Match Preview

PREVIEW | FC Cincinnati host D.C. United to begin busy May slate 

matchday-preview-1920x1080 (1)

FC Cincinnati (6-1-3, 21 points) look to continue the club’s perfect 5-0-0 MLS record this season at TQL Stadium when the Orange and Blue take on D.C. United (4-4-2, 14 points) this Saturday, May 6. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in the Queen City.

In five prior home games against the Black and Red, FCC have never defeated D.C. United (0-3-2), which are the most games FC Cincinnati have played against any opponent in the Queen City without a win.

Saturday marks the first of at least four-consecutive home games at TQL Stadium for FC Cincinnati, with the prospect of a fifth possible should FCC advance in the U.S. Open Cup.

Saturday’s match will stream exclusively on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app. Visit here for more information on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. With the match being at home, fans watching on MLS Season Pass via Apple TV will have the option to switch to the local ESPN 1530 home radio broadcast as their audio source.

Tickets for Saturday’s match are still available at FCCincinnati.com/Tickets or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK).

FC CINCINNATI vs D.C. UNITED – SATURDAY, MAY 6, 2023 – 7:30 p.m. ET – TQL STADIUM
HOW TO WATCH

Stream: MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app
TV Talent (English): Eric Krakauer (play-by-play), Lloyd Sam (analyst)
TV Talent (Spanish): Alejandro Figueredo (play-by-play), Luis Gerardo Bucci (analyst)
Radio: ESPN 1530
Radio Talent: Tom Gelehrter (play-by-play), Kevin McCloskey (analyst)

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

WATCH SATURDAY ON MLS SEASON PASS
Saturday’s game will stream on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app. No blackouts, no restrictions. Fans can also listen to the match locally on ESPN 1530.

To switch to the home radio audio:

  1. Click on the live FC Cincinnati match in MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.
  2. Click on the radio button located in the bottom right hand corner.
  3. Choose “Home Team’s Local Radio: English” to listen to FCC’s local broadcast during the match.

For more information on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, visit FCCincinnati.com/SeasonPass. Each full-season ticket account will include one subscription to MLS Season Pass on Apple TV (one per account). Season Ticket Members should check their email for information. FAQ for Season Ticket Members

GAME ACTIVATIONS
Don’t forget to swing by Washington Park beginning at 4:30 p.m. for a number of free activities leading up to kickoff, including live music from Soul Quest, FCC inflatables, face painting, food and drink specials and more. At 6:30 p.m., fans can join the high-energy march into the stadium with smoke, drums and chants.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, fans in Ohio can purchase 50/50 Raffle Tickets to support the FC Cincinnati Foundation. All tickets can be purchased online at FCCincinnati5050.com or on the official FC Cincinnati app.

For a full list of gameday activations and TQL Stadium information, visit the matchday guide, HERE.

TUNE-IN TO FC CINCINNATI WEEKLY ON WCPO 9
To break down last Saturday’s match against New England and look ahead to preview the matchup with D.C., tune in to FC Cincinnati Weekly on WCPO 9 this Friday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Every week, FC Cincinnati fans will see previews and analysis of the club’s next opponents, previous match recaps, profiles of players, coaches, fans and league news.

ALL-TIME SERIES
D.C. United lead the all-time series over FC Cincinnati, 4-1-3.

Last season, D.C. defeated Cincinnati on March 5 in FCC’s home-opener, 1-0. Ole Kamara scored the lone goal, a penalty kick eight minutes into second-half stoppage time. But the Orange and Blue earned their first-ever win over the Black and Red on Decision Day to officially clinch a playoff berth with a 5-2 romping on October 9. 

SCOUTING D.C. UNITED (4-4-2, 14 PTS, 7TH EASTERN CONFERENCE)
D.C. United come into the Queen City red-hot. The Black and Red have won four-straight games across all competitions. Their four-game winning streak is one shy of their longest streak in the last 15 years, a run of five straight wins in September-October 2008. 

Their current form comes after they recorded just four victories in their previous 33 games dating back to last May. D.C. finished last season in last in the league, with 27 points, seven fewer than any other club. 

But their recent success, which has D.C. above the MLS Cup Playoff line through 10 matchdays, can largely be attributed to the attacking play of Belgian international Christian Benteke. The veteran striker has played every regular season minute this season, scoring five goals – including the MLS Goal of the Week last Saturday with a surreal bicycle kick against Charlotte FC. Benteke alongside Greek forward Taxiarchis Fountas, who made his season-debut in late March and has scored now in consecutive games, have formed a strong attacking duo.

Designated Player and midfielder Mateusz Klich has been key in creating chances for D.C., he has four assists this season. D.C. allowed just three goals in the month of April, with their backline spearheaded by two players who have been ruled out for Saturday: Steve Birnbaum and longtime Columbus Crew winger Pedro Santos.

United are led by English footballing legend Wayne Rooney, who will make his coaching debut in Cincinnati. Rooney, who is Manchester United’s all-time leader in goals and ranks second in the history of the English National Team in goals and caps, is in his first full season as manager of D.C. United.

FC CINCINNATI NOTES
BUSY MONTH AHEAD Saturday will be the first of six scheduled games for FC Cincinnati in the month of May, and the first of four consecutive in the Queen City. And should the Orange and Blue advance past New York City FC next Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup, a seventh game of the month will be added to the schedule either May 23 or 24. 

The most games FC Cincinnati have ever played in a month is seven, which happened in both October 2020 and October 2021. Each of those months, FCC also hosted a club-record five home games. 

LOOKING FOR A FIRST FC Cincinnati’s winless 0-3-2 record against D.C. United at home are the most games FC Cincinnati have played against any opponent in the Queen City without a win. In total, the Orange and Blue have never won at home against 16 opposing MLS clubs. However, three of those 16 clubs have never played in Cincinnati (ATX, DAL, STL). 

OUCH! No team in MLS has been fouled more than FC Cincinnati. The Orange and Blue have suffered 126 fouls this season, the most in MLS. Meanwhile, D.C. United have committed the second-most fouls in MLS (151).

D.C. CONNECTIONS FC Cincinnati midfielders Luciano Acosta (2016-19) and Junior Moreno (2018-21) face their former club. Each spent four seasons in Black and Red, with Acosta departing having made 126 MLS appearances, scoring 24 goals and 35 assists. Moreno made 97 MLS appearances, scoring one goal and adding nine assists.

Both played with current D.C. Head Coach Wayne Rooney, who played two seasons from 2018-19 for United.

THE FORTRESS The Orange and Blue enter Saturday with an unblemished 5-0-0 home record, having earned 15 points through five matches at TQL Stadium this season. 

The only other teams in MLS to remain perfect at home this season in regular season play are LAFC and Houston Dynamo FC, who are both 4-0-0.

AFTER THE HOUR MARK FC Cincinnati are the only club in MLS to have not conceded a goal after the 60th minute. Every other club has allowed at least one goal between minutes 61-90. 

UPCOMING 100 MILESTONES Both Nick Hagglund and Brandon Vazquez are close to hitting more milestones with FC Cincinnati. Hagglund, who made his 100th appearance for FCC across all competitions earlier this season, is two regular season games shy of becoming the club’s first player to appear in 100 regular season games.

Vazquez is approaching becoming FCC’s second player to reach 100 appearances across all competitions. He is at 98 games played for the club and could potentially hit the mark next Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup against NYCFC.

NOONAN’S TAKE
Head Coach Pat Noonan on D.C. United’s form
“They’ve won three in a row and four in a row if you're including the [U.S. Open] Cup game, they're in good form and deserving of these results. So this is a good test for us in terms of our on the ball decision making, patience will be important, but then you know, how we limit them with some speed at the wing back position and transition. And with the front two, you know, one of the best in terms of hold-up play,  in terms of attacking the box from balls with wide areas, set pieces with [Christian] Benteke. That's going to be really important player to make sure that we limit.”

Noonan on having four-straight home games
“It's nice to have a stretch of games here where, based on our current position and the success we've been able to have at home, we have an opportunity now with three league games and a [U.S. Open] Cup game to hopefully stay in a position that we're at or jump a position and then hopefully advance in a cup competition. But you know, we laid out the schedule [Thursday] morning and there's a busy month with the potential of a [seven] game [month] if we can advance in a competition. The focus is how do we have success against D.C. United, but this is a big stretch for us to not only improve where we're at, but test again our depth because there'll be guys that are going to get minutes and opportunities in the weeks to come. We're looking forward to it, it's nice to have four home games in a row.”