PREVIEW | Supporters’ Shield leading FC Cincinnati host third-place Orlando City SC in Eastern Conference showdown


With a playoff spot already secured after a dramatic come-from-behind victory on the road midweek, FC Cincinnati looks to continue its quest towards the Supporters’ Shield Saturday night when they host third-place Orlando City SC at TQL Stadium.

Orlando City SC comes to the Queen City as one of the stronger teams in MLS when playing on the road, owning a league-best 6-3-4 record away from their Florida home.

FC Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan attributes ORL’s to their consistency and willingness for a challenge.

“(Orlando City SC) is just a consistent team. They’re typically up for the challenge when they go on the road and they know how to have success,” Noonan said, “They compete well. They don’t back down from anybody. That’s been a staple of their group for quite some time, especially under (Orlando City SC head coach) Oscar Pareja.”

FC Cincinnati is prepared to get the best out of every opponent down the stretch, as being at the top of the table and chasing trophies puts a target on your back.

“Every game we’re playing is a tune up,” Noonan said of challenge teams like Orlando pose. “We’re going to get teams best game. So every match will give us more information about us in the stretch run but also, the challenges that every opponent is going to give us from here on out.”

With a 10-point lead in the Supporters’ Shield, FC Cincinnati can pick up significant ground in their chase towards a trophy and record-setting season with a victory. With seven more home points, The Orange and Blue would become the winningest home side in MLS history, and 17 more total points would set the single-season MLS points record.

FC CINCINNATI v.s. Orlando City SC – Saturday, September, 2, 2023 – 7:30 p.m. ET – TQL Stadium

Stream: Free on Apple TV

TV Talent (English): Tyler Terens (PxP), Devon Kerr (Analyst)
TV Talent (Spanish): Pablo Ramirez (PxP), Carlos Ruiz (Analyst

Radio: ESPN 1530

Radio Talent: Tom Gelehrter (PxP), Jeff Larentowicz (Analyst)

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


In the second match of the season between Orlando City SC and FC Cincinnati, The Orange and Blue look to even the all-time score against The Lions. Orlando own a 3-2-3 record against Cincinnati, but it as been FCC who have been on top of late as in the Pat Noonan era at FC Cincinnati they are 2-0-1

FCC played to a 0-0 draw at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida on matchday two of the 2023 season.


Clinchinnati – With the win Wednesday at Atlanta United FC, FC Cincinnati punched their ticket to the 2023 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, clinching a MLS playoff position for the second time in club history.

By clinching in the 26th match of the season, FCC became the third fastest club ever to clinch a playoff position (LAFC, 25 in 2022 and 2019) and the fastest Eastern Conference club to clinch ever.

The Fortress – TQL Stadium has been a fortress for The Orange and Blue this season, owning a undefeated record across all competitions and a 13-0-1 record in MLS play. With six more points at home this season FCC would tie the record for most points earned at home.

The Keeper is sticking around – FC Cincinnati keeper Roman Celentano inked a new deal with the club that will see him with The Orange and Blue through 2027. Celentano is the clubs all-time leader in saves and clean sheets including 10 clean sheets this season, putting him tied for third in MLS this season.

MVP campaign continues – Captain Luciano Acosta has cemented himself as a candidate for the 2023 Landon Donovan MVP award and placed himself in contention for the 2023 MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi.

With a goal and an assist Wednesday, Acosta is now tied with Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar with 13 goals, and fourth in assists with 11. With 24 total goal contributions, Acosta leads MLS in Goals+Assists.

The FCC captain has scored or assisted in 16 of 25 league matches he has appeared in this season.

SCOUTING Orlando City SC (12-6-8, 44 PTS., 3rd MLS EASTERN CONFERENCE.)

Orlando City SC enters Saturday’s fixture having earned points in eight of their last nine games, including earning points in each of their previous three road matches, taking down Atlanta United SC 2-1 and Chicago Fire FC 3-1 before earning a draw at Charlotte FC with a 1-1 result. Much like FC Cincinnati, the Lions have not lost back-to-back games all season.

With four of ORL’s six losses coming in the first 10 games of the season, The Lions have been dominant late in the year. They have also been consistent, owning identical 6-3-4 records at home and on the road.

23-year-old midfielder Facundo Torres leads The Lion’s offense with 10 goals and 4 assists in 23 games played this season. The Uruguayan joined Orlando City SC in 2022 and has added 33 goals contributions in 56 matches after coming over from Peñerol in the Uruguay Primera Division.

Orlando will be without at least one prominent goal scorer, though, as Ercan Kara has been sitting out of matches while the club discusses a potential transfer with Turkish club Samsunspor.

Kara, a Designated Player, has scored five goals and assisted two more in 15 games this season. The Austrian forward missed six games earlier in the season with an injury and illness.

Peruvian national goalkeeper Pedro Gallese has started 23 of 26 league matches in net for The Lions this season, earning seven clean sheets. Gallese has made 97 starts at the international level for his home country and has been with Orlando City SC since 2020, when he was signed from Liga MX side Vera Cruz.

Orlando City SC head coach Óscar Pareja is now in his fourth season at the helm, owning a 57-39-41 record over 137 matches. Pareja is now at the helm of his third MLS club after serving as head coach at Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas before coaching at Club Tijuana in Mexico’s Liga MX before returning to the United States to lead Orlando.

Pareja has led Orlando City SC to new heights as head coach, winning the club’s first-ever trophy in 2022 when he directed The Lions to a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup when they defeated Sacramento Republic FC of the USL in the final.