Ledesma scores sixth goal in Toronto loss

CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati fell to Toronto FC, 5-1, at Nippert Stadium on Saturday night. Emmanuel Ledesma scored the Orange and Blue’s lone goal – a penalty – two minutes into stoppage time.

FC Cincinnati (5-21-3, 18 pts.) conceded three first-half goals as Toronto FC (11-10-8, 41 pts.) registered at least a point for a fifth consecutive match.

FCC midfielders Tommy McCabe and Joseph-Claude Gyau made their first Cincinnati starts, while FCC became the only MLS team to start three 2019 MLS SuperDraft selections in a match this season (McCabe, Frankie Amaya, Rashawn Dally).

FC Cincinnati return to play on Saturday, Sept. 14, when they visit Montreal Impact at Saputo Stadium. First kick is set for 7:30 p.m. and the game will be televised live on WSTR 64, streamed on FloFC (in-region) and ESPN+ (out-of-region), carried on the radio on WDJO with an audio stream on TuneIn (WDJO) and fccincinnati.com.

The team next plays at home on Wednesday, Sept. 18, when the Orange and Blue host defending MLS Cup champions Atlanta United FC at 7:30 p.m. Individual-game tickets and group options are on sale for all remaining FC Cincinnati games 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.


Toronto FC 5, FC Cincinnati 1

Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio

September 7, 2019



TOR – Patrick Mullins (Marky Delgado) 10’

TOR – Nick DeLeon (unassisted) 21’

TOR – Marky Delgado (Alejandro Pozuelo) 28’

TOR – Michael Bradley (Tsubasa Endoh, Alejandro Pozuelo) 63’

TOR – Nicolas Benezet (unassisted) 85’

CIN – Emmanuel Ledesma (penalty) 90+2’


FC Cincinnati: Przemysław Tytoń, Mathieu Deplagne, Nick Hagglund ©, Greg Garza, Andrew Gutman, Tommy McCabe, Caleb Stanko, Frankie Amaya (Fatai Alashe 71’), Joseph-Claude Gyau, Rashawn Dally (Darren Mattocks HT), Roland Lamah (Emmanuel Ledesma HT)

Bench: Jimmy Hague, Justin Hoyte, Leonardo Bertone, Corben Bone

Stats: Shots 9, Shots on goal 5, Saves 0, Corner kicks 2, Offsides 0, Fouls 7, Possession 39.5%, Passes 428 (82.2%)


Toronto FC: Quentin Westberg, Laurent Ciman, Omar Gonzalez, Auro (Ashtone Morgan 67’), Nick DeLeon (Eriq Zavaleta 71’), Marky Delgado, Nicolas Benezet, Erickson Gallardo (Tsubasa Endoh 56’), Michael Bradley ©, Alejandro Pozuelo, Patrick Mullins

Bench: Alex Bono, Drew Moor, Jacob Shaffelburg, Jozy Altidore

Stats: Shots 13, Shots on goal 5, Saves 4, Corner kicks 8, Offsides 1, Fouls 13, Possession 60.5%, Passes 669 (86.5%)



TOR – Michael Bradley (caution) 23’

TOR – Eriq Zavaleta (caution) 72’

CIN – Fatai Alashe (caution) 81’

TOR – Eriq Zavaleta (caution/ejection) 87’


Referee: Allen Chapman

Assistant Referees: Jason White, Eric Boria

4th Official: Marcos DeOliveira

VAR: Victor Rivas


Weather: 72 degrees and sunny

Attendance: 25,339



  • 10’ | TOR GOAL – Marky Delgado intercepted a pass on the edge of FC Cincinnati’s defensive third and played a through ball to Patrick Mullins atop the 18-yard box. Mullins sent his left-footed shot to the inside of the far post to give the visitors the lead
  • 22’ | TOR GOAL – Michael Bradley played a cross to the near post, which was headed away by Joseph-Claude Gyau. Nick DeLeon caught the ball on its way down, driving the ball inside the left post for Toronto’s second goal of the night. 
  • 28’ | TOR GOAL – From the right side of the field, Erickson Gallardo passed a ball back to Alejandro Pozuelo. Pozuelo lofted a ball to the far post, finding Delgado unmarked. Delgado headed the ball past Przemysław Tytoń to extend the away lead. 
  • 63’ | TOR GOAL – Pozuelo lofted a ball to Tsubasa Endoh inside the penalty box. Endoh tapped the ball back to Michael Bradley and smashed the ball past Tyton with his first-touch.
  • 65’ | Emmanuel Ledesma ripped a low bouncing cross that zipped by the 6-yard box. Mathieu Deplagne stretched out to tap the ball towards goal with his right-foot, but was denied by Quentin Westberg 
  • 85’ | TOR GOAL – Nicolas Benezet attempted to thread a through ball to Mullins, but the pass was disrupted by Greg Garza. Benezet collected the rebound and scored the last goal of the night for Toronto
  • 90+2’ | CIN GOAL – After referee Allen Chapman consulted with VAR, he concluded Endoh committed a handball inside the 18-yard box and awarded FC Cincinnati a penalty. Ledesma tucked the ball inside the right post to bring one back for the home team 



  • With tonight’s loss, the Orange and Blue move to 5-21-3 through 29 MLS matches … in addition, FC Cincinnati fall to 3-10-1 in home contests … FC Cincinnati’s all-time, all-competition record against Toronto FC sits at 0-2-0 … Cincinnati is now 3-12-2 against Eastern Conference opponents
  • FC Cincinnati became the first team in MLS this year to start three 2019 MLS SuperDraft selections in the same match … Frankie Amaya, Rashawn Dally and Tommy McCabe all started for the Orange and Blue in tonight’s match … Prior to tonight’s match, FCC were one of four MLS teams to start two 2019 SuperDraft selections in a match, along with Minnesota United, New England and Orlando City
  • Nick Hagglund wore the captain’s armband for the first time this season … he became the fourth FC Cincinnati player to be named captain for a match this season along with Kendall Waston, Greg Garza and Justin Hoyte … additionally, Hagglund made his first appearance against his former side, Toronto FC, where he played for five seasons (2014-18) … the center back was an unused substitute in the two sides’ first meeting at BMO Field on July 27
  • Joseph-Claude Gyau earned his first start for FC Cincinnati in tonight’s match … the winger had previously made two substitute appearances -- at Columbus Crew SC on Aug. 10 and against New York City FC on Aug. 17 … Gyau logged 90 minutes in tonight’s match
  • Ron Jans made eight changes to the starting lineup from the match against FC Dallas on Aug. 25… Mathieu Deplagne, Nick Hagglund, Andrew Gutman, Tommy McCabe, Caleb Stanko, Frankie Amaya, Joseph-Claude Gyau and Rashawn Dally replaced Justin Hoyte, Kendall Waston, Maikel van der Werff, Victor Ulloa, Leonardo Bertone, Allan Cruz, Emmanuel Ledesma and Kekuta Manneh
  • Fanendo Adi (calf), Victor Ulloa (groin), Maikel van der Werff (hamstring) and Spencer Richey (back) were unavailable for selection because of injury
  • Midfielder Kekuta Manneh was unavailable for selection in tonight’s match after he received a one-match suspension for a red card in FC Cincinnati’s match at FC Dallas on Aug. 31
  • Four FCC players were unavailable for selection in tonight’s match while with their respective national teams: Allan Cruz (Costa Rica), Derrick Etienne Jr. (Haiti), Alvas Powell (Jamaica) and Kendall Waston (Costa Rica) 



FC Cincinnati Head Coach Ron Jans

Opening Statement

“Every game, people have dreams and expectations and I think the first 10 minutes started well. We had some good plays and some crosses from the left side but we were not really creating a chance. But when you’re at the bottom of the table, you can’t lose the ball. We lost the ball just in front of Mullins who scored the first goal and after that it was almost game over. We had a lot of trouble with their wingers coming inside and switching the ball from one side to another. We were not really man marking a lot. We tried, but it’s difficult. I think they made a good fourth goal. We still didn’t give up and we got our goal. I think we only created chances in the second half, with a great save from (Quentin) Westberg on a ball from Mathieu Deplagne. There was another situation in the end, with a hand ball or something like that, but sometimes you get an easy penalty kick. Personally, for Manu (Emmanuel Ledesma), I think it was a great moment for him. It was very emotional and that is the best part of the game for us That we scored a goal and that it was over. I try to be positive all the time, sometimes maybe a little too much. But I will keep doing that because there is another game next week and then four more. We will try to do everything to get the team well prepared, but today Toronto was the better team. The 5-1 score tells everything.”

On starting three rookies in the game

“There are always positive things in the match. I told Frankie (Amaya) that he was playing Mr. Bradley (Michael Bradley) and he could almost be your father. I said ‘you have to compete and show respect, but also show what you can.’ And I think Frankie was the best man tonight. He got tired. He wasn’t changed because he wasn’t playing well, but we have to be careful with him – he is coming back from a groin injury. I think he did very well. I think Tommy McCabe did well in the first 10 minutes but after that he was having trouble, like the whole team, getting into duels and winning the ball and keeping the ball in possession. But I think to be a better player, you need experiences like this. We have Greg Garza, and I think there was only one Toronto goal he was involved in – I think it was the fifth. I think he did well on the ball. (Rashawn) Dally had problems keeping the ball. That’s why we wanted more experienced and aggressive players because sometimes he is too shy I think. But this will help him to get better. We cannot play young players when they are not good enough, but I think they will be good enough in the future and this will help. But we weren’t good enough today.”

On what is the missing element from the players

“It is not one of them, it is a combination of all. I will never, never say that my players are not good enough. But other teams, at the moment, are better. Is it motivation? When we start the game, no. But when we are behind, they have a hard time keeping their head up and doing what they have to do. So it is a combination of everything, I think. That is difficult because you need more time. We know that the future of FC Cincinnati is very promising. But at the moment, we have to deal with a game every week and I think the situation is more in control now than the players and even the coaches because a lot of players are not even sure if they will be here next season. They are losing a lot and there are changes in the team. This week we wanted to see some young players and we had to play some different players because of international games. But it is not one thing, it is a combination of all.”

On opponents having everything left to play for and FC Cincinnati not having much left to play for

“That is what we are fighting every week. We are position No. 12 and we will stay there.  But when you play, you want to play well and you want to win. I don’t like losing anything. Even playing games with my family in the evenings, when I lose, I don’t like it. But I will be there for the boys after the game, telling them to keep their heads up, even after a game where they lose 5-1 and look silly. But we have to stick together and have a game plan and try every week. And this week, Toronto was the better team.”


FC Cincinnati Defender Greg Garza

 On playing center back for the first time

“It was the first time in my life that I have ever done that and I guess it is okay. It’s tough to the end the game with that kind of result, but It is an experience make myself a bit more versatile player.”

On reacting to the game 

Just to stay mentally strong. I think that, obviously, it is very easy to lose some confidence, especially with results like this. I think we just have to stick together, build each other up, stay humble and work each and every day. The sky's the limit. There is no going deeper in the bottom from where we are right now.”

On how lineup implicated. 

Yeah, it is different with guys out in international duty. Different lineup, giving some opportunities to new kids and that is part of a team that is growing. It is tough to see. At the end of the day, that’s what gets these kids, and other players, an opportunity to play, an opportunity to showcase themselves and really really build this team as much as possible. As I said, just keep pushing forward.”


FC Cincinnati Midfielder Tommy McCabe

On being part of the youngest lineup in FC Cincinnati history

I think it is a cool experience. We’ve spent the last year together, living together, spending time together, so to be able to share the field with all three of us was special.”

On going out on loan and coming back to earn his first MLS start

“I think I put in a lot of hard work and wanted to have this experience and I am glad that I had it, but I wish the result was different.”

On young players earning a chance to play

“It is nice that (Ron) has trust and faith in us to give us that opportunity and it is up to us to take advantage of that.”


FC Cincinnati Midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma 

On who he dedicated his goal to

“A mi padre que el jueves ha fallecido. El estaba en Argentina y lo he perdido. Se lo dedico a él que jamás me ha visto jugar al fútbol, ni cuando era pequeño, por circunstancias de la vida. Eso pasa por jugar con el tiempo. Pensaba en el año próximo traérmelo para que me vea. Por circunstancias, había tenido operaciones ahora a la vista hace un mes y no podía viajar. Pero pensaba en el año próximo tráelo y que me vea por primera vez. Pero bueno, pasa por jugar con el tiempo. No se juega con el tiempo. El tiempo me lo ha quitado y hoy lo lloro. Creo que de un lado del cielo me está mirando y le quiero dedicar este gol.”  

“To my father that on Thursday passed away. He was in Argentina and I’ve lost him. I dedicate it to him, who's never seen me play soccer, not even when I was a child, due to circumstances in life. That's what happens when you play with time. I was thinking about bringing him next year so that he could see me. Due to circumstances in life, he had surgery about a month ago and could not travel. I was thinking about bringing him over next year so that he could see me play for the first time, but that happens when you play with time. You don't play with time. Time has taken him away from me and today I mourn him. I think that somewhere in heaven he is watching me and I want to dedicate this goal to him.”


Toronto FC Head Coach Greg Vanney

On the highlight of tonight's performance

Just the execution, you know? Pat (Patrick Mullins), gets probably our first good look at goal and he buries it, which sets the game off on the right foot. Then, subsequently, when we got chances, we put chances away. I thought we held on to the ball well, made it difficult for them to get pressure on us, which they spent quite a bit of energy in the first half just trying to chase around. I thought we stayed fairly disciplined on the night. The ball moved fast. We created chances. When they were high, we were looking to get behind them. Just some good professional decisions on the night. Again, we are continuing to build off a good stretch of games. Tonight I thought one of the big differences was we executed. When you get on top of games like we were able to today, then spaces open up a little bit more, because the opposition is trying to get themselves back into the game. It is a question of if you can keep hurting them. This is a big three points for us. Again, we keep rolling with the work we’ve been doing lately.”

On being ruthless against the opposition

Yeah, that was one of the words we talked about today. We knew we would get chances, and it was about execution. The second part was about being ruthless, especially when we came out in the second half to make sure that our mentality was right. We wanted to put one more up to really kind of seal the deal for them and make it really difficult. Again, the guys took some really good goals. There were some really good goals tonight. Just please again. Good mentality for the group going forward, to get a win like this in a place like this on the road sets us up for a really big match on Wednesday.”

On Alejandro Pozuelo’s performance

Yeah, great. Again, I think Poz (Alejandro Pozuelo), Nico (Nicolas Benezet), Erickson (Gallardo), just the group is settling in to their relationships with each other. They are settling into the shape. Just a better, clear understanding that’s happened over the last three to four weeks that has allowed us to be a little more consistent through games, both in our defensive shape and also our attacking shape. We allow for some fluidity through it, but they are just doing a great job of paying attention to each other, making sure that we are in good spots for one another. We got guys that are very comfortable on the ball. So if we keep the ball moving fast and trust each other, we are a hard team to play against. I thought that was a good key to tonight. ”


Toronto FC Midfielder Michael Bradley 

On what impressed him tonight

“Yeah, listen… in all, it was a good performance. It was a really important game. Three really, really big points. Obviously, this time of year, you’re paying attention to every game around the league. You know the other results, you know the standings, you know how quickly things can change. Obviously, when New England lose late this afternoon, then it makes an already important game that much more important. We knew that we had the chance to go past them. We knew that we could pull even with Red Bull, which is important. This was a really important game. I thought the mentality and the way that we played reflected that, and now we’ve got to get ready for another really big game on Wednesday night.”

On the team’s performance tonight

 “Yeah, I thought, again, the way we went after the game, the way we played, the mentality, the concentration – everything I thought was really good. You could feel tonight that every guy understood how important it was. This time of year, you’ve got to be ready to that every time you step on the field. Again, we feel good about the group that we have, and now we got to keep pushing because there’s still more there for us.”


On whether he agrees with Coach Greg Vanney about improvement each game

“I do. Absolutely. You’ve heard me say it a few times this year, it’s been a weird season. It’s been choppy, it’s been stop and start. But the reality is still that the most important games are in front of us, so if we can keep improving and we can keep a strong mentality, understand what games this time of year are about, then we feel like we can have a lot still to say in terms of what goes on from here on in.”

On his goal and it’s setup

“Obviously, Ale (Alejandro Pozuelo) played a great ball wide to Tsubasa (Endoh), and as he stayed wide, then there was a little bit of space for me to move into. He did so well to just kind of look everybody off and then set one down for me and give me a real chance.”