ORLANDO – Frankie Amaya’s first-ever MLS goal powered FC Cincinnati to their first victory of the 2020 season and the MLS is Back Tournament as they defeated Atlanta United FC, 1-0, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Thursday morning.
FC Cincinnati (1-3-0, 3 pts.) gained a man advantage in the 26th minute when Atlanta United’s (2-2-0, 6 pts.) Jake Mulraney picked up a second yellow card, forcing Atlanta to play with 10 men. Following a scoreless first half, the Orange and Blue broke the deadlock when Amaya curled a shot from outside the box beyond Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan in the 76th minute.
Just prior to the final whistle, Atlanta’s J.J. Williams was sent off with a straight red card for a foul on FC Cincinnati captain and defender Kendall Waston.
FCC earned their first shutout of the season as Przemysław Tytoń made three saves to keep a clean sheet.
FC Cincinnati will be back in action for their final group-stage match of the MLS is Back Tournament on Wednesday, July 22, when the team plays the New York Red Bulls. First kick is set for 8 p.m., and the game will be televised live on ESPN and streamed on WatchESPN.
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. For more information about the Orange and Blue’s activities and events at and supporting the MLS is Back Tournament, please visit the team’s website at fccincinnati.com, or the club’s tournament landing page at fccincinnati.com/MiBTournament.
Information about seating options at the club’s state-of-the-art West End Stadium – which will open in Spring 2021 – is now available at westendstadium.com. The priority deadline for premium seating deposits has passed, and deposits for traditional reserved seating will open later this year. For more information about 2021 season memberships, visit westendstadium.com or the stadium’s social properties on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram at @WestEndStadium, or by calling the team’s sales and service staff at 513-977-5425.
FC Cincinnati 1, Atlanta United FC 0,
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex | Orlando, Fla.
July 16, 2020
CIN – Frankie Amaya (Adrien Regattin) 76’
FC Cincinnati: Przemysław Tytoń, Mathieu Deplagne, Andrew Gutman, Kendall Waston ©, Maikel van der Werff (Tom Pettersson 70’), Haris Medunjanin, Adrien Regattin (Brandon Vazquez 85’), Caleb Stanko, Joseph-Claude Gyau (Saad Abdul-Salaam 85’), Frankie Amaya (Fatai Alashe 90+1’), Yuya Kubo
Bench: Spencer Richey, Bobby Edwards, Nick Hagglund, Kekuta Manneh, Zico Bailey, Tommy McCabe
Stats: Shots 12, Shots on goal 3, Saves 3, Corner kicks 5, Offsides 0, Fouls 19, Possession 53%, Passes 457 (88.8%)
Atlanta United FC: Brad Guzan, Miles Robinson, Fernando Meza (Anton Walkes 83’), Franco Escobar, Eric Remedi, Brooks Lennon, Jeff Larentowicz ©, Ezequiel Barco (Manuel Castro 64’), Adam Jahn (Edgar Castillo 34’) (Emerson Hyndman 83’), Gonzalo Martinez (J.J. Williams 83’), Jake Mulraney
Bench: Jon Gallagher, Alec Kann, Tyler Wolff, Brendan Moore, Mohammed Moore, Laurence Wyke, Matheus Rossetto
Stats: Shots 8, Shots on goal 3, Saves 2, Corner kicks 4, Offsides 1, Fouls 12, Possession 47%, Passes 393 (91.3%)
ATL – Jake Mulraney (caution) 12’
ATL – Jake Mulraney (caution, ejection) 26’
ATL – Ezequiel Barco (caution) 43’
CIN – Mathieu Deplagne (caution) 48’
CIN – Frankie Amaya (caution) 86’
ATL – Franco Escobar (caution) 88’
ATL – Miles Robinson (caution) 90+5’
ATL – J.J. Williams (ejection) 90+10’
CIN – Caleb Stanko (caution) 90+12’
Referee: Victor Rivas
Assistant Referees: Cameron Blanchard, Richard Gamache
4th Official: Tim Ford
VAR: Fotis Bazakos
AVAR: Apolinar Mariscal
Weather: 79 degrees and sunny
- With today’s win, the Orange and Blue are now 1-3-0 through four MLS matches … in addition, FC Cincinnati improve to 1-1-0 in the MLS is Back Tournament … FC Cincinnati’s all-time, all-competition record against Atlanta United FC sits at 1-2-1 … The Orange and Blue are now 1-3-0 against Eastern Conference opponents this season
- Frankie Amaya scored his first-ever MLS goal in the 76th minute of today’s match … the midfielder has made 23 career MLS appearances since being selected No. 1 overall by FC Cincinnati in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft
- Adrien Regattin recorded his second assist of the season on Amaya’s goal … the winger now leads the Orange and Blue in assists, both of which have come against Atlanta United FC … Regattin recorded the assist on Yuya Kubo’s goal against Atlanta on March 7
- Head coach Jaap Stam earned his first MLS win in today’s match
- Following a red card given to Atlanta United’s Jake Mulraney in the 26th minute, FC Cincinnati played with a man advantage for the first time in the 2020 season … the Orange and Blue have drawn three red cards all-time in MLS regular-season matches … prior to today’s contest, the most recent red card given to an FCC opponent was on Sept. 7, 2017, when Toronto FC’s Eriq Zavaleta received an ejection
- Przemysław Tytoń made three saves and earned his first shutout of the 2020 season in today’s match … the goalkeeper has recorded four shutouts in his MLS career dating back to last season
- Just five days after FC Cincinnati played their latest match in club history, the Orange and Blue have now played their earliest match in club history as well … today’s 9 a.m. first kick was the earliest time for an FC Cincinnati match dating back to the team’s inaugural USL Championship campaign in 2016 … prior to today’s contest, FC Cincinnati played at 1 p.m. on three separate occasions
- Head coach Jaap Stam made five changes to the starting lineup from the match against Columbus Crew SC on July 11 … Mathieu Deplagne, Joseph-Claude Gyau, Andrew Gutman, Caleb Stanko and Maikel van der Werff replaced Saad Abdul-Salaam, Siem de Jong, Greg Garza, Kekuta Manneh and Tom Pettersson
- Allan Cruz (ankle), Siem de Jong (groin), Greg Garza (hamstring) Jurgen Locadia (quad) and Jimmy McLaughlin (ankle) were unavailable for selection because of injury
FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam
On today’s match
“It’s been a very good win, of course, for us. Everybody knows in what situation we are as a club and starting a new project, building the club and also the team and eventually getting success. We started this tournament with a loss against Columbus, our first official game. Players needed to get used to a lot of things, a lot of players didn't play the game for seven or eight months, even. So, you can imagine that if you do that for the first time again, nothing goes like how it needs to -- certain things will do, but you can’t keep them up, which is I think very normal. We changed a couple of things in our setup today, playing again against one of the strongest teams in the league, Atlanta -- Columbus is that as well, I think we’ve got one of the toughest groups, you might say that -- but we managed to do very well. Our setup was a little bit more defensively. We gave them time on the ball, so it looks like they had a lot of possession, but couldn’t create a lot of opportunities. We were very calm, disciplined in what we needed to do and waiting for the moments to come out on the break at times. But, even in possession at times, we made it difficult for them and they needed to make choices and that’s what we aimed at and we succeeded in doing that. Eventually, when we came out a couple of times, they made a couple of fouls and got a red card, which I think was a good decision by the referee, could’ve given a couple more I think, but that doesn’t happen unfortunately. I still think after when we played against 10, we were very composed. Eventually created a couple of very good opportunities … you know after we score the one-nil that the opposition is going to press a little bit more, it is normal that we wanted to defend that one goal of course to get the three points. They’ve done that great. The players have been working very hard. I think they’ve been looking for this little success -- and I’m saying little, if you look at the game it’s a big success -- but it’s a small thing in a step going forward. We needed this as well because the players deserved it. The last couple of weeks, they’ve been working very hard to get where we are now. We still need to make a lot of steps, and we’re aware of it, but this is a good win and I think if you look at the overall picture, you can also say ‘Okay, maybe they deserved it as well.”
On if and how the red card changed his approach tactically and how he liked the team’s performance with the man advantage
“I already liked it when we were playing 11v11, because then you could see that Atlanta had difficulties as well. So, it’s not only when we played against 10, also when we played 11-v-11. We came out and we gave them the ball, a bit more passive, I’m going to say it to you as well and everybody again, we need to be realistic in where we are as a team. If you play against one of the best teams in the league, you cannot think ‘Okay, we need to press high and we need to have a lot more possession or we need to create at least 10 chances.’ That’s never going to happen in soccer. So, in our setup, I think we did it very well. Eventually, when you play against ten men, then yeah, you can keep the ball a little bit longer because they are going to be dropping in, they don’t want to give away spaces for us to run in or to play these balls through, and we did that very well. We created opportunities. The understanding and everybody needs to know as well, the heat over here is not normal I think to play games in, but we need to do it. The humidity is enormous so that’s why we’ve got two breaks every 45 minutes as well, so the players overall did a very good job.”
On whether the team will keep using the same formation
“Well, I already said in the beginning when I did interviews with the press, with you guys, that I like my team to play two systems, in a 4-3-3 and 5-3-2 or 5-2-3. Today, we did it a little bit different in the setup because I think it is good for players that you can switch and you don't always have to focus on one thing. Then you can make it difficult for the opposition and that’s what happened today. Even if we played 11-v-11, it would’ve been a little bit different, but we still had an opportunity even then. But, you never know how it goes, because you need to talk afterwards. The game went how it went and we did it very well. In our run with Joe (Joseph-Claude Gyau) going forward, they needed to make a foul on him, the defender’s (Jake Mulraney) second yellow card. That is because they did it well, that we did it well. We made use of that, and eventually you get cards and make a lot of fouls. That is what happened today. You need to play against 10 men, which a lot of people think is easier, as well, to play against them. But if you play against them and the opposition is dropping in more and more, you need to be patient. I think the team’s done it very well.”
FC Cincinnati midfielder Frankie Amaya
On scoring his first professional goal and earning the win
“It was my first goal in like 27 games. I was getting a little impatient, but I got my first goal and I’m very excited. All glory to God. But I’m more excited that we got a win and staying in this tournament and competing.”
On how the red card changed the match
“Obviously, it gives an advantage. It’s 11-v-10. There’s more space and time to play. We try to keep the ball a little bit more because we try to outrun them and them get tired, so we can exploit the middle or the wide areas to give more space and help us a lot because we had a man up.
On his role with the team
“I think my role is very big defensively, but offensively, too. I think today I showed I can be a more offensive player, but I could also track back and help the center back and the left back, and I think I play a big role in this team. Everybody’s in it together and this is why we pulled off the win today. We worked together as a unit and we pulled off the win. Now, we look at Red Bulls.
FC Cincinnati defender Kendall Waston
On his thoughts on FC Cincinnati’s first win
“I think the entire team did a great job. Everybody was focused on doing what we practiced during the week, just being in the shape, being aggressive and looking for that counter-attack. So, we know we have powerful guys on the sides. We have to be aggressive on the middle and the guys with the quality in the mid-half, we know they can create chances. You see that in the score of Frankie (Amaya). I think it’s a great win for us. We needed it and now we just have to keep focusing on the next game because this doesn’t end here.”
On whether this was the club’s best win in MLS
“Well, it’s part of the process. We have been struggling a lot. We have been in difficult moments. We know that working hard, sooner or later, wins are going to come. This is a process that is just starting, so we have to be patient as well. This is part of it. This is our second game with the coaches. We didn’t have any friendly games to just know what to do in this new formation, and I think that we are just going to keep on improving day-by-day. Hopefully with the games going on, we can go in the way we want it.”
On the team’s response following the match against Columbus
“We have great players in every position. The thing is that we were sometimes unlucky with the results, and we know the quality that we have. We just have to be focused and believe, especially believe, in what we are doing. No matter if we down or up in the game, we have to keep with the same mindset. So, this is a great feeling. Winning always brings happiness. It is better to fix several things winning than losing.”