CINCINNATI – For a third consecutive home match, FC Cincinnati registered a shutout and played Chicago Fire FC to a scoreless draw at Nippert Stadium on Wednesday night. The Orange and Blue have now recorded five clean sheets in the club’s last six MLS regular-season matches, matching the total set during the 2019 season.
FC Cincinnati (2-4-3, 9 pts.) nearly opened the scoring in the first minute. Haris Medunjanin sent a free kick into the 18-yard box, where Maikel van der Werff’s unchallenged header required Fire FC goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to make a diving save.
Chicago Fire FC (2-5-2, 8 pts.) had what appeared to be a dangerous chance in the 36th minute, but were unable to find a breakthrough goal of their own. Left back Miguel Ángel Navarro sent a low cross into the box, but a mishit shot from midfielder Álvaro Medrán caused the ball to bounce off striker Robert Berić and roll behind the endline for an FC Cincinnati goal kick.
Following tonight’s clean sheet performance, FCC goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń remains tied with Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper Eloy Room with an MLS-leading five shutouts on the season.
FC Cincinnati will be back in action on Sunday, Sept. 6, when the team travels to MAPFRE Stadium to play Columbus Crew SC. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on WSTR 64, carried on the radio on WDJO (99.5 FM, 107.9 FM and 1480 AM), streamed regionally on fccincinnati.com/stream, out of market on ESPN+, while an audio stream will be available at TuneIn (WDJO) and fccincinnati.com.
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. Additionally, fans are encouraged to download the team’s official mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.
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 month. 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 0, Chicago Fire FC 0
Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio
September 2, 2020
FC Cincinnati: Przemysław Tytoń, Mathieu Deplagne, Kendall Waston ©, Maikel van der Werff, Greg Garza (Andrew Gutman 76’), Frankie Amaya, Haris Medunjanin (Caleb Stanko 86’), Siem de Jong (Yuya Kubo 63’), Joseph-Claude Gyau, Adrien Regattin (Allan Cruz 63’), Jürgen Locadia
Bench: Bobby Edwards, Zico Bailey, Nick Hagglund, Tom Pettersson, Brandon Vazquez
Stats: Shots 8, Shots on goal 3, Saves 1, Corner kicks 2, Offsides 3, Fouls 12, Possession 52%, Passes 455 (81.3%)
Chicago Fire FC: Bobby Shuttleworth, Boris Sekulić, Francisco Calvo ©, Miguel Navarro (Jonathan Bornstein 62’), Alvaro Medran, Przemyslaw Frankowski (Elliot Collier 62’), Mauricio Pineda (Wyatt Omsberg 90’+2’), Gaston Gimenez, Ignacio Aliseda, Fabian Herbers (Djordje Mihailovic 62’), Robert Berić
Bench: Connor Sparrow, Brandt Bronico, Djordje Mihailovic, Micheal Azira, Andre Reynolds II, Brian Gutierrez,
Stats: Shots 13, Shots on goal 1, Saves 3, Corner kicks 6, Offsides 0, Fouls 17, Possession 48%, Passes 412 (80.3%)
CIN – Mathieu Deplagne (caution) 90’+6’
CHI – Jonathan Bornstein (caution) 90’+7’
Referee: Marcos DeOliveira
Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski, Jeffrey Swartzel
4th Official: Ismir Pekmic
VAR: Sorin Stoica
AVAR: Craig Lowry
Weather: 79 degrees and cloudy
- With tonight’s draw, the Orange and Blue are now 2-4-3 through nine MLS matches … FCC are now 0-0-3 in matches played in Nippert Stadium … FC Cincinnati’s all-time, all-competition record against Chicago Fire FC moves to 1-1-3… The Orange and Blue are now 2-4-3 against Eastern Conference opponents this season
- Additionally, FC Cincinnati are an unbeaten 2-0-2 in rematches against opponents … FCC have now played the New York Red Bulls, Atlanta United FC, Columbus Crew SC and Chicago Fire FC twice this season … after losing to each of those opponents in the first meetings, FCC responded with either a win or draw in the following contest
- With tonight’s shutout, FC Cincinnati have equaled the shutout total they set during their inaugural MLS season in 2019 … with five shutouts in nine matches, the Orange and Blue have matched their single-season shutout record from last year in 25 fewer matches
- FC Cincinnati now have the longest scoreless streak recorded in MLS this season … FCC have played 394 consecutive minutes in MLS regular-season matches without scoring a goal … the mark surpasses the previous record of 345 minutes without a goal set by Atlanta United FC
- Haris Medunjanin made his first start since the Orange and Blue’s MLS is Back Tournament knockout stage match against the Portland Timbers on July 28 … additionally, it his first MLS regular-season start since the MLS is Back Tournament group stage match against the New York Red Bulls on July 22 … last week, Medunjanin made just his second substitute appearance in 105 career MLS appearances
- Greg Garza made his first start since the first group stage match of the MLS is Back Tournament against Columbus Crew SC on July 11 … Garza completed 38-of-43 passes for a passing accuracy of 88.4%
- Head coach Jaap Stam made two changes to the starting lineup from the club’s most recent match against Columbus Crew SC on Aug. 29 … Greg Garza replaced Andrew Gutman and Haris Medunjanin replaced Yuya Kubo
- Saad Abdul-Salaam and Jimmy McLaughlin were excluded from the matchday roster because of injuries
FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam
On the tonight’s game
“I think again that it was a game with opportunities created and we did not give a lot of opportunities to the opposition. We defended, again, very well, keeping that clean sheet which is very important for us. In the first half we created a lot of opportunities and we didn’t make the most of them, so we didn’t score. That always makes it difficult because you have to be cautious of the opposition. They have plenty of ability. We made sure to not give them time and space to play in or create opportunities. It is still a worry when they get forward and move the ball to the top of the box, you never know what will happen. The team dealt very well with the majority of situations and didn’t give the chances to them. With the way we played, the set up we’ve done, we are very happy. What we have shown as well. Of course, you're disappointed that we didn’t come away with three points.”
On the opportunities created
“Yeah, it’s still hard to believe, isn’t it? In a way it is hard to believe, but I think we have tried in what we have done, in how we have approached the game, in how we defended, but also in how we played on the ball going forward and creating opportunities. In the first half we created several (chances) to score a goal at the end of the first half. Well, in the second half we had a very good one with (Jürgen Locadia) as well. Unfortunately, we didn’t score. You always know when you can’t do that, it can be difficult cause the opposition has quality as well. They go forward. They can make it difficult for you. They scored that goal, but it was a handball, which I saw already before. You always need to be aware of what they’re doing, and towards the end of the game, we always want to go forward. You see the players getting tired as well. Sometimes the spaces get a little bit bigger, but overall it is a good performance. We are happy with that. Unfortunately, and it is a shame, we couldn’t get the three points.”
On the offensive progress of the team
“We always speak about this, about offensively going forward, creating opportunities. That is what we have done today. We played against a good team. It is not always easy to create a lot of opportunities. The ones you get, you have to finish. That happened today, again. Which we didn’t do unfortunately. Creating five or six very good opportunities is quite a lot in a game against this side. We are happy with that. Of course, after a game like this, you’re always happy in what we’ve done, in how we approached this game, how we played, but you’re also disappointed you didn’t win it. That is how we need to be. So, we go on from this and hopefully the next game is going to be better again.”
FC Cincinnati midfielder Haris Medunjanin
On being back on the pitch
“Yeah, i am happy to be back. I came here to help the team and I think today we showed that we are a good team and we created a lot of chances. In soccer, if you don’t score your chances, it is going to be a difficult game till the end and that is what happened today. We started very well in the first half and created two or three 100-percent chances and if one goes in, then it gives you an opportunity to score maybe the second and third. Like I said earlier, soccer is a game of scoring goals and if you don’t score goals it is going to be a difficult game.”
On midfielders setting up scoring chances
“It’s not only the midfielders. I think everybody today was locked in and we didn’t give a lot of chances to Chicago and we played some good soccer today. We were confident on the ball and our backline was dribbling in with the ball and finding Siem de Jong in good spaces where he has the quality to be behind the strikers and then find Jürgen (Locadia) and Adrien (Regattin) up front. I think in the first half we showed we could play good soccer if we believe in each other and play with confidence. It’s always difficult when you come to a new team and what is happening in 2020 with all the stops and with new players and new coaches, it takes some time. I think we should be proud that we again kept a clean sheet, but we also showed we could create chances and that we were a better team than Chicago.”
On being back with the team
“It’s good to be back with the team. I enjoy playing soccer. I think I can help this team, even if I’m not playing or even on the bench. If I get my opportunity to help the team and try to create some chances. We can play better soccer. I think today we showed that today, especially in the first half when we created a lot of chances. Like I said before, if you don’t score it’s going to be a tough game. I think the only thing missing right now is a goal, and I think I would be more worried if we don’t create chances, but today we created a lot of chances. I’m proud of this team. Hopefully, we can show on Sunday against Columbus (Crew SC) that we can score and play as a team.”
FC Cincinnati defender Greg Garza
On tonight’s match
“I think, overall, a good performance by the team – defensively strong in all areas of the field, just missing that last moment, that last chance to finish off games, but I think in time, those things will come. I think the team did very well on both sides of the field tonight, and as I said before, just have to get those final chances in.”
On a difference between last year’s play and this year’s play
“I believe that, you know, being here last year, it’s completely night and day. I think that’s something that Jaap has definitely brought into the team, it is just keeping us all accountable, keeping us all responsible for every action that we make and having someone get into you every once in a while and getting onto you on certain plays or making you feel accountable on certain plays where you do make mistakes, because I think that all of us feel a little bit more pressure from the sidelines than maybe we did before. So, I think that’s something that has definitely changed – it keeps us all very responsible in every play of the game. Coming together, we do have a little bit more chemistry this year than we did last year. I think we’re a bit deeper than we were last year, and I think that every guy that does step on the field and has that opportunity definitely takes advantage of it and obviously, you see tonight, we had different guys that stepped up. The mobility and that consistency is still there.”
On his return to the starting lineup
“Yeah, you said it. It just felt really good to be back out there after being probably out for a good five weeks, six weeks of not getting much of a sniff. I think for me, just being back on the field and having the opportunity to do what I love and what I do best, and that’s something I have to be very grateful and thankful for. You know, obviously, going into Orlando you work hard to win that starting spot and unfortunately, I had a disappointing hamstring strain in the first match. After that I had to try and work my way back up, but as I said, you get these opportunities and you have to make the most of it.”