Written by: Kyra Campbell
FC Cincinnati (12-1-3) remain perfect at home after their 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire (3-5-8) on Saturday. FCC are the first team in MLS history (excluding the shootout era) to reach 39 points in their first 16 games of a season. The Orange and Blue remain comfortably atop the Supporters’ Shield standings, keeping their 8 point lead over second place Nashville SC (9-3-4).
Cincinnati’s lineup featured some rotation from the starting IX of the midweek matchup against NYCFC (4-7-5). Alvas Powell filled in on the backline, instead of his normal wingback spot, with Nick Hagglund still coming back from an injury. Ray Gaddis got the start at right wingback. Marco Angulo featured in the midfield in Junior Moreno’s normal spot and Obinna Nwobodo returned to the starting IX after serving out his yellow card accumulation suspension. Yuya Kubo slotted in Luciano Acosta’s typical #10 role, pushing Lucho up top next to Arquimides Ordonez, who recently returned to the squad after being away with Guatemala for the U20 World Cup.
The first half of the match was largely uneventful. FCC controlled possession but was unable to do much with the chances they generated. The second half started off slow as well. Matt Miazga received a yellow card in the 54th minute, bringing him up to four total, one away from a suspension. Cincinnati were finally able to break the stalemate in the 83rd minute, when Santiago Arias played a long ball over the top to Lucho, who was able to control it and sent it into the back of the net for his 7th goal of the season. Alvaro Barreal was booked with a yellow card in the 89th minute, which also put him one away from suspension. FCC was otherwise able to see the match out and secure their 9th home victory in league play.
FC Cincinnati is back home on Tuesday where the club will look to continue its U.S. Open Cup run as it takes on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL Championship in the Quarterfinals. The match kicks off at 7pm and fans not in attendance can catch the action on the Bleacher Report app or the B/R Football YouTube channel. FC Cincinnati will return to league play next Saturday, when they travel to Vancouver for a meeting with the Whitecaps (5-5-6).