Match Preview

PREVIEW | FC Cincinnati, Nashville SC meet in early-season Eastern Conference showdown

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FC Cincinnati (2-0-2, 8 points) take their unbeaten start to the 2023 season, and Major League Soccer’s longest-active road unbeaten streak, to the Music City to meet Nashville SC (2-1-1, 7 points). 

Kickoff on Saturday, March 25 from GEODIS Park is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT and can be streamed live for free on the Apple TV App, and fans can also listen to the match locally on ESPN 1530.  

FC CINCINNATI at NASHVILLE SC – SATURDAY, MARCH 25, 2023 – 8:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. CT) – GEODIS PARK
Stream: Apple TV (Free)
TV Talent (English): Tony Husband (play-by-play), Ross Smith (analyst)
TV Talent (Spanish): Moises Linares (play-by-play), Jaime Macias (analyst)
Radio: ESPN 1530
Local Radio Talent: Tom Gelehrter (play-by-play), Omar Cummings (analyst)

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

Saturday’s game is available to stream for free around on the world on the Apple TV app. No blackouts, no restrictions. Fans can also listen to the match locally on ESPN 1530.

For all the details on how to watch the game and follow along this Saturday, visit How To Watch **HERE**.

For more information on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, visit 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

Saturday’s Official Watch Party will be at Rhinegeist Brewery (1910 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 45202).

The Official Watch Party will feature an appearance from Gary the Lion and the FC Cincinnati Street Team, with giveaways and activities.

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Fans can head to one of the club’s 18 official Pub Partners, presented by Coors Light, across Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Indiana. Pub Partners are the spot to go to watch the Orange and Blue in 2023 and feature watch parties, drink specials and convenient locations for fans to gather.  

For more information on Pub Partners, visit  

To break down last Saturday’s match against Chicago and look ahead to preview the matchup with Nashville, tune in to FC Cincinnati Weekly on WCPO 9 on Friday, March 24 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.

Nashville SC are one of two Eastern Conference foes (New York City FC) which FC Cincinnati have never beaten. NSC lead the all-time series, 2-0-2 (1-0-1 in Nashville). Saturday will be the first FCC-NSC matchup in the second-year home for Nashville, GEODIS Park.

After one season spent in the Western Conference, the Tennessee-based MLS club are once again intraconference foes with FC Cincinnati. Veteran Head Coach Gary Smith, the Englishman and 2010 MLS Cup Champion coach with the Colorado Rapids, has his squad seeking another MLS Cup Playoffs berth, something the franchise has done in each of their first three seasons.

Disciplined defense will always be a staple of a Smith-led team, and this season has proven exactly that. Through four matches, NSC have allowed just one goal. Unfortunately for Smith’s squad, that single goal was the lone goal in their 1-0 defeat at the New England Revolution last Saturday. 

The squad’s impressive defense is led by goalkeeper Joe Willis, who this season became just the seventh goalkeeper in MLS history to record three consecutive shutouts to begin a campaign. Starting United States Men’s National Team center back Walker Zimmerman captains the squad and leads a backline with Jack Maher, Daniel Lovitz and fellow USMNT contributor Shaq Moore.

Willis, Zimmerman, Maher, Moore and Lovitz have played all 360 minutes for Nashville SC through four games along the backline.

Offensively, 2022 Landon Donovan MLS MVP Hany Mukhtar leads the attack. He led the league last year with 34 goal contributions (23 goals, 11 assists), but is still searching for his first goal of 2023. Jacob Shaffelburg leads with two goals early in the season, with defenders Taylor Washington and the aforementioned Walker Zimmerman each with one. 

ROAD TRIPPING FC Cincinnati hold the longest active road regular season unbeaten streak in MLS, dating back to last year. That mark stands at eight, starting with the Orange and Blue’s 4-4 tie against Inter Miami CF on July 30.

LAFC (3) are the only other MLS side to maintain an active unbeaten road streak longer than two. The longest undefeated road streak in MLS history is FC Dallas at 12 (May 1 - Sept. 25, 2010). 

NICK IS BACK FC Cincinnati defender Nick Hagglund is available for selection after serving a one-game suspension last weekend following his fourth career red card, against Seattle Sounders FC on March 11.

Hagglund is just two appearances shy of becoming the first player to make 100 appearances across all competitions for the Orange and Blue.  

SPEAKING OF MILESTONES Per Transfermarkt, Santiago Arias enters Saturday night’s game with 299 career club appearances. The majority of those came across the top leagues in Europe, including 172 with PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Eredivisie. 

Ray Gaddis also approaches another milestone. After surpassing 20,000 career MLS regular season minutes last Saturday in Chicago, he currently sits at 248 career regular season appearances. 

KEEPING UP THE RESULTS FC Cincinnati’s eight points are the most in club history through four matchdays. The Orange and Blue are one of just five clubs (ATL, STL, LAFC, MIN) still without a loss in the 2023 season entering Matchday 5 and just one of three clubs (ATL, STL) who have played four times without a loss.

Head Coach Pat Noonan on a difficult stretch of upcoming games
"No, I don't look too far ahead in all honesty. While I have a great deal of confidence in our group, I don't feel comfortable going into any game thinking, 'We're walking all over a team.' It just doesn't exist. Does it happen? Yes. But it's not something that ... it's not how I think, you know, based on each opponent, each week, I think that is the wrong approach, because I haven't seen anybody that's that good that they just step on the field and you know, it's a win. The next opponent is really all I care about. And then after that, I know we're home for two games. We're home for two games with Miami and Philly. And those will be equally as challenging. It's always nice when you're playing at home, but we haven't talked a bit about any of that. 

“So hopefully get through Nashville in a successful way and then the conversation turns to Miami, but to be thinking that far ahead, and with what the schedule is going to look like in the coming months, there's just going to be so many challenges that you’ve got to stay in the moment. And I know that's cliché, but that's just where we're at right now. If we want to have success early on, it can't be thinking about anything past the weekend."

Visit HERE for FC Cincinnati’s 2023 home platform match schedule. The full 2023 regular season schedule can be viewed HERE. All matches will air live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. The unprecedented subscription service featuring every MLS regular season, playoff and Leagues Cup match is available now.

All tickets, including Single Match TicketsFull Season Tickets and Half Season “Orange” and “Blue” Ticket packages, can be purchased at or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK). For more information about Group Tickets and Premium hospitality options, including suites and all-inclusive experiences, call (513) 763-1025.

FC Cincinnati is now also offering a Flex Plan. Fans can select one Leagues Cup match, in addition to two to five regular season matches. The Flex Plan provides ultimate flexibility, with benefits including cost savings, no fees and presale access for additional events at TQL Stadium, including potential home playoff matches.

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 new official mobile app on iOS or Android for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.