FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Led by goals from Kekuta Manneh and Kenny Saief, FC Cincinnati claimed their first-ever MLS road win, 2-0, against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Sunday Afternoon.
After a fairly balanced first half, Manneh put the Orange and Blue in front just prior to halftime. The pacey forward played a lead pass to Saief, who played a return pass to Manneh. The FC Cincinnati forward recorded a tap-in goal to give FCC a halftime lead for a second consecutive match.
Saief registered FC Cincinnati’s second goal in the 65th minute, giving the visitors their second multi-goal lead of the season. From the endline, Emmanuel Ledesma sent a cross to Manneh who found Saief at the far post for the Orange and Blue’s second tally of the afternoon.
Spencer Richey made two saves and has not conceded a goal in FC Cincinnati’s last 265 minutes of match action. Forrest Lasso started and played 90 minutes in his MLS debut. In addition, Greg Garza, Saief and Ledesma earned their first starts of the season in today’s contest.
FC Cincinnati will return home for a match against the Philadelphia Union at Nippert Stadium on Saturday, March 30. The match will be televised nationally locally on WSTR Star64, streamed regionally on FloSports, out of market on ESPN+ and carried on the radio on WDJO, the TuneIn app and fccincinnati.com. 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 2, New England Revolution 0
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.
Sunday, March 24, 2019
CIN – Kekuta Manneh (Kenny Saief) 44’
CIN – Kenny Saief (Kekuta Manneh, Emmanuel Ledesma) 65’
FC Cincinnati: Spencer Richey, Greg Garza ©, Forrest Lasso, Nick Hagglund, Mathieu Deplagne, Kenny Saief (Eric Alexander 77’), Victor Ulloa, Leonardo Bertone, Roland Lamah, Kekuta Manneh (Corben Bone 90’+1’), Emmanuel Ledesma (Caleb Stanko 81’)
Bench: Jimmy Hague, Justin Hoyte, Fatai Alashe, Nazmi Albadawi
Stats: Shots 12, Shots on goal 4, Saves 2, Corner kicks 2, Offsides 1, Fouls 13, Possession 46.9%, Passes 414 (75%)
New England Revolution: Brad Knighton, Edgar Castillo (DeJuan Jones 78’), Michael Mancienne ©, Antonio Delamea, Brandon Bye, Wilfried Zahibo (Scott Caldwell 53’), Luis Caicedo, Cristian Penilla, Carles Gil, Diego Fagundez, Teal Bunbury (Juan Fernando Caicedo 66’)
Bench: Cody Cropper, Jalil Anibaba, Andrew Farrell, Juan Agudelo
Stats: Shots 17, Shots on goal 2, Saves 2, Corner kicks 7, Offsides 0, Fouls 14, Possession 53.1%, Passes 452 (76%)
NE – Antonio Delamea (caution) 52’
CIN – Leonardo Bertone (caution) 73’
NE – Diego Fagundez (caution) 74’’
Referee: Joe Dickerson
Assistant Referees: Nick Uranga (AR1) and Claudiu Badea (AR2)
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez
Weather: 57 degrees and mostly sunny
HOW IT HAPPENED
- 8’ | From just inside the center circle, Victor Ulloa played a pass to Kenny Saief who was on the left side of the middle third of the pitch. Saief dribbled into the Orange and Blue’s attacking third and fired a right-footed shot from approximately 25 yards out, but Brad Knighton was able to dive to his right to the near post and claim the shot that was wide of frame.
- 20’ | Carles Gil collected a loose ball in the middle of the pitch and played a pass to Cristian Penilla who was about 10 yards beyond the outer-right edge of the 18-yard box. Penilla took two touches and sent in a low right-footed ball to the feet of an oncoming Teal Bunbury. The Revolution striker, however, is unable to time his effort and puts the ball beyond the endline
- 21’ | After Penilla earned a corner kick for the Revs, Bunbury passed from the penalty area to Gil. The Revolution’s Spanish midfielder sent a left-footed pass into the 18-yard box to Wilfried Zahibo. The Frenchman attempts a volleyed shot with his right foot, but he skied the attempt over the net
- 32’ | Mathieu Deplagne gained possession for the Orange and Blue just beyond the right side of the midfield line. Following passes to Roland Lamah and Ulloa, the Wylie, Texas, native found Ledesma atop the 18-yard box. Ledesma took one touch and attempted a curled left-footed shot, however, the ball was just wide of an outstretched Knighton
- 40’ | Following a foul on Kekuta Manneh just atop the 18-yard box, FC Cincinnati had a free kick opportunity in a dangerous area. Ledesma stood over the ball and curled a left-footed shot that was saved by an outstretched Knighton to concede a corner kick
- 40’ | After the ensuing corner, Ledesma had possession of the ball on the left side of the 18-yard Box. He sent in a cross that was unable to be corralled by Knighton. Forrest Lasso attempted a follow-up shot, however, he was unable to put the ball on frame.
- 44’ | CIN GOAL – Following a New England goal kick, Forrest Lasso won an aerial duel to spring Cincinnati into the attack. Manneh claimed Lasso’s headed effort outside the edge of FCC’s attacking third. The pacey forward played a lead pass to an oncoming Saief into the 18-yard box. Saief played a return pass to a charging Manneh who calmly tapped the ball in for FC Cincinnati’s first goal of the match.
- 61’ | After intercepting an intended pass from Nick Hagglund, Penilla set off a counter-attack from half field. As Penilla approached the penalty box, he laid the ball over to Gil. Goalkeeper Spencer Rickey denied Gil’s left-footed shot and then was forced to make a second save after Diego Fagundez recovered the rebounding ball and took a shot at goal from the right side on the 18-yard box.
- 65’ | CIN GOAL – Emmanuel Ledesma sent an outswinging corner to the edge of the penalty area, where Deplagne mishit the ball, sending it back to Ledesma. The midfielder regained possession of the ball on the endline just outside the 18-yard box and sent a cross in to Manneh. The forward played a right-footed pass across front of the goal to Saief who redirected the ball beyond Knighton
- Today’s match resulted in FC Cincinnati’s first-ever MLS away win … The Orange and Blue are now 2-1-1 through four MLS matches … in addition, FC Cincinnati improves to 1-1-1 in away contests
- With seven points through four matches, FC Cincinnati ranks second in the Eastern Conference behind D.C. United
- FC Cincinnati’s all-time record against the New England Revolution improves to 1-0-0
- Cincinnati is now 1-0-1 against Eastern Conference opponents … FCC played Atlanta United FC to a 1-1 draw in their first-ever Eastern Conference match on March 10.
- With today’s win, the Orange and Blue have won consecutive matches for the first time as an MLS club … they are one of seven teams - and one of three Eastern Conference Teams - to post consecutive wins this season.
- FC Cincinnati has now registered at least a point in each of their last three matches … they are one of seven clubs to record at least a point in three consecutive contests.
- Kekuta Manneh scored his first goal and recorded his first assist as an FC Cincinnati player in today’s match … both the goal and the assist were Manneh’s first MLS goal and assist since he tallied and helped with Columbus against Vancouver on Sept. 16, 2017 … it was Manneh’s sixth goal and assist performance of his MLS career.
- Kenny Saief also notched a goal and an assist in today’s match … the Orange and Blue midfielder has recorded one goal and two assists in just 94 minutes of play this season
- Emmanuel Ledesma recorded his first MLS assist in today’s match … the FC Cincinnati playmaker picked up the second assist on Kenny Saief’s second-half tally
- FCC have scored in each of their first four matches, and are one of three teams to score at least one goal through four matches … LAFC and Orlando City FC have also tallied in each of their first four matches.
- FC Cincinnati have not conceded a goal in 265 minutes of play … that is the second longest streak among all MLS teams … D.C. United has not conceded through 270 minutes.
- With today’s multi-goal margin of victory, FC Cincinnati are one of four teams to have at least two wins by a multi-goal margin this season … D.C. United, LAFC and Seattle Sounders FC are the other three teams to accomplish the feat
- Head Coach Alan Koch made four changes to the starting lineup from FC Cincinnati’s most recent match against the Portland Timbers on March 17 … Greg Garza, Forrest Lasso, Kenny Saief, and Emmanuel Ledesma shifted into the starting lineup, while Fanendo Adi, Allan Cruz, Alvas Powell and Kendall Waston were removed
- Forrest Lasso made his MLS debut in today’s match … the center back started and played 90 minutes for the Orange and Blue … The 2018 USL Defender of the Year, Lasso made 29 appearances, including 28 starts, with FC Cincinnati in his lone season with the club at the USL level
- Emmanuel Ledesma made his first-ever MLS start in today’s match … the Quilmes, Argentina, native made his MLS debut in a late second-half substitute appearance against Portland on March 17 … The 2018 USL MVP scored 16 goals and added 16 assists for the Orange and Blue in USL regular-season matches last season
- Greg Garza and Kenny Saief both made their first FC Cincinnati starts in today’s match
- Allan Cruz and Kendall Waston (Costa Rica), Darren Mattocks and Alvas Powell (Jamaica) and Frankie Amaya (U.S. Under-20 MNT) were unavailable for selection today as they are currently with their respective national teams
- Przemysław Tytoń remained out of FC Cincinnati’s 18-man matchday roster due to Hamstring Tendonitis … the FCC goalkeeper most recently played in the Orange and Blue’s season opener at Seattle on March 2
FCC Head Coach Alan Koch
On the result
“It’s huge. Obviously, coming on the road and getting three points is a major achievement for our club. We just spoke to the guys on the field and we said, when you signed up for this project, you knew you were going to go through ups and downs, and we’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs already in the last few months, but, we also knew we were putting ourselves in a position where you could have a lot of historic milestones. Tonight, to come on the road and get our first three points in this league is, obviously, huge and I’m very, very proud of the group.”
On if the team is currently exceeding expectations
“We are big time exceeding expectations, but we will take it and we know we will go fight in every single game. We’ve said this since the very beginning, we are going to go, every single game, give everything we can to try to get three points. But, if you had said to me that at the start of the season after four games, and after having to play these particular four games that we’ve had, that we would have seven points, I would have said you’re crazy. So full credit to the players, full credit to the staff. Everyone is buying into what we are asking them to do. They are willing to be selfless. They are working for each other and we continue to improve. But we are not going to get carried away. It’s still early. You don’t gain anything in this league by being anywhere in the table after four games. It means absolutely nothing. It’s a long, long season. But I am happy for the players, they will take a lot of confidence from this which will help them continue to grow as a group”
On confidence of the group’s tactics
“We know we are going to have to defend, and we know we are going to have to defend in certain moments of games. We know there's going to be long stretches in the game that we are going to have to defend, but cannot defend for a full ninety minutes. So, we can go possess the ball and make our lives a little bit easier. I think we showed moments at times in the game where we did a good job at possessing, but other times we gave away the ball too easily. I think we all know we are very good at transition. That is obviously something that we work on. We recruit players to be able to do that, but we have to manage all of our moments in the game. We cannot just be a team that is just going to defend and try hit you in transition. We have to come and possess the ball to make our lives a little bit easier. The first half was way too open in the game. It was almost like an NBA All-Star game. They come down and see if they can get a chance. We go down and see if we could have a chance and that, from a coaching perspective, is not a good place to be in, because it could’ve been 3-3, 4-3 at halftime. And those are moments we are trying to take away.”
FCC Midfielder Kenny Saief
On his goal
“I saw space. I saw just Kekuta [Manneh] put the ball in the box and I’m happy I was in the right place. Not a big goal but an important goal.”
On his time so far with FC Cincinnati
“I’m happy but I feel like there’s a lot to work on still. I just started so there’s still a lot of things to work on individually and as a team also. We’re very happy we took three points and we’re looking forward to our next game already.”
On his comfort level in MLS
“At the moment, it feels well still. I need more time still. Honestly, it’s a completely new group. It’s not just me, it’s also the other guys. For the moment, we’re doing well and hopefully, we’re going to keep going that way.
On his teammates
“It’s a fantastic group. Great spirit; hardworking guys. It’s great mentality.”
On his assist
“I saw a few guys just a bit behind, so I hit a ball there and hopefully, one of them can score it. I’m happy Kekuta [Manneh] was there.”
FCC Defender Forrest Lasso
On making his MLS debut
“A dream come true. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this. I got a clean sheet so I did my job.”
On keeping a clean sheet
“It’s a cliché, but you can’t lose if you don’t concede, and I think it starts from the top with the striker and goes all the way back to Spencer [Richey], or whoever’s in net. If you defend as a unit, it’s kind of hard to break down. It’s hard to beat 11 guys when there’s just one guy on the ball. We take a lot of pride in defending and keeping that zero. It’s what wins you games, gets you points and wins you leagues. But it takes all of us, all 25 of us. Whether you’re in the lineup or not, you’re there to help each other.”
On where today ranks in moments in his career
“Today is honestly the top one. I had some special moments in college and last year we had a handful of special moments, but again, no disrespect to the USL, but that was the USL. Now I’m at the highest level I’ve played in in my personal career. We did our job. I can speak personally, I can speak for the back four, I can speak for the back 11. We got the three points, we got the W but we also got the clean sheet. That was my job and I did it. It definitely wasn’t perfect, but we got it done, so I can be happy with that.”