ORLANDO – Two goals and a clean sheet propelled FC Cincinnati to their second win in as many matches and an advancement to the MLS is Back Tournament Knockout Stage by defeating the New York Red Bulls, 2-0, on Wednesday night.
With tonight’s victory, the Orange and Blue finish second in Group E with a total of six points in three group-stage matches. FCC will play against the Group F winner on Tuesday, July 28.
FC Cincinnati (2-3-0, 6 pts.) opened the scoring in the 43rd minute when Yuya Kubo’s shot from the top of the 18-yard box beat David Jensen at the near post. The Orange and Blue doubled the lead in the 56th minute when New York’s (2-2-1, 7 pts.) Florian Valot deflected a corner kick from Haris Medunjanin into his net for an own goal.
FCC earned a second consecutive win and shutout for the first time since they recorded consecutive shutout victories against the Portland Timbers and New England Revolution in March of 2019.
FC Cincinnati will be back in action for the MLS is Back Tournament Knockout Stage on Tuesday, July 28, when the team plays the first-place finisher from Group F. First kick is set for 10:30 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 2, New York Red Bulls 0
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex | Orlando, Fla.
July 22, 2020
CIN – Yuya Kubo (unassisted) 43’
CIN – Florian Valot (own goal) 57’
FC Cincinnati: Przemysław Tytoń, Mathieu Deplagne, Andrew Gutman, Kendall Waston © (Nick Hagglund 88’), Tom Pettersson, Haris Medunjanin, Adrien Regattin (Brandon Vazquez 66’), Caleb Stanko (Fatai Alashe 88’), Joseph-Claude Gyau (Saad Abdul-Salaam 90+3’), Frankie Amaya, Yuya Kubo (Siem de Jong 66’)
Bench: Bobby Edwards, Greg Garza, Allan Cruz, Zico Bailey, Tommy McCabe, Kekuta Manneh
Stats: Shots 4, Shots on goal 2, Saves 4, Corner kicks 1, Offsides 1, Fouls 14, Possession 32.2%, Passes 302 (69.9%)
New York Red Bulls: David Jensen, Amro Tarek, Kyle Duncan, Jason Pendant, Aaron Long, Kaku (Ben Mines 64’), Omir Fernandez (Tom Barlow 80’), Florian Valot (Jared Stroud 64’), Cristian Casseres Jr. (Marc Rzatkowski 64’), Sean Davis ©, Daniel Royer (Brian White 80’)
Bench: Ryan Meara, Kendall McIntosh, Patrick Seagrist, Sean Nealis, Alex Muyl, Tim Parker, Mandela Egbo
Stats: Shots 19, Shots on goal 4, Saves 1, Corner kicks 9, Offsides 1, Fouls 13, Possession 67.8%, Passes 599 (86.8%)
CIN – Mathieu Deplagne (caution) 39’
NY – Jason Pendant (caution) 60’
Referee: Marcos DeOliveira
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Kieso, Ian McKay
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu
VAR: Dave Gantar
AVAR: Felisha Mariscal
Weather: 79 degrees and mostly sunny
- With tonight’s win, the Orange and Blue are now 2-3-0 through five MLS matches … in addition, FC Cincinnati improve to 2-1-0 in the MLS is Back Tournament … FC Cincinnati’s all-time, all-competition record against the New York Red Bulls improves to 1-4-0 … The Orange and Blue are now 2-3-0 against Eastern Conference opponents this season
- FC Cincinnati have advanced to the MLS is Back Tournament Knockout Stage as the second-best team in Group E … the Orange and Blue will square off with the first-place finisher from Group F on Tuesday, July 28 at 10:30 p.m. ET
- The Orange and Blue improve to 2-0-0 this season when leading in a match
- For the first time this season, FC Cincinnati have won consecutive matches … in the club’s inaugural MLS season, the Orange and Blue won consecutive matches on two separate occasions, most recently at Chicago on July 6, 2019 and against Houston on July 13
- FC Cincinnati recorded their first multi-goal win of the season in tonight’s contest … it was FCC’s third multi-goal win in the club’s MLS history and first since FC Cincinnati defeated the New England Revolution, 2-0, on March 24, 2019
- Tonight’s match marks FC Cincinnati’s first-ever win against the New York Red Bulls across all competitions … the two sides first met in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup Semifinals, when New York won in extra time, 3-2 … New York won each of the first three MLS meetings between the two sides
- Yuya Kubo scored his second MLS goal and first of the MLS is Back Tournament in tonight’s match … additionally, the strike was FC Cincinnati’s first goal scored in the first half in 2020
- Head coach Jaap Stam made one change to the starting lineup from the match against Atlanta United FC on July 16 … Tom Pettersson replaced Maikel van der Werff
- Jurgen Locadia (quad), Jimmy McLaughlin (ankle), Spencer Richey (concussion) and Maikel van der Werff (groin) were unavailable for selection because of injury
FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam
On today’s match
“Yeah, of course we are very happy that we won two games, got two clean sheets and we scored a couple of goals that gave us six points. And also, that gives us confidence. Again, today was a difficult game, we knew that from the start. Playing against a very good team, good players, but also as a team working very well together. They’ve done that for the last couple of seasons already, so we spoke about it before and we needed to give everything defending-wise as well to not give away too many chances or open chances and to wait for the moment ourselves to come out and be decisive and score that goal. And that's what we've done twice, which was very good. You can also see during the game in the beginning they had a lot of possession of course – well during the whole game they had a lot of possession, because we gave them that possession as well, because that was our strategy. And at times of course we could hold the ball. Sometimes, we were a bit sloppy in our passing and giving it away too early, but of course that happens as well, because they want to press us very aggressively at times. But I think overall, it's a very good performance from our side. It's again, like I said, a win, three points, gives us confidence. Going to go to the next phase. If you're looking at the table, (the win) gives us six points, which is very positive. In the process that we're in, we're still in like sort of in a preseason in week four, you know already against these two very big teams, very big, very good opponents, getting this success tells you something about this team as well and the mentality that's in there.”
On the team’s response in the final two matches of the group stage
“The first game was a difficult one, because it was our first game, and playing an official match against a very good team. Also, in that particular game, we wanted to see where we stand at that point, where the players were individually. We needed to have a look at the opposition and how their quality was. Well you've seen it, they've got nine points. They've beaten everybody within the group, so you can say “Okay, we've lost against a very good team, but we still created the first chance to score which we didn't do.” So, unfortunately from that loss, we spoke about it. We trained a little bit different also in the system that we needed to play. By getting to know your players and the team as well, you're always looking at the coach. What's for now the best way to maybe play and that gives us that little bit of success as well then, hopefully, from that success gives us the confidence and then we can start building from there. That's what we're trying to do. You know the guys, they picked it up very well. The players are very positive. Everybody wants to play, which is very good. They’re sticking together, there’s communication, the work rate’s there, they're patient at times as well, which you need to be against these teams that we’re playing. I think everybody saw the work that's been put in with the team with the players, it’s looking promising.”
On the team’s ability to defend while under pressure
“We knew from the start they were going to put crosses in and that's what we said. You know, it's a team that of course wants to put a lot of energy into the game, especially when you're pressing high, other teams have experienced that as well. Then they've got a lot of runners up front with pace and quality, so they can make it difficult like that … We've got in defense, the back five that we started today. We've got strong headers as well, even the midfield players can do very well in doing that. So, not the first half. The first half, they tried to play through it, and they couldn't find a way. And the second half, of course they made a couple of subs, and then they eventually started to put more crosses in and then playing with wide man. And that's what you need to handle, that's what you need to deal with. So, we spoke about the scenarios and I think the players, they've done that very well. And of course, there's always that one or two opportunities that you give away, you know that they can head the ball, but Titi (Przemysław Tytoń) was great as well in stopping a couple of shots and headers.”
On the team being able to adapt while missing players because of injuries
“Well, the key is working together. You know, if you have players and you have only individuals, then you're never going to win a game. So, you need to have – there’s cohesion between the players in the team within the roster, and not only the eleven who are playing, but everybody within the roster needs to understand the plan and needs to be ready to do their part in doing that as well. And, you know, and then that's what’s very important I think for this team at the moment. And there's a lot of ability in there, as well and by eventually, you know, getting the results that we have and the confidence growing, hopefully we can grow from this and then become even better defending-wise but also going forward, be more dominant.”
FC Cincinnati midfielder Haris Medunjanin
On tonight’s win
“It was a good game from us. We respected the plan that when we talked about it in the locker room and the whole week because we know that with one point we can go through. But when you want to play (for) one point, most of the time you lose. We gave everything we had. In the first game when we lost, we still believed in our team and sometimes you need to change something. We did that and played with five defenders. Everybody was respecting the plan and then you can make a result then. You win against Atlanta, you win against New York. In the beginning of the tournament, nobody gave us a chance, so we proved them wrong. We showed the league that we are a good team, especially when we fight for each other. In our team, we don’t have, like, star players like others, so we need to do it as a team, and that’s what we did today. We showed that we can battle with any team in the league.”
On the corner kick that lead to FCC’s second goal
“We trained yesterday before the game; we had some corner kicks. We practicing what we wanted and the defenders show today to block the goalkeeper. For me, it was to whip the ball very hard to the first post and most of the time, the first guy don’t touch it. With a little touch, it can always go in goal, and that’s what happened today. We was a little bit lucky over there. We had like one corner and we had directly goal, so I think we should be happy with that.”
On what comes next for the team
“We knew the group stage give us points, so we took six points in this group. Nobody expected that from us, so we proved everybody wrong. Now, anything can happen. In the knockout phase, it’s one game and it’s possible, especially if you play like this compact and we fight for each other, we can make any team difficult for them to get through us. In the first game, we started, like, 15 minutes, 20 minutes very good, but after that we dropped the level and there was a lot of space. Columbus is also a good team, you know? After that, we picked it up and changed the system a little bit and when everybody is all in, you can do a lot of good things in this league. The confidence is back in the team. The last season for Cincinnati was a difficult season. Now, when you start to win, you start to believe in each other. Anybody who comes inside, he gives 100% because everybody wants to be a part of this. When you win, you have a positive team. But you need to do it together. Not only 11 players, everybody in the squad is important. We have a couple players that are injured and still we can be better and better. I’m looking forward to the knockout stage and we can prove the MLS that they can count on us.”
FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń
On tonight’s match
“Today’s game was very important for us. We knew before the game that we need to get points and I don’t think anyone from the group even thought of draw. We want to win the game. After winning the game against Atlanta (United FC), we trained hard during the next days and we knew we can continue to grow up. And, we did it today. We played good as a team. We get the result. We have six points and we are happy. The game wasn’t easy, especially in the second half, when we gave up possession to the opponent. I thought we played good as a team, played very compact, and we didn’t give up anything. So, I am really proud of the team and happy. ”
On his confidence in his defenders
“Yes, that is true. They had a lot of crosses, but this happened because we scored two goals and we get back a little bit, so we gave them space to do it. We worked very hard last week to know how to defend as a team, as a block, and we did it this day and last time as well. I think we did a good job. I feel confident with my defenders. Yeah, we didn’t give up anything. We cleaned the crosses. The other team (New York Red Bulls) gets more, more frustrated, and we won the game. We are happy. We are going to go this way.”
On the two-game winning streak
“Yeah, last season was the first season for FC Cincinnati, and for most of the guys in the team in the MLS. We didn’t reach what we expected, but now it is a new season, different season. I can say strange season, but we all have to deal with that. We came to Orlando with a new, fresh start. I don’t count the first games we played this season. We lost against Atlanta (United FC). Then, we lost against New York (Red Bulls). Now, we get revenge. The work we did, the sacrifice we gave for the last weeks, can pay. Right now is the moment for us to believe in our quality, to believe that we can still grow up, and we can play like that. Sometimes the games goes in a different way. You can play as you train, as you want, but you have to adapt. Today, there were moments that the game wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t nice, but the result is the most important thing for us, especially right now. We did it and we are going to enjoy this moment.”