WASHINGTON - FC Cincinnati are going to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in club history after defeating D.C. United, 5-2, at Audi Field on Sunday afternoon. Four first-half goals powered the Orange and Blue to three points on the final day of the regular season.
The Orange and Blue finish the year fifth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 12-9-13 and will face the New York Red Bulls in the opening round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Luciano Acosta scored his 10th goal of the season against his former club in the sixth minute to open the scoring for the Orange and Blue. Matt Miazga initiated the move, playing a long ball from the Cincinnati half toward the top of D.C. United's 18-yard box. Brandon Vazquez made an athletic leap to head Miazga’s pass across the box and into the path of Acosta, who confidently finished past David Ochoa.
Brenner scored his first goal of the half two minutes later to double FC Cincinnati's lead. Álvaro Barreal forced a United turnover in midfield with the ball ultimately finding the feet of Acosta in a dangerous area. Acosta played a perfectly weighted pass into Brenner who slipped one past Ochoa. Matai Akinmboni looked to clear the attempt but stumbled on the ball watching it roll into the back of the net.
The in-form Brenner doubled his tally in the 24th minute to give the Orange and Blue a 3-0 lead. A brief moment of back-and-forth play ended with Vazquez picking out Brenner who found himself in a bit of space. Brenner drove toward goal and curled one past Ochoa who found himself in an awkward position.
D.C. United pulled one back in the 26th minute through Ravel Morrison. Morrison showcased a moment of quality for United with a fantastic shot from distance to beat Roman Celentano for his second goal of the MLS season. However, Brenner quickly responded and completed his first-half hat trick to cap another impressive exchange with Vazquez near the top of the United penalty area.
The Red and Black grabbed a second goal one minute after the start of the second half when Kristian Fletcher caught the Orange and Blue with a low-driven attempt that beat Celentano at the far post. Vazquez restored Cincinnati’s three-goal advantage seven minutes later to go along with his three-assist afternoon.
FC CINCINNATI GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati at D.C. United
Date: October 9, 2022
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: Audi Field
Kickoff: 2:55 p.m. ET
Weather: 64 degrees, clear
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
DC - Ravel Morrison (Sofiane Djeffal) 26’, Kristian Fletcher (Jose Alfaro) 46'
CIN - Luciano Acosta (Brandon Vazquez, Matt Miazga) 6’, Brenner (Luciano Acosta, Álvaro Barreal) 8’, Brenner (Brandon Vazquez, Nick Hagglund) 24’, Brenner (Brandon Vazquez) 37', Brandon Vazquez (Brenner) 53'
• FC Cincinnati earn the club’s first win against D.C. United … NYCFC is the only Eastern Conference opponent that the Orange and Blue have never defeated.
• FC Cincinnati’s four first half goals marked a new club-record high … the Orange and Blue had never scored a goal against D.C. in the first half entering today.
• Brenner’s three hat tricks this season are the most in MLS (Julián Carranza, PHI: 2) … he became the sixth player in MLS history to score three hat tricks in a single MLS season and the first since Atlanta United’s Josef Martínez in 2018.
• Brenner (3 G, 1 A) and Brandon Vazquez (1 G, 3 A) each accounted for four goal contributions, the second and third such performances in club history (Brenner, 4 G+A on 9/10/22 vs SJ).
• Vazquez’s three assists marks the second three-assist performance in club history (Acosta, 8/6/22 vs PHI).
• FCC’s 2-0 advantage just eight minutes in marked the fastest two goal advantage in club history (4/17/21 at NSH, Acosta 8', Brenner 12').
• Acosta added one assist to his MLS-high in the category of 19 this season.
• FC Cincinnati scored four+ goals in a game for the fifth time in club history, fourth this season (6, 9/10/22 vs SJ; 4, 07/17/21 at MTL; 4, 6/29/22 vs NYC; 4, 7/30/22 at MIA).
• FC Cincinnati ended the season with 34 first half goals in 34 MLS games.
CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal (Ronald Matarrita, 85’), Matt Miazga, Geoff Cameron, Nick Hagglund (Ian Murphy, 70’), Alvas Powell (Ray Gaddis, 60’), Junior Moreno (Yuya Kubo, 46’), Obinna Nwobodo, Luciano Acosta (C), Brenner, Brandon Vazquez (Dominique Badji, 85’)
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Arquimides Ordoñez, John Nelson, Allan Cruz
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
DC: David Ochoa, Matai Akinmboni (Kimarni Smith, 76’), Steven Birnbaum, Jose Alfaro, Chris Odoi-Atsem (Drew Skundrich, 46’), Theodore Ku-Dipietro (Nigel Robertha, 60’), Sofiane Djeffal, Chris Durkin, Ravel Morrison (Jackson Hopkins, 76’), Kristian Fletcher (Ola Kamara, 60’), Christian Benteke
Substitutes not used: Jon Kempin, Martín Rodríguez, Sami Guediri, Miguel Berry
Head Coach: Wayne Rooney
STATS SUMMARY: DC/CIN
Shots: 9 / 13
Shots on Goal: 5 / 8
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 5 / 11
Offside: 1 / 4
Possession: 56.6 / 43.4
DC – Steven Birnbaum (Yellow Card) 45+2’
CIN – Junior Moreno (Yellow Card) 30’, Álvaro Barreal (Yellow Card) 61’
Referee: Tim Ford
Ast. Referees: Nick Uranga, Jeremy Kieso
Fourth Official: Matthew Thompson
VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero
Ast. VAR: Joshu Patlak
2023 Season Tickets are on sale now at fccincinnati.com/tickets. Fans looking for more information can contact a dedicated FC Cincinnati representative at (513) 977-5435 or e-mail email@example.com.
Single match tickets to FC Cincinnati’s final home game on October 1 against Chicago Fire FC are available, head to fccincinnati.com/tickets or call 513-977-KICK, to learn more.
FC Cincinnati are playing 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.