PREVIEW| FC Cincinnati host new look New York Red Bulls


A familiar foe emerges and restarts a heated series that saw drama and intrigue abound in 2023, with even more excitement expected to appear in 2024. The New York Red Bulls return to TQL Stadium for the first time since FC Cincinnati eliminated them from the MLS Cup Playoffs last season. FC Cincinnati swept the New York club in two games thanks to a clutch performance in penalty kicks at Red Bull Arena. 

Much has changed since then, but after a record-breaking five meetings with NYRB in 2023, the tensions hit a fever pitch in that final meeting and bad blood likely still exists. However, FCC has been a target of every club since emerging as Supporter Shield favorites and eventual winners in 2023. 

"I think it's about understanding that there's a standard now," defender Matt Miazga said in a press conference Thursday. "Realizing that we're gonna be the target. There's gonna be a target on our back now. So everyone's trying to come after us and we understand in soccer it's not always easy to win consistently, year in and year out, but we understand that we have a good team." 

Miazga, the 2023 MLS Defender of the Year, has helped lead the FCC defense to a league-best defensive record in 2024, conceding a league-low three goals in MLS play, with only one coming from open play. The defense has carried the club through a challenging opening stretch of play despite having very little training time, thanks to schedule congestion. 

The Red Bulls boast a powerful offense, with the league-leading goal scorer starting in Lewis Morgan and a new European star centering the midfield in Emil Forsberg. However, FC Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan believes the success of the Red Bulls starts with their ability to defend. 

"They have a really good way of getting pressure to the ball and making teams uncomfortable," Noonan said at Thursday's pre-match press conference. "How they've done it has looked a little bit different in games, whether it's in more advanced positions where they're initiating that pressure, or you see in moments in the Orlando game, where it's a little bit deeper but still tough to break down. They still have ways where they look to press teams to create transition moments, and they still do a very good job of getting out in transition." 

While FC Cincinnati and the Red Bulls have had heated exchanges in the past and those hard feelings may not be squashed entirely, Noonan said Thursday he feels there is no reason to rehash the past going into the future. 

"There's no reason for me to bring that into play unless I'm trying to motivate the guys," Noonan said. "I would like to think that (FCC players) haven't lost sight of how the series ended. We were fortunate enough to move on, but if guys want to look back at that, in their own ways, so be it. It's just not how I care to approach this particular game because I just think there's enough out there to inform them (with)."

FC Cincinnati enters the matchday in first place in the Eastern Conference with 12 points and is tied for first in the Supporters Shield standings with LA Galaxy. Galaxy currently holds the tiebreaker with a better goal differential but has conceded three times as many goals as FC Cincinnati.

FC CINCINNATI vs New York Red Bulls – Saturday, April 6, 2024 – 7:30 p.m. ET – TQL Stadium


Stream:MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
TV Talent (English): Steve Cangialosi (PXP) & Danny Higginbotham (Analysis)
TV Talent (Spanish): Diego Pessolano (PXP) & Daniel Chapela (Analysis), 

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.

All-time versus New York Red Bulls

FC Cincinnati and the New York Red Bulls have history. With 15 matches across all competitions, the charter club is FC Cincinnati's most common opponent since joining MLS in 2019. With a 5-5-5 record across those matches, the record is all square, but with a 1-3-1 record against NYRB at home, FCC is looking to improve their home record. 

Last season, FCC took on the Red Bulls five times and came out victorious in four of them with a 2-1-2 record. Those two draws, though, both saw FCC advance in their respective tournaments on penalty kicks. Since the Pat Noonan era began in 2022, FCC has been an impressive 3-1-4 against NYRB, with the lone loss coming due to heavy rotation after clinching the 2023 Supporters Shield and looking to prepare for the MLS Cup Playoffs. 

Luciano Acosta leads the club's active members with two goals against the Red Bulls. Obinna Nwobodo and Matt Miazga both have a goal to round out the current goalscorers in regular season play. Yuya Kubo and Aaron Boupendza both had goals against the Red Bulls last season as well, with Kubo scoring in the US Open Cup and Boupendza scoring an important equalizer in the MLS Cup Playoffs that would lead to FCC winning in PKs and advancing to the next round.


Unbeaten Run – FC Cincinnati is unbeaten in MLS play in 2024 and on an eight-match unbeaten run in regular season play dating back to 2023. The eight-match streak is tied for the third-longest streak in club history, following an 11-game stretch in 2022 (July 23-September 27) and a 10-game stretch in 2023 (April 22-June 21).

Everything can change – With 42 goals scored across all competitions, FCC captain Luciano Acosta is one shy of tying the club record for all-time goals scored with 43 (Brandon Vazquez). Acosta’s 36 goals in MLS play are already the club record. Aaron Boupendza’s seven MLS goals are the next highest all-time by an active member of The Orange and Blue. 

…in a New York Minute – DeAndre Yedlin leads all MLS players with 573 minutes played in 2024, combining his 303 minutes played for The Orange and Blue and the 270 minutes he logged for Inter Miami CF before his trade to Cincy.  

Big Man on Mulberry Street – FC Cincinnati has faced off against the New York Red Bulls 15 times since joining MLS in 2019, making them the most common opponent in club history. Last season, FCC and the Red Bulls faced off five times in 2023 (another record) and earned a 2-1-2 record with the two draws, resulting in PK victories for FCC in the MLS Cup Playoffs and US Open Cup.

SCOUTING New York Red Bulls (3-1-2, 12 points, 4th in Eastern Conference, D-W-L-W-W)

The Red Bulls are under new management, have new stars, and are off to one of their hottest starts in recent memory after issuing a thrashing to Inter Miami CF and taking down Houston and Dallas to open the season. 

However, the one thing that looks unfamiliar for the charter MLS club is that they have gone away from their identity slightly and are no longer looking like the Red Bulls of old. 

Under new manager Sandro Schwarz, who brings over a decade of coaching experience in Europe after a notable playing career in the Bundesliga, the Red Bulls have shed the moniker of "Red Bull Ball" through six games in favor of an exciting, uptempo attack that has New York as one of the most exciting up and coming teams in the league. 

Through six matches, RBNY has collected 11 points, including three wins and nine goals.

Emil Forsberg, formerly of RB Leipzig and a mainstay on the Swedish national team, was the marquee addition of the offseason for New York, and the Designated Player has already made a significant impact in his four games, scoring once and adding an assist in 358 minutes. Forsberg's availability, though, could be in question as he was absent for the club's last two games versus Orlando City and Inter Miami CF. However, reports indicate he was a full participant in training this week. 

In the attacking midfielder's absence, Lewis Morgan has emerged as an attacking force, with six goals and an assist through four starts and six appearances. Morgan's three-goal performance against Miami earned him player and team of the week accolades.

"I think he's excellent with both feet," FCC head coach Pat Noonan said of Morgan. A lot of times, you get a player's strength in the attack, and you have an idea of how to maybe limit that in pushing the ball one way. We can't do that with him because he could beat you on his right or his left."

Another noted addition also comes from Sweden, with youngster Noah Eile already making an impact after a transfer from Sweden's top-flight league. A defender, Eile stands at 6'5" and has been thrust into the starting lineup despite being just 21 years old and coming from relative anonymity. Through six games, the Swede has become known for his strong passes, leading to goal-scoring opportunities from the backline.

Carlos Coronel returns as the primary keeper for New York, making 10 saves in his five starts this season. In 2023, Coronel started all 34 MLS games and both playoff games for the Red Bulls, making 56 saves on 95 shots. 

Former FC Cincinnati midfielder Frankie Amaya leads the team in minutes played this season with 507.