Match Recap

RECAP | Badji nets lone goal in Colorado return, FC Cincinnati shutout Rapids 1-0

20230527 COLvsFCC Match 236 (1)

FC Cincinnati became the first club in Major League Soccer to reach 10 wins this season, as the Orange and Blue earned a 1-0 road victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Cincinnati (10-1-3) improved to a league-best 33 points through 14 games and extended their lead in the Supporters’ Shield standings to seven points over Seattle by the end of the evening. The Rapids fell to 2-7-6 (12 points) with the club’s fourth home loss of the year.

The Orange and Blue knocked off the Rapids for the first time in club history in the third all-time meeting between the sides. Colorado is the fourth club Cincinnati have beaten for the first time in club history this season.

Dominique Badji netted his first-career goal with FC Cincinnati. The former Rapids player, who spent parts of five seasons over two stints with Colorado, opened scoring in the 33rd minute.

A failed Rapids attack led to Álvaro Barreal beginning a counterattack, with the left wing back winning the ball from Colorado’s Keegan Rosenberry in a one-on-one moment inside Cincinnati’s penalty box. Barreal played an outlet pass to Obinna Nwobodo and the break was on.

Nwobodo avoided a sliding challenge from Connor Ronan, putting the box-to-box midfielder into acres of space as Nwobodo drove into the heart of Colorado’s half. Nwobodo elected to play Badji in on the left side of the 18-yard box, as Badji controlled the pass and took a slight touch to set up his shot, beating William Yarbrough through the goalkeeper’s legs.

Badji scored his 39th career goal in MLS play, his first since Decision Day 2021 with the Rapids against LAFC on November 7, 2021.

Cincinnati earned a 1-0 win for the fifth time in MLS league play this season, the seventh across all competitions. Roman Celentano made three saves in his seventh clean sheet of the year. Despite the single goal, the Orange and Blue fired off a season-high 16 shots.

With the win, Cincinnati became the fifth team in MLS history to reach 33 points in 14 or fewer games, the first since the 2010 LA Galaxy.

FC Cincinnati are back on the road on Wednesday, May 31 at Yankee Stadium to face New York City FC. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET and the match will be streamed on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app and carried over the radio locally on ESPN 1530.

FC Cincinnati’s next home game at TQL Stadium comes against Chicago Fire FC on June 3. Tickets are available at or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK).

FC Cincinnati at Colorado Rapids
Date: May 27, 2023
Competition: MLS Regular Season 
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Attendance: 15,438
Kickoff: 9:39 p.m. ET/7:39 p.m. MT
Weather: 64 degrees, cloudy

COL: 0-0-0
CIN: 1-0-1

COL – None

CIN – Dominique Badji (Obinna Nwobodo) 33’

•    FC Cincinnati beat the Rapids for the first time in three matchups all-time … Cincinnati have now beaten four opposing clubs for the first time this season (SEA, NSH, NYC) … FCC have beaten all but seven active MLS clubs.
•    Dominique Badji scored his 39th career goal, his first since Decision Day 2021 vs LAFC with the Rapids.
•    Badji earned his third straight league start, his longest streak since starting four straight in May 2022 … Badji made 108 league appearances with the Rapids over two stints with the club from 2015-18 and in 2021.
•    Luciano Acosta made his 200th career MLS regular season appearance on Saturday night.
•    Acosta took six shots, setting a new MLS career-high … his previous record was five shots, accomplished seven previous times, most recently on October 1, 2022 vs CHI. 
•    With the win, Cincinnati became the fifth team in MLS history to reach 33 points in 14 or fewer games, the first since the 2010 LA Galaxy.
•    Opponents have scored on FC Cincinnati first just once this season (April 15 at STL) … Every other team in MLS have conceded first in an MLS game at least twice in 2023.
•    FC Cincinnati are 5-1-1 in their last six against the Western Conference, and 3-2-1 in road games … this season the club is 4-1-0 against the West, with the final regular season fixture coming against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on June 10. 

CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal (Santiago Arias 74’), Ian Murphy, Matt Miazga, Yerson Mosquera, Ray Gaddis, Junior Moreno (Yuya Kubo 66’), Obinna Nwobodo, Luciano Acosta (C) (Marco Angulo (90+1’), Dominique Badji (Sergio Santos 65’, Malik Pinto 74’), Brandon Vazquez

Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Alvas Powell, Joey Akpunonu, Gerardo Valenzuela
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
COL: William Yarbrough (C), Keegan Rosenberry, Danny Wilson, Andreas Maxso, Lalas Abubakar (Moise Bombito 46’), Anthony Markanich (Cole Bassett 77’), Danny Leyva, Connor Ronan, Jonathan Lewis, Calvin Harris (Yosuke Hanya 46’), Kevin Cabral

Substitutes not used: Marko Ilic, Alex Gersbach, Steven Beitashour, Malon Vargas, Daouda Amadou
Head Coach: Robin Fraser
Shots: 12 / 16
Shots on Goal: 3 / 6
Saves: 5 / 3
Corner Kicks: 2 / 3
Fouls: 14 / 10
Offside: 1 / 1
Possession: 50.2 / 49.8
COL – Kevin Cabral (Yellow Card) 62’
CIN – Obinna Nwobodo (Yellow Card) 64’

Referee: Marcos DeOliveira
Ast. Referees: Jeremy Kieso, Kali Smith
Fourth Official: Andrew Bigelow
VAR: David Barrie
AVAR: Kaili Terry

FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan
On the result
“Just a hard-fought win. You know, certainly wasn't the prettiest, but we were able to find the goal. And I thought you know, in some ways fortunate not to concede, they a couple of really good looks where they were able to come from wider positions into the middle and look for some good shots, or Roman [Celentano] does a good job on a couple and fortunate on the one that hits the post. But you need some luck sometimes in games on the road and we found that tonight. But really pleased with the group to get a win on a quick turnaround with where we're at right now.”

On Dominique Badji’s goal
“I'm really happy for Dom. You know, it's a long time coming with what he does for our group and what he means to our group, you want to see guys like that rewarded. And tonight was certainly a good time for him to get that goal. And I didn't see the celebration, to be honest, I don't know what that looked like. But I know he had good years here and good experiences from everything that he's talked about. Knowing him, he did it in a respectful way, but also probably showing an emotion of being happy about helping his team get on the scoresheet and get a goal and in the end, helping us win a game.”