonight’s match

“Well, as a coach, you're always picking up things, and you're holding onto things that are going well. Of course, we also see things that we need to improve, that we need to do better. You know, the things that we did well, we need to build from that, and we could have done during the game, the same things as the first 15-20 minutes. The only thing is of course, that if in the mindset of players or when there's disappointment, and then when you go behind a couple of times, it’s difficult to change that and still do the same thing. Then the opposition gets of course a lot of confidence by scoring a couple of goals and that makes it easier for them. You know, about the first 20 minutes, I'm very happy. I can see also in the second half with all the subs that we made as well that players still want to go, and then they tried to put the work in and tried to do their best. At times you also need to be honest with yourself and tell yourself that today it wasn’t good enough.”

FC Cincinnati midfielder Siem de Jong
Overall thoughts on the match  

“Well, it’s a tough match. For the first game to end like this doesn’t feel good, of course. I think we started off OK. We played well between the lines, created opportunities to go forward and I think during the game, the opportunities we got to go forward, I think we need to be a little bit more effective and a little bit more patient in those moments. After their first goal, the free kick, I think we struggled and think as a team we weren’t sticking together and tried to press a little bit and try and drop in as well, and I think on those two thoughts, we opened up the game too much and gave them too much space. These are moments as a team we need to learn from and build on I think, first game, anything can happen, but this is not of course what you wanted.”

On first game in four months and debut

“Of course, it’s difficult. I mean, four months without a game, no friendlies, difficult circumstances, but of course, that counts for both teams. I think you can see they were maybe a little bit used to playing with each other more than we were. Circumstances, game delayed, all those things, yeah, counted for both teams. Yeah, it’s not an ideal situation, but it’s not an excuse for us to get this result … We started off well, but the game had too many, a lot of downs and not enough ups.”

On Adrien Regattin kicking the ball out in the box following a Crew SC injury

“I couldn't see what really happened to the defender. I think Adrien heard something and he was a bit shocked at the moment. I hope it’s not too bad for Vito (Wormgoor). I know him. But yeah, in that moment, he decided to do that and that's his choice and I stand with him in his choice.”

FC Cincinnati defender Saad Abdul-Salaam
Overall thoughts on the match  

“Yeah, I agree with him (Siem de Jong). Obviously, it’s our first game, a new coach coming into the tournament. I think there’s a lot to take away from the first game. Obviously, the result is not what we wanted, but there are things for us to build on. There were definitely some positives in there, in the first 15 to 20 minutes, I thought we played as a team very well. Got in between the lines, opened up some chances for ourselves, and I think as the game continued after the free-kick we just got a little discouraged. I think that is something for us to learn as a new team and build on going forward.”

On tonight’s result and adjusting to another game in four days 

“It’s always tough. Especially going in after a long period of time, coming into the bubble, getting used to situations, circumstances, the game was delayed, and at the end of the day we are still getting used to each other. We are still trying. We are still learning. So, I’ll go back again and say it’s a learning experience. We have to build on it. We have to learn, and moving forward we are going to do better each game. Sometimes you don’t get the result … but as a team you have to stick together and continue moving forward.”

On what Jaap Stam has accomplished in his first weeks

“I think with the addition of Jaap (Stam) coming in, it definitely made everyone in the team explode with confidence. I think from practices, everyone’ showing up, training a lot harder and showing what they can do on the field. With that, Japp (Stam) is more attacking than Ron (Jans). So, we are trying to go forward. We are trying to create space. We are trying to create more opportunities. So, it’s going to take time. It’s not an overnight thing, and every day we are getting better. As you can see early in the game, we created chances. Now it’s just about sustaining it and keep building on it and keep getting better from practice and each game. As Siem (de Jong) said, we didn’t really have too many friendlies, but that is not an excuse. We have to learn. We have to get better.”