Cover Image via The Columbus Dispatch
Written by: Kyra Campbell
FC Cincinnati (15-3-6) suffered just its third loss of the MLS season on Sunday when the Columbus Crew (11-7-6) beat them 3-0 at Lower.com Field. The Orange and Blue still sit atop the Supporters’ Shield standings at 51 points, 7 points above second place St. Louis (14-8-2).
Roman Celentano once again started in goal after getting time off for the Leagues Cup. Due to injury and card suspension, FCC was forced to roll out a defense without Matt Miazga and Yerson Mosquera, leaving Ray Gaddis, Ian Murphy, and Nick Hagglund to hold down the backline. Alvaro Barreal and Alvas Powell started at wingback. Luciano Acosta, Junior Moreno, and Obinna Nwobodo made up the midfield. Brandon Vazquez and Aaron Boupendza started up top at striker.
The match started off well for FC Cincinnati, as the team had a couple of decent chances in the opening minutes of the match. Columbus, however, settled into the game quickly, and once they did, they maintained the upperhand for most of the match. That control of the game resulted in a 15th minute goal where Aidan Morris sent a ball into the upper corner of the goal after being unmarked at the top of the box. As if things weren’t going bad enough, FCC conceded a penalty in the 23rd minute off a Barreal handball, where the ball came off his foot and onto his hand. Cucho Hernandez converted the penalty and put Columbus up 2-0. In stoppage time of the first half, Nwobodo received an extremely questionable yellow card after being hauled down. Despite Santiago Arias coming on at half, Yuya Kubo subbing at the 60th minute, and a line-change of Sergio Santos, Marco Angulo, and Bret Halsey in the 74th minute, FCC was unable to get themselves back into the game in the second half. Columbus’ Jacen Russell-Rowe’s goal sealed it for Columbus in the dying moments of the game.
FCC are back at home this week for two matches, the first being the U.S. Open Cup Semifinal against Miami on Wednesday at 7pm. Fans can watch that match on CBS Sports Golazo Network, Pluto TV, and for those local to Cincinnati on Star64. Cincinnati returns to league play on Saturday when NYCFC (5-9-11) comes to town. The two clubs have met twice this year, once in the Open Cup, which resulted in a 1-0 win for FCC, and once in MLS, resulting in a 3-1 win for FCC.