Corben Bone’s two MLS starts with FC Cincinnati have finished with ugly score lines but with beautiful individual moments of quality.
The first start came on March 2 in the club's MLS debut against Seattle Sounders; the second was Thursday night against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium.
But despite 14 matches between those starts, Bone still looked fresh and lively in Cincinnati’s midfield, acting as a passing metronome who discovered passing corridors when FCC looked trapped by NYCFC’s stingy high press.
In the 5-2 loss, the midfielder completed 21 passes with 85.7% accuracy. Considering he only took 29 touches during his 56 minutes on the field, his time on the ball was quick and opened space for his teammates.
“I just tried to connect and combine as much as I can and play one-two touches in certain areas and try to create,” Bone said. “It’s part of my game that works when it’s flowing. It’s just trying to find pockets.”
He found them Thursday and finished the match with two key passes and 14 inside the New York City half with a 78.6% passing accuracy.
He was just as effective defensively, too.
Bone tied Caleb Stanko with a team-high three tackles. He added two interceptions and gained possession twice. Overall, he won 83.3% of his duels.
“I wish the outcome would’ve been different, but I felt good,” Bone said. “It’s a great feeling to be back out there.”
Bone’s now played in two-straight matches. He was a substitute in last Saturday’s 3-1 loss at the Colorado Rapids. Against NYCFC, he played 56 minutes before being replaced by Frankie Amaya. Interim Head Coach Yoann Damet said Bone was cramping and needed a substitution.
But that doesn’t mean the 30-year-old won’t play an increased role for the Orange and Blue moving forward – especially while teammates are either injured or on international duty for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.
When FCC take the field Wednesday night against Louisville City FC in the fourth round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, there’s no doubt Bone will be in the 18. After all, he’s the only active player on the roster who played FCC’s massive rival the past three seasons.
“The Open Cup is a great tournament,” Bone said. “We’ll go into that game looking to win and advance.”