FC Cincinnati preserved a late one-goal lead in dramatic fashion to defeat Seattle Sounders FC, 1-0, Saturday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 25,513 at TQL Stadium.
With the win, the Orange and Blue remain undefeated with a 2-0-1 record (7 points). The Sounders suffered their first loss, and move to 2-1-0 (6 points).
The second sold-out crowd in as many games at TQL Stadium welcomed reigning Concacaf Champions League winners Seattle Sounders to the Queen City for the first time. After a scoreless first half, Brenner provided the match with the game-winning goal in the 63rd minute.
After Obinna Nwobodo forced a turnover in Seattle’s defensive third, he linked up with the captain Luciano Acosta driving forward. Acosta then found Junior Moreno, who connected with Brenner at the top of the 18, who took a touch and fired a shot past Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
Following his 18-goal campaign from last season, a year in which Brenner scored his first of those goals in a 1-0 win over Orlando City SC in late June, the Brazilian striker netted his first of 2023 as Saturday night’s lone goal.
Brenner’s 19 regular season goals since June 2022 are the most in MLS over that span and two more than the next closest players (Philadelphia Union’s Daniel Gazdag & Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar, 17 each).
FC Cincinnati would be forced to play down a man from the 83rd minute on. After Nick Hagglund was initially shown a yellow card for a foul on Raúl Ruidíaz, after VAR review, the Cincinnati native was shown red as he was deemed the last line of defense.
The visitors looked as if they had found an equalizer with a goal from Yéimar Gómez in the 90th minute. After VAR review, it was determined that Gómez fouled FCC’s Yerson Mosquera prior to the goal, negating the potential game-shifter.
Through over nine minutes of stoppage time played, FC Cincinnati held on for a vital 1-0 win over the visiting Sounders.
FC Cincinnati head next to Soldier Field to take on Chicago Fire FC next Saturday, March 18. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT on Apple TV via MLS Season Pass and over the radio locally on ESPN 1530.
FC CINCINNATI GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati vs. Seattle Sounders FC
Date: March 11, 2023
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: TQL Stadium
Attendance: 25,513 (sellout)
Kickoff: 7:39 p.m. ET
Weather: 39 degrees, cloudy
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
CIN – Brenner (Junior Moreno, Luciano Acosta) 63'
SEA – None
• Saturday marked FC Cincinnati’s tenth sellout of TQL Stadium all-time.
• Saturday’s starting temperature of 39°F marked the coldest temperature for an MLS match in Cincinnati … the only match colder, 37°F, came on the road on February 26, 2022 at Austin FC.
• Brenner’s 19 regular season goals since June 1, 2022 are the most in MLS over that span and two more than the next closest players (PHI Gazdag & NSH Mukhtar, 17 each).
• Brenner’s 27 career goals with FC Cincinnati are the most in club history (2nd – Brandon Vazquez, 24).
• FC Cincinnati approaches 150 all-time MLS goals for, with Brenner’s marking the 147th.
• Luciano Acosta recorded his 30th career assist with FC Cincinnati, by far the most in the club’s history (2nd – Barreal and Vazquez, 13).
• Brenner and Álvaro Barreal became the fourth and fifth players in FC Cincinnati history to
surpass 5,000 career MLS minutes with the club … their milestones came one week after Yuya Kubo became the third player in club history to surpass 5,000 career MLS minutes with FCC
• FC Cincinnati deployed the same starting lineup for the second straight matchday.
CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal, Nick Hagglund, Matt Miazga, Yerson Mosquera (Alvas Powell 90+4’), Ray Gaddis, Junior Moreno (Yuya Kubo 80’), Obinna Nwobodo, Luciano Acosta (C) (Marco Angulo 90+4’), Brenner (Ian Murphy 86’), Brandon Vazquez (Sergio Santos 90+3’)
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Dominique Badji, Arquimides Ordoñez, Malik Pinto
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
SEA: Stefan Frei, Nouhou (Kelyn Rowe 87’), Jackson Ragen, Yéimar Gómez, João Paulo (Leo Chu 73’), Cristian Roldan (Josh Atencio 87’), Nico Lodeiro (C), Albert Rusnak, Alex Roldan, Fredy Montero (Raúl Ruidíaz 58’), Jordan Morris
Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Xavier Arreaga, Ethan Dobbelaere, Sota Kitahara
Head Coach: Brian Schmetzer
STATS SUMMARY: CIN/SEA
Shots: 9 / 12
Shots on Goal: 2 / 1
Saves: 1 / 0
Corner Kicks: 5 / 3
Fouls: 16 / 12
Offside: 1 / 0
Possession: 48.8 / 51.2
CIN – Álvaro Barreal (Yellow Card) 24’
CIN – Luciano Acosta (Yellow Card) 39’
SEA – João Paulo (Yellow Card) 57’
CIN – Nick Hagglund (Red Card) 83’
SEA – Yéimar Gómez (Yellow Card) 90+2’
Referee: Joe Dickerson
Ast. Referees: Kevin Klinger, Brian Dunn
Fourth Official: Nick Uranga
VAR: David Barrie
AVAR: Fabio Tovar
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan
On the win
“That was a really professional win for our group for a lot of different reasons, but I was really proud of how we went about this game. We were able to beat a really good team. The first half, it was more about us with the ball and being able to pin them a little deeper. I think that limited their chances to transition closer to goal, which was important because they're a very dangerous transition team. And they were defending really well. It was hard to break them down. We said at halftime, it was probably just going to be one moment and continue to be patient, and we were able to find it. A really good finish for Brenner. And then, we made it a little more interesting than we needed to end the game, but I was really pleased with the guys that came on and how we went about seeing out the game. I thought that was a good moment for our group.”
On if the sold-out crowd was a playoff atmosphere
“It did have that field tonight. But that's brought by the two teams as well as the fans. Tonight was a cool atmosphere. That was a fun game to be a part of. It's always better when you're winning. But as the game was playing out, I do think that both teams could feel that this was a good early test for each one of us. And the fans obviously played a huge part in that, and you could feel them for the 90-plus. They were excellent. It had a really good feel to it. And we need more games like this.”
On how tonight’s performance will be the standard
“The standard is, as a starting point, winning at home, so we can put how we play aside. We have to win at home, and we did that. That goal was achieved. But I'll say it again, defensively, whether playing at home or on the road, if it looks like that, we're going to be tough to break down. That's three games where we've conceded goals out of the run of play and one on a set piece, so I'm very pleased with that. But also the understanding that when we do that well, it also leads to some really good transition moments. And it leads to us when the time is right just controlling tempo with how we passed. That part has improved the last two games. And I think we're still trying to improve in a way where there's a balance of how we defend and how we attack with speed. I think we've won enough games against quality opponents in different ways that the standard for us is to win games, and to do it in a way where we're creating chances and we're tough to break down. That's what you want all the time. But I think we found early in the season some consistencies on the defensive side of the ball that maybe we didn't have early last year where we needed to score a lot of goals. Now we've shown we can win some games where it's just one goal, if we can continue to defend like that. Having said that, our chances will come for our group to finish plays off and put more goals on the board so that we can see the game out maybe in a more comfortable way, if that's possible, but our attack will find its rhythm. And when that happens, it's important that we continue to defend the way we did tonight.”
Visit HERE for FC Cincinnati’s 2023 home platform match schedule. The full 2023 regular season schedule can be viewed HERE. All matches will air live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. The unprecedented subscription service featuring every MLS regular season, playoff and Leagues Cup match is available now.
All tickets, including Single Match Tickets, Full Season Tickets and Half Season “Orange” and “Blue” Ticket packages, can be purchased at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK). For more information about Group Tickets and Premium hospitality options including suites and all-inclusive experiences, call (513) 763-1025.
FC Cincinnati is now also offering a Flex Plan. Fans can select one Leagues Cup match, in addition to two to five regular season matches. The Flex Plan provides ultimate flexibility with benefits including cost savings, no fees and presale access for additional events at TQL Stadium, including potential home playoff matches.
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.