Season finale ends in draw at D.C.

WASHINGTON – Despite being forced to play with nine men for the entirety of the second half, FC Cincinnati valiantly played D.C. United to a 0-0 draw in their 2019 MLS regular-season finale at Audi Field on MLS Decision Day Presented by AT&T on Sunday. 

The draw also spoiled D.C. United’s Audi MLS Cup Playoff plans, sending them on the road for the first round after they entered the game with the inside track on a home game. 

After FC Cincinnati (6-22-6, 24 pts.) withstood an early D.C. United (13-10-11, 50 pts.) push, the game’s flow tilted toward FCC midway through the first half - including a shot off the post by Ronald Lamah. 

However, FCC were shown a pair of red cards before halftime when Joseph-Claude Gyau and Roland Lamah were sent off in the 41st and 44th minutes, respectively. 

With the two-man advantage, D.C. posted 26 shots in the second half. However, they could not break through the Orange and Blue’s bend-but-don’t-break defense that often saw six or seven players behind the ball. 

At the end of the game, FCC had all defensive players on the field in an effort to keep DCU off the board. 

Successful at that, Cincinnati also kept D.C. from earning a home game in the first round of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. The draw lifted Toronto above D.C. on goal differential and now United will have to travel for their first-round game.

FCC goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń made a pair of saves as he recorded his third shutout of the 2019 MLS season.

FC Cincinnati will return to the field in early 2020 for their second MLS season. Deposits are now being accepted for 2020 Season Ticket Memberships by calling 513-977-5425 (KICK) or at fccincinnati.com/tickets. A single $50 deposit grants access to purchase season tickets in 2020, and the deposit will be applied to the full cost of 2020 Season Tickets. A 2020 Season Ticket Membership also secures fans’ place on the club’s priority list, which will be utilized when sales begin in the new West End Stadium for the 2021 season. 

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 0, D.C. United 0

Audi Field | Washington, D.C.

October 6, 2019

 

SCORING SUMMARY

None

FC Cincinnati: Przemysław Tytoń, Mathieu Deplagne, Maikel van der Werff, Nick Hagglund ©, Greg Garza, Leonardo Bertone, Caleb Stanko (Tommy McCabe 85’), Fatai Alashe (Kendall Waston 73’), Roland Lamah, Joseph-Claude Gyau, Emmanuel Ledesma (Andrew Gutman 90’+4’)

Bench: Jimmy Hague, Justin Hoyte, Derrick Etienne Jr., Rashawn Dally

Stats: Shots 8, Shots on goal 2, Saves 2, Corner kicks 3, Offsides 0, Fouls 9, Possession 33.6%, Passes 276 (72.8%)

 

D.C. United: Bill Hamid, Russel Canouse, Frédéric Brillant, Joseph Mora, Steven Birnbaum ©, Felipe (Leonardo Jara 67’), Lucas Rodriguez, Júnior Moreno, Ulises Segura (Luciano Acosta 56’), Paul Arriola, Quincy Amarikwa (Ola Kamara 69’)

Bench: Chris Seitz, Marquinhos Pedroso, Donovan Pines, Emmanuel Boateng

Stats: Shots 32, Shots on goal 2, Saves 2, Corner kicks 14, Offsides 5, Fouls 11, Possession 66.4%, Passes 536 (86.9%)

 

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

CIN – Mathieu Deplagne (caution) 14’

CIN – Leonardo Bertone (caution) 30’

DC – Joseph Mora (caution) 38’

CIN – Joseph-Claude Gyau (ejection) 41’

CIN – Roland Lamah (ejection) 44’

CIN – Caleb Stanko (caution) 85’

 

Referee: Dave Gantar

Assistant Referees: Jason White, CJ Morgante

4th Official: Ismir Pekmic

VAR: Rosendo Mendoza

 

Weather: 72 degrees and overcast

Attendance: 18732

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • 7’ | Ulises Segura received the ball from Paul Arriola on the edge of the penalty box, cut to his left and ripped a shot towards goal. The shot took a deflection off Nick Hagglund and struck the right post before being cleared away from danger by Fatai Alashe
  • 17’ | The Orange and Blue strung passes together through all three thirds of the pitch, ending with Emmanuel Ledesma finding Alashe atop the 18-yard box. The midfielder possessed the ball with his back to goal, turned and fired a right-footed shot directly at Bill Hamid
  • 25’ | FC Cincinnati were awarded a corner kick after Roland Lamah’s shot from the edge of the 18-yard box went out of bounds. Leonardo Bertone sent in a tight cross to the near post. Lamah was able to get a touch on the ball, but his header went just wide, left of the goal
  • 41’ | CIN RED CARD – Joseph-Claude Gyau was shown a straight red card for an attempted tackle on Ulises Segura
  • 44’ | CIN RED CARD – Just minutes after Gyau was sent off, Lamah was shown a red card for violent conduct following video review for a dead ball foul on Felipe
  • 64’ | Arriola dribbled towards goal and slowed down as he approached the 18-yard box. After setting the ball to his right foot, he curled in a shot towards goal. The ball took a bounce on its way towards goal, but Przemysław Tytoń was able to parry the ball away for a corner
  • 70’ | From his left back position, Joseph Mora whipped a cross into the 18-yard box to Ola Kamara, who headed the ball from point-blank range directly at Tytoń

 

GAME NOTES

  • With tonight’s draw, the Orange and Blue conclude the 2019 MLS regular season with a 6-22-6 record … the club finished their 2019 away slate with a 3-11-3 record … FC Cincinnati’s all-time, all-competition record against D.C. United sits at 0-1-1 … concluded the season with a 4-13-5 record against Eastern Conference opponents
  • Greg Garza earned his 50th MLS appearance in tonight’s match
  • With today’s draw, the Orange and Blue finished the 2019 MLS regular season by recording points in four of their final five matches – including each of their final three matches
  • Kendall Waston began tonight’s match on the bench for the first time as an FC Cincinnati player … of the previous nine matches where Waston did not make an appearance, he was either away on international duty with Costa Rica or serving a suspension … Waston made his first substitute appearance when he replaced Fatai Alashe in the 73rd minute
  • Allan Cruz finished the 2019 season as FC Cincinnati’s Allegiant Golden Boot winner by scoring a team-high seven goals
  • Today’s match marked the first time FC Cincinnati received two red cards in a match … Joseph-Claude Gyau and Roland Lamah were sent off in the 41st and 44th minutes, respectively … Lamah’s red card was a VAR referral that referee David Gantar then confirmed
  • Ron Jans made two changes to the starting lineup from the match against the Chicago Fire on Sept. 21 … Fatai Alashe and Caleb Stanko replaced Frankie Amaya and Allan Cruz
  • Frankie Amaya (groin), Corben Bone (hip), Kekuta Manneh (shoulder), Darren Mattocks (ankle), Jimmy McLaughlin (knee) and Spencer Richey (back) and were unavailable for selection because of injury
  • Allan Cruz was unavailable for selection for FC Cincinnati because of a one-match suspension for yellow-card accumulation … because of the suspension, he departed early to join up with Costa Rica for the country’s upcoming Concacaf Nations League games
  • Four FCC players have been called in for international duty during the upcoming FIFA window that starts Monday, Oct. 7: Cruz (Costa Rica), Derrick Etienne Jr. (Haiti), Alvas Powell (Jamaica) and Kendall Waston (Costa Rica) … all four received call-ups during the September window and missed FCC’s match against Toronto FC on Sept. 7

 

POSTGAME QUOTES

FC Cincinnati Head Coach Ron Jans

Overall thoughts on the match  

“The boys are heroes today, but I am so sorry for them. I think the first red card, I don’t think it’s a red card. It was unintentional. Monsters are not born. They are created. So, in the second half, we tried to win time, to defend and defend. I think they did great. They played with a lot of heart and the longer the game lasted, we got more excited. So, great work.”

On what he will tell the team after the result

“That they are heroes to me today, because we had nothing to win in the table, in the league. I think in the last five games, maybe today was the most exciting one. It was a good finish to the season, so it is something to continue on.”

On the implications of the red cards

“The second half was destructive. It was a monster, but we loved it because when, what was it? The 43rd minute with not 10 but nine players? I think the first red card was very harsh. I didn't see it yet, but Joseph (Gyau), he landed on him and not hit him, or kicked him or something like that. Then, you think the game is destroyed. They did everything to try and get a result out of here. So, I think today we are heroes. Not because of the good of the football but we showed some passion, teamwork and team spirit. I think we can be proud of that.”

On whether the final five results of the season are ideal for the offseason

“The offseason is so long. I am not sure what this will mean to the offseason, but for sure, with those guys, you can be a team. I think that is always the most important thing about a team sport. It is what I like to focus on a lot, and they showed passion. When somebody was outplayed, somebody else stood there, and I think we have to do that every time and next season, too.” 

On his time with FC Cincinnati 

“I am happy here.”

 

FC Cincinnati defender Nick Hagglund

On Ron Jans’ message to the team after the first half

“We’re in a tough situation, but forget about the refs, forget about everything else. It’s 45 minutes for the rest of the season, so just give it everything you’ve got. Stay compact and see what we can get .”

On the draw

“What an effort, what character from the guys that were on the field today. It’s been a long season and to come out on the last day and still perform like that, I think it says a lot about the group.”

On if today’s result is one of the top moments of the season

“Yeah, when your backs are against the wall, it’s cool when we come together like this, especially in the last game of the season. It’s easy when your season is over to just try to pack it in. We love this game and we love to play it for this city, so it was good to get a result there.”

On the mindset heading into the offseason

“Just prepare for next season, make sure the guys are together. For the next couple weeks, we’ll have some trainings and build off these last couple games that we’ve had decent results.”

 

FC Cincinnati defender Greg Garza

On today’s match

“I don’t think every day you usually play games like this, but I think the warrior mentality in everyone today kind of showed the resilience in getting a point and finishing the season somewhat strong. I think we can look back at the last five games and say we ended on a positive note. Definitely not the season we wanted, but I think if we take all those games into context, we end on a positive note to build some confidence for the next season.” 

On where the team’s resiliency comes from

“I think within the group. Obviously, it’s been very frustrating, the season that we’ve gone through. Just to work together and find that chemistry within each other to try to get results at the end of the day, and we did that. The past five games, I think we only had one loss. Those are things we have to look forward to and try to build off of, even with this postseason training in a week. Just to go ahead and try and keep building that new philosophy and look forward to whatever’s to come.”

On what was the biggest key to keeping D.C. United without a goal

“I think if you look at the last four games, the four teams that actually needed something - either making playoffs or even them not getting the home match for playoffs - we ruined it for Montreal, for Chicago, for Orlando and now (D.C. United) go home with not the best taste and now they have to travel to Toronto, their first game away in a one-game playoff game. I think that’s something that kind of sticks out to me the most.”

On the FC Cincinnati support in attendance

“It’s crazy. I think I’ve said it from the very first day within Cincinnati, I never imagined how many Midwest people enjoy soccer as much as they do, deep in the eye of the Midwest. That’s something that is very humbling to all of us, definitely gives us motivation. Wherever we go, they’re there.”

 

FC Cincinnati defender Mathieu Deplagne 

On his thoughts on the match

“It was a special game because playing with nine men after 40 minutes was tough against a team that makes the playoffs and wants to receive a spot for (home-field advantage). So, for us it was a good performance because we don’t give up and we didn’t concede a goal to finish the season. It’s a good thing.”

On showing strength in the last games of the season

“We found a good mentality to defend strong. We didn’t give up space and shots, so it was good. We have to keep this for next season and we showed improvement this season. It was a good point to finish this season.”

On when the team felt the season made a turn

“The good game against Montreal gave us a lot of confidence because we needed confidence because it was a tough season. So, when we won a game away and the clean sheet, it gave us confidence. We keep this for the last games. We needed just confidence and that’s it.”

 

FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń

On how proud he is of his teammates to keep the clean sheet

“Really proud, because the game doesn’t run like we wanted. We got two red cards in one minute, when you get two red cards already, you just recognize that it’s not going to be a normal game. But, we survived. It wasn’t the best game for the supporters, but for us, it was very important for us to finish the competition with some results and for me as a keeper, 0-0 is great.”

On the approach the team takes when they only have nine players

“We just said to ourselves, ‘This is the last 45 minutes of the season, we need to give it all.’ Our supporters were there. We didn’t come here to visit the White House, we came here to play a good game and get points. A result in this league is the most important. At least in our situation, because we did not get many points in this competition this year, so every single point is very important for us.”

On the defensive performance

“We see the difference. I knew since I came here, the first months were not going to be easy, because we are all new, we don’t know each other very well. We need the trainings, we need the games like tonight. Everything was against us, especially in the first half after the two red cards. But, we get paid. We get paid because we sacrificed, we worked hard, we stuck together and we stuck to the plan. That is why we are satisfied about the result from tonight.”

On if he had ever played in a match while down two men

“No, this is the first time in my life that I have played nine against 11. I’m extra proud about this group about how we survived.”