CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati recorded its fourth straight shutout and defeated the Charlotte Independence, 2-0, on Wednesday night in front of a mid-week USL record 25,251 fans at Nippert Stadium.

FC Cincinnati (12-3-5, 41 pts.) put an early lead up on the Charlotte Independence (7-7-6, 27 pts.) behind Dekel Keinan’s rebound goal off a corner kick in the seventh minute, before Forrest Lasso extended the lead to 2-0 in the 20th minute with his headed goal off a free kick.

For the fourth straight match, FCC goalkeeper Evan Newton kept his opponent off the board, making one save to extend his shutout streak to 375 minutes. This was the Orange and Blue’s ninth shutout of the season and the eighth by Newton. Tonight’s clean sheet also marks the second time in club history the squad posted four straight shutouts.  

FC Cincinnati plays its next five games – including an international friendly against La Liga’s RCD Espanyol – at Nippert Stadium between July 21 and August 18. Next up, on Saturday, July 21, the Orange and Blue will host New York Red Bulls II. The game will be televised live on WSTR 64, carried live on ESPN 1530 and streamed live on ESPN+. Next weekend, FCC will also host an international friendly against La Liga’s RCD Espanyol on Saturday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for all games – including the international friendly – are available at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-KICK (5425).

FC Cincinnati 2, Charlotte Independence 0
Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

CIN - Dekel Keinan (unassisted) 7’
CIN - Forrest Lasso (Kenney Walker) 20’

FC CINCINNATI: Evan Newton, Blake Smith, Forrest Lasso, Dekel Keinan, Justin Hoyte, Corben Bone, Michael Lahoud, Jimmy McLaughlin (Russell Cicerone 76’), Kenney Walker, Emmanuel Ledesma (Nazmi Albadawi 90’), Emery Welshman

Bench: Spencer Richey, Paddy Barrett, Matt Bahner, Danni Konig, Will Seymore

STATS: Shots 16, Shots on goal 5, Fouls 9, Offsides 2, Corner kicks 9, Saves 2, Possession 52.0%

CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE: Andrew Dykstra, Donnie Smith, Henry Kalungi, Bilal Duckett (Samuel Vines 81’), Je-Vaughn Watson, Yann Ekra (Eamon Zayed 60’), Kay Voser (Mutaya Mwape 88’), Kevan George, Jake Areman, Jorge Herrera, Cordell Cato​​​​​​​

Bench: Brandon Miller, Ricardo Perez, Greg Jordan​​​​​​​

STATS: Shots 15, Shots on goal 2, Fouls 8, Offsides 1, Corner kicks 4, Saves 3, Possession 48.0%

CLT - Bilal Duckett (caution) 28’
CLT - Eamon Zayed (caution) 65’
CIN - Emmanuel Ledesma (caution) 67’
CLT - Kay Voser (caution) 87’
CIN - Emery Welshman (caution) 87’

Referee: Jon Freemon
Weather: 85 degrees, clear
Attendance: 25,251


7’ | FCC GOAL -- A corner kick opportunity came early for the Orange and Blue. Emmanuel Ledesma placed a ball cleanly in front of the goal and Forrest Lasso’s header hit the top cross bar and bounced straight down and nicked Charlotte goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra. With the ball loose, Dekel Keinan was there for the rebound with his right foot from close range to give Cincinnati the early lead
11’ | FCC attacked again moments later when Corben Bone retained possession about 40 yards away from his goal. Bone dribbled deeper, invading the box to set up Jimmy McLaughlin at the six-yard mark. McLaughlin had a good chance at the goal, but his try missed just wide of the right goal post.
20’ | FCC GOAL -- On a free kick deep in the Charlotte defensive zone, Kenney Walker found Lasso at close range with a cross in from the left flank. Lasso soared over his defender with a header back a cross the goal and into the far side to double the Cincinnati lead.
66’ | Emery Welshman tried for a third score from the left side of the box. Bone threaded a ball through the defense to Welshman, but Dykstra broke up the chance and earned a save.

The Orange and Blue extended their unbeaten run to nine games after beating Charlotte on Wednesday … in those nine contests, FCC is 6-0-3, including a 4-0-1 mark at home
FCC goalkeeper Evan Newton pushed his shutout streak to 375 minutes, which is the second-longest mark in club history … additionally, he has now gone 381 minutes without allowing a goal at home … FCC’s club record shutout streak was 405 minutes, which the club set from Sept. 5 through Oct. 1, 2016, and also included a playoff match
By holding Charlotte scoreless Wednesday night, FCC posted its fourth consecutive clean sheet for the second time in club history
With over 25,251 fans in attendance at Nippert, FC Cincinnati set a new USL attendance record for midweek game … the Orange and Blue held the previous record when they welcomed 22,407 fans through the gates on June 13 for the Bethlehem Steel FC game
Tonight’s starting lineup changes - Jimmy McLaughlin in for Nazmi Albadawi and Emery Welshman in for Danni Konig - marked head coach Alan Koch’s first changes in four games … FCC had started the same 11 players in each of the last three contests, the longest stretch of the season with the same starting lineup

FCC Head Coach Alan Koch

On who he thinks is the best team in the USL Eastern Conference...
“What I think doesn’t mean anything and where teams are in the standings today means absolutely nothing.”

On the goals by Dekel Keinan and Forrest Lasso...
“I’m ecstatic for both of them because they both take a lot of pride in scoring goals in set pieces. Forrest scored a lot last year and Dekel has scored a lot in his career, so I know both of them were getting frustrated … We worked more on them in the last two weeks than we did in the previous part of the season, so it was fantastic to see the guys get rewarded with two set-piece goals.”

On the urgency with scoring in a set piece...
“As long as you’re winning, it doesn’t matter how you score. But, we all know that you’re going to score goals from open play and you’re going to score goals from set pieces. the most dangerous teams in this business are the teams that can score goals from open play and score from set pieces.”

On improved play since last match against Charlotte...
“Last time we played Charlotte, we were not very good … They’re a team that’s very good at finding space, and you could see that tonight. When they did find the space they looked dangerous, and when we took that space away from them, we nullified all of their strengths. That’s what we learned from the last game.”

Previewing Saturday’s opponent New York Red Bulls II...
“New York is a great club, we’ve played the first team, we’ve played the second team. To be quite frank, both of those teams have given us great games last year and this year … We’re looking forward to the opportunity to try getting ourselves another three points. We know the type of team that they are, they’re going to be energized and ready to go from the start.”

Defender Forrest Lasso

On his header goal...
“Obviously, with my physicality and my size, that’s something I should be able to take full advantage of. It’s a little cliche, but practice makes perfect so it paid off tonight.”

On missing his first one and connecting moments later...
“To be completely honest, on the first one, I knew I got contact. I didn’t know what happened afterwards. I didn’t know if the keeper saved if, if it hit the post or if it went over. But, it doesn’t matter to me as long as it went in the net. We had the goal. Our job was to defend and that was more important tonight.”

On earning his first goal...
“Extremely [relieving]. Scoring is a great feeling. Obviously, as a defender it’s a little rare. I’d rather get a clean sheet every day of the week than score. So, I guess I got a little selfish tonight.”

On the set piece goal...
“Coach has been stressing a lot recently that we have the size, the physicality and the skill to be able to convert on set pieces. It’s kind of like the floodgates type of deal hopefully, we’ve been waiting and we’ve been right there, hopefully it’ll keep coming in.

Midfielder Kenney Walker

On the set piece goal...
“We’ve been working on set pieces for the past two weeks, more and more in training, so we just have dangerous areas that we decided to attack against this team. That’s one of the areas we were focusing on, just whip it in hard on the goalie and make it hard for him.”

On FCC’s unbeaten streak...
“I didn’t even know it has been nine games unbeaten. I just show up every week, practice and try to win the game. It’s fun coming out and playing with the guys every day. When we’re having fun and we put results together, even if it’s a draw. I know we all work hard to put the result in and get three points, but it’s soccer at the end of the day, and fortunately we get the results.”

Goalkeeper Evan Newton

On the four straight clean sheets...
“I think everyone is putting the work in. I think we kind of have a consistent group that’s been playing, you know the back four and the guys in front. We’re kind of starting to gel. That definitely helps and everyone’s putting in good performances.”

On scoreless minutes record at home...
“It’s a team effort, everyone puts it in. Honestly, those are all just cherries on top. It’s all about winning, three points is the key. Even if we win 4-3, we’ll be disappointed in the back, but as long as we win, that’s the goal.”

On the gap in the standings...
“We take a lot of pride in winning here, we have a lot of winners. I think we’re a good that when we draw, we’re pretty disappointed. It says a lot about our group that draws are kind of bad results for us. We want to keep the pedal on the floor and keep getting wins.”