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CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati led at halftime but conceded two second half goals to drop a 2-1 decision to MLS leaders Los Angeles FC in front of 20,883 fans Sunday afternoon at TQL Stadium.

With the win, LAFC (6-1-1) improved to 19 points for the season, the most in MLS. FC Cincinnati fell to 2-5-1 (7 points) in defeat.

The Orange and Blue struck first right before the half, with captain Luciano Acosta putting FC Cincinnati ahead.

With LAFC playing out of the back, Yuya Kubo forced a turnover which pushed the ball to Brenner at the top of the box. The forward laid the pass off to Acosta, who calmly took a touch and buried a right-footed shot into the back of the net.

The goal was Acosta’s second of the season, his ninth career strike with FC Cincinnati which is tied for second-most in club history (Allan Cruz).

U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Kellyn Acosta equalized for the visitors in the 59th minute, followed by the winner from substitute Danny Musovski in the 79th minute for LAFC.

Roman Celentano, FC Cincinnati’s top selection in MLS SuperDraft 2022, made six saves in his first MLS regular season start for FC Cincinnati. The six saves are tied for fifth-most in club history in a single game.

Calvin Harris recorded a team-high three shots, which also set a career-high. Acosta, Brenner, Dominique Badji and Alvas Powell all had two shots for FCC Sunday.

The Orange and Blue head north of the border next Saturday, April 30 to take on Toronto FC. Kickoff from BMO Field is set for 3 p.m.

FC CINCINNATI GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati vs. LAFC
Date: April 24, 2022
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: TQL Stadium
Attendance: 20,883
Kickoff: 5:28 p.m. ET
Weather: 84 degrees, clear

SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
CIN: 1-0-1
LAFC: 0-2-2

CIN - Luciano Acosta (Brenner) 45+3'

LAFC - Kellyn Acosta (unassisted) 59', Danny Musovski (Carlos Vela, Latif Blessing) 79'

GAME NOTES

  • Luciano Acosta’s goal was his first from open play since Oct. 20, 2021 vs. Chicago Fire FC … he has scored nine career goals with FCC, tied for second-most in club history with Allan Cruz. Brenner’s assist on the play, his third with FCC, was his first since July 21, 2021 vs. Atlanta United FC, also an assist to Acosta.
  • Acosta’s goal, three minutes into first half stoppage time, matched the latest first half goal in club history (Ronald Matarrita - 45+3' at CLB on 8/27/21).
  • Alvas Powell made the 150th MLS regular season appearance of his career.
  • Roman Celentano, FC Cincinnati’s No. 2 overall selection in MLS SuperDraft 2022, earned his first MLS regular season start after starting Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup game … John Nelson earned his first MLS start with FCC, and Calvin Harris made his first start since Oct. 23, 2021 at Inter Miami CF.
  • FCC’s starting XI featured three MLS SuperDraft selections (Celentano, Harris, Ian Murphy) for the first time in club history.
  • Arquimides Ordonez made his first appearance of the season, his first since Oct. 27, 2021 vs. Nashville SC.
  • FC Cincinnati are 0-2-0 all-time against LAFC.

LINEUPS
CIN: Roman Celentano, John Nelson (Arquimides Ordonez 90’), Tyler Blackett, Ian Murphy (Geoff Cameron 67’), Alvas Powell, Junior Moreno, Yuya Kubo (Haris Medunjanin 90’), Calvin Harris (Allan Cruz 78’), Luciano Acosta (C), Dominique Badji, Brenner (Nick Markanich 78’)

Substitutes not used: Kenneth Vermeer, Zico Bailey, Harrison Robledo

Head Coach: Pat Noonan

LAFC: Maxime Crépeau, Doneil Henry (Sebastien Ibeagha 29’), Jesus Murillo, Ilie Sanchez, Diego Palacios, Ryan Hollingshead, Kellyn Acosta, Jose Cifuentes (Latif Blessing 72’), Kwadwo Opoku, Carlos Vela (Cal Jennings 87’), Cristian Arango (Daniel Musovski 72’)

Substitutes not used: Francisco Ginella, Fraco Escobar, John McCarthy

Head Coach: Steve Cherundolo

STATS SUMMARY: CIN/LAFC
Shots: 14 / 19
Shots on Goal: 7 / 8
Saves: 6 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 8 / 8
Offside: 0 / 0
Possession: 45 / 55

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY
LAFC - Doneil Henry (Yellow Card) - 6'
CIN - Calvin Harris (Yellow Card) - 19'
LAFC - Sebastien Ibeagha (Yellow Card) - 33'
LAFC - Daniel Musovski (Yellow Card) - 90+4'
CIN - Dominique Badji (Yellow Card) - 90+4'
LAFC - Maxime Crépeau (Yellow Card) - 90+7'
CIN - Tyler Blackett (Yellow Card) - 90+7'

OFFICIALS
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Ast. Referees: Brian Dunn, Diego Blas
Fourth Official: Sergii Demianchuk
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez
AVAR: TJ Zablocki

POSTGAME QUOTES

FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan

Opening statement
“A disappointing result. Unfortunately, that's been a theme, but I couldn't be more proud of the group and the effort they gave. The disappointing part is not to be rewarded with some points tonight, because I thought we deserved some points. The chances were there for us to get a second goal early in the second half, but we just couldn't convert our chances to walk away with some points.”

On the national perception of FC Cincinnati
“I’m not concerned about that. What I'm concerned about is what the guys in the locker room think, what the fans think and members of this club who want to see results and want to see a group that is doing things the right way. And I think they are – I just don't think we were rewarded with points tonight. But guys stepped up in a lot of ways to show that there's fight in the group. With a lot of bodies missing, we have guys that are ready to step in and take advantage of some opportunities. But I'm really pleased with the way our guys went about it today.”

On the effort vs. result Sunday
“If the effort was an issue, then we'd be concerned. But when you see what they do out there, the effort isn't a problem. It's the big moments where right now, we're coming up short, because we've done enough in games where we haven't gotten points to score more goals. That's the difference in the results right now, but I think if you watch that game, you wouldn't say there was only one team on the field. We have to get the big moments right to change the results.”

On goalkeeper Roman Celentano
“He made a lot of big saves for us. It didn't look like a rookie in his first start. He was fantastic. That was a good sign for Roman and for our group that we have goalkeepers that are able to keep us in games when we need them to. So, really pleased with Roman.”

On the busy stretch ahead
"Yeah, we’ll give them some rest early on. As we recover from this game, it'll be kind of day by day managing where guys are at just to make sure we have healthy bodies going into the weekend. I'm really pleased with the effort over the course of the three games. Aside from tonight’s results, being able to advance in an Open Cup. It was a good week for us despite what it feels like right now.”

Goalkeeper Roman Celentano

On his first MLS start
“Obviously I was proud to make my MLS debut was big for me and my family, it is a big moment. LAFC is one of the best teams in the league but we just approached like we did with any other team. We just made sure to stick to our game plan, tried to be organized defensively, try to exploit their weak points on their team and go forward with that. We tried to get a result but it's unfortunate we didn't get that.”

On if the start came as a surprise
“Not really, I was expecting to play the [U.S. Open] Cup game, but going into this week I wasn't sure for this game. Every day I train like I am going to play so I am always ready for the opportunity. Always in the mindset so that if anything does happen, I am ready, so I am not catching up or behind on anything. I figured it out the other day, couple of days ago. Not too early but not too late.”

On playing in Sunday’s atmosphere
“It was like a dream come true. Having tens of thousands of people there cheering and having the sound, like the noise of the [Bailey] and everything. It was incredible. Just being in that atmosphere, being able to play and represent FCC in that manner, it was a great experience for me.”

Defender John Nelson

On the result and his return to play
“I think we deserved a point at least out of that. I'm proud of our team. Obviously, it's a tough match with LAFC coming in, and I think they're one of the best teams in the league right now. But for me, I'm happy to make my first start with Cincinnati, you know, it's been a long time coming since the injury. So personally, I'm very happy. But obviously, we want to get at least a point out of that. But overall, I'm proud of our team.”

On returning from injury

“Physically [I feel] very good. I think I've only been in training for a month now. The coaches and the medical staff, they're not rushing me or anything, but they’re asking if I'm comfortable enough to play and start, then, yeah I wanted to. I felt comfortable, my body feels good. So physically good, mentally, very good. And obviously, I give a lot of give a lot of credit to FC Cincinnati, and the medical staff just supported me throughout this, this was a tough process to come back. But physically very good getting there. That was my first 88 minutes-90 minutes in so long. So physically, very good and mentally good.”

FC Cincinnati's 2022 schedule can be viewed, HERE. Fans can get the best tickets at the best price to the best matches all season long by purchasing season tickets at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-KICK, that’s 513-977-5425.

FC Cincinnati is in 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.