Match Recap

Orange and Blue fall to Atlanta United in final match of season 


FC Cincinnati dropped the final match of 2021 on Decision Day, 2-1, to visiting Atlanta United FC. Atlanta scored two second half goals to come-from-behind for the win.

The Orange and Blue conclude the season at 4-22-8 (20 points). Atlanta (13-9-12, 51 points) clinched a berth in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs with the win.

After an offensive outburst to begin the match including five shots for FC Cincinnati in the opening 15 minutes, defender Zico Bailey put the Orange and Blue in front in the 21st minute. Down the right side he found Luciano Acosta at the top of the box, who held Bailey’s pass and returned it to the defender whose left footed shot curled past outstretched Atlanta keeper Brad Guzan.

For Bailey, it was his first career goal in MLS. Acosta recorded his 10th assist of the season, one of 13 players to accomplish that across MLS in 2021.

Atlanta United FC equalized in the 70th minute on a header from Miles Robinson off a corner kick. Robinson was named to the United States Men’s National Team roster for its upcoming FIFA World Cup qualification camp including Friday’s match against Mexico at TQL Stadium.

Josef Martinez’s game-winner came in the 79th minute to give Atlanta the 2-1 win.

The 2022 Major League Soccer season will kick off on Saturday, Feb. 26, MLS announced Friday. That marks the earliest ever start to an MLS season, designed to align with the 2022 international soccer calendar, which will see the FIFA World Cup begin in Qatar on Nov. 21.

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. 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 For more information about 2022 Season Ticket Deposits and Renewals, which are coming soon, visit 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 vs Atlanta United FC

Date: November 7, 2021

Competition: MLS Regular Season

Venue: TQL Stadium – Cincinnati, Ohio

Attendance: 23,663

Kickoff: 3:45 p.m. ET

Weather: 62 degrees, clear


  • Luciano Acosta became the first player in FCC history with 10 assists in one season … he is the 13th player with double digit assists this season in MLS.
  • Acosta took three corner kicks in Sunday’s match, making him the all-time FCC leader in corner kicks taken in one season (67).
  • Brenner matched Mathieu Deplagne’s 33 starts/apps in 2019 as the most in the club’s young history … Brenner started and appeared in all but one match this season (October 23 at Inter Miami CF).
  • Allan Cruz made his 58th appearance with FC Cincinnati … at the end of the club’s third year he has made the most appearances in club history (2nd – Nick Hagglund, 57).
  • Caleb Stanko reached 3,000 career MLS minutes in the start.
  • Zico Bailey’s first MLS goal came in his 16th career match, his 12th start.


CIN: Kenneth Vermeer, Ronald Matarrita, Tyler Blackett, Gustavo Vallecilla, Zico Bailey (Joseph-Claude Gyau 59’), Haris Medunjanin (Álvaro Barreal 74’), Caleb Stanko, Luciano Acosta (c), Yuya Kubo (Calvin Harris 83’), Brandon Vázquez (Allan Cruz 59’), Brenner

Substitutes not used: Arquimides Ordonez, Ben Lundt, Isaac Atanga, Edgar Castillo, Kyle Scott

Interim Head Coach: Tyrone Marshall

ATL: Brad Guzan (c), Anton Walkes (Jake Mulraney 46’), Allan Franco, Miles Robinson, Ronald Hernandez (Brooks Lennon 68’), Matheus Rossetto, George Bello, Franco Ibarra (Jurgen Damm 68’), Josef Martinez (George Campbell 85’), Ezequiel Barco (Erick Torres 89’), Luiz Araujo

Substitutes not used: Amar Sejdic, Alec Kann, Machop Chol, Tyler Wolff

Head coach: Gonzalo Pineda

Stats Summary: CIN / ATL

Shots: 9 / 18

Shots on Goal: 3 / 4

Saves: 2 / 2

Corner Kicks: 5 / 9

Fouls: 13 / 12

Offside: 2 / 2

Possession: 38.6 / 61.4

Misconduct Summary:

CIN – Caleb Stanko (caution) 33’

ATL – Ronald Hernandez (caution) 64’

ATL – Luiz Araujo (caution) 86’

CIN – Ronald Matarrita (caution) 88’


Referee: Nima Saghafi

Ast. Referees: Ian McKay, Jeffrey Swartzel

Fourth official: Danielle Chesky

VAR: Sorin Stoica

AVAR: Peter Balciunas


FC Cincinnati Interim Head Coach Tyrone Marshall

On the match

“I thought we started off very well. Going through our week of preparation, we kept mentioning we wanted to get out on the front foot, and we did that for the first 70 minutes until they scored a goal. The sacrifice that the guys brought today, if we were seeing this when we started this journey with them, we would probably be having a different conversation. We do well for a certain amount of time, but we just can’t see it through; and that was kind of the whole season in a nutshell. The mental part of it came into perspective tonight. It was like they were playing with no fear.”

On the progress he saw throughout his tenure as interim head coach

“From what we started with to what we have now with the guys is like 360 degree turn from them. They were so willing to make those changes when we came in. You can see from the eye test, that the team before and now is different.”

His thoughts on his role

“What I'm going to take away the most is the quickness of your going to be the manager and the preparation was lacking. Once the information was given to me and my staff, it was a shock but I attacked it with reaching out to others in the league who I know have been in this situation and taking what I learned when I was playing and going through similar situations. In order to at least have a chance, you have to need to win over the locker room and have confidence and substance. We came in with credibility and I think the players respected it.”

FC Cincinnati defender Zico Bailey

On his first career goal

“I think it was just all instincts. I saw Lucho; I just played it to him, he gave it back. In the past, when I watch my games and when other people tell me what I should do, they would say, 'when you're coming in from the right to the left, just shoot far post. You never know what can happen.' So, when I took my touch, it was perfect to shoot for the far post. So, that's just what I did, and it was all instincts at that point … My mom is here, so I'll celebrate it with her, but yeah, like you said, we didn't get the win at the end of the day. So, it's not as exciting as it should be, it's the end of the season. Just trying to go out there and just enjoy it so I think I'll celebrate the season that I had.”

On his impression under Tyrone Marshall

“I think (Coach Marshall) has given me a lot of confidence. He's given me a run of games to develop rhythm. I think, as a player, that's what's most important. If you come in as a young player and you just play 15 minutes here, 10 minutes there, you can't really get a rhythm and get experience. You're kind of just thrown into the fire. With (Marshall), he's given me trust and I just have to repay him for his believing in me. That's what I try to do every single day in training and every single game. I just wanted to, in the last game, make a lasting impression and just play my best and enjoy it. I heard what some people had to say about me as a player, and I just wanted to prove them wrong as well. Like I said before, I'm fighting for my contract and my job at the end of the day, and that's what I did on the field out there today.”

FC Cincinnati midfielder Luciano Acosta
Translated from Spanish

On the 2021 season

“It’s not how we wanted this season to go, me or anyone in the locker room, but this is a new team, and we are still learning. It's a new project but our only goal is to get Cincinnati to the highest it can go.”

On being involved with Zico's first goal
“I have to get him a gift now or pay him if I'm going to be involved in that right? I'm really happy for him. He's a young guy who works really hard and had a difficult year, I'm happy for him that he got that moment.“

On working with Chris Albright on offseason changes
"He’s the guy that makes decisions, he's the boss. I'm happy to offer my opinions and happy to have conversations with him but he has the experience in MLS for so many years so at the end of the day those are his decisions to make.“