The Orange and Blue return to Red Bull Arena on Saturday night when they face the New York Red Bulls in their second game at the venue inside eight days.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of kickoff:
FCC looking for first win since last matchup with RBNY
When the clubs last met, FC Cincinnati earned a 2-0 result in the MLS is Back Tournament group stage thanks to a stingy defense and an opportunistic offense.
Yuya Kubo opened the scoring late in the first half when he intercepted the ball 25 yards from goal and slotted a shot into the bottom left corner. In the second half, an in-swinging corner from Haris Medunjanin ricocheted off a New York defender into the net.
These were examples of FCC capitalizing on their limited attacking opportunities.
Things have gone differently since that match, however.
Cincinnati is looking for its first league win since that meeting on July 22 – six games ago. FCC also hadn’t scored a goal in league play since until last Saturday night.
Entering the third meeting between FCC and RBNY in 2020, it’s crucial for the visitors to bury the attacking opportunities they generate.
“Just because you won in the past doesn’t mean you’re going to easily do it again,” head coach Jaap Stam said. “Every game in the MLS is tough and we know that as well that Red Bulls, they’ve got a really good side.
“Of course, everybody is looking for that first win since we’ve come back home from Orlando. We’ve been close quite often … It’s the decision making at times in that final pass or making that right decision.”
RBNY are seventh in the conference, but…
Saturday could be an opportune time to return to Red Bull Arena to face New York.
The Red Bulls won their most recent match – a 2-0 victory at D.C. United – but entered that game winless in their previous four matches.
Just as the Orange and Blue are searching for another positive result to restart their momentum under head coach Jaap Stam, the Red Bulls have only played two matches under interim head coach Bradley Carnell.
“We’re playing against a good team,” Stam said. “They’re still a good side, although they’ve changed their coach. They’ve changed a little bit in their system as well looking at their last game, so of course, that’s always a question of, ‘Are they going to continue playing in this way, or are they going back to the original system?’”
Home away from home
FC Cincinnati players left Red Bull Arena following the season opener on March 1 thinking that would be their lone visit in 2020.
By the end of this month, FCC will have played four games in the stadium – as many games as they’ll have played at Nippert Stadium through September. That’s including next week’s midweek matchup with the Philadelphia Union.
Road games are difficult enough, but add same-day travel to a matchday routine and FCC charting flights to New Jersey on a gameday is becoming a new normal.
“Again, we play in New York, so we need to travel again and playing against a good team because Red Bulls are still a good side, although they’ve changed their coach,” Stam said.
This will change over time – presumably once FCC are done playing NYRB and NYCFC – but it’s a situation the Orange and Blue are immersed in right now.
FC Cincinnati at New York Red Bulls
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Where: Red Bull Arena (Harrison, N.J.)
Weather: Clear, 60 Degrees
TV: WSTR Star 64
In-Market Stream: www.fccincinnati.com/stream
Out-of-Market Stream: ESPN+
Local Radio: WDJO 99.5 FM | 107.9 FM | 1480 AM
Audio Stream: TuneIn App, fccincinnati.com
- FC Cincinnati center back Hassan Ndam, who is currently on loan with The Miami FC, played for the New York Red Bulls and Red Bulls II in 2017 and 2018.
- Joseph-Claude Gyau and Marc Rzatkowski played together for St. Pauli in 2013.
- Caleb Stanko and Amro Tarek played for SC Freiburg in 2012.
- When Tim Parker played for Vancouver Whitecaps FC from 2015-17, he was in the organization with Spencer Richey and Kendall Waston.