CHARLESTON, S.C. – FC Cincinnati fell to Columbus Crew SC, 3-0, tonight at MUSC Health Stadium. The match was FC Cincinnati’s third and final match in the 2019 Carolina Challenge Cup, as well as the club’s seventh and final preseason game of the 2019 Major League Soccer Preseason presented by Advocare.
Columbus’ Gyasi Zardes put the Black and Gold on the board five minutes into the first half. Federico Higuain played a through ball in the box to Zardes, who took a right-footed shot on his first touch just inside the far post. The forward completed his brace in the 20th minute after he headed a partially blocked cross beyond Przemysław Tytoń.
FCC’s Roland Lamah was issued a red card in the 29th minute for a tackle on Wil Trapp, forcing the Orange and Blue to play down a man for the final 61 minutes of the contest.
Pedro Santos added Columbus’ third goal of the night just after the start of the second half. The winger received a pass from Hector Jimenez just inside the right-hand corner of the 18-yard box, and curled a left-footed shot by Tytoń to extend Columbus’ lead.
FC Cincinnati’s debut MLS game played next Saturday, March 2, when the team travels to face Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field in a game that will be televised nationally live on FS1. The Orange and Blue will make their home debut as an MLS team at Nippert Stadium on Sunday, March 17, when the team hosts MLS Cup finalist Portland Timbers at 5 p.m. Season tickets, mini plans and individual-game tickets are on sale at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-5425 (KICK).
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.
FC Cincinnati 0, Columbus Crew SC 3
MUSC Health Stadium | Charleston, S.C.
Saturday, February 23, 2019
CLB – Gyasi Zardes (Federico Higuain) 5’
CLB – Gyasi Zardes (unassisted) 20’
CLB - Pedro Santos (Hector Jimenez) 47’
FC Cincinnati: Przemysław Tytoń, Kendall Waston (Caleb Stanko 58’), Mathieu Deplagne, Nick Hagglund, Justin Hoyte (Blake Smith 71’), Victor Ulloa, Leonardo Bertone (Allan Cruz 79’), Alvas Powell (Corben Bone 82’), Roland Lamah, Fanendo Adi, Eric Alexander (Fatai Alashe 58’)
Bench: Spencer Richey, Jimmy Hague, Forrest Lasso, Hassan Ndam, Nazmi Albadawi, Frankie Amaya, Emmanuel Ledesma
Columbus Crew SC: Zack Steffen, Gaston Sauro, Waylon Francis, Jonathan Mensah, Hector Jimenez (Harrison Afful 61’), Wil Trapp, Pedro Santos, Artur, Justin Meram (Robinho 75’), Federico Higuain, Gyasi Zardes
Bench: Joe Bendik, Luis Argudo, Josh Williams, Ricardo Clark, Lalas Abubakar, Eduardo Sosa, Alex Crognale, Gaston Sauro, Jon Kempin, Edward Opoku, Niko Hansen, Aboubacar Keita, Connor Maloney, Patrick Mullins, JJ Williams, Sebastian Berhalter, Aiwan Morris
CLB – Jonathan Mensah (caution) 24’
CIN – Roland Lamah (ejection) 29’
Weather: 62 degrees and cloudy
- The Orange and Blue concluded their preseason schedule with tonight’s match … in seven matches, the club posted a 2-2-3 record.
- Kendall Waston made his Carolina Challenge Cup debut in tonight’s contest … the center back made his third preseason appearance for FC Cincinnati and his first since the club’s game against Colorado on Feb. 2, when he was shown a red card moments into the match then missed time because of injury
- Roland Lamah picked up FC Cincinnati’s second red card of preseason
- Waston wore the captain’s armband in the first half … after Waston exited the match, Fanendo Adi took over as captain for the remainder of the second half
FCC Head Coach Alan Koch
On tonight’s match
“Very disappointing result, we just spoke to the players in the change room. We all put our hands up, myself included. It just wasn’t good enough. It was a very, very difficult exercise, we knew it would be. Columbus are a very well-oiled machine. They obviously have a lot of returning players, they know how to play together, and we knew that beforehand. We knew it was going to be a tough challenge, but we look inside that first 30 minutes, we dug ourselves a hole. We didn’t show up. We didn’t play the way we needed to. We were two goals down and then a man down, essentially the exercise was over after 30 minutes tonight.”
On what the team can take away after playing down a man for a majority of the match
“You can’t evaluate anything from a tactical perspective, a performance perspective, after thirty minutes. You can assess, obviously, fitness levels. I think we got a lot from that perspective, which is huge. We’ve got a couple guys that are a little bit tight right now, the medical staff will have to work with them, so hopefully they are okay. There’s two ways to look at the game, there’s the first thirty 30 minutes, which were not even close to being good enough, we all put our hands up for that. We knew it was going to be very, very difficult. We just spoke to the guys, ‘Welcome to the league.’ This is not going to be easy, we’re an expansion team and we’re going to face tough, tough situations like we did tonight. That won’t be the last challenging 30 minutes that we’ll have to face, but we need to respond better. We’d rather go through that type of experience now in the preseason than during the season, and it may happen during the season, but we need to learn from tonight. Tonight is a growth opportunity for us as a group.”
On evaluating preseason as a whole
“You know what’s funny, you have to assess every preseason based on the context. So, how we would assess our preseason is very different to say how every other team in Major League soccer would assess it, because we’re brand new. Yeah, we’re an existing club, but we’re a brand-new team with so many new players and we have the same number of days as every team in the league to get ourselves ready. So, it’s only natural that teams we play against are ahead of us and that’s just a logical reasoning in how that progresses. But, we all start the league next week, so we’re playing catch up, but we have to catch up as quickly as we can.”
FCC Midfielder Victor Ulloa
On tonight’s match
“I think we leave with a sour taste. Not the way we wanted to end our preseason, especially with looking forward to the opener against Seattle. But, in MLS, sometimes things go that way. You have those games where you don’t see the ball, you’re not clear on it, you don’t have the right touches. All credit to them, they came out and they outplayed us since the first minute. I think after the second goal, after the red card, it really puts us in a tough situation to finish out the game. But, like I mentioned, it’s going to happen in the games and I think the response in the second half was a little bit better. I think [Pedro Santos] had a wonderful strike to make it three-nil, but I think we tried to fight and play a little bit. Unfortunately, we leave with a bad result, but things like this happen in the league and it’s a long season. So, we have to turn around quick and get ready for what’s important, and that’s the season opener.”
On what he’d like to see from the team in its final week of preparation before the season opener
“I think just for us to maintain the team chemistry. It’s easy when you win and everybody’s happy. The tough moments like this are when you see everybody’s character and the true character of a player in a group, so just for us to keep going, keep fighting and keep grinding. This is MLS, and this is what’s going to happen throughout the year. We’re going to have ups, we’re going to have downs. We’re not way up when we win, we’re not that low when we lose. Just to maintain that mentality and compete. Compete week in and week out, and get ready for what’s important, and that’s Saturday against Seattle.”