Match Recap

RECAP | FC Cincinnati begin 2023 season with 2-1 win over Houston Dynamo FC 


FC Cincinnati defeated Houston Dynamo FC by a final score of 2-1 on Saturday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 25,513 at TQL Stadium.

FC Cincinnati begin the season with three points. The win marks the first time the Orange and Blue have opened the season with a victory in Major League Soccer, having entered Saturday night 0-3-1.

The Orange and Blue improve to 2-0-1 all-time against the Dynamo.

Cincinnati scored the opener in the 19th minute after Álvaro Barreal found Sergio Santos near the top of the penalty area, and a well-placed first touch allowed Santos space to fire a low shot past Houston netminder Steve Clark at the near post.

Tate Schmitt pulled Houston level in the last minute of first-half stoppage following a Houston corner. Hector Herrera whipped a dangerous ball from the set piece and Tate rose to meet the captain’s cross, beating Roman Celentano.

Going into halftime level, FCC wasted no time responding to Houston’s late first half equalizer, scoring three minutes into the second half. Quick play between Álvaro Barreal and Luciano Acosta led to a chance for Obinna Nwobodo, ultimately finding the ball in the box and firing home a deflected shot which ended up in the back of the net.

Both goal scorers, Santos and Nwobodo, scored their first career goals with the Orange and Blue. Nwobodo became the 17th different player in club history to net a game-winner for FC Cincinnati.

FC Cincinnati head back to Florida to take on Orlando City SC next Saturday, March 4 from Exploria Stadium in Central Florida. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on Apple TV via MLS Season Pass and over the radio locally on ESPN 1530.

FC Cincinnati vs. Houston Dynamo FC
Date: February 25, 2023
Venue: TQL Stadium
Attendance: 25,513 (sellout)
Kickoff: 7:39 p.m. ET
Weather: 45 degrees, clear

CIN: 1-1-2
HOU: 1-0-1

CIN – Sergio Santos (Álvaro Barreal, Obinna Nwobodo) 19’, Obinna Nwobodo (unassisted) 48’

HOU – Tate Schmitt (Hector Herrera) 45+2’


 •    Saturday marked FC Cincinnati’s ninth sellout of TQL Stadium all-time.
•    When scoring first, FC Cincinnati is 25-12-15 in MLS competition.
•    Sergio Santos made his first start with FC Cincinnati … he scored his first goal for the club, becoming the 34th goal scorer in the club's MLS history, scoring the 145th goal for FC Cincinnati.
•    Obinna Nwobodo then scored his first goal for FC Cincinnati, becoming the 35th goal scorer in club history.
•    FC Cincinnati approaches 150 all-time MLS goals for, with Nwobodo’s marking the 146th.
•    The starting match temperature of 45 degrees marked the second-coldest starting temperature for an MLS game played in Cincinnati (41 degrees – March 30, 2019 vs PHI). 
•    FC Cincinnati won when being outshot by their opponent for the first time since Sept. 17, 2022 at RSL … it was the first win at home when outshot since Aug. 6, 2022 vs PHI.
•    Saturday marked the 49th time FC Cincinnati was tied at half in an MLS game. 
•    FC Cincinnati did not attempt a corner kick for the seventh time in the club’s MLS history (last: 7/9/22 vs RBNY).

Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal (Ray Gaddis 86’), Nick Hagglund, Matt Miazga, Yerson Mosquera (Ian Murphy 73’), Santiago Arias (Alvas Powell 87’), Junior Moreno, Obinna Nwobodo (Yuya Kubo 87’), Luciano Acosta (C), Sergio Santos (Brenner 62’), Brandon Vazquez 

Substitutes not used: Evan Louro, Marco Angulo, Dominique Badji, Arquimides Ordoñez
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
HOU: Steve Clark, Franco Escobar (Griffin Dorsey 71’), Ethan Bartlow, Teenage Hadebe, Tate Schmitt, Artur, Ivan Franco (Brooklyn Raines 90+5’), Corey Baird (Nelson Quinones 72’), Hector Herrera (C), Coco Carrasquilla, Sebastian Ferreira (Thor Ulfarsson 78’)

Substitutes not used: Andrew Tarbell, Daniel Steres, Beto Avila, Charles Auguste, Micael dos Santos
Head Coach: Ben Olsen

Shots: 14 / 19
Shots on Goal: 5 / 7
Saves: 6 / 2
Corner Kicks: 0 / 7
Fouls: 13 / 10
Offside: 2 / 0
Possession: 37.9 / 62.1

HOU – Artur (Yellow Card) 10’
HOU – Tate Schmitt (Yellow Card) 81’
CIN – Álvaro Barreal (Yellow Card) 84'

Chris Penso
Ast. Referees: Jason White, Jeffrey Swartzel
Fourth Official: Eduardo Jeff
VAR: Michael Radchuk
AVAR: Craig Lowry


FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan

On the result
“The positive is that we won, so credit to the group for figuring out a way to walk off the field with three points because it was certainly not our best performance. And we need to give credit to Houston – they were good today. Their midfield three really controlled the game, and you could see the ability for them to move the ball and move forward was just connecting passes in a more efficient way that we were able to. When we did turn them over, too often, we lost the next pass, and it became us chasing the game a little bit. Having said that, we still could have created or scored a couple more goals in transition with our defensive pressure. Probably the strongest part of our game tonight was winning balls and in the attacking half and turning that into some chance creation. We'll take the win and try to improve certainly leading into next weekend.”

On the win at TQL Stadium
“One of our goals is improving our home record and our performances in front of our home fans. Certainly the growth of the group and how we ended last year gives the fans and the town something to be excited about with our team. But we also need to reward them with our performances in this stadium. The performance wasn't good enough on the evening, but the atmosphere carried us, from last year in the D.C. game to this opener. It's night and day. The team didn't perform better, but the fans did. And that's a credit to the growth of not just the fan base, but the environment, and we've talked a lot about different ways that we can improve it and make it a harder place to play. The fans won tonight. It was a great atmosphere.”

On the Matchday 1 performance
“Early on in the season when teams aren't at their best, you emphasize the importance of winning. That was one of the things that we succeeded in tonight. But from myself on down to I would say every player on the field outside of the reserves that come in and I think did a pretty good job, I'm only able to pick out a couple guys that had a strong night. When you're only able to pick out a few guys that had a strong night, you're going to struggle. Credit to the group for getting a result when we were below average, both individually and collectively.”

Visit HERE for FC Cincinnati’s 2023 home platform match schedule. The full 2023 regular season schedule can be viewed HERE. All matches will air live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. The unprecedented subscription service featuring every MLS regular season, playoff and Leagues Cup match is available now.

All tickets, including Single Match TicketsFull Season Tickets and Half Season “Orange” and “Blue” Ticket packages, can be purchased at or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK). For more information about Group Tickets and Premium hospitality options including suites and all-inclusive experiences, call (513) 763-1025.

For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at, 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.