CINCINNATI – After staking a 2-0 lead at the half behind goals from Kekuta Manneh and Rashawn Dally, Victor Ulloa pushed the league to 3-0 in the second half and FC Cincinnati held on to earn a 3-2 win over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at Nippert Stadium.
With the win, FC Cincinnati (4-7-2, 14 pts.) snapped a six-game losing streak that dated back to May 19. After FCC posted the three-goal lead, Houston (8-7-3, 27 pts.) benefited from a pair of late goals in two minutes, but were unable to complete the comeback and fell to 1-7-0 in road contests this season.
Manneh’s goal was his team-leading third goal of the season, while Dally netted his first-career MLS goal.
FCC goalkeeper Spencer Richey made a pair of saves, and played the game’s final minutes with a black, bloody eye after being cleated in the face. Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis made four stops on the night.
FCC return to action on Saturday, July 13, when the team visits the Chicago Fire. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET and the game 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 Thursday, July 18, when the team hosts a “White Out” match against D.C. United on ESPN. Tickets for the game are on sale to the general public at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-5425 (KICK). Pick-Six mini plans, and individual-game tickets and group options are on sale for all remaining games.
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 3, Houston Dynamo 2
Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio
Saturday, July 6, 2019
CIN – Kekuta Manneh (Emmanuel Ledesma, Allan Cruz) 29’
CIN – Rashawn Dally (Mathieu Deplagne) 38’
CIN – Victor Ulloa (Emmanuel Ledesma) 61’
HOU – Romell Quioto (penalty kick) 79’
HOU – Own Goal (Nick Hagglund) 81’
FC Cincinnati: Spencer Richey, Mathieu Deplagne (Alvas Powell 88’), Kendall Waston, Nick Hagglund ©, Justin Hoyte, Leonardo Bertone, Frankie Amaya (Victor Ulloa 46’), Allan Cruz, Kekuta Manneh, Emmanuel Ledesma, Rashawn Dally (Fanendo Adi 66’)
Bench: Przemysław Tytoń, Caleb Stanko, Corben Bone, Tommy McCabe
Stats: Shots 13, Shots on goal 7, Saves 2, Corner kicks 0, Offsides 2, Fouls 14, Possession 48.5%, Passes 447 (78.7%)
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis, Adam Lundkvist, Aljaz Struna, Kevin Garcia, A.J. DeLaGarza, Matias Vera (Darwin Ceren 66’), Juan Cabezas (Romell Quioto 46’), Tommy McNamara, Alberth Elis, Boniek Garcia ©, Mauro Manotas (Michael Salazar 75’)
Bench: Tyler Deric, Marlon Hairston, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Tomas Martinez
Stats: Shots 11, Shots on goal 3, Saves 4, Corner kicks 6, Offsides 1, Fouls 11, Possession 51.5%, Passes 465 (78.3%)
HOU – Alberth Elis (caution) 19’
HOU – Juan Cabezas (caution) 25’
CIN – Frankie Amaya (caution) 32’
HOU – Aljaz Struna (caution) 74’
Referee: Dave Gantar
Assistant Referees: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho, Andrew Bigelow
4th Official: Rosendo Mendoza
VAR: Victor Rivas
Weather: 86 degrees and sunny
HOW IT HAPPENED
- 11’ | Allan Cruz dribbled with the ball through the attacking third before laying off a pass to Kekuta Manneh on the edge of the 18-yard box. Manneh’s first touch was heavy, however, causing a bouncing ball in the penalty area. The winger managed a right-footed shot, but it sailed over the net.
- 30’ | FCC GOAL – Cruz intercepted a pass from Alberth Elis in the center circle and found Emmanuel Ledesma with a lead pass on the right side of the middle third. Ledesma sent a through ball to Manneh, who began his run from just beyond the halfway line. Manneh took one touch and slotted a left-footed shot inside the far post to give FCC the lead.
- 38’ | FCC GOAL – After a spell of possession, Amaya played the ball to Deplagne, who cut inside and dribbled toward the Houston box. The Frenchman momentarily lost the ball between a pair of defenders, but then won a tackle while on the ground, spun on his side to re-collect the ball, got up and delivered the ball to the oncoming Dally, who buried a shot into the top right corner for his first MLS goal.
- 62’ | FCC GOAL – Emmanuel Ledesma earned his second assist when he dribbled past an opponent, then found Victor Ulloa running alone above the 18. Ulloa’s shot was straight to Joe Willis, but he let it slip between his hands and between his legs into the goal. The goal was Ulloa’s first for FCC.
- 79’ | HOU GOAL – Houston was awarded a penalty after Romell Quioto was taken down inside the 18-yard box by Justin Hoyte. Quioto stepped up to take the penalty kick himself and scored from the spot.
- 81’ | HOU GOAL – After a cross into the box, Nick Hagglund went to head the ball wide and instead put it past goalkeeper Spencer Richey for an own goal.
- With today’s win, the Orange and Blue improve to 4-13-2 through 19 MLS matches … in addition, FC Cincinnati improved to 3-4-1 in home contests … FC Cincinnati’s all-time, all-competition record against Houston Dynamo sits at 1-0-0 after their first encounter … Cincinnati is now 2-7-1 against Western Conference opponents
- Rashawn Dally scored his first-ever MLS goal in the 38th minute … Dally became FC Cincinnati’s first 2019 MLS SuperDraft selection to score for the Orange and Blue … in addition, Dally became FCC’s 11th goalscorer of 2019
- Kekuta Manneh became FC Cincinnati’s leading scorer when he slotted home his third goal of the season in the 29th minute … the goal was Manneh’s first in MLS play since he tallied at the Colorado Rapids on June 1
- Victor Ulloa scored his first goal as an FCC player in tonight’s contest … the goal was Ulloa’s first since he tallied for FC Dallas against Orlando City SC on Oct. 6, 2018 … Ulloa became FCC’s 12th goalscorer of 2019
- Tonight’s match marked the second time FC Cincinnati tallied three goals in a match … the Orange and Blue also scored three goals in their home opener against the Portland Timbers on March 17
- Allan Cruz and Mathieu Deplagne registered their first-ever MLS assists on Manneh’s 29th-minute strike and Dally’s 38th-minute goal, respectively … the two players are now among eight FCC players to have at least a goal and an assist on the year
- Emmanuel Ledesma became FC Cincinnati’s first player to record a multi-assist performance … the attacker recorded the primary assist on Manneh’s goal and the secondary assist on Dally’s strike … Ledesma’s three assists lead all FC Cincinnati players
- Interim Head Coach Yoann Damet made three changes to the starting lineup from FC Cincinnati’s most recent match against Minnesota United FC on June 29 … Allan Cruz, Leonardo Bertone and Kendall Waston shifted into the starting lineup, while Eric Alexander, Victor Ulloa and Caleb Stanko were dropped … today’s lineup is FC Cincinnati’s seventeenth unique lineup of the season … the only two instances FCC have had the same starting XI was on March 10 and March 17
- Allan Cruz and Kendall Waston were inserted back into FC Cincinnati’s starting lineup for the first time since departing for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup in early June … Cruz and Waston missed matches at New York City FC (June 6), against the LA Galaxy (June 22) and at Minnesota United FC (June 29) … Waston also missed the match at the Colorado Rapids (June 1) while he was suspended for yellow-card accumulation
- Following a one-match absence, Leonardo Bertone was eligible for selection once again for FC Cincinnati ... he was suspended for the match at Minnesota United FC on June 29 for yellow-card accumulation … Bertone started, played 90 minutes and completed 58-of-64 passes for a passing accuracy of 90.6%
- Fanendo Adi returned to FC Cincinnati’s bench for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury in FCC’s U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match at Saint Louis FC (USL Championship) on June 19 … Adi missed a pair of MLS matches -- against the LA Galaxy (June 29) and at Minnesota United FC (June 29)
- Cruz (Costa Rica), Alvas Powell (Jamaica) and Waston (Costa Rica) were available for selection after returning from their national teams that competed at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup
- Fatai Alashe (hamstring), Greg Garza (calf) and Roland Lamah (hamstring) were unavailable for selection because of injury … after Jamaica’s run in the Concacaf Gold Cup concluded, Darren Mattocks returned directly to his home country to attend to a personal situation and was unavailable for selection on Saturday night.
FC Cincinnati Interim Head Coach Yoann Damet
On tonight’s match
“I am very happy, I think there was kind of two games in the game. The first half, I think we showed up very, very strong. Started again very, very well, paced ourselves. It was very visible in the first half. The second half, we scared ourselves a little bit, dropping a bit deeper, allowing space in between the lines, allowing space in our spaces. They got us on the flag. We got a little bit scared in the second half, but I am very happy for the guys, I feel they have earned it.”
On why he chose to start Rashawn Dally
“There are different things. First of all, Rashawn (Dally) has been training very well. He earned a spot in training for his performances. (Fanendo) Adi is coming back from an injury. We have to be careful, so he couldn’t have started in the game tonight. But Rashawn also earned a spot.”
On having Allan Cruz, Alvas Powell and Kendall Waston available for selection
“It’s good. We need everyone. Every week is a new challenge, so we need our full squad. The guys that came back showed up strong again tonight and were part of the performance. So, I am very happy for them, but most important that it is the group, it is the team. So very happy for that.”
If tonight’s match feels like a turning point in the season
“I hope it is. Again, it’s up to us to make it become one of the turning points of the season. We had a good wakeup call this past weekend. We had some meetings this week, some words in the locker room, too. It’s good to be home and getting results in front of our fans, but also for us, like against our opponents in the Eastern Conference.”
On Allan Cruz’s performance
“We know what Allan (Cruz) can provide us. We wanted to defend forward more. I think we have been allowing too much space, give too much time to the opponents. The idea was to, again the wake-up call was to change the mindset and be more aggressive defensively. So, I think Allan brings that mentality, and brings also a performance on the field. Tonight, I am very pleased with what he showed on the field.”
FC Cincinnati Midfielder Allan Cruz
On the result
“Bueno, contento con el resultado. Traíamos una racha de partidos sin ganar. Hoy, gracias a dios, pudimos sacar los tres puntos y esperamos con dios que el equipo siga avanzando.”
Translated: “Well, I am happy with the result. We had been on a winless streak. Today, thanks to God, we were able to get the three points and we hope that with God on our side that we can keep advancing.”
On how the team can build off the win
“Claro, mejoramos mucho. Tuvimos más llegadas. Concretamos tres goles, que era lo que necesitaba el equipo. Sufrimos a lo último, pero, gracias a dios, pudimos sacar los tres puntos.”
Translated: “Of course, we improved a lot. We created more opportunities. We scored three goals, which was what the team needed. We suffered at the end, but thanks to God, we were able to get all three points.”
On playing in the central midfield
“Me sentí cómodo. Es mi posición natural. Por ahí ahora el profe me dio la confianza y creo que lo hice bien.”
Translated: “I felt comfortable. It is my natural position. Today, the coach gave me the confidence and I believe I did well.”
FC Cincinnati Forward Rashawn Dally
On his personal development
“I feel like every game and every training session, I am getting to know my teammates more and what they like to do and what I like to do and just developing the relationships on the field, because that is going to help us better as a team. So, I feel like I am starting to gel everywhere now.”
On scoring his first MLS goal
“It was a great feeling. Like I said earlier, it will be something I will be dreaming about for a very long time. So, I was great to score that first goal.”
On if he was surprised on the buildup to his goal
“I was ready for anything and then once (Mathieu Deplagne) won it back, I just got into a position and then made a quick run and then he played a great ball to me. I was glad I was able to finish it and get my first goal.”
On what it means to him to score in his third MLS match
“It’s good. Every game I want to go out there and get better to get a goal, especially at my position … I just want to make an impact in ways to do that and continue to do that going forward.”
On if he was proud of how he was able to keep his composure in the moment
“Yes, definitely. I’ve been in that situation many times in training, so I wasn’t surprised. I just wanted to do all the right things and keep my eyes on the ball and know where the goalie was and place it into the corner.”
FC Cincinnati Midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma
On tonight’s win
“It was beautiful, because we’ve been waiting a long time. Last week we got smashed (by) Minnesota and that is something that is not going to happen again. Now we are focused, we are working together, we fight for each other. Tonight we showed we are a beautiful team, working together. With this, we have to take into every single game. We have to believe in our players and our teammates and one another. Just keep working hard.”
On recording two assists
“For me, it’s amazing. I say every time, I get more happy if someone scores by my assist then if I score. They can make two assists, they finish. I just pass to them and then they create the goal. It makes me so happy because they scored.”
On having consecutive matches on the scoresheet
“Personally, I get the confidence that I’m looking for. Now, I have to keep working and never stopping and believing that the next goal is coming, or maybe the next assist.”
Houston Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera
On the match
“Yes, it was really painful. The first half that we played was not good. I take full responsibility. I really wanted to give some guys a little bit of rest, from Romell (Quioto), Tomas (Martinez). They’ve been playing almost every game. We’ve been traveling all over. Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday. So I said okay, we’ll get a little bit of balance, but the whole team was you know -- I didn’t recognize the way we played the first half. I didn’t recognize. The second half we were very good. We were the Houston that we were expecting, that we know each other. We fell too short. It is sad. A lot of wasting time, and then only five minutes, when the goalkeeper was four and-a-half minutes on the ground and only five minutes. But it’s on us, because we gave the opportunity for them to manage all those things. Because we were too short, we were 3-0 (in the 77th minute). We have to continue fighting. We have to continue bringing the guys and trying to push. We have to prove ourselves that we have a team that can compete with any team, but we cannot have those lapses. Sometimes it’s at the end of the games, but this time it was the first 45 minutes that we didn’t play.”
On regrouping for LAFC
“Yeah, we need to rest. We need to get back home. We haven’t had a day off in like one month, I believe. I don’t remember. So hopefully this is important for the group. This is important for us, because on Friday, we have a very tough game against the best team in the Western Conference, and the best team in MLS so far in LAFC. But, it’s at home which it gives us hope. Hopefully, we can change everything and we continue fighting.”
Houston Dynamo Forward Michael Salazar
On what the team can take away
“I think we’ve only won one game on the road, so we’ve been having a hard time trying to get results on the road. I came off the bench, we’re 3-0 down, and coach just told me to go in and try to bring some energy to help the team, and I think I did that. It’s just in the end, it fell short.”
On how he feels getting MLS minutes
“... When I was here, every game was on the road. I didn’t really get a full chance to settle in with the team, and I feel like the games are going to start coming a little bit less now. I’m just trying to understand how all my teammates play, and just try to fit in the best way I could, and do my job the best I can.”
On the importance to get re-acclimated at home
“Yeah, for sure. I think this is going to be my first full week since I’ve signed with the team without a game on Wednesdays. It’s going to be good to see what his tactics are and stuff like that so I can understand a little bit more. You know, at home, we’re really good, and we’re playing a really good team, so I think we’ll be prepared and ready, and we just have to put this one behind us and try to go into the next game one thing at a time.”