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FC Cincinnati played Orlando City SC to a 2-2 draw Friday at Exploria Stadium in the Orange and Blue’s final Preseason game prior to the start of the 2022 MLS Regular Season.

Captain Luciano Acosta scored both of FCC’s goals. In the 25’, MLS SuperDraft selection Nick Markanich fired a shot on frame which was saved, but the rebound was slotted home by Acosta to give the visitors a 1-0 lead which the Orange and Blue took into halftime.

The hosts equalized in the 53’, but Acosta put FC Cincinnati ahead again in the 77’. Substitute Isaac Atanga took possession of the ball and found Acosta, who curled home his second goal of the game. The contest finished 2-2 when Orlando equalized in the 90’.

The Orange and Blue conclude the Preseason with an undefeated 3-0-2 record. The squad returns to Cincinnati to prepare for the MLS Regular Season opener on Saturday, Feb. 26 at Austin FC. Kickoff from Q2 Stadium is set for 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT.

Lineup by half

First half: 
Luciano Acosta (C), Tyler Blackett, Geoff Cameron, Allan Cruz, Ray Gaddis, Alec Kann, Yuya Kubo, Nick Markanich, Ronald Matarrita, Haris Medunjanin, Brandon Vazquez

First half substitutes:

NONE

Second half substitutes:
60’: IN: Zico Bailey, Nick Hagglund, Quimi Ordonez, Harrison Robledo

OUT: Geoff Cameron, Allan Cruz, Haris Medunjanin, Nick Markanich

76’: IN: Isaac Atanga, Ian Murphy

OUT: Tyler Blackett, Brandon Vazquez

89’: IN: Ben Mines
OUT: Luciano Acosta

FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan

His thoughts on the 2-2 draw with Orlando

“Not our best performance. No question about that. It was hard to get into rhythm, the game with just careless turnovers. So we couldn't find any attacking consistency in how we pushed forward. Those turnovers just led to us chasing the game for, you know, a majority of the game and it's tough conditions, you have to be able to manage the conditions and the tempo of the game with your ball rotation and your spacing. And that was off today. So the one thing I give [Orlando] credit for is finding a way to get a result because we weren't the better team today. And it was conceding at the end, that was a mistake that we could have avoided and it led to their last attack.”

On Preseason as a whole

“It was just looking to make progress each game, each week. And I think we did that. Today, you know, result aside, it wasn't a great performance. So I think we need to take a look at this one and make sure that going into Austin, there's a much better improvement in all phases of the game just to be more consistent in our performance.”

On the team’s mentality with the season opener eight days away

“[To] use this game as a way to learn about a little bit more about who we are and how we can improve when things aren't going well, which they weren't today and how we manage those moments and those stretches when we have to chase the game a little bit, and understand that we still have a good team and good players. It's growing pains but we'll use this as a lesson and make sure that the mentality of the group going into that game is what it needs to be to help us get a result.”

On the team’s fitness levels

“[I'm] really pleased with some of the guys that went 90 that pushed themselves in tough conditions. It was hot out there, some guys were able to get 90 minutes. For the guys that were at the 60-75 minute mark, that was more where were they were at physically coming off of little knocks or an offseason of rehab. So we were just trying to be mindful of getting these guys the fitness that they needed without compromising their health. I think we accomplished that.”

FC Cincinnati's 2022 schedule can be viewed, HERE. FCC’s 2022 home slate begins at TQL Stadium when the club hosts D.C. United in the home opener on March 5th. Fans can get the best tickets at the best price to the best matches all season long, including the home opener, by purchasing season tickets at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-KICK, that’s 513-977-5425.

Fans can also purchase half-season ticket packages, and single match tickets to any of FC Cincinnati’s 17 home games are available now.

FC Cincinnati begin their fourth season of MLS competition in 2022, and their second playing at TQL Stadium. For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. Additionally, fans are encouraged to download the team’s official mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.