Match Preview

PREVIEW | FC Cincinnati head west for first road tilt with Vancouver Whitecaps FC

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FC Cincinnati wrap up a stretch of eight games in 25 days on Saturday night when the Orange and Blue travel for the first time to BC Place to take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Kickoff is set for 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT and the match will stream exclusively on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app. Fans can also listen to the match locally on ESPN 1530.

FC Cincinnati (12-1-3, 39 points) bring a club-record six-game winning streak – the league’s top winning streak this season – to the Pacific Northwest. The Whitecaps (5-5-6, 21 points) are coming off winning their second-consecutive Canadian Championship on Wednesday night over CF Montréal.


Stream: MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app
TV Talent (English): Blake Price (play-by-play), Paul Dolan (analyst)
TV Talent (Spanish): Oscar Salazar (play-by-play), Diego Arrioja (analyst)
Radio: ESPN 1530
Radio Talent: Tom Gelehrter (play-by-play), Jeff Larentowicz (analyst)

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

Saturday will mark just the third all-time meeting between the Orange and Blue and the Whitecaps. FCC are 0-1-1 against Vancouver, with last season’s meeting at TQL Stadium ending in a 2-2 draw. 

Vancouver enter Matchday 18 sixth in what is turning into a wide-open Western Conference race as the midway point of the season approaches. The Whitecaps are just seven points back of first place St. Louis CITY SC and recently claimed the Canadian Championship Wednesday night.

Vancouver sputtered in their last league outing, splitting points with Sporting Kansas City last Saturday at home, but will look to get back on track at BC Place where they have lost just once this season.

The Whitecaps are a dangerous attacking side, having scored 26 goals through 16 matches, the second-highest total in the west. Five players, including leading goal scorer Brian White, have netted multiple times this season while 10 Whitecaps players have found the back of the net at least once. White has scored in three of his last four across all competitions and found the opener in Vancouver’s Canadian Championship win.

Simon Becher compliments White up front with four goals while MLS veteran Julian Gressel provides support out of midfield having played in every match this season, scoring three goals and adding five assists. 

BC Place has proven a difficult place for visiting opposition. The Whitecaps are 5-1-3 at home and unbeaten since an opening day defeat to Real Salt Lake. At home, Vancouver are outscoring opponents 20-8 and are averaging over two goals a match. They have been defensively sound as well, earning four clean sheets when playing in Vancouver.

Vanni Sartini is in his second full season at the helm for Vancouver Whitecaps after taking over on an interim basis during the 2021 season. The Italian manager led the Whitecaps to a 4-1 win in his managerial debut and went 7-2-5 down the stretch last year, leading Vancouver to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2017.

THE BUSY SCHEDULE ENDS – Saturday marks the end of Cincinnati’s eight-game stretch over a period of 25 days. While the daunting stretch could have provided a rough patch, Pat Noonan’s squad has thrived. The club is 6-0-1 over the stint, with the lone draw ending as a penalty kick shootout win for the Orange and Blue over the Red Bulls on May 23. 

WINNING STREAK – FC Cincinnati’s six-game winning streak in MLS play ranks as the longest winning streak in the club’s MLS history. It also ranks as the best winning streak in MLS this season, no team has won more in a row than the Orange and Blue. 

A win on Saturday night would match the longest winning streak of 2022 in MLS, set by eventual champions LAFC, at seven. 

HAVING THE FIRST SAY – Opponents have scored on FC Cincinnati first just once this season (April 15 at STL). Every other team in MLS have conceded first in an MLS game at least twice in 2023.

THE MAIDEN VOYAGE – FC Cincinnati will make its maiden voyage to BC Place and Vancouver. The Whitecaps are one of just four active MLS clubs which Cincinnati have never faced on their home field (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Portland Timbers, LA Galaxy, Sporting Kansas City).

AGAINST THE WEST – Saturday marks the sixth and final regular season game for FC Cincinnati against the Western Conference. The club is 4-1-0 this season in games against the West. FC Cincinnati are 7-3-3 against the West under Pat Noonan, including 3-2-1 on the road.

THE TURF MONSTER – FC Cincinnati are looking for a road win on artificial turf for the first time since March 24, 2019 – the fourth game in club history – at the New England Revolution. Since that day, the Orange and Blue are 0-7-3 in road matches played on turf across all competitions.