FC Cincinnati lost 2-0 to LAFC on Saturday night at Banc of California Stadium, which snapped the club’s two-game road unbeaten run. Through seven matches, Cincinnati has eight points.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
FCC backline adjusts against the league leaders
Entering the match, LAFC had 19 goals through six games – an MLS record. Even if LAFC didn’t score against FC Cincinnati, they’d still have the league record through seven games.
As a result, the biggest storyline entering the game was whether or not FC Cincinnati could contain the MLS leaders.
By and large, they did.
LAFC took the lead in the 32nd minute when Mark-Anthony Kaye scored off a corner when his header dipped inside of Richey’s back post. Carlos Vela doubled the lead on the counter attack in the 93rd minute.
But from there, Cincinnati looked composed defensively and limited attacking moments from the home side. LAFC’s two forwards, Vela and Diego Rossi, rank first and second in MLS in goals.
It’s also worth pointing out, FC Cincinnati had to make late adjustments to their back four.
Justin Hoyte started at right back and made his MLS debut.
As of late, Mathieu Deplagne has occupied that role, however he shifted to left back because Greg Garza was unavailable for selection after picking up an injury, which he sustained Thursday when the club traveled to the West Coast.
Alvas Powell, who’s featured at right back three times this season, also missed Saturday night with an injury he picked upon Wednesday.
FCC had their chances, however
After a rocky start to the match that required a brilliant point-blank save from Spencer Richey inside two minutes, FC Cincinnati’s comfort level grew throughout the match.
Using a defensive approach, the visitors sat back and took chances on counter attacks or from LAFC mistakes. Often times, that meant Cincinnati was a play or two away from a goal.
In the 11th minute, a Kenny Saief cross to Darren Mattocks ended with a volley blasted wide of the target. In the 59th minute, the duo reversed roles and a Saief shot was poked wide off a Mattocks cross.
Cincinnati’s best chance to score arrived in the 42nd minute when the club won the ball high in LAFC territory. Mattocks found space and tried curling a back post shot to equalize, but it was parried wide. Afterward, Mattocks laid on the grass with his arms spread.
Looking ahead, it doesn’t get easier
While Saturday night’s loss was against the MLS leaders, FC Cincinnati’s upcoming schedule won’t get any easier.
On Friday, the Orange and Blue host Real Salt Lake. After that, the club plays at New York Red Bulls and at the Philadelphia Union. FCC lost to the Union on March 30 in a torrential downpour. As for a matchup with the Red Bulls, New York claimed the MLS Supporters’ Shield last season.
After tonight’s match at LAFC, FC Cincinnati will play three-of-the-next four on the road.