CHESTER, Pa. – After standing tall and holding their hosts scoreless for more than two-thirds of the match, FC Cincinnati surrendered a pair of goals within six minutes in the second half, falling 2-0 to the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium on Wednesday night.
With the victory, Philadelphia (5-3-2, 17 pts.) moved into first place in the Eastern Conference and won the two-game season series with the Orange and Blue. FC Cincinnati (2-6-2, 8 pts.) played its second game inside five days, and will now head cross-country for a game at San Jose on Saturday for its third game in eight days.
FCC goalkeeper Spencer Richey made a career-high six saves - many in spectacular fashion – before Philly’s Kacper Przybyłko’s goal in the 64th minute broke the deadlock. Six minutes later, Fafa Picault broke through – after being called offside on a potential score – for the Union’s second goal.
The Orange and Blue will be back in action on Saturday, May 4, when they play the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium in the final match of a three-game road trip. 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 next home game will come on Saturday, May 11, when FCC host the Montreal Impact at 1 p.m.
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.
Philadelphia Union 2 , FC Cincinnati 0
Talen Energy Stadium | Chester, Pa.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
PHI – Kacper Przybyłko (Olivier Mbaizo) 64’
PHI – Fafa Picault (Ilsinho) 70’
FC Cincinnati: Spencer Richey, Alvas Powell, Nick Hagglund, Kendall Waston ©, Mathieu Deplagne, Eric Alexander, Caleb Stanko (Fatai Alashe 76’), Leonardo Bertone, Allan Cruz, Darren Mattocks (Emmanuel Ledesma 82’), Roland Lamah (Kekuta Manneh 76’)
Bench: Przemyslaw Tyton, Justin Hoyte, Forrest Lasso, Victor Ulloa
Stats: Shots 15, Shots on goal 3, Saves 6, Corner kicks 8, Offsides 3, Fouls 6, Possession 42.6%, Passes 345(71.6%)
Philadelphia Union: Matt Freese (Carlos Miguel Coronel 40’), Auston Trusty, Raymon Gaddis, Jack Elliott, Olivier Mbaizo, Brenden Aaronson (Ilsinho 67’), Alejandro Bedoya, Jamiro Monteiro, Haris Medunjanin, Fafa Picault (David Accam 74’), Kacper Przybyłko
Bench: Sergio Santos, Fabinho, Aurélien Collin, Warren Creavalle
Stats: Shots 20, Shots on goal 8, Saves 4, Corner kicks 7, Offsides 5, Fouls 10, Possession 57.4%, Passes 464(81.3%)
PHI – Auston Trusty (caution) 81’
Referee: Guido Gonzales Jr.
Assistant Referees: Nick Uranga, Kathryn Nesbitt
Fourth official: Rubiel Vazquez
VAR: Alan Kelly
AVAR: Jozef Batko
Weather: 55 degrees and cloudy
HOW IT HAPPENED
- 10’ | On a corner kick, Leonardo Bertone’s in-swinging service bounced in front of Mathieu Deplagne’s outstretched leg at the near post. Nick Hagglund, who had his back to goal, took a swing at the bouncing ball and managed a tricky shot on target, necessitating a reaction save to the left by Philadelphia goalkeeper Matt Freese. After the save, Freese appeared to be injured on the dive, but remained in the game.
- 19’ | FCC goalkeeper Spencer Richey rose up to make a quick save right under the crossbar on Kacper Przybyłko’s headed effort. Alejandro Bedoya started the play with a shot from the right side that was blocked, but the ball landed at Fafa Picault’s feet on the left side where he fed Przbylko with a lofted cross.
- 29’ | Caleb Stanko won the ball just behind midfield and set Darren Mattocks and Roland Lamah off on a counter attack. Mattocks brought the ball through the middle third before pushing the ball off to Lamah on the left. Lamah got space and dribbled into the box before laying it back to Mattocks with the run in behind, but Mattocks’ effort at the edge of the six-yard box was blocked by a pair of sliding, recovering Philadelphia defenders.
- 35’ | Jamiro Monteiro played a lofted ball to the penalty area that Kendall Waston got a piece of, pushing the ball out to Picault on the left side. Picault’s shot from a hard angle was stopped by a Richey kick save and the rebound came back out into the box. Brenden Aaronson came into the play late and tried to get a sliding shot off on the open net, but Waston recovered and interfered on the play enough to force Aaronson to send his shot high of target.
- 41” | Following the 10th minute injury to Freese, Philadelphia was forced to make a change at goalkeeper and bring in Carlos Miguel Coronel as an injury replacement.
- 43’ | Alvas Powell sprung Mattocks down the right side and the forward advanced down into the penalty area, but two defenders collapsed on him as he made a move to cut inside for a shot and pushed the ball out of bounds for a Cincy corner.
- 46’ | Eric Alexander started an attack almost off the half’s opening kick, sending a ball back behind the play for Mattocks to run onto. Mattocks got deep into the six-yard box, but Coronel came off his line to force a corner kick.
- 50’ | After a flurry of close chances inside the six-yard box for Philadelphia, Stanko cleared the ball to relieve the pressure but Philadelphia won it back. Przybyłko’s took possession, turned and launched a swerving, 23-yard shot that forced a leaping, one-handed save over the bar by Richey.
- 54’ | PHI GOAL WAIVED OFF - Alejandro Bedoya flashed down the right down, getting deep before cutting back a pass to Jamiro Monteiro trailing the play. Monteiro’s first-timed, right-footed shot was stopped by Richey with an outstretched hand. The rebound fell to his right and in front of Picault who knocked it home, but he was adjudged to be offside and the goal was waived off.
- 60’ | On Monteiro’s long-range shot crossing back across the goal, Richey made a diving save to his left to palm away the attempt and keep the game scoreless.
- 64’ | PHI GOAL, 0-1 - Bedoya again made a deep run down the right side, finding Aaronson with a cut-back pass. Aaronson then dribbled into traffic before dropping a pass back deeper to Olivier Mbaizo outside the area. Mbaizo lofted cross toward goal where Przybyłko rose to head home the Union’s first goal home uncontested from close range.
- 70’ | PHI GOAL, 0-2 - Picault timed his run perfectly, cutting back behind the Cincinnati backline to meet up with Ilsinho’s through ball that sliced the defense for a one-on-one with Richey, where he chipped a shot over the goalkeeper once he committed.
- 87’ | Late in the match, substitute Fatai Alashe took Allan Cruz’s short pass and launched a shot on target, forcing a diving save from Coronel, leading to a corner kick. On Emmanuel Ledesma’s ensuing service, Cruz’s headed attempt back across the goal was just high of target.
- Head Coach Alan Koch made six changes to the starting lineup from FC Cincinnati’s most recent match against Real Salt Lake on April 19 … Darren Mattocks, Allan Cruz, Eric Alexander, Caleb Stanko, Alvas Powell and Spencer Richey shifted into the starting lineup, while Emmanuel Ledesma, Kenny Saief, Victor Ulloa, Kekuta Manneh, Justin Hoyte and Przemysław Tytoń were dropped … today’s lineup is FC Cincinnati’s ninth unique lineup of the season … the only times this season FCC carried over the same starting XI was on March 10 and March 17
- Corben Bone (shoulder), Greg Garza (calf) and Kenny Saief (leg) were unavailable for selection this evening because of injury … Saief picked up a minor knock in training on Tuesday and is day-to-day … Fanendo Adi (ankle) returned to full training last week, but is not fully match sharp
- With tonight’s result, the Orange and Blue fall to 2-6-2 on the season through 10 MLS matches … in addition, FC Cincinnati is now 1-4-1 in road contests
- Philly claimed the two-game season series with the win … FC Cincinnati’s all-time record against Philadelphia Union sits at 0-2-0 after concluding this season’s series against Philadelphia
- Cincinnati sits at 1-3-1 against Eastern Conference opponents
- Spencer Richey made a career-high six saves in tonight’s match
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch
“Disappointed in the result, obviously. Very happy with how the players applied themselves. I think the work rate was spot on out of the gate. I think they wore us down a little bit as the game went along. And then disappointed with how we managed the moments. The little moments, and I speak about them all the time, are the big moments and quality steps up to the plate in those moments. We came to a tough place to play and we created a lot of opportunities. I just said on TV, if we could go buy a goal, that would be great because we’ve created chances and we weren’t able to take them tonight. And we created chances in the second half in New York and we didn’t take them either. The efforts were great, but the little bit of quality in the final third wasn’t taken tonight.”
“I don’t fault the players that went out and played tonight. You look at a guy like Darren (Mattocks) who worked his backside off and he gave everything he could. We just need to get players back. We need to get (Fanendo) Adi sharp and get him on the pitch. We need to make sure guys like Kenny (Saief) are available. We don’t have a big enough group and we don’t have enough quality not to have everybody out there. And that’s not an excuse, that’s a fact. I know Luke (Sassano) and his staff are trying to find additional players for us because we need additional players. Because to go to a place like New York was a tough game and then I was very, very proud with the response tonight. The guys went out and worked incredibly hard. Unfortunately, you could see they got worn down as the game went along.”
Is that the most this group is capable of?
“I think that’s why our club, Luke and his staff, are trying to find additional players. We’ve only had one window as a club to find players. We have another window now coming up where we need to continue to find players to improve the group. I think we’re aware of it. It’s a project. You don’t play a group like Philly tonight – and they’ve got quality players. Look at a player like (Brenden) Aaronsen who’s come through their academy. We don’t even have an academy yet. It’s going to take time in this project. I don’t know if we can develop a player like him because he was first-class tonight, but that is the goal for our club, to continue to evolve. We have another window coming up now where we can add players. We need to put the academy in place so we can start developing players too. It takes time.”
“It’s frustrating because nobody likes to lose. I don’t think I personally have lost this many game in my entire career anywhere, so it’s incredibly frustrating. But we’ve got to stay incredibly true to the process. We’ve got a group. We’re maximizing that group. We’ve got to get the guys that aren’t back and we’ve got to add players to our group. We’ve got to continue to evolve. We have to preserve. You look at a game Saturday, I don’t think we played well the first 45 minutes, we responded in the second half. We came out of the gates tonight and we played very well in the first 45 minutes. In the second half, there were moments that cost us the game. We’ve got to continue to preserver and push through and put together a quality 90 minutes.”
How do you keep morale up?
“How do you think? We just lost the game. The guys are gutted from every game we play. Of course they’re going to be disappointed. These are guys that are working incredibly hard. You lose a game and it doesn’t feel like fun. We lost a game Saturday and we lost again tonight. It doesn’t feel good for anybody.”
Thoughts on Spencer Richey’s performance …
“Spence made a couple saves, obviously, but their two keepers had to make a couple saves, too. Spence is quality. Whenever he plays, we know he’s going to do the job. We feel the same about TiTi (Przemysław Tytoń) too.”
FC Cincinnati Goalkeeper Spencer Richey
On what the team needs to flip things around
“Man, it’s tough. If I knew, I would definitely speak out and express that to the group, but all we can really do is reflect on the game, get back to the training field, try to figure things out and not just speak about it. The training fields are behind closed doors, but we need to do it on Wednesday night or Saturday night. If I had the golden solution, I would be sure to express it but I don’t have it right now.”
“When your team is not playing well, sometimes, it’s when the goalkeeper can stand out the most. Maybe it looks good on the stat sheet, but it is not ideal where we want to be as a team. We don’t want to have our goalkeeper having to make saves to keep us in the game. It is bittersweet certainly.”
On chances and Philly’s first goal
“It seems like that kind of has been the way things have gone for us lately. It’s just been a matter of inches. As Nick Hagglund said earlier, I believe in creating your own luck, and we haven’t done that enough recently. (Against) Red Bulls we banged three off the post and they finished their one shot on goal. Tonight, in the first half, we had a chance. They had a couple, but they created more than we did throughout the game. They deserved to win.”
On the team’s chemistry to build off the loss
“(This) really is, top to bottom, one of the best changing rooms that I have ever been a part of. They always say, when you get kicked down that is when you find out most about guys. Our guys are disappointed and down at the moment, certainly, but we got to find a way to crawl ourselves out of this hole that we are in. There are certainly a lot of guys in the locker room with good character, so I know we will able to do that sooner than later.”
“MLS is a weird league. There’s a lot parity in it. Teams could go from worst to best or best to worst in of one season to the next. The lines are so fine in the league. I think we have to get some things figured out certainly. We got to get some things to start going our way, but like I said before we have to have to start creating our some of own luck. All we can do is keep working and try to figure it out.”
FC Cincinnati Midfielder Caleb Stanko
On the result
“I thought Philly did a really good job in the first half. I thought we had to make a few small changes during the first half to be able to make it harder for them. We pressed a little higher towards the end of the second half and we had a little more success. It’s just hard to do that throughout the whole 90 minutes.
“I thought we had more chances at the end. Where I’m disappointed is in the first half we could’ve gotten some goals. We had some big chances and we didn’t put them away and that really hurts our confidence. It’s just uphill after that because then they get that goal and then they put the pressure on. We put those goals in the first half, it’s a totally different game.”
“I think starting our press higher, that was one of the keys for us. But like I said it, it’s hard to keep that up for the whole 90 minutes. But when we were higher, it was harder for them. They would either kick it long or we would win it back, and because our press is so much higher, we would have more guys up the field.”
“Because we keep losing, guys are getting really angry and we’re getting frustrated and that can turn into a positive, aggressive game. And that’s what we’re shooting for. We have one more game on the road in San Jose. I’m really hoping and believing we’re going to focus our energy and all this anger we may have – this disappointment – in pushing for three points.”