Lasso, Barrett goals lead to FCC to 2-1 win

CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati scored twice in the opening half and held off New York Red Bulls II, 2-1, in front of 23,602 fans at Nippert Stadium on Saturday night.

FC Cincinnati (13-3-5, 44 pts.) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead behind Forrest Lasso’s headed goal off an Emmanuel Ledesma corner kick in the 17th minute. However, the New York Red Bulls (8-6-7, 31 pts.) got on the board in the 25th minute with an FCC own goal, snapping a 399-minute Cincinnati shutout streak that dated back to June 27.

Cincinnati responded with the game-winning goal before intermission. Ledesma earned another assist in the 35th minute with an inch-perfect free kick service, setting up Paddy Barrett alone for a headed goal to but the Orange and Blue back on top.

New York went close in the waning minutes, nearly tying the game off Tom Barlow’s shot that kicked back off the crossbar and Brian White’s header back across the goal that went narrowly wide.

The victory pushed FCC’s unbeaten run to 10 games (7-0-3) dating back to June 2. The run is now the second-longest in club history behind a 12-game streak in 2016.

FC Cincinnati plays its next four games – including an international friendly – at Nippert Stadium between July 28 and August 18. Next up, FCC will host La Liga’s RCD Espanyol in the team’s international friendly on Saturday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for all games – including the Espanyol game – are available at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-KICK (5425).

FC Cincinnati 2, New York Red Bulls II 1
Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio
Saturday, July 21, 2018

CIN - Forrest Lasso (Emmanuel Ledesma) 17’
NYRBII - Own Goal (Danni Konig) 25’
CIN - Paddy Barrett (Emmanuel Ledesma) 35’

FC Cincinnati: Spencer Richey, Blake Smith, Forrest Lasso, Paddy Barrett, Matt Bahner, Kenney Walker ©, Corben Bone (Will Seymore 90’), Nazmi Albadawi, Jimmy McLaughlin, Emmanuel Ledesma (Russell Cicerone 83’), Danni Konig (Tomi Ameobi 90+1’)

Bench: Evan Newton, Sem De Wit, Matt Bahner, Michael Lahoud

STATS: Shots 8, Shots on goal 2, Fouls 18, Offsides 1, Corner kicks 6, Saves 3, Possession 41.5%

New York Red Bulls II: Evan Louro, Lucas Stauffer, Hassan Ndam, Jordan Scarlett (Kevin Politz 40’), Niko De Vera, Cristian Casseres Jr., Steven Echeverria (Christopher Lema 77’), Tom Barlow, Amando Moreno, Andrew Tinari, Jared Stroud (Brian White 65’)

Bench: Scott Levene, Jose Aguinaga, Andrew Lombard, Wahab Ackwei

STATS: Shots 15, Shots on goal 3, Fouls 13, Offsides 1, Corner kicks 5, Saves 0, Possession 58.5%

NYRBII -- Andrew Tinari (caution) 14’
CIN -- Paddy Barrett (caution) 22’
NYRBII -- Tom Barlow (caution) 53’
CIN -- Blake Smith (caution) 60’
NYRBII -- Lucas Stauffer (caution) 80’

Referee: Michael Radchuck
Weather: 73 degrees and rain
Attendance: 23,602

15’ | Tom Barlow got behind the Orange and Blue back line and dribbled his way inside the box. Keeper Spencer Richey met Barlow at the six-yard line just as Barlow tried a shot on goal and Richey came out with the save to keep the match scoreless.
17’ | FCC GOAL -- Moments after Richey came up with a huge save on one end, FCC earned a corner kick. Emmanuel Ledesma got the nod and set up Forrest Lasso, who placed a header from close range into the bottom right corner of the net for the early advantage.
25’ | NYRBII GOAL -- After Paddy Barrett was called for a foul, New York earned a free kick in their attacking half. Andrew Tinari took the kick from about 35 yards away and Danni Konig headed the ball in for an own goal as he tried to defend the play at the net.
35’ | FCC GOAL -- Ledesma earned a free kick for the Orange and Blue following a foul called on Tinari the previous minute. In a set piece situation, Ledesma found Barrett on the left side of the six-yard box and Barrett connected on a header into the bottom right corner.
75’ | Ledesma and Barrett eyed another chance to get on the board when FCC earned a corner kick late in the match. Ledesma crossed it into the box and Barrett made contact on a header, but missed wide left.
90’+2’ | New York had their sights on leaving Nippert with at least a point in extra time. Lucas Stauffer crossed one into the box that Tom Barlow made contact on with his left foot. Barlow’s try was on target, but hit the top crossbar and FCC conceded.
The Orange and Blue extended their unbeaten run to 10 games after topping New York on Saturday … in those 10 contests, FCC is 7-0-3, including a 5-0-1 mark at home
With the win, FCC evened the all-time series against New York Red Bulls II to 3-3-0 … Cincinnati has won the last three matches against the Baby Bulls
Head coach Alan Koch made several changes to his lineup with the side playing its third game in eight days … Spencer Richey started his first USL game since May 12 … it was his fifth league start of the season … Matt Bahner stepped in for Justin Hoyte at right back and made his sixth start (and seventh appearance) of the season, while Paddy Barrett made his eighth start of the season and first since June 27
Dekel Keinan was rested on Saturday, missing his first game since June 9 and snapping a span of eight straight starts … Michael Lahoud was available on the bench after starting the last six games
Forrest Lasso’s goal in the 17th minute was his second in as many games after going goal-less in the first 19 matches of the season
Paddy Barrett scored his first career USL goal with his headed goal off Emmanuel Ledesma’s free-kick service in the 35th minute
Emmanuel Ledesma recorded his ninth and 10th assists of the season with a corner-kick assist (Lasso) and free-kick assist (Barrett) in the first half … the assists pushed him back into sole possession of the USL lead in assists, breaking a tie with Reno’s Antoine Hoppenot as both players entered the game with 8 apiece
The own goal surrendered by Cincinnati in the 25th minute snapped the team’s 399-minute scoreless streak spanning six games … it was the second-longest shutout streak in club history, and the longest in regular-season play … it also snapped Cincinnati’s home shutout streak that had stretched to 405 minutes and dated back to June 13
Spencer Richey moved to 4-1-0 on the season with his victory tonight
Tomi Ameobi made his regular-season home debut at Nippert Stadium tonight, playing the final minute and stoppage time … his last league appearance overall was May 12 at the Charlotte Independence
Will Seymore made his first league appearance since May 2 when he came on as a substitute at Indy
After starting the season 2-2-1 at home, FC Cincinnati has since gone 5-0-1 at Nippert Stadium and has won five in a row
For the second straight game, two central defenders scored both goals for FC Cincinnati … this is the first time in club history two defenders have scored in back-to-back games
FCC Head Coach Alan Koch

“When you play three games in a week, when you get to the end you know it’s going to be a little bit of a grind. Playing against New York tonight - how they press, and they’re a good quality team - we knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and I’m very proud of our guys for fighting. To go out and get ourselves another big three points ...very proud of the body of work the guys have put in this week.”

On unbeaten run…
“It feels special right now because we’re giving the guys the next three days off and I think everybody’s really excited to have a little bit of a break … It’s just one game at a time, I know that sounds bland, but that’s our focus … The second we look too far ahead and we get caught up in different accolades at this stage, it doesn’t really mean anything.”

On Spencer Richey’s performance...
“He did everything we knew he could do … Spencer’s been training fantastically for weeks and months and he deserved the opportunity that he got tonight.”

On scoring in set piece situations…
“We’ve stolen ideas from other people, to be honest. I’m not a rocket scientist, so if we see it work with someone else there’s nothing wrong with going and stealing it. It’s worked. I’m sure teams are going to figure those out pretty soon and we’ll have to adjust and come up with something else.”

Goalkeeper Spencer Richey

On his save in the 15th minute…
“They’re a youthful team. We knew from being up at their place, they were going to come in and press us early ... We wanted to not take too many risks ... A team that comes out and presses like that, eventually they’re going to win the ball and maybe get in on a one-on-one and the keeper has to come up big.”

On the unbeaten run…
“It gives us a huge amount of confidence. To be able to rotate the team the way we did, not the same starting 11 any of the three games, and to get nine points in three, home or away, is massive. We’re a team with a lot of confidence, we feel like we’re the best team in the league and fortunately over the last eight or nine games, we’ve showed that.”

Defender Paddy Barrett

On his goal…
“All year round, the delivery that (Emmanuel) Ledesma’s got, you know, he put it on [the button] for me, and I just needed to get it into the corner, to be honest.”

On his opportunity Saturday...
“It’s difficult, of course. You have to prepare day in and day out to play. When you get the chance, obviously we’ve been working hard all week and I kind of knew over the past couple days I was playing tonight, so I kind of prepare myself differently. We’ve got a great group of lads that help not just me, but a lot of players that don’t play week in and week out to make their confidence not drop and keep them level-headed.”

On the club’s place in the standings...
“It’s nice, doesn’t matter how many points it is once [we’re on top]. Whether it’s nine points or one point, once we’re on top and we stay there, that’s the main object.”

On the club’s rotation...
“That’s a credit to this coaching staff. We’ve got 25 players that, no matter what 11 you put out each week, you could put it up against any team in this league and we’re a lot of confident lads ... we go out with confidence and get three points, no matter who comes here.”