FC Cincinnati defeated St. Louis CITY SC 4-0 in a Preseason match at Walter Campbell Sports Park on Friday afternoon. A first-half brace from Luciano Acosta paired with second-half goals from Nick Markanich and Nick Hagglund saw the Orange and Blue earn their second victory of the 2022 Preseason.
In the 10th minute, Arquimides Ordonez was played through and tripped up in the penalty area. Acosta stepped up to take and sent the keeper the wrong way, scoring the first goal of the match.
Then, in the 36’, FC Cincinnati recovered possession and it was Yuya Kubo who played through Acosta on the right side, slotting home a powerful far-post finish.
Zico Bailey was the lone change at halftime, replacing Haris Medunjanin in midfield. FC Cincinnati picked up where they left off as the second half began, applying pressure and winning the ball in dangerous areas.
In the 63’, Luciano Acosta won the ball across midfield and slotted through for Brandon Vazquez 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper outside of the box. Vazquez rounded the keeper and centered a ball for Markanich, who smashed a finish into the gaping net.
Finally, with the last kicks of the game, Markanich was on the hunt for a second goal, firing a shot towards net that was saved into the path of Nick Hagglund, who first-time hammered home a fourth for the Orange and Blue.
Lineup by half
Luciano Acosta, Tyler Blackett, Geoff Cameron (C), Ray Gaddis, Alec Kann, Yuya Kubo, Haris Medunjanin, Ronald Matarrita, Arquimides Ordonez, Harrison Robledo, Brandon Vazquez
First half substitutes:
Luciano Acosta, Zico Bailey, Tyler Blackett, Geoff Cameron (C), Ray Gaddis, Alec Kann, Yuya Kubo, Ronald Matarrita, Arquimides Ordonez, Harrison Robledo, Brandon Vazquez
Second half substitutes:
60’: IN: Roman Celentano, Nick Hagglund (C), Nick Markanich, Ian Murphy, Alvas Powell, Gustavo Vallecilla OUT: Tyler Blackett, Geoff Cameron, Ray Gaddis, Alec Kann, Ronald Matarrita, Arquimides Ordonez
71’: IN: Isaac Atanga, Calvin Harris, Ashton Kamdem, Ben Mines OUT: Luciano Acosta, Yuya Kubo, Harrison Robledo, Brandon Vazquez
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan
Pat, this week you spoke about wanting to see more quality and not just effort. Were you pleased with the product today?
"I thought our chance creation was better. Certainly, could have finished off more plays again, that's, that's where we have to continue to demand more out on the field because there was some really good moments where we're in good spots to finish off plays. And I think we're a little careless, and we need to, to be more precise in those moments and more decisive. So final third wise I was happy with how we created some chances today. Without the ball, I liked how we dealt with some direct play. It was a challenge early on in dealing with balls over the top, facing our own goal, we got that figured out, I thought after the first 10-15 minutes, we defended forward really well in being able to win balls, I thought our backline did a really good job of making them uncomfortable and being able to recover balls and turn those into some opportunities for us to play forward. So pleased overall."
Was it good to have the chance to evaluate a handful of guys who hadn't really been in the game setting yet this preseason?
"Certainly, you know, the games are always the best opportunities to evaluate. And I thought a lot of guys performed well on an individual level. But what does that look like for the collective? So, there was another good performance from certain guys that, you know, you wonder what it's gonna look like on a consistent basis, you know, week in week out. So, some of the young guys, you know, I think improved their standard after today."
How did you think the guys handled the longer shifts?
"You could see it was a struggle at times, certainly with the moments when, you know, we tried to force plays and get excited about being able to face goal and run to goal. But we were just careless in those moments. And then as the fatigue started to set in, the decision making was off. And so we found ourselves chasing, chasing towards our own goal a little too often. But, you can see the commitment and trying to push themselves, you know, a little bit warmer temperatures today. But, I was pleased overall with their commitment to get in fitness, a little bit better it was before he started the game."
On Alec Kann
"Certainly, I mean, he made two or three real saves, off the set piece where it was a knockdown off of, you know, a mistake in the back. He was prepared for those moments in a way where he made himself big and showed you know, his strengths, coming off his line and making himself big, so a really good performance for him today."
FC Cincinnati return to Preseason action Tuesday, Feb. 15 against Nashville SC. The Orange and Blue will play two more games before the season opener on Saturday, Feb. 26 at Austin FC.
FC Cincinnati's 2022 schedule can be viewed HERE. 2022's home schedule begins at TQL Stadium when the club hosts D.C. United in the home opener on March 5. 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, starting at just $170, 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.