PREVIEW| FC Cincinnati visit New England Revolution as busy opening month hits a peak


FC Cincinnati has been battle tested early in the season. With the Concacaf Champions Cup in conjunction with the MLS regular season putting The Orange and Blue on the field twice a week for the first month of the season, FC Cincinnati will finish a grueling stretch of games with an away fixture at the New England Revolution on Sunday afternoon.

The Orange and Blue performed admirably but were eliminated Thursday from the Concacaf Champions Cup. A disappointment, but now with that competition behind them, FCC can focus exclusively on the MLS season.

Undefeated in regular season play through three matches, FCC has kept pace with the pack despite frustrating results. Head coach Pat Noonan has expressed that he felt victories were available to them in each of their three league games, but with two scoreless draws at home, FCC are looking to better capitalize on opportunities and turn draws into wins.

On the other side of the pitch, the New England Revolution have struggled in league play while focusing on the Champions Cup. After a midweek trip to Costa Rica and securing a spot in the quarterfinals of the tournament, the Revs will look to get back on pace after three losses to open MLS play.

“I would expect a motivated team, obviously the results haven't been there in league play. So they're searching for their first victory,” Noonan said of his opponent. “So we anticipate them being very aggressive and looking to put us under pressure.

“I would say that the record really isn't indicative of how they've played … so despite having not won a league game yet, this is a very good team. They've been in good battles and there's a lot of consistency in the personnel that we think we'll see tomorrow.”

A win would go a long way to getting FC Cincinnati back on track in their defense of the Supporters’ Shield. The Orange and Blue enter Sunday's match in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, but have at least one game in hand of the competition. A win would put FCC back at the top of the table heading into a more stable month of play.  

FC CINCINNATI at New England Revolution  – Sunday, March 17, 2024 – 2 p.m. ET – Gillette Stadium

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

All-time versus New England Revolution

FC Cincinnati have not won at Gillette Stadium since the club’s first ever visit to Foxborough, five years ago to the day in 2019. Since Noonan took over as head coach, FCC has earned two draws in two appearances.

All-time, FCC is 1-4-3 against the MLS charter club, and 1-2-2 at Gillette Stadium. FCC has scored 10 goals in the eight matchups with New England, but no current member of the team has scored for The Orange and Blue against the Revolution, but Luciano Acosta, Sergio Santos and Corey Baird have all scored goals as members of other MLS clubs.

Noonan is very familiar with New England having played 119 matches for the Revs and scoring 47 goals across four seasons. The ninth overall pick in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft out of Indiana, Noonan finished as the runner-up rookie of the year and helped the Revs win the 2007 U.S. Open Cup which remains their only Open Cup title. 


Ahead by a century – Sunday’s match has the potential to meet two milestones for FC Cincinnati players. With a start, Luciano Acosta would register his 200th in MLS, and with an appearance, Alvas Powell would make his 200th MLS appearance.

With the start, Acosta would become the 162 player in MLS history to make 200 career starts. 

I’ve been everywhere – The match in New England caps off a month of play which saw FC Cincinnati play eight matches in 25 days, traveling to three countries (USA, Jamaica, Mexico) and four states (Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts) while playing teams from four countries.

In all to start the season, FCC has logged 8,907 miles traveling to and from matches. But relief is on the way; FCC will play their next eight matches over 56 days after playing their first in 25, providing a much-needed physical relief.

Talkin’ turf – In an unfortunate stroke of luck, FCC will end this frenetic month of play with a match on a turf field at Gillette Stadium. FCC have historically struggled on turf, going 2-8-6 on artificial surfaces all-time. One of those two wins did come at Gillette, a 2-0 victory on March 24, 2019. Also, FCC did go undefeated on turf last season, earning a 1-0-3 record.

Miles on the road – FC Cincinnati defender Miles Robinson was announced to have been selected for the U.S. Men's National Team ahead of the Concacaf Nations League Final in Arlington, Texas later this month. The only MLS outfielder to be selected for the roster, The Stars and Stripes will take on Jamaica on March 21 and either Panama or Mexico in the finals or third-place game depending on the result. 

SCOUTING New England Revolution (0-3-0, 0 points, 15th in Eastern Conference, L3)

With new head coach Caleb Porter on the sidelines, the Revolution have gotten off to a slow start in MLS play despite advancing to the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions Cup. Now, with his third MLS club after stops with Columbus Crew and Portland Timbers, Porter has brought his signature style of trapping and playing out of the back to New England. 

The Revs come into this match in circumstances similar to The Orange and Blue, but have a small advantage. New England traveled to Costa Rica midweek to take on Alajuelense in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions Cups, but entered with a 4-0 advantage after leg one. With the lead, Porter rotated his lineup to ensure the victory while keeping their stars fresh. 

However, as FCC has learned, travel is sometimes more challenging than a match. With the early kickoff time and the game coming at the end of a difficult month, both clubs will battle fatigue.

The Revs have struggled under the new system through three games, conceding a league-high eight goals while scoring just two. 2021 MLS MVP Carles Gil has tallied both scores for New England as he continues his strong play individually.

Two members of the Revs have been called into their national teams. Noel Buck was called into the English u19 side, and Esmir Bajraktarević was named to the United States Men’s Olympic Team for a series of preparation games ahead of the Summer games. 

On the backline, Dave Romney leads the team in aerial duels, which is noteworthy as FC Cincinnati has had a significant advantage on balls in the air this season thanks to the dominant play by both the backline and strikers. Romney also leads the club in clearances and interceptions. 

The Revs have always produced quality goalkeeping, sending out goalkeepers Matt Turner (Arsenal) and Djordje Petrovic (Chelsea) for club-record fees in consecutive years. Newcomer Henrich Ravas hopes to be the next in line. A 26-year-old from Slovakia, Ravas was acquired for an undisclosed fee from Polish first-division side Widzew Lodz. While in Poland, he helped his club earn promotion in 2022 and stay in the top flight for the following two seasons before his transfer.

FC Cincinnati already has a familiar understanding of the Revolution as the two sides met in preseason action in Florida. FC Cincinnati earned two wins, a 2-0 result at New England's preseason home at IMG Academy and a 5-2 victory to close preseason at FCC’s Clearwater, Florida training grounds.