FC Cincinnati captured the 2023 Supporters’ Shield Saturday night with a 3-2 win over Toronto FC at BMO Field. Cincinnati (19-4-8, 65 points) earned their sixth road win of 2023 and fourth-straight win over Toronto, who dropped to 4-17-10 (22 points).
FC Cincinnati needed just 31 games to earn the trophy for the most regular season points in MLS this season. FCC also locked up the overall No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the upcoming 2023 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Brandon Vazquez scored the first of four first-half goals, split between the two sides, in the 28th minute. Álvaro Barreal assisted on the goal, holding possession on the left wing, and sending a dangerous cross into a crowded Toronto penalty area. Yerson Mosquera was first to make a play on the ball, quickly flicking it on towards Vazquez who controlled well and snapped a quick shot past Luka Gavran.
Vazquez was on the scoresheet once again seven minutes later to complete his first-half brace in the 35th minute. Aaron Boupendza began the attacking move, linking up with Barreal for a quick exchange of passes that saw Boupendza with a shooting chance inside the box. Gavran was able to save the initial Boupendza attempt, but Vazquez pounced on the rebound and finished comfortably.
Vazquez netted his fifth-career multi-goal performance for FC Cincinnati.
Toronto responded quickly, scoring two goals over the final six minutes of the half to even the scoreline. Jonathan Osario bagged both goals, sending the match level into the halftime break.
But FC Cincinnati would not be denied as Aaron Boupendza would score the match winner and clinch the Supporters’ Shield for the Orange and Blue in the 72nd minute.
Luciano Acosta and Álvaro Barreal assisted on the goal, with Acosta earning his 13th assist of the season, after spearheading a Cincinnati attack and drawing the attention of two defenders before laying off to Boupendza inside the box. Boupendza took a touch to create space and smashed a powerful shot into the top right corner of the goal.
The Orange and Blue can still surpass the single-season points record set by the New England Revolution (73) in 2021. FC Cincinnati additionally have two home games remaining to attempt to match the most home wins in a single season (14) or set the MLS record at 15.
FC Cincinnati will officially lift their silverware for the first time in front of fans attending Wednesday night’s home match against the New York Red Bulls. The Supporters’ Shield Celebration will take place on the field at TQL Stadium immediately following the final whistle. Limited tickets are still available at FCCincinnati.com/Tickets or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK).
The match will stream exclusively on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. Fans can also listen to the match locally on Fox Sports 1360.
FC CINCINNATI GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati at Toronto FC
Date: September 30, 2023
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: BMO Field
Kickoff: 7:39 p.m. ET
Weather: 67 degrees, clear
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
TOR – Jonathan Osorio 39', Jonathan Osorio 44’
CIN – Brandon Vazquez (Mosquera, Barreal) 28’, Brandon Vazquez 35’, Aaron Boupendza (Acosta, Barreal) 72’
• FC Cincinnati are 6-4-0 all-time against Toronto FC, with Saturday marking the club’s first four-game winning streak against a single opponent … FC Cincinnati’s last loss against TFC came nearly two years to date prior to Saturday – Sept. 29, 2021.
• FC Cincinnati’s six wins against TFC are two more than against any other opponent (Four wins vs CHI, MTL, RBNY).
• FC Cincinnati set a club record for most shots in a game (25) … the previous club record was 22, accomplished twice (6/19/21 vs COL; 7/1/23 vs NE).
• FC Cincinnati are 13-1 this season in one-goal games … Last season, the club was 6-6 in such games, and in 2021 the club was 2-12.
• The Orange and Blue are 16-0-4 when scoring first this season.
• Brandon Vazquez netted his fourth MLS brace, and his seventh multi-goal game across all competitions since 2019.
• Vazquez’s 16 goals across all competitions in 2023 rank second for FC Cincinnati behind Luciano Acosta’s 17 … Vazquez in 2023 has netted eight regular season goals, five in Leagues Cup, three in U.S. Open Cup.
• FC Cincinnati approach 200 all-time MLS goals, reaching 197 with tonight’s three goals.
CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal (Ray Gaddis 85’), Ian Murphy, Matt Miazga, Yerson Mosquera, Santiago Arias, Junior Moreno (Yuya Kubo 89’), Obinna Nwobodo, Luciano Acosta (C), Aaron Boupendza (Dominique Badji 82’), Brandon Vazquez
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Alvas Powell, Nick Hagglund, Marco Angulo, Malik Pinto, Bret Halsey
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
TOR: Luka Gavran, Aime Mabika, Sigurd Rosted, Kobe Franklin, Themi Antonoglou (Cristian Gutierrez 77’), Michael Bradley (C) (Victor Vazquez 77’), Latif Blessing (Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty 60’), Jonathan Osorio, Alonso Coello (Franco Ibara 69’), Federico Bernardeschi, Deandre Kerr (Hugo Mbongue 9’, Prince Owusu 77’)
Substitutes not used: Tomas Romero, Cassius Mailula, Sane O’Neill
Head Coach: Terry Dunfield
STATS SUMMARY: TOR/CIN
Shots: 12 / 25
Shots on Goal: 7 / 13
Saves: 10 / 5
Corner Kicks: 2 / 8
Fouls: 11 / 12
Offside: 1 / 1
Possession: 44.7 / 55.3
TOR – Themi Antonoglou (Yellow Card) 74’
TOR – Prince Owusu (Yellow Card) 86’
Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Ast. Referees: Jeremy Kieso, Jeffrey Swartzel
Fourth Official: Fabrizio Stasolla
VAR: Allen Chapman
AVAR: Claudiu Badea