FC Cincinnati (2-4-0, 6 points) return to action Saturday, April 16 at Atlanta United FC (3-2-1, 10 points). Kickoff between the Orange and Blue and the 5-Stripes is set for 6 p.m. ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
FC CINCINNATI AT ATLANTA UNITED FC – 6 p.m. ET – MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM STADIUM
HOW TO WATCH
Local TV: Star64
Local Stream: fccincinnati.com
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.
HEAD TO THE WATCH PARTY OR A PUB PARTNER
An official watch party presented by Heineken will be held at The Pitch Cincy located across from TQL Stadium. The Pitch Cincy will host food trucks and a pre-match party starting at 3:30 p.m.
Fans can also catch the action at one of 14 official Pub Partners for located across the region. Pub Partners are presented by Coors Light.
SCOUTING ATLANTA UNITED FC (3-2-1, 10 PTS., 4th EASTERN CONFERENCE)
FC Cincinnati aim to knock off an Atlanta team for the second time in nine tries, and the first time at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. For the 5-Stripes to win at home, they’ll have to do so without their key striker, Josef Martínez, who is out six to eight weeks following knee surgery.
The Orange and Blue will not miss seeing the 2018 MLS MVP. Martínez has scored six career goals against FC Cincinnati. Neither will FCC miss seeing Ezequiel Barco, currently on loan to Argentina’s River Plate, who has fired 19 shots in his career against Cincinnati. Also out in last Sunday’s loss at Charlotte FC for Atlanta United was Machop Chol (leg), Ozzie Alonso (torn ACL), Luiz Araujo (hamstring), Matheus Rossetto (hamstring) and Dylan Castanheira (achilles).
Despite all of that, Gonzalo Pineda’s side are sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 10 points. Consistency on the backline includes veteran goalkeeper Brad Guzan and USMNT starter Miles Robinson, as well as strong pieces in Alan Franco, George Campbell, Brooks Lennon and Andrew Gutman.
Atlanta enters Saturday coming off a 1-0 loss away to Charlotte FC this past Sunday. It will be their first home game in nearly a month, since a 3-3 tie to CF Montréal on March 19 where the hosts scored twice after the 84th minute to salvage a point.
STORYLINES TO WATCH
KANN AND VAZQUEZ RETURN – Two key members of FC Cincinnati’s 2022 squad in Brandon Vazquez and Alec Kann, both of whom have started every game this season, return to Atlanta to face their former side. Vazquez made 32 appearances for Atlanta United, earning seven starts with the club between 2017-19. He scored three goals and recorded two assists while Kann made 24 appearances for Atlanta, including starting the first 18 games in club history.
Both players were part of the 2018 MLS Cup winning squad in Atlanta.
SPEAKING OF BRANDON – Brandon Vazquez is still tied for the MLS-lead in goals and is among the top-3 in shots and shots on target, despite last weekend’s off-date for the Orange and Blue. Vazquez’s five goals are tied for the league-lead with Dallas’ Jesús Ferreira and LA Galaxy’s Chicharito. Vazquez’s 21 shots and 11 shots on target are right behind Chicharito’s league lead in shots (21) and shots on target (12).
LOOKING FOR GOOD BOUNCES ON TURF – All-time on the road (excluding games at Nippert Stadium) on artificial turf surfaces, FC Cincinnati are 1-6-1, the lone win coming at New England Revolution on March 24, 2019.
Saturday marks the second game on turf this season for the Orange and Blue, with FC Cincy falling 2-0 at Charlotte FC on March 26.