Match Preview

PREVIEW | FC Cincinnati head north for first of two consecutive contests against Toronto FC

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FC Cincinnati (2-5-1, 7 points) play Toronto FC (3-3-2, 11 points) Saturday for the first of back-to-back games against the Reds. Kickoff from BMO Field is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 30.

Local TV: Star64
Local Stream:
Out of Market Stream: ESPN+
Radio: ESPN 1530
Talent: Tom Gelehrter (play-by-play), Kevin McCloskey (analyst), Alex Stec (sideline)

Be sure to follow @FCCincinnati on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for live updates from the game.

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Fans can catch the action at one of 14 official Pub Partners for located across the region. Pub Partners are presented by Coors Light.

Gary the Lion and the FCC Street Team will join the party this Saturday downtown at Rhinehaus (119 E 12th Street).

Obinna Nwobodo on arriving to FC Cincinnati, and what fans can expect from him:
“Well, it has been a long time coming. From I could say, from December 2021, I've already been aware of the transfer and everything. And then as you all know, it took a while, before we could be able to finish everything with my family and management and my club. And finally, I'm here, I'm excited. . . I cannot say much the only thing I can say is that they should expect that I will always give my best in every given time that whatever I'm able to do, it will be my best. I will never give something short or less than my best. So, I will always give everything and then we'll see how it goes.”

Pat Noonan on the matchup:
“You can see, our opponent continues to improve each week. Maybe not with the result in their most recent [game], but with their ideas with and without the ball, they continue to grow and improve. We're prepared for a team that can get after the ball defensively in ways that can make you uncomfortable. So how do we find solutions to being able to deal with the pressure moments? And then with the ball, a team that has the quality to move the ball quickly. They can beat you through the middle, they can beat you in wider areas if they're playing with the wing backs. It presents a good test for us. And we know when we step on the field that it's going to be an intense game, and we need to be prepared to match that intensity, but also have some quality with certain areas of our game to be able to get a result."

Coaching veteran Bob Bradley has taken over a Toronto squad which has seen plenty of goals through eight games in 2022. As illustrated by last Sunday’s 5-4 loss at NYCFC, TFC has scored the most goals in the Eastern Conference this season (15), but also has conceded the most in the Eastern Conference (17) alongside CF Montréal.

Jesús Jiménez has been a force up top for the Reds, his six goals are tied for the league-lead with Austin FC’s Sebastian Driussi, and he has scored in three of the last four games. Behind him include the midfield duo of Jonathan Osorio and Alejandro Pozuelo, who have each have registered four assists this season, one assist off the league-lead of five.

Former USMNT midfielder and captain Michael Bradley has started and played in all but 10 minutes of game action this year. He captains a disciplined squad which has the second-fewest yellow cards (14), offsides (7) and committed fouls (69) this season.

Goalkeeper Alex Bono has been a constant in net this season, but has seen much shifting ahead of him on the backline. Last time out against NYCFC, the Reds saw a backline of Chris Mavinga, Carlos Salcedo and Shane O’Neill.

TFC have won three straight games at home, all by a 2-1 scoreline. TFC, 3-1-0 this season at home, knocked off the Philadelphia Union in their last game at BMO Field on April 16.

LET'S PLAY TWO - For the first time in club history, FC Cincinnati will play consecutive MLS games against the same opponent. Following Saturday’s game, the two sides will meet Wednesday, May 4 at TQL Stadium at 7:30 p.m. (Tickets Available Here). 

Last season in MLS, teams playing consecutive regular season games only happened twice: Inter Miami CF and D.C. United played on May 29 and June 19, and New York Red Bulls and NYCFC played on Sept. 22 and Sept. 25

HAGGLUND’S RETURN – Cincinnati native Nick Hagglund began his career with Toronto FC, where he was drafted by the Reds in the first round (10th overall) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft out of Xavier University. He spent 2014-18 with Toronto FC before joining FC Cincinnati ahead of the club’s inaugural season in MLS in 2019.

He has made four appearances against his former club, but never at BMO Field in Toronto.

LUCHO SEEING RED – Luciano Acosta, should he start and play Saturday, will make his 13th career appearance against Toronto and his 11th start, which will be his most against any opponent in his MLS career. He enters Saturday with 12 GS/10 GP against Toronto, Atlanta and New York Red Bulls.

Acosta leads the league in creating chances, his 31 total attacking assists, otherwise known as key passes, ranks first in MLS.

THE NEW DP IN THE 513 – The newest Designated Player has arrived in the Queen City. Obinna Nwobodo (oh-BEAN-uh WOE-bo-doe) was acquired from Göztepe S.K. of the Turkish Süper Lig via transfer on April 13. The club signed Nwobodo to a contract through the 2024 season, with a club option for 2025.

Nwobodo ended his time with Göztepe ranked first this season in the Turkish Süper Lig in tackles (121), ball recoveries (432), and pressures (772). His 93 interceptions also ranked among the best in the league. The Nigerian midfielder made 62 appearances across all competitions since arriving in Turkey in September 2020.

100 FOR JUNIOR – Junior Moreno would make the 100th start of his MLS career should he be in the Starting XI on Saturday. Since being acquired by FC Cincinnati in the week leading up to the season-opener at Austin FC, he has started and played in all eight games this year for the Orange and Blue.