CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati used a pair of goals from Emmanuel Ledesma, one goal and one assist from Danni König and two assists from Justin Hoyte as the Orange and Blue topped the Richmond Kickers 4-0 on Saturday night at Nippert Stadium as they head into a bye week in the schedule.
Cincinnati (9-3-3, 30 pts.) took a 2-0 lead into the intermission after goals by Ledesma and Nazmi Albadawi, before König and Ledesma added second-half strikes to extend the lead over Richmond (4-8-1, 13 pts.).
The crowd of 28,026 was the club’s second-highest USL regular-season crowd in club history, and its seventh-largest overall in all competitions in club history.
Evan Newton made three saves to record his fourth shutout of the season, and his second in the last three USL games. FCC out-shot Richmond 16-10 on the night, including an 7-3 margin on target.
After an off week in the schedule, FC Cincinnati returns to action on Wednesday, May 27, when the team travels to face Toronto FC II at BMO Field for the first of two games that week. First kick is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the match will be televised on CW Cincinnati and streamed on ESPN+. Later in the week, FC Cincinnati will host the Ottawa Fury at Nippert Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 30. Tickets for that game are available at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-KICK (5425).
FC Cincinnati 4, Richmond Kickers 0
Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio
Saturday, June 16, 2018
FCC – Emmanuel Ledesma (Danni König) 8’
FCC – Nazmi Albadawi (Michael Lahoud) 36’
FCC – Danni König (Justin Hoyte) 60’
FCC – Emmanuel Ledesma (Justin Hoyte) 67’
FC Cincinnati: Evan Newton, Blake Smith, Dekel Keinan ©, Paddy Barrett, Justin Hoyte, Richie Ryan, Michael Lahoud (Kenney Walker 76’), Corben Bone (Jimmy McLaughlin 83’), Nazmi Albadawi, Emmanuel Ledesma, Danni König (Emery Welshman 69’)
Bench: Spencer Richey, Matt Bahner, Forrest Lasso, Russell Cicerone
STATS: Shots 16, Shots on target 7, Fouls conceded 13, Corner kicks 4, Offsides 4, Saves 3, Possession 58.6%
Richmond Kickers: Travis Worra, Austin Yearwood, Mekell Williams, Conor Shanosky, Alex Lee (William Yomby 69’), Braeden Troyer, Oscar Umar, Raul Gonzalez (Brian Shiver 56’), Yudai Imura (Scott Thomsen 86’), Luiz Fernando, Haviel Cordoves
Bench: Trevor Spangenberg, Neil Hlavaty, Fred Owusu Sekyere, Christopher Osei-Wusu
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on target 3, Fouls conceded 14, Corner kicks 2, Offsides 0, Saves 3, Possession 41.2%
RIC – Heviel Cordoves (caution) 33’
FCC – Emery Welshman (caution) 82’
RIC – Mekell Williams (caution) 90’
FCC – Dekel Keinan (caution) 91+’
Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
Weather: 86 degrees, clear and humid
FC Cincinnati: 9-3-3, 30 pts.
Richmond: 4-8-1, 13 pts.
HOW IT HAPPENED
8’ – FCC GOAL: Danni König fed Emmanuel Ledesma out wide left and the Argentine picked his head up and floated a cross/shot into the danger area. The ball beat Richmond keeper Travis Worra over the top, clipped off the crossbar and found the inside of the side netting, putting the Orange and Blue up 1-0 less than 10 minutes into the game.
36’ – FCC GOAL: The Orange and Blue worked the ball deep along the left sideline before Blake Smith pushed it ahead to Michael Lahoud. Lahoud then threaded a square pass centrally for Nazmi Albadawi, who continued to cut across the top of his box, past a pair of defenders to open up space. With a clear lane to the goal, he launched a dipping shot that looped back across the face of goal and over the out-stretched arem of Worra for a 2-0 lead.
60’ – FCC GOAL: Justin Hoyte took space down the right sideline and put a through ball back behind the heart of the Richmond defense, sending König in alone on Worra from 25 yards out. König took the space and once inside the area, beat Worra with a low shot to his left for the third FCC goal of the day
62’ – Ledesma and Albadawi nearly connected for a quick fourth goal as Ledesma got the ball and danced around a defender to make space on the right side of the box. With a trio of FCC players streaming in back behind him at the top of the box, Ledesma centered a ball and Albadawi ran onto it at the 18-yard line, but his first-time effort was pushed wide of goal
67’ – FCC GOAL: Ledesma went for the brace when he collected a centering pass from Hoyte just outside the area and launched a left-footed shot back to his left, and it bounced a yard in front of Worra’s dive and in past his outstretched arms to push the lead to 4-0
91+’ – FCC almost added a fifth goal in stopped time off Ledesma’s free-kick service as Emery Welshman ran onto the service at the near post and back-flicked a shot on that required an acrobatic save from Worra to keep it out of the goal.
93+ - Jimmy McLaughlin sent in Ledesma alone from midfield with a side-footed pass over the top of the defense. Ledesma went in for the hat-trick effort, but his last-second pass across to Emery Welshman was deflected, keeping the final score line at 4-0.
Tonight marked Cincinnati’s third four-goal game in USL play this season, and its fourth in all competitions this year
Emmanuel Ledesma recorded his second brace of the season and his first since May 5 against Atlanta United 2 … he pushed his goal scoring total to seven goals so far this year, to go with his USL-leading seven assists
Danni König’s second-half goal was his team-leading seventh of the season after picking up an assist earlier in the first half … König’s set-up of Ledesma’s first-half goal marked his first assist of the 2018 season and his second of his Cincinnati career (2017)
Nazmi Albadawi netted his fifth goal of the season and his fourth in the last six games
Justin Hoyte’s assist on König’s goal was his first of both his FCC and USL career, and then he added his second career assist just seven minutes later on Ledesma’s second of the game
Michael Lahoud registered his second assist of the season, picking up the set-up on Albadawi’s first-half goal … it was his first since his FCC debut on May 2 at Indy when he assisted on Corben Bone’s game-winning goal
Both Dekel Keinan and Richie Ryan returned to the lineup on Saturday … Ryan missed Wednesday’s game with a knee injury, while Keinan left Wednesday’s game in the first half with a groin issue
Additionally, Ledesma returned to the field after sitting out Wednesday’s game while serving a one-game yellow-card accumulation suspension
This was FC Cincinnati’s fifth shutout of the season and the fourth by Evan Newton … in all competitions, FCC has shut out three of its last four opponents, including MLS’ Minnesota United FC in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup (June 6, 0-0 through extra time as MNUFC advanced in penalties)
The announced crowd of 28,026 was FC Cincinnati’s second-largest regular-season USL crowd in club history (30,417 vs. New York Red Bulls II on Sept. 17, 2017) and the seventh largest crowd in club history among all competitions
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch:
“Very happy with the performance tonight, very happy with the result. Very, very proud of our players, our coaches, our medical, everyone who works with us every single day. It’s been a long slog to get where we are this evening. Everyone’s earned a bit of a break. We’ll give the guys a bit of a strategic break between now and our next game, which is 10 days away, so it’ll actually be nice to breathe for a little while. Very, very proud of the group. Very, very proud of the work that everybody’s putting in every single day.”
“Ten (points) out of 12 and considering going to New York and going to North Carolina and playing against a very, very good Bethlehem the other night, and getting three points tonight is a fantastic stretch. And obviously the disappointment of losing in penalty kicks - but the performance against Minnesota of MLS was first-class, too, from the guys. So, the last two weeks have been very, very impressive from the players and everyone associated with what we do. And the fans, too, to be honest. Every single game we’ve played at home, tonight was a very impressive turnout by the fans, too. I always say we’re not going to get too carried away, obviously, but the table doesn’t lie at the moment. We certainly know we still have a lot of work still to do, and we’re more than willing to put the work in we have to do every day.”
“100 percent. The guys actually went – and it’s not that easy to go manage all the different elements of a game – and they managed every element of the game to perfection. They managed how we asked them to play, which was excellent in and out of possession. They managed what Richmond’s strengths were, and weaknesses, so they nullified their strengths and capitalized on their weaknesses. They managed the weather, which is huge. It’s not that easy going out and playing with full intensity over the course of 90 minutes. And obviously managed the occasion. A great big crowd on a Saturday night in Cincinnati. So obviously very, very proud of the group. It was a very, very good performance tonight. But not our only good performance. It was a good once and it was a nice one finishes off a long, long stretch. “
FC Cincinnati defender Justin Hoyte
“It’s nice to get the assists and get forward as much as I can, really, and support the attack. That’s part of my job. But first and foremost, it’s my defensive duties first. Tonight we had a lot of possession so it was perfect for me to get forward. And then to create chance for the strikers was fantastic, and to be rewarded with the assists on the goals and for Danni (König’s) was great. And if the forward players in the midfield didn’t make the runs, it wouldn’t have been possible. It’s nice, it’s great to forward. It’s one of my strengths. On this team, however I can contribute to the team is now what I need to do.”
“I think we have a great, strong unit no matter who comes in and plays. (Matt) Bahner’s played in a few games and has done fantastic when he’s come in. Paddy (Barrett)’s done fantastic, Dekel (Keinan)’s done fantastic. Forrest (Lasso). Blake (Smith) has done perfectly well on the left, and Lance (Laing) when he’s played. So defensively, we have a fantastic unit. We work every day in training. We’re a tight group. It’s not just the back four and the goalkeepers. It’s the whole team. We showed tonight just how well we can defend as a team. We’ve showed in other games just how defensively strong we are. We’re making this Nippert Stadium a fortress and we’re defending perfectly well against strong teams and we’re going to take that forward into every game. We’re going to try to make sure when people come here they’re not going to get an easy ride and an easy game. From the front we’re going to be pressing hard and we’re going to give everyone a hard time.”
FC Cincinnati midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma
“You can see this match. We have a lot of quality here. I know I’ve played with a lot of good players and I learn every single day in training with them. And I learn here every single day. That’s what we show to the fans. High quality. High intensity.”
“It’s because last year when I scored my first goal with the Cosmos, I celebrated like that. I don’t know why, but the next game I scored again and said, ‘Ok, I like this celebration.’ So I scored again and I kept celebrating like that. Now, every time, I’m going to score a goal, I’m celebrating like that. It’s nothing about Ronaldo and Messi … just because it’s funny. Like, ‘Champions!’ But sometimes, for instance, against New York Red Bulls, I didn’t celebrate like that because I was so tired. If I do that celebration, I get cramps everywhere, so I saved my energy to the game. And today, I feel better.”
“I’m not a superstar. For me, the star is in the sky. For me, it’s teamwork. A lot of teamwork. And then a little bit of lucky. And then try. Somebody tell to me if you don’t try, you don’t know. So I tried today, and it go inside. And it’s good for the team. At the last ball, I tried to pass to Emery (Welshman), to be fair, because I have a chance to score the third goal but I prefer to him. Because I know he’s coming from far away to score a goal, and for me it’s more important if the striker scores a goal, the natural strikers. So I think I say this a lot of times, but I’m more happy if I do the assist and not a goal. Today was unlucky for Emery but I delayed too much.”