Club Draws Sporting Kansas City, 1-1

CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati and Sporting Kansas City played to a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon at Nippert Stadium. Darren Mattocks initially put the home team ahead in the first half before Gianluca Busio found the equalizer in the second half.

FC Cincinnati (2-2-2, 8 pts.) took the lead in the first half from the penalty spot after Roland Lamah was taken down in the box and Darren Mattocks calmly converted a right-footed shot beyond SKC goalkeeper Adrián Zendejas.

The Orange and Blue maintained the lead into the second half until Gianluca Busio equalized with his second goal of the year. Sporting KC’s (2-1-2, 8 pts.) Kelyn Rowe played a cross to Busio atop the 18-yard box and a miscommunication along FCC’s backline allowed the 16-year-old to level the score line.

The Orange and Blue will return to the road next weekend when they play LAFC at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday, April 13. The match will be televised locally on WSTR Star64, streamed regionally on FloFC, out of market on ESPN+ and carried on the radio on WDJO, while an audio stream will be available on the TuneIn app and fccincinnati.com. FC Cincinnati’s home game will come on Friday, April 19, when FCC hosts Real Salt Lake at 7:30 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 1, Sporting Kansas City 1

Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio

Sunday, April 7, 2019



CIN – Darren Mattocks (penalty) 19’

SKC – Gianluca Busio (unassisted) 62’


FC Cincinnati: Spencer Richey, Greg Garza, Kendall Waston ©, Nick Hagglund, Mathieu Deplagne, Victor Ulloa, Leonardo Bertone, Roland Lamah (Kekuta Manneh 46’), Kenny Saief (Eric Alexander 77’), Allan Cruz, Darren Mattocks (Caleb Stanko 82’)

Bench: Jimmy Hague, Justin Hoyte, Alvas Powell, Frankie Amaya

Stats:  Shots 10, Shots on goal 4, Saves 3, Corner kicks 5, Offsides 2, Fouls 13, Possession 44.3%, Passes 408 (74.8%)


Sporting Kansas City: Adrián Zendejas, Rodney Wallace (Seth Sinovic 27’), Andreu Fontàs, Botond Barath, Gedion Zelalem (Felipe Gutiérrez 57’), Ilie Sánchez ©, Gianluca Busio, Kelyn Rowe, Yohan Croizet (Krisztián Németh 70’), Johnny Russell

Bench: Gerso, Abdul Rwatubyaye, Eric Dick, Tyler Freeman

Stats: Shots 18, Shots on goal 4, Saves 3, Corner kicks 6, Offsides 3, Fouls 11, Possession 55.7%, Passes 523 (81.6%)



SKC – Andreu Fontas (caution) 17’

SKC – Yohan Croizet (caution) 35’

SKC – Gedion Zelalem (caution) 38’

CIN – Greg Garza (caution) 78’

CIN – Leonardo Bertone (caution) 88’

SKC –  Botond Barath (caution) 90+3’


 Referee: Ismail Elfath

Assistant Referees: Jason White (AR1) and Adam Garner (AR2)

Fourth Official: Ismir Pekmic

VAR: Jon Freemon


Weather: 71 degrees and cloudy

Attendance: 26,023



  • 1’ | On the right flank of the field, Leonardo Bertone stole the ball in their offensive third and laid it off to Allan Cruz. Cruz drifted to his left, cut to the right and sent a driven ball to the middle of the penalty box, finding Kenny Saief, but this shot went off his thigh and out of play.
  • 11’ | Kelyn Rowe created a turnover and sent Yohan Croizet in a break away before Spencer Richey came out of his line and blocked Croizet’s shot with his body inside the six-yard box.
  • 19’ CIN GOAL | FC Cincinnati was awarded a penalty after Roland Lamah, who had already dribbled past Sporting KC goalkeeper Adrián Zendejas, was fouled by Andreu Fontas. Darren Mattocks stepped up to the spot and buried his shot to give the home team the lead.
  • 29’’ |  Victor Ulloa intercepted an SKC clearance and threaded a through ball to Mattocks on the left side of the 18-yard box, but his driven shot was stopped by Zendejas.
  • 33’ | Johnny Russell dribbled and cut in from the right side before finding Gianluca Busio. His shot was blocked, but landed at the feet of Kelyn Rowe, whose curling shot sailed over the crossbar.
  • 33’ | Greg Garza played Mattocks in deep for a one-on-one with Zendejas. His shot beat the goalkeeper, but it kissed off the far post and out of play.
  • 45’+2’ | Leonardo Bertone played the ball short off a corner kick to Greg Garza. Darren Mattocks controlled Garza’s cross down with his chest and volleyed in a shot with his left foot, but the attempt at goal was corralled by Zendejas.
  • 58’ | Yohan Croizet found space behind the Cincinnati backline thanks to a through ball. After Richey stopped the initial shot, Croizet sent a cross through the six-yard box but failed to connect with Busio. Russell passed the ball back to Felipe Gutierrez, but Kendall Waston’s sliding tackle blocked the shot
  • 60’ | Kenny Saief tapped the ball to Cruz in the offensive third of the field and Cruz then fed Mattocks. Mattocks took space and laid it over to Kekuta Manneh, but his shot was just barely wide of goal
  • 62’ SKC GOAL | Gianluca Busio capitalized off a miscommunication between Garza and Richey, who had come out way off his line near the edge of the 18-yard box with Busio getting on the end of a Rowe cross-field pass. Garza recovered to insert himself into a defensive position as Richey came out, but Busio gained control of Garza’s clearance attempt and slotted it home from a hard angle with Richey out of his net.
  • 90+1’ | Russell dribbled through the center of the field and connected with Busio on his right. A quick passing sequence with Busio, Rowe and Russell sent Russell in, but his shot sailed over the crossbar.
  • 90+3’’ | FC Cincinnati was awarded a free kick right at the edge of penalty box after Botond Barath fouled Manneh. Leonardo Bertone shot grazed the crossbar as Zendejas appeared to tip over, but SKC was awarded a goal kick on the final play of the game.



  • With today’s draw, the Orange and Blue move to 2-2-2 through six MLS matches … in addition, FC Cincinnati are now 1-1-1 in home contests
  • FC Cincinnati’s all-time record against Sporting Kansas City sits at 0-0-1 after the team’s first-ever meeting
  • Cincinnati is now 1-1-1 against Western Conference opponents
  • Darren Mattocks scored his first goal to become the eighth different player to score a goal this season … FC Cincinnati and Toronto FC are the only two teams in MLS to have eight goal scorers this season
  • Mattocks was the first FC Cincinnati player to convert a penalty attempt - which was also the club’s first PK awarded this season
  • Head Coach Alan Koch made two changes to the starting lineup from FC Cincinnati’s most recent match against the Philadelphia Union on March 30 … Kenny Saief and Kendall Waston shifted into the starting lineup, while Forrest Lasso and Kekuta Manneh were dropped.
  • Today’s lineup is FC Cincinnati’s fifth unique lineup of the season … the only times this season FCC carried over the same starting XI was on March 10 and March 17
  • Kenny Saief made his first home start … it was Saief’s second overall start with FC Cincinnati … he started and played 77 minutes at New England on March 24
  • Kendall Waston returned to the lineup after missing two games … he initially missed FCC’s game at New England (March 24) while on international duty with Costa Rica before sitting out the match against Philadelphia on March 30 with a calf injury
  • Przemysław Tytoń (finger) and Emmanuel Ledesma (hamstring) were unavailable for selection this afternoon because of injury concerns


FCC Head Coach Alan Koch

First thoughts on the match

“I just spoke to the team - and in the big picture, which I think is the most important when playing against a team like Sporting Kansas City, and for us, our sixth game together - to get a point, that’s satisfying. In the small picture, actually the individual game that we played today and how the game unfolded, our hope, our goal was to get three points. I think if we capitalized on more of our chances, we make it 1-0, we make it 2-0, the game may or may not be over at that time. So, a little disappointing in the small picture, in terms of not getting the three points today. But in terms of the big picture, playing against really - what I think is definitely one of the best teams and one of the best franchises in the league - I’m satisfied to have gotten a point.”

On not capitalizing on opportunities

“That’s why I speak about the ’big’ and the ‘small.’  It’s kind of a combination of both. I think that when you’re 1-0 up and you create chances, if you don’t take your second chance, a lot of the time you leave teams in the game. If you give a team like Kansas City - with the quality players that they had on the pitch today and the quality players that they brought onto the pitch today - you leave us in a precarious position. So obviously, it’s always frustrating when you’re leading in a game and you don’t get the three points. So, if we take more of our chances when we’re 1-0 up, make it two, it may be a different story right now.”

On whether it is common to struggle as an expansion team

“It’s interesting. Expansion teams, everyone has done it in different ways. There are some teams that have come out and they literally go on and spend millions and millions and millions of dollars right out the gate. Also in this business, when you spend significant dollars, that gives you a slightly higher chance of being successful. I think that we have more of a sound approach to how we are trying to build something. We literally are building something. We’re building a training ground, we’re building a stadium, we’re trying to build a team. I think our systematic approach is probably, in my opinion, the most realistic and responsible way of trying to build a team. So, as we go through this season, I’ve said this since the very beginning, we’re going to have our ups and our downs. Of course, we’ve had ups and downs already. We’ve won some great games, and we’ve lost some tough games so far. Today, we had some very good moments, and we had some bad moments, too. So this game is a microcosm of what our season looks like, and we’re probably going to continue on this rollercoaster. We want to try to capitalize on moments like today where we could’ve gotten three points, but at the same time we could’ve got nothing. Sporting KC really picked it up, and there were moments at the end where the game was way, way too open for my liking, and we could’ve capitalized and scored. But, they could easily have scored at the end, too. So unfortunately, or fortunately, the rollercoaster will continue, and hopefully we will enjoy the moments that we’re going up as much as possible.”


FCC Forward Darren Mattocks

On the match

“We performed just pretty good, especially the first half. But I think everyone’s a little bit disappointed, because we think that was the game we could get three points. You know, I think we created a number of chances in the first half and a really good chance in the second half to put them away. Against good teams, if you don’t put them away, they’re going to find ways to get back into the game and they did just that. But overall, we take a point from a very good SKC  team. They showed their best tonight.”

On the goal and creating chances

“Yeah, I’m never worried about scoring goals. I know the goals are going to come, (I’ve) just got to be a little bit more consistent. Not just me, the team total. When we get chances, especially home games like this, you have to put them away.”

On the result after last week’s loss

“I think, even though it’s a bit disappointing, we took a lot of positives from this game to just create so many chances. We could’ve scored four, five goals. That’s a really big positive we can take from this game because coming next week, playing the best team in the league, we are going to need to be confident to create chances.”


FCC Midfielder Leonardo Bertone

On chances created

“I think the great chances is one thing, but we have to score the chances. We can finish the game. We didn’t finish the game, so they came back and at the end it feels like a loss.”

On the biggest difference from last week’s match

“The biggest difference I think were chances. We had so many chances and we didn’t score. They had like one or two chances and they scored.”

On how physical the game was

“I think it was like every game physically. We have to run a lot and we have to move a lot and it is the same like every time.”


FCC Player Goalkeeper Spencer Richey

On dropping points at home

“I don’t feel good about it at all. We know they rotated a bit today and they’re probably one of the two deepest teams in the league in terms of they can go 15, 16 guys deep and still put a good team out. They showed that today. But at the end of the day, if we want to be a competitive team in this league and is in the playoffs each other year and striving for a Cup, these are the games we need to win. A mistake from me in the back lets one in and then a couple missed chances up front. We leave two points on the table. ”


Sporting KC Head Coach Peter Vermes

On the starting lineup

“Lot of changes obviously to the lineup. I thought the guys that came in, with not having a lot of games under their belt, actually all did a really good job. It’s not easy anywhere in this league, let alone do it with a bunch of guys that haven’t played a lot of games in succession. So from that perspective, I’m very proud of the guys. I also think that I’m proud of them for trying to play the way we want to play. At times, we actually did some really good things, other times we fell short. But, you know the good thing is they had the courage to do it and then another piece is that they found a way how to get back in the game and grind out a result, which is not easy. You kind of expect what the first half was like cause there’s a little disconnect on our side, but we built ourselves into the game and took some good information into halftime, which then now translated into the second half, which was really good.”

On resting players for Monterrey

“It’d be great to do well in the game and see if we can make a run at it. We’ll see. We’ll see how it goes. I mean that’s our big thing. They just lost 5-1 to Toluca so stuff happens”

On Sporting KC’s ability

“I think we have a good team. I’ve said this before: I don’t think we’re seven goals better than Montreal, and I don’t think we’re five goals worse than Monterrey. Sometimes games happen like that. We’ve got to respond in the correct way. I thought today was a good step in that direction.”


Sporting Kansas Midfielder Gianluca Busio

On scoring in consecutive games

“Yeah I guess, every time I score a goal it’s some kind of history now. I tend not to look at that stuff. I try to just go out there and play my best and if that means getting a goal, then that means getting a goal. I’m happy to get it and hopefully I can just keep on going.”


On scoring in front of his parents

“Yeah that was the first professional game they saw that I scored in. So it was good to see them in person and you know, they don’t have to watch it on tv all the time. I was just happy to have a family that can support me.”


On momentum going into second leg of Concacaf Champions League

“Yeah it definitely gives us more confidence going into the second leg. Obviously, we wanted to get three points, we want to get three points in every game. It’s definitely difficult, but it’s also a hard result so we’re going to take it and move on.”