Home finale ends in draw

CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati earned a 1-1 draw on Sunday night against Orlando City SC, closing the team’s 2019 home schedule at Nippert Stadium. The Orange and Blue will officially wrap up the 2019 season when they play their final game next Sunday, Oct. 6, at D.C. United with a league-wide 4 p.m. ET kickoff. 

Cincinnati (6-22-5, 23 pts.) took a 1-0 lead into the halftime break after Allan Cruz netted his team-leading seventh goal of the season in the 40th minute. FCC looked to wrap up the victory, but conceded the equalizer to Orlando (9-14-10, 37 pts.) in the first minute of second-half stoppage time. 

FC Cincinnati will play their final match of 2019 on MLS Decision Day when they travel to play D.C. United at Audi Field on Sunday, Oct. 6. First kick is set for 4 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

For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. 

FC Cincinnati 1, Orlando City SC 1

Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio

September 29, 2019



CIN – Allan Cruz (Emmanuel Ledesma, Joseph-Claude Gyau) 40’

ORL – Benji Michel (Dom Dwyer, Nani) 90’+1’


FC Cincinnati: Przemysław Tytoń, Mathieu Deplagne, Maikel van der Werff, Nick Hagglund ©, Greg Garza, Leonardo Bertone, Allan Cruz (Tommy McCabe, 85’), Frankie Amaya (Fatai Alashe 74’), Roland Lamah (Derrick Etienne Jr 69’), Joseph-Claude Gyau, Emmanuel Ledesma

Bench: Jimmy Hague, Andrew Gutman, Justin Hoyte, Rashawn Dally

Stats: Shots 16, Shots on goal 7, Saves 2, Corner kicks 2, Offsides 1, Fouls 7, Possession 45.4%, Passes 401 (83%)


Orlando City SC: Brian Rowe, João Moutinho (Kyle Smith 14’), Lamine Sané, Robin Jansson, Nani ©, Will Johnson, Mauricio Pereyra, Jhegson Mendez (Chris Mueller 67’), Tesho Akindele (Benji Michel 58’), Dom Dwyer

Bench: Greg Ranjitsingh, Kamal Miller, Oriol Rosell, Carlos Ascues

Stats: Shots 13, Shots on goal 3, Saves 6, Corner kicks 6, Offsides 0, Fouls 14, Possession 54.6%, Passes 477 (77.6%)



ORL – Jhegson Mendez (caution) 45’

CIN – Allan Cruz (caution) 45’+3’

ORL – Robin Jansson (caution) 61’

ORL – Kyle Smith (caution) 89’


Referee: Robert Sibiga

Assistant Referees: Matthew Nelson, Kyle Longville

4th Official: David Barrie

VAR: Malik Badawi


Weather: 87 degrees and cloudy

Attendance: 25,652



  • 25’ | Joseph-Claude Gyau received a throw-in from Allan Cruz in the left flank of the field and sped through towards goal off a counter. After cutting inside, Gyau blasted a shot towards goal, straight to Brian Rowe
  • 36’ | Frankie Amaya played the ball to Roland Lamah on the right side of the penalty box.  Lamah left-footed curler was slightly deflected by Rowe before it hit the crossbar
  • 40’ | CIN GOAL – From the left flank of the field, Gyau lobbed a through ball to Emmanuel Ledesma, who cut a pass back right before the ball went out of play in the endline. The ball rolled over to Allan Cruz, who rocketed the ball in for his seventh goal of the season
  • 50’ | Mauricio Pereyra whipped in a cross just beyond the right side of the 18-yard box to Dom Dwyer. The forward headed the ball on frame, but Przemysław Tytoń was able to make a one-handed save and push the ball over the crossbar to concede a corner kick
  • 90+1’ | ORL GOAL – Nani lofted a cross to the far post, and connected with Dom Dwyer, who headed the ball down to Benji Michel. Michel sent his right-footed shot past Tyton and found the equalizer for Orlando
  • 90+4’ | As for FC Cincinnati pushed forward to find a game-winner in the final minutes of the game, Ledesma received a lofting ball from behind half field and raced forward. Ledesma cut outside, but his left-footed shot went wide right to the goal



  • With tonight’s draw, the Orange and Blue are now 6-22-5 through 33 MLS matches …the club finished their 2019 home slate with a 3-11-3 record … FC Cincinnati’s all-time, all-competition record against Orlando City SC sits at 0-1-1 … Cincinnati is now 4-13-4 against Eastern Conference opponents
  • Tonight’s match was FC Cincinnati’s final home match of the 2019 MLS regular season … the Orange and Blue welcomed 464,720 fans for an average of 27,336 fans per match - third most among all MLS clubs in both total and average attendance … those numbers break the Orange and Blue’s previous club attendance records of 437,197 fans (25,717 fans per match) set in 2018 during the club’s final USL season
  • Ron Jans made four changes to the starting lineup from the match against the Chicago Fire on Sept. 21 … Nick Hagglund, Allan Cruz, Roland Lamah and Joseph-Claude Gyau replaced Kendall Waston, Tommy McCabe, Derrick Etienne Jr. and Rashawn Dally
  • Corben Bone (hip), Kekuta Manneh (shoulder), Darren Mattocks (ankle), Jimmy McLaughlin (knee) and Spencer Richey (back) and were unavailable for selection because of injury
  • Kendall Waston was unavailable for selection for FC Cincinnati because of a one-match suspension for yellow-card accumulation … the center back has missed a pair of matches for FC Cincinnati because of separate one-match suspensions: at Colorado on June 1 (yellow-card accumulation) and against Atlanta United FC on Sept. 18 (red-card suspension)
  • Allan Cruz moved into the club’s goal-scoring lead with his 40th-minute tally … he now has seven goals this season, pushing past Emmanuel Ledesma (6) … the two came into the game tied with six apiece
  • Joseph-Claude Gyau recorded his first point as a Cincinnati player today as he initiated the play that resulted in Cruz’s 40th minute goal
  • Ledesma collected his team-leading fifth assist of the season with his primary pass that resulted in Cruz’s first-half goal
  • With his late first-half caution, Cruz will now miss the team’s 2019 season finale at D.C. next weekend with a yellow-card accumulation suspension



FC Cincinnati Head Coach Ron Jans

Overall thoughts on the match  

“I think in the first half, the first 30 minutes we were pretty good in the building up and defending. We did very well. We had some troubles in the last 15 minutes. I think we deserved a goal and maybe we should have taken more of an advantage because Orlando started only the second half and they didn’t do a lot. Maybe it was because of our strength or maybe they didn’t believe in getting to the playoffs, but I warned our guys about them coming out in the second half and being more aggressive and I think it was maybe 50/50 in the second half with the chances. You see it's so hot and you get tired and you have to run and have to work both sides and then you in extra time you concede a goal. It is so disappointing because I believe it was our game and then even after the 1-1, (Emmanuel Ledesma) had a great chance to win the game. So for the last home game for players, for fans and for everybody, it would have been great to finish with a victory and we should have done that. But we didn’t do that and that leaves us with the last four games and maybe a little more cautious on the defensive and that we can compete with the other MLS teams and that is a good take away for next season. Maybe not to emphasis too much the defensive part, but with this team the qualities fits best to press more, not too high and a little space away behind your back four. With pace of our attackers, it is good to use the space behind the back four of the opponent. So I am pretty satisfied with the last couple weeks and what the guys did.”


On getting results against playoff caliber teams

“I think it shows that we have a lot of players and on a lot of positions, the difference between the players is not so much. It’s maybe also an example from the last two months that we… (Tommy) McCabe is an example of this, the young players can compete with the more experienced players. So, we might just need three positions maybe, some extra quality and then we will be more competitive, but that’s about the future ... We were frustrated and down after Toronto, I said it before, but I think we got up and stood up, so I think we can be satisfied with that.” 


On the potential penalty appeals in first half 

“I didn’t see it on television and slow motion, so I am not sure. I had my doubts with the goalkeeper with Roland (Lamah), he was sandwiched, so I am not sure about that one. The other one I did not think it was a penalty. But I think we should have done more with the moments we had to kill the game because there were a lot of moments we could have scored to make it two-nil and I don’t think Orlando was mentally prepared to come back from two-nil. We didn’t do it and in the end they scored the equalizer.”


On what led to the opportunities in the first half

“We decided to play both wingers on their off foot, so they could come inside and I think Roland (Lamah) had the most chances, but all the balls fell more to his right foot to finish off. Maybe he took a little too much time, caught the ball instead of just shooting, maybe that’s a reason. When you look at the whole season, the efficiency of scoring goals, we have to do better. It's so great, but have so many bad stats and we can improve on so many things and what we want to do, and finishing is one of them”


FC Cincinnati midfielder Allan Cruz

On his goal

“Bueno, fue una jugada de contragolpe, se la tiraron al espacio a Manu (Emmanuel Ledesma). Piqué al centro. Gracias a dios Manu la pudo poner ahí y la pude concretar.”


“Well, the play was a counter-attack, they threw into space to Manu (Emmanuel Ledesma). I sprinted to the center. Thankfully, Manu was able to put it there and I was able to capitalize on it.”


On leading the team with seven goals

“Bueno, agradecido con dios por traerme aquí. Gracias a dios me fue bien este torneo. Pude anotar siete goles. Ayude bastante al equipo. Triste por la quinta amarilla, pero a seguir adelante.”


“Well, I thank God for bringing me here. Thankfully, it went well for me this season. I was able to score seven goals. I helped the team a lot. I am sad for the fifth yellow card, but we move forward.”


On being named MVP by his teammates

“Feliz. Salió reflejado el trabajo que he hecho este campeonato. Por ahí, me toca ahora demostrar el otro torneo, si sigo aquí en el equipo, porque fui el MVP y aprovechar las oportunidades que me van a dar.”


“Happy. The hard work that I did this season was reflected. Now, it is my time, if I am still here with the team, to demonstrate why I was the MVP and capitalize on the opportunities that come my way. 


FC Cincinnati midfielder Joseph-Claude Gyau

On tonight’s result

“I felt like we could’ve come out with a win. We played well together today, like just from the beginning, from the beginning whistle we put pressure on them. We could’ve put away a couple more of our chances in the first half. But, I think the overall performance was very, very good. We wanted to send the fans off at the end of the season with a win. You know it’s a bit unfortunate we came out with the tie, though.”


On his performance this season

“I think I’ve been doing decent. I’m trying to help the team the best way that I can. Pick up points, playing defense, getting shots, facilitating anyway that I can. I mean I think I’m doing a decent job, but you know, that’s not up to me, that’s up to them. I’m supposed to play, then see where the chips fall.”


On his performance this game

“Yeah, from a footballing standpoint, for sure. I was on the ball a lot. I was able to complete a few dribbles, getting involved in the first goal. Had a couple shots. Still disappointed I haven’t gotten my first one yet, but you know I’m just going to keep plugging away at that.”


On combination play with Greg Garza

“Yeah, you know funny story about that is I played my second national team game, me and Greg were on the same side together, so I’ve known Greg since I was like 13-years-old, so we have a good connection.”


Orlando City SC Head Coach James O’Connor

On his overall thoughts

“Obviously, bitterly disappointed with the first half. I think in the second half we had some opportunities, and I think that’s just the mentality piece. I think we’ve had some where we’ve just come up completely short. I think to elaborate, obviously, that first half is really infuriating for everyone. The players are obviously majorly disappointed. Second half, you come out, you have multiple chances, and it’s a different game in the second half. But, I think from my standpoint, just very disappointed with the first half.”


On halftime remarks to spark a change

“[I said] quite a lot, to be honest. I think when something like that happens, I felt as if the guys had just let themselves down. I think the second half shows what they’re capable of and to have a first half like that. For them, I think is just really frustrating. For us, it’s very frustrating, because we know how high the guys work. Second half, they deserve a lot of credit for the way they came back into it. You know, again, I think we’ve had some key moments and big chances and not been able to capitalize on them. We were in the gauntlet there for the last 15 to 20 minutes, because we’re trying to move forward. So, you expect that to happen, but I think we had a couple chances before that we have to take advantage of. ”


On Benji Michel’s equalizer

“Really good finish. It’s a lovely play. Fantastic to see him come on and make an impact like that. Really pleased for Benj (Michel). He’s had a great year when you look at where he’s come from and how he’s developing. That’s something to be very excited about. We’ve got some good quality in the players.”


Orlando City SC forward Benji Michel

On the fight the team showed in the second half

“I feel like in the second half we were moving more. A lot of guys went after the ball more. We were down, so we have to do whatever it takes to get the goal. That’s what we did. We got a goal, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”


On his fourth goal of the season 

“I feel like I could have been more mobile, like off the ball, made more runs from behind to create space for myself and for other players. But, I feel like I gave some spark to the team.”


On the next game

“You should see us fighting for three points. That’s what you’ll see.”