Comeback falls short in season opener

HARRISON, N.J. – FC Cincinnati narrowed a two-goal deficit on two separate occasions, but were unable to complete the comeback and fell to the New York Red Bulls, 3-2, in their 2020 MLS regular-season opener at Red Bull Arena on Saturday afternoon.

New York (1-0-0, 3 pts.) opened the scoring in the first half as Kyle Duncan and Kaku gave the Red Bulls a multi-goal lead by the 27-minute mark. FC Cincinnati (0-1-0, 0 pts.) battled back in the second half when Allan Cruz cut into the Red Bulls’ lead within the first minute after the break. After Daniel Royer gave New York another two-goal lead, Jurgen Locadia tallied for the Orange and Blue to narrow the deficit.

Yuya Kubo, Jurgen Locadia, Haris Medunjanin, Adrien Regattin and Brandon Vazquez all made their FC Cincinnati debuts in today’s match.

FC Cincinnati return to the pitch next Saturday, as the team will travel to play Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 7. FCC will open their 2020 home slate on Saturday, March 14, when they host D.C. United at Nippert Stadium in a 5:30 p.m. game.

Season Ticket Memberships are still available for purchase and start at $230 per ticket. 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. Information about all 2020 ticket options – season tickets, multiple-game options, group tickets and individual-game tickets – is available 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.

New York Red Bulls 3, FC Cincinnati 2

Red Bull Arena | Harrison, N.J.

March 1, 2020

SCORING SUMMARY

RBNY – Kyle Duncan (Florian Valot, Daniel Royer) 16’

RBNY – Kaku (Florian Valot, Kyle Duncan) 27’

CIN – Allan Cruz (Brandon Vazquez, Greg Garza) 46’

RBNY – Daniel Royer (Kyle Duncan) 70’

CIN – Jurgen Locadia (unassisted) 83’

FC Cincinnati: Spencer Richey, Mathieu Deplagne, Maikel van der Werff, Kendall Waston ©, Greg Garza (Andrew Gutman 82’), Haris Medunjanin, Frankie Amaya, Allan Cruz, Adrien Regattin, Yuya Kubo (Kekuta Manneh 79’), Brandon Vazquez (Jurgen Locadia 64’)

Bench: Przemysław Tytoń, Tom Pettersson, Fatai Alashe, Caleb Stanko

Stats: Shots 11, Shots on goal 5, Saves 3, Corner kicks 2, Offsides 3, Fouls 7, Possession 55.8%, Passes 561 (75.8%)

New York Red Bulls: David Jensen, Kyle Duncan, Tim Parker, Amro Tarek, Patrick Seagrist, Cristian Cásseres Jr., Sean Davis ©, Florian Valot, Kaku (Josh Sims 67’), Daniel Royer (Marc Rzatkowski 79’), Brian White (Tom Barlow 71’)

Bench: Kendall McIntosh, Sean Nealis, John Tolkin, Alex Muyl

Stats: Shots 15, Shots on goal 6, Saves 3, Corner kicks 3, Offsides 4, Fouls 10, Possession 44.2%, Passes 444 (73.2%)

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

RBNY – Brian White (caution) 30’

RBNY – Cristian Cásseres Jr. (caution) 89’

Referee: Dave Gantar

Assistant Referees: Eric Boria, Gianni Facchini

4th Official: Kevin Broadley

VAR: Jorge Gonzalez

AVAR: Thomas Supple

Weather: 43 degrees and mostly sunny

Attendance: 15,703

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • 3’ | New York’s Sean Davis sent a right-footed shot on target from inside the box, but Spencer Richey was able to corral the ball and earn his first save of the match
  • 10’ | Following a throw-in, Kyle Duncan received the ball in a dangerous position inside the 18-yard box, but rushed a shot wide of frame for a goal kick
  • 16’ | RBNY GOAL - Florian Valot sent a pass at the top of the 18-yard box to an oncoming Kyle Duncan, whose right-footed shot went beyond Spencer Richey inside the far post
  • 27’ | RBNY GOAL - Following an FCC goal kick, New York applied pressure in their attacking third to create a turnover just outside the 18-yard box. Florian Valot sent a low cross to the feet of Kaku, who slotted a left-footed shot beyond an outstretched Richey to double the home side’s lead
  • 46’ | CIN GOAL - Less than a minute into the second half, Greg Garza sent a long lead pass from FCC’s defensive half to the feet of Brandon Vazquez, just outside the 18-yard box. Vazquez thread a low cross in to Allan Cruz - through the legs of an on-coming defender - and Cruz first-timed a right-footed shot beyond David Jensen to claim FCC’s first goal of the season
  • 70’ | RBNY GOAL - In transition from the right flank, Kyle Duncan switched the field to Daniel Royer, just outside the penalty area. Royer took five touches and fired a right-footed shot inside the near post to extend the New York lead
  • 74’ | Jurgen Locadia fired a first-timed, right-footed shot from inside the box, but Jensen was able to get in front of the ball to make the save
  • 83’ | CIN GOAL - Jurgen Locadia pounced on a loose ball on the edge of FC Cincinnati’s attacking third and had only Jensen to beat. Locadia’s initial right-footed shot was partially stopped by Jensen, but the forward was able to finish his own rebound to give FC Cincinnati their second goal of the match

GAME NOTES

  • With today’s loss, the Orange and Blue open the 2020 MLS regular season with a 0-1-0 record … the club is now 0-1-0 in away matches … FC Cincinnati’s all-time, all-competition record against the New York Red Bulls sits at 0-4-0 … The Orange and Blue are now 0-1-0 against Eastern Conference opponents … FC Cincinnati are now 0-2-0 all-time in MLS season openers
  • Allan Cruz scored FC Cincinnati’s first goal of the 2020 MLS season when he scored in the 46th minute of today’s match … after scoring a pair of first-minute goals in the 2019 campaign, Cruz tallied in the first minute of the second half … of Cruz’s eight career MLS goals, five have come within the first 10 minutes of either half
  • Dating back to the 2019 season, Cruz has scored in three consecutive MLS regular-season appearances … The Costa Rican tallied at Montreal on Sept. 14, 2019 and against Orlando City SC on Sept. 29, 2019
  • Brandon Vazquez and Greg Garza logged their first assists of the 2020 season on Allan Cruz’s 46th-minute goal … the assist was Vazquez’s third career MLS assist and his first as an FC Cincinnati player … Garza, who claimed the secondary assist, notched his ninth career assist, including his first with FC Cincinnati
  • Jurgen Locadia scored in his league debut for the third time in his professional career .. The Dutchman also scored in his Eredivisie debut with PSV Eindhoven on Sept. 30, 2012 and in his Premier League debut with Brighton & Hove Albion on Feb. 24, 2018
  • FC Cincinnati scored two second-half goals in an MLS match for the first time since their 2019 home opener against Portland on March 17, 2019
  • Three FC Cincinnati players made their FC Cincinnati and MLS debuts in today’s match: Yuya Kubo, Jurgen Locadia and Adrien Regattin … in addition, Haris Medunjanin and Brandon Vazquez made their FC Cincinnati debuts in today’s match
  • Just two FC Cincinnati players started a second consecutive FCC season-opening match: Mathieu Deplagne and Kendall Waston
  • The defenders – Mathieu Deplagne, Kendall Waston, Maikel van der Werff and Greg Garza – were the only starting position group from today’s match to have previously started matches as a unit … FC Cincinnati are now 1-1-1 all-time in matches when the foursome starts on the backline
  • Spencer Richey started for FC Cincinnati for the first time since July 21, 2019 against the New England Revolution … Richey sustained a back injury and did not return to the pitch for the final 12 matches of the 2019 campaign
  • When he replaced Yuya Kubo in the 79th minute, Kekuta Manneh made his first appearance for the Orange and Blue since Sept. 19, 2019, when FC Cincinnati played Atlanta United FC at Nippert Stadium … the winger suffered a hip flexor injury in that match … on Sept. 25, 2019, Manneh underwent a successful surgical procedure to repair a labral tear in his right shoulder … Manneh initially sustained the shoulder injury on July 6, 2019
  • No FC Cincinnati player was unavailable for today’s match because of injury
  • Joseph-Claude Gyau was unavailable for selection in today’s match because of a red-card suspension … the winger received a straight red card in FC Cincinnati’s 2019 season finale at D.C. United on Oct. 6, 2019

POSTGAME QUOTES

FC Cincinnati interim head coach Yoann Damet

On today’s performance

“We finished on a positive note, I think the second half was much more what we were expecting to show today. I think in the first half, you could see a lot of tension, a lot of mistakes on our end and we got punished. Much better showing in the second half, much more energy, much more understanding of what we wanted to do with the ball and we got rewarded by these two goals. I think it’s just frustrating to come   to Red Bull Arena, to score two goals and still not get a point.”

On why the two halves were distinctly different

“I think the positioning was better, I think the understanding was better. I think again, like on the ball, more simple, more efficient. We moved the ball a little bit quicker and I think we were able to open up space. I think also, we were able to lock the midfield a bit better. In the first half, we were exposed in between the lines … and we solved that issue in the second half. We knew that they would hurt us on the counterattack, and unfortunately, that’s what they did with the third goal.”

On what to improve upon ahead of the next match

“We need to learn from our mistakes, we need to grow as a group. We need to have these experiences to grow and keep improving. Looking back, there are some very good things in the second half, there are some that we definitely need to correct. We need to be better with managing these situations, but there are a lot of good things that show that if we keep working hard, we’re going to get some results.”

FC Cincinnati forward Jurgen Locadia

On trying to get involved in the attack

“Well, the coach told us before the game that they play three up front and they’ll get out of space by the defense and when I came in, I tried to exploit the space behind the defense and got lucky with my goal.” 

On his week and receiving a work visa to be eligible for the match

“It’s been a crazy week, a very tough week. No practice, just me and my personal trainer in Holland and I flew in yesterday, but I was happy with my debut. Like I said, this is the way to continue like we played in the second half for the game for next week.”

FC Cincinnati defender Kendall Waston

On FC Cincinnati’s performance

“I think we fight until the end. You guys could see that even going down 2-0 in the first half, second half we stepped and we got one goal early. So, we were in the momentum and in our best momentum they scored on us. So, it is a bit disappointing. But even then, we keep fighting until the end. (Unfortunately), we lost the game.”

On the team’s second-half response

“Yeah, we only give up that counter-attack. There’s a lot of games ahead in the season. I think the mentality is there and we have to keep focusing on those little details that are going to affect us or help us in the game.”

FC Cincinnati midfielder Haris Medunjanin

On FC Cincinnati’s performance

“I think the second half was much better than the first half. (In the first half) we were not connected, we did not know what we were doing. Red Bulls scored their goals how they normally play, it was not sharp enough … but in the second half, we recovered well, we fought for every ball and we made it difficult, We scored the early goal and then we had chances to make it 2-2. At the end, they score again, 3-1, and then we come back, but I think until the end we gave it a good fight. So, hopefully, for the next game, we know how to start.”

On if the team’s second-half response is promising

“Yeah, of course. We talk about people from the bench can change the game, and that’s what happened too. Jurgen came in, helped us, gave us a boost. But still, we need to work on the first half because we cannot go like that into the game. We have a lot of experienced guys who need to know when to play, when not to play, and in the first half we didn’t know what we were doing. That’s a mistake from us and hopefully we can adjust that in the second game.”

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