FC Cincinnati fell to Charlotte FC on the road on Saturday evening by a scoreline of 2-0. The Orange and Blue conceded a goal in the 6’ from a Charlotte counterattack and again in the 55’ from a free kick on a blustery evening in North Carolina.
Karol Swiderski slotted home both goals in the match, the first off a cross from Ben Bender while Daniel Rios picked up the secondary assist. In the 55’, it was Swiderski again, this time from a free kick. The Polish forward lasered a shot to the far post to double the lead. FC Cincinnati had their share of chances, but Kristijan Kahlina made five saves to keep the visitors off the board.
The Orange and Blue return home to TQL Stadium to face CF Montréal. Kickoff on Saturday, April 2 is set for 4 p.m. ET.
FC CINCINNATI MATCH REPORT
FC Cincinnati at Charlotte FC
Date: March 26, 2022
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: Bank of America Stadium
Kickoff: 5:08 p.m. ET
Weather: 60 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1-2-F
CLT - Karol Swiderski (Ben Bender, Daniel Rîos) 6’, Karol Swiderski 55’
CIN: Alec Kann, Álvaro Barreal (Brenner 59’), Tyler Blackett, Geoff Cameron, Nick Hagglund, Alvas Powell (Ray Gaddis 59’), Junior Moreno (Haris Medunjanin 78’), Yuya Kubo (Allan Cruz 83’), Luciano Acosta (C), Brandon Vazquez, Dominique Badji (Nick Markanich 83’)
Substitutes not used: Kenneth Vermeer, Quimi Ordonez, Ian Murphy, Harrison Robledo**
Head Coach:** Pat Noonan
CLT: Kristijan Kahlina, Guzman Corujo, Christian Fuchs (C), Jaylin Lindsey, Joseph Mora, Sergio Ruiz (Cristian Ortiz 74’), Jordy Alcivar (Harrison Afful 90’+2), Ben Bender, Derrick Jones (Brandt Bronico 74’), Karol Swiderski (Anton Walkes 90’+2), Daniel Rios (Yordy Reyna 86’)
Substitutes not used: George Marks, Jan Sobocinski, McKinze Gaines, Koa Santos**
Head Coach:** Miguel Angel Ramírez
STATS SUMMARY: CLT/CIN
Shots: 10 / 14*
Shots on Goal:* 6 / 5*
Saves:* 5 / 4*
Corner Kicks:* 3 / 3*
Fouls:* 14 / 10*
Offside:* 1 / 1*
Possession:* 58.4% / 41.6%
CIN – Dominique Badji (caution) 75'
CIN – Geoff Cameron (caution) 85’
Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Ast. Referees: Mike Rottersman, Matthew Nelson
Fourth Offiical: Lukasz Szpala
VAR: Fotis Bazakos
AVAR: Jeff Muschik
POST GAME QUOTES
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan
His thoughts on the match
“That’s a disappointing result. I think there was at least a point there for us. First half, it comes down to really, they finish their chance we missed our two chances to get into halftime level. And then, on the second half, I think our energy and our willingness to attack with speed and look to get in behind and attack with numbers in the box wasn't there tonight. Even in moments where we had time and space on the ball, I just don't think our movement to goal was efficient enough. And looking to put them under consistent pressure. Credit to the player for making a play on the free kick. That's a great shot from the view that I saw, but overall disappointing result.”
The opener for Charlotte? Was that a good team goal? Or was there anything that you would have liked to have seen differently, maybe positionally?
“I got to look back at how it originated, but I think on the on the play we could do a better job of tracking out of the middle. I know Geoff goes to close it down, and it goes through his legs. He's in a position where he's trying to block the cross and gets a little unfortunate there. Then we just lose track of runners on the back post for that goal. When you look back, you're going to see, I'm sure, a few things that we could have done better to prevent that goal.”
Was the team put off at all by the wind, or the surface, which looked like it was playing kind of slow?
"I think that the surface and the wind certainly played a factor. And you can see for both sides, the quality on the night wasn't at the level that either team would have expected. Balls bounce funny, they check up on you in ways where it's tough to control, which invites pressure, and if your touche isn’t clean, you're seeing a lot of careless turnovers, certainly on our side that led to some of their dangerous moments throughout the game. And that's what we addressed at halftime—the moments where we were put under pressure, a lot of times came from our own mistakes and either technically letting ourselves down or not being cleaner on the ball with the first pass and ball recoveries. I thought if we cleaned those moments out that we’d be able to control the game a little bit better. And I thought the second half in ways that improved, but that's also a factor of the score line where you know, they were dropped off a little bit, and we had a little bit more time and space, but certainly didn't capitalize on it.”
How do you feel about the attackers?
:Well, we're certainly going to need to rely on our group to find goals. It can't just be on Brandon to score goals. We have enough quality with our attacking options to score more goals. If you look at the opportunities that we created, again, Brandon has a really good look, Alvas has a good look. I know it's not chances that you usually seeing Alvas be on the end of but nonetheless, it's a really good chance. In the second half I know you know, Markanich off the cross has a really good look in front of goal. So I think we threatened in ways where we should have at least had a goal out of this game. And that changes the momentum if we're getting one in the first half. But you know, obviously it builds confidence in you. You push for more, so I wouldn't say I'm concerned that the goals aren't there. I like the way we’re creating chances. But I just think we need to be more decisive and hungrier to consistently put the ball in the back of the net. I think there's too many opportunities we leave out there because we're too casual in front of goal.”
His thoughts on just the organization of the defense in the first half and how he felt like the guys managed just the organization and execution of the game plan.
"Pretty well, I think the issues were with our wing backs, releasing higher to their outside backs, when they're a little bit deeper. We talked about it during the week, being able to play the play in the middle and do two things with Álvaro and with Alvas where they can press higher up the field to get the pressure to their outside backs. We shift over with our center backs. And Junior and Yuya in the middle, where I thought we were a little bit indecisive at times was closing to the ball with Alvas moreso on the right side, it happened a little bit Álvaro, too. And then they started to pull their eights out wide, centrally, and that was pulling, you know, Junior and Yuya out of the middle. So we wanted to try to combat that with just shifting over our center backs and our backline. And so that that would be the responsibility of Nick and Tyler to deal with those eights that were releasing wider, so that we could keep you Yuya and Junior centrally. I think that was the one area of them with the ball that caused us some problems. But overall, I didn't think there was anything consistently of concern in terms of how they were creating in the first 45 minutes.”
On Brenner playing as a winger
"We worked on during the week, having a front three of Brenner on the left with Dom on the right in Brandon central. It was something that we saw some good outcomes from, as far as our chance creation, and at that point you're trailing down 2-0. So we're looking to get some attackers on the field and be a little bit more aggressive. We were hoping to get him isolated and running at their backline which we weren't able to do enough. And then Nick Markanich coming in and his role was on the right side, and I think Brandon shifted over there at times, but Brandon was central with Brenner on the left and Nick on the right. So that was the intention there. It was scoreline and trying to get attacking threats on the field.
What do you want to take from this? What would be your expectations going into next week?
"Yeah, like you said, what's the response look like? I think this is a game where our energy and our commitment to attack it look to win the ball back wasn't there consistently. So that'll be the message and the theme early on next week is we need to be more aggressive in how we look to attack and send numbers forward and more aggressive in again, looking to win the ball higher up the field and play closer to our opponent’s goal.
Is there anything you can tell us about Ronald [Matarrita]’s situation?*
"Yeah, I'm sure a lot of people have seen the pictures that have floated around it's it doesn't look great as far as what his ankle looks like right now. We don't have 100% certainty on what the diagnosis is so when he gets the final test done and we take a look at it with our docs, we'll have a little bit more of an understanding of what the timeline looks like, as far as his recovery and what the actual injury will be. But early diagnosis is not great.
Will he come back now [to Cincinnati]?*
“We're still we're still finalizing what his return looks like obviously, he's there with his team and if he's not able to come back and help us in the short term, then we'll just decide on if he wants to stay with his team and continue to support them or if he comes back.”