Late goal not enough in Atlanta

ATLANTA – Despite cutting a two-goal deficit in half for a second consecutive match, FC Cincinnati fell to Atlanta United FC, 2-1, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday night. After the Orange and Blue went down by two goals, Yuya Kubo scored his first FC Cincinnati goal to narrow the deficit for the visitors.

Atlanta United opened the scoring in the first half when Ezequiel Barco finished a low cross from Pity Martinez in the 22nd minute. Following halftime, Emerson Hyndman extended the home side’s lead when he scored his second goal in as many matches. Kubo tallied FCC’s lone goal of the match from distance to narrow the deficit, but the Orange and Blue were unable to find an equalizer.

Joseph-Claude Gyau earned a start to make his season debut and played 61 minutes in tonight’s match, while Jurgen Locadia made his first MLS start and played a full 90 minutes for FC Cincinnati.

FC Cincinnati will return to the pitch for their home opener at Nippert Stadium on Saturday, March 14, when the team hosts D.C. United. First kick is set for 5:30 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 Season tickets, mini plans and individual-game tickets are on sale at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-5425 (KICK).

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.

 

Atlanta United FC 2, FC Cincinnati 1

Mercedes-Benz Stadium | Atlanta, Ga.

March 7, 2020

 

SCORING SUMMARY

ATL – Ezequiel Barco (Pity Martinez) 21’

ATL – Emerson Hyndman (Ezequiel Barco, Pity Martinez) 55’

CIN – Yuya Kubo (Adrien Regattin) 64’

FC Cincinnati: Spencer Richey, Mathieu Deplagne, Maikel van der Werff, Kendall Waston ©, Greg Garza (Andrew Gutman 80’), Haris Medunjanin, Frankie Amaya (Brandon Vazquez 80’), Allan Cruz, Joseph-Claude Gyau (Adrien Regattin 61’), Yuya Kubo, Jürgen Locadia
 

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

Stats: Shots 14, Shots on goal 4, Saves 2, Corner kicks 3, Offsides 1, Fouls 16, Possession 42.2%, Passes 420 (81.4%)

 

Atlanta United FC: Brad Guzan ©, Anton Walkes, Fernando Meza, Laurence Wyke (George Campbell 44’), Jake Mulraney (Jeff Larentowicz 80’), Eric Remedi, Emerson Hyndman, Brooks Lennon, Ezequiel Barco, Pity Martinez (Matheus Rossetto 67’), Adam Jahn

Bench: Alec Kann, George Bello, Mo Adams, Luiz Nascimento, 

Stats: Shots 8, Shots on goal 4, Saves 3, Corner kicks 2, Offsides 4, Fouls 9, Possession 57.8%, Passes 596 (57.8%)

 

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

CIN – Kendall Waston (caution) 4’

CIN – Greg Garza (caution) 34’

CIN – Frankie Amaya (caution) 53’

ATL – Matheus Rossetto (caution) 75’

CIN – Allan Cruz (caution) 89’

 

Referee: Robert Sibiga

Assistant Referees: Eric Weisbrod, Gjovalin Bori

4th Official: Elvis Osmanovic

VAR: Edvin Jurisevic

AVAR: Jozef Batko

 

Weather: 57 degrees and sunny

Attendance: 69,301

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • 18’ | Pity Martinez threaded a through ball from the edge of the attacking third between FC Cincinnati’s two central defenders and onto the left foot of Ezequiel Barco. Barco attempted to flick a right-footed shot beyond Spencer Richey, but the goalkeeper was able to make a kick save to keep the scoreline level
  • 21’ | ATL GOAL - Martinez dribbled down the right flank beyond Kendall Waston and sent a low cross into the six-yard box, where Barco was able to beat Mathieu Deplagne to the ball, connecting with his right foot to give the Five Stripes the first goal of the match
  • 41’ | Frankie Amaya played a long lead pass to Greg Garza from the top of the center circle. From the left flank, Garza whipped in a cross to Allan Cruz, whose header forced a save from Brad Guzan to keep the Orange and Blue off the scoresheet
  • 45’+4’ | Just prior to the halftime whistle, Yuya Kubo sent a cross from the left flank to the six-yard box, where Joseph-Claude Gyau was able to get his right foot on the ball to put a shot on target, but Guzan was able to deflect the ball beyond the endline
  • 49’ | Kubo dribbled through the attacking third into the 18-yard box, where he sent a pass to Jürgen Locadia who was positioned atop the penalty area. The Dutchman sent a right-footed shot right at Guzan, who was able to cover the ball and make the save
  • 55’ | ATL GOAL - From the left flank, Barco sent a pass into the penalty area to Emerson Hyndman, who took three touches and sent a right-footed shot inside Richey’s near post to extend Atlanta’s lead
  • 64’ | CIN GOAL - Adrien Regattin received a pass approximately 30 yards from net, took three touches, and sent a pass to Yuya Kubo who was positioned a few yards beyond the 18-yard box. Kubo took two touches and sent a knuckling right-footed shot beyond a frozen Guzan.
  • 75’ | Kubo sent a cross from the left flank to just inside the penalty area to the feet of Mathieu Deplagne. The right back played a backheel pass to Adrien Regattin, who fired a left-footed shot on frame, requiring Guzan to make a diving save

 

GAME NOTES

  • With tonight’s loss, the Orange and Blue are now 0-2-0 through two MLS matches … in addition, FC Cincinnati drop to 0-2-0 in away matches … FC Cincinnati’s all-time, all-competition record against Atlanta United FC sits at 0-4-0 … The Orange and Blue are now 0-2-0 against Eastern Conference opponents
  • Yuya Kubo recorded his first goal for the Orange and Blue in tonight’s match … Kubo is the 15th player in club history to score a goal … the goal was FC Cincinnati’s first strike from outside the box this season … Each of FC Cincinnati’s first three goals were scored by the club’s three Designated Players
  • Adrien Regattin recorded the assist on Kubo’s 64th-minute goal … Regattin became the third FCC player to record an assist this season, alongside Greg Garza and Brandon Vazquez
  • Haris Medunjanin made his 100th career MLS regular-season appearance in today’s match … the midfielder logged 98 regular-season appearances with the Philadelphia Union in his first three MLS campaigns … Medunjanin has made at least 30 appearances and has logged at least 2,500 minutes in each of his three MLS seasons … the next time he makes the starting lineup, the former Bosnia and Herzegovina international will make his 100th career MLS regular-season start
  • Jürgen Locadia made his first FC Cincinnati start in tonight’s match … Locadia recorded three shots, including one on goal, in a 90-minute shift …  the forward played 26 minutes as a substitute in FCC’s season opener at New York on March 1
  • Brandon Vazquez made his first-ever appearance against Atlanta United, his former club, when he replaced Frankie Amaya in the 80th minute … Vazquez made 32 appearances, including seven starts, scoring three goals and adding two assists for Atlanta from 2017-19.
  • Interim head coach Yoann Damet made two changes to the starting lineup from the match at the New York Red Bulls on March 1 … Joseph-Claude Gyau replaced Adrien Regattin on the right wing, and Jürgen Locadia replaced Brandon Vazquez at forward
  • Additionally, there was only one change to the 18-man matchday roster … winger Joseph-Claude Gyau replaced winger Kekuta Manneh
  • Bobby Edwards (foot) was unavailable for selection because of injury

 

POSTGAME QUOTES

FC Cincinnati interim head coach Yoann Damet

Overall thoughts on the match  

“Disappointed for the guys. I think they worked hard, I think they respected the plan. I think some details make the difference. I haven’t seen the clips yet from the first half. I think there is probably at least one PK, that’s little details, but that’s also us, like on the two goals. I’m happy about the reaction, I’m happy also about the overall performance. I think showing that character away from home – especially in Atlanta – is good. So, we’re going to build on that for sure.”

On if battling back after trailing by two goals shows promise in the team

“Yes, of course. The group never gives up. I think the group knows that they are capable of a lot more. We know that it is a tough start of the season and playing here in Atlanta. We had a plan and the guys respected the plan to a T, so I was very, very pleased with that. Again, some details on the two goals, we got back in the game with that goal in the second half and we kept on pushing, creating some opportunities. (We) got unlucky in the final third in some points, but like I said, I’m pleased with the performance, It shows growth. And getting back in the game also shows some good character.”

On Frankie Amaya playing in more of a defensive role

“Frankie is very responsible. He’s a young player, but he’s very responsible. He understood the job that we gave him today. I feel he did really well managing the half spaces, being close to the backline but also be able to put some pressure on Martinez or Barco in his zone was very good. Allan gives us more longer runs, so he’s able to step out of the line and do this in 10 (to) 15 meter runs to put pressure, but also very interesting when we recover the ball to project himself forward and to get into spaces.”

On returning home for the match against D.C. United

“Of course. Playing at home is different, very different. Having the fans, having the support behind us, I think that 12th man behind us is huge. We knew it was going to be a tough start to the season, playing away New York, that is also a team that has played for a while together that has a strong identity, and then playing away in Atlanta. Now, we don’t feel sorry for ourselves, we are working hard, we have a plan, we stick to it. The guys are improving, the guys believe in each other. We believe in the team, and We build on that.

 

FC Cincinnati midfielder Haris Medunjanin

On tonight’s match

“We played a good game, they just get two chances and they score. We need to be sharp for the 90 minutes. I think we kept the ball, we created chances. Maybe the referee could put the ball on the penalty for us; it was unlucky over there. But overall, we didn’t give much chances, like last game. I think we stayed more compact, we played as a team, we fight together and hopefully we can build from this.

On his 100th MLS appearance the day before his 35th birthday:

“Yeah, it’s nice. Of course, you want to play games, and today is 100 games, but tomorrow we forget about this and we go further. We have a home game right now and we have to win that game. Hopefully we have the fans behind us, we’re going to fight again like today.

 

FC Cincinnati winger Yuya Kubo (via translator)

On his first MLS goal for FC Cincinnati

“First of all, thank you. It was great to be able to score my first goal, but hopefully I can contribute to the team with more assists later on.”

On the goal

“It was great to score, but because we were losing we had to switch off right away and get back to the half-field line.”

On whether the team has improved since the first week

“A lot better since last week, especially defensively. Even though we conceded a couple of goals, we were able to do what we worked on in training this week.”

 

FC Cincinnati midfielder Frankie Amaya

On tonight’s match

“We had a pretty good game. It was an unlucky result. We brought good intensity. It’s hard to play in Atlanta away, but I felt the energy was there.”

On the team’s growth

“It has been hard the last couple of months, but we are slowly getting to it. There’s new players, new identities, we have to get used to each other and just got to work for each other.”

On his role as a defensive midfielder

“Whatever they want me to play, I am going to play. That’s just what is better for the team and that is what we did.”

On how physically demanding the game was

“Yeah I mean (Ezequiel) Barco and Pity (Martinez) are pretty good on the ball and connect with each other. They’re pretty good. It’s hard but you’ve just got to do it and grind it out.”