FC Cincinnati conclude their second MLS season on Sunday afternoon when they face Inter Miami CF on Decision Day.
Here are the main storylines approaching the 2020 finale:
Locadia: “The fans deserve a good game”
The “Magic Wall” isn’t necessary for FC Cincinnati’s path moving forward. For the second time in as many years, the Orange and Blue will finish last in MLS.
With 16 points from 22 games, the club is the only one that can’t reach at least 21 points in the league – and is the only team in the Eastern Conference not competing for a playoff spot.
That is not ideal, obviously. But it’s the current reality, and FCC coaches and players want to make the most of their situation before a looming offseason of necessary change to transform a side competing for a spot on the opposite side of the table.
“The final match and an important one for us to end the season a little bit better in hopefully get a result,” head coach Jaap Stam said. “You want to win games, even if it’s the last game and it won’t help us in the table or get into the playoffs. We still want to win and get a result and get a little bit of a better feeling to end the season.”
Stam emphasized “a little bit,” a recognition of a frustrating and disappointing season. Jürgen Locadia reiterated that message.
“It’s been a long season and a crazy season so far, but I do think everyone, the people in the club … and the fans deserve a good game at least,” Locadia said. “Everybody is ready and we look forward to our last game of the season.”
When Cincinnati was in a similar spot to close 2019, nine-man FCC held D.C. United scoreless in the finale and forced D.C. to lose its home-field advantage in the postseason…
…So why not spoil another party?
Here’s a look at the conference standings approaching Decision Day:
10. Chicago Fire FC | 23 points
11. Atlanta United FC | 22 points
12. Inter Miami CF | 21 points
13. D.C. United | 21 points
14. FC Cincinnati | 16 points
With Chicago currently clinging to the last playoff spot, Miami needs a win if it wants to secure a postseason berth in its first MLS season. Anything less ends the club’s season.
So, it’s up to FC Cincinnati to spoil that party.
“(Miami is) a team that need to win as well,” Stam said. “We can expect them to come and not give away a lot of space ... It’s a game to show a lot in what we can do to make it difficult for the opposition.”
FC Cincinnati at Inter Miami CF
When: Sunday, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Inter Miami CF Stadium (Fort Lauderdale)
Weather: 78 Degrees, Thunderstorm
TV: WSTR Star 64
In-Market Stream: www.fccincinnati.com/stream
Out-of-Market Stream: www.fccincinnati.com
Local Radio: WDJO 99.5 FM | 107.9 FM | 1480 AM
Audio Stream: TuneIn App| www.fccincinnati.com
Victor Ulloa played in 28 matches for FCC in 2019 across all competitions.
Alvas Powell made 13 appearances for Cincinnati in 2019.
Both Greg Garza and Brandon Vazquez played with Mikey Ambrose and Leandro González Pírez for Atlanta United FC. All four were in Atlanta in 2017 and 2018, while Ambrose, LGP and Vazquez – and Brek Shea – were teammates in 2019.
Garza and Shea were USMNT teammates on four occasions, while Gyau and Shea represented the national team in the same match on one occasion.
Nick Hagglund and Jay Chapman spent four seasons together for Toronto FC (2015-18).
Haris Medunjanin and John McCarthy were teammates in 2017 and 2018 for the Philadelphia Union
Spencer Richey and David Norman Jr. were Vancouver Whitecaps 2 teammates in 2017.
Hassan Ndam and Luis Robles were in the New York Red Bulls setup in 2017 and 2018.
Andrew Gutman and Lewis Morgan were both in the Celtic FC organization in 2019, while Gutman was on loan with FCC.
Garza and Juan Agudelo both represented the USMNT on two occasions: April 16, 2016, against Mexico and Jan. 29, 2017, against Serbia
Garza and Lee Nguyen were USMNT teammates on Nov. 14, 2014, against Colombia.
Gyau and Wil Trapp represented the USMNT on June 5, 2019, against Jamaica.