Written by: Kyra Campbell

FC Cincinnati opened the 2023 MLS season at home for the first time in club history with a 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday. The sold-out crowd at TQL Stadium was electric as the club returned to competition after their 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union in the MLS Cup Playoffs last year. 

The Orange and Blue got off to a quick start resulting in Sergio Santos’ first goal for the club in the 19th minute. His goal was assisted by Alvaro Barreal, one of the standout players of the match for Cincinnati. Midway through the first half, however, the momentum shifted, and Houston stayed on the attack. This culminated in a Tate Schmitt stoppage-time equalizer for the Dynamo off a Hector Herrera cross. 

The second half started much like the first, with FCC on the offensive. Soon after, in the 48th minute, Obinna Nwobodo also netted his first goal for FC Cincinnati. This would remain the final scoreline, however, not for a lack of trying on Houston’s part to find another equalizer in the later part of the match. 

Despite being out-performed on basically every statistic but the score, Cincinnati managed to walk away with 3 points despite lackluster performances from Acosta and Vazquez and some defensive mistakes. Both wing-backs had solid performances, with newcomer Arias being particularly impressive. Goalkeeper Roman Celentano also had a great match, with his distribution seemingly improved over last season. 

FC Cincinnati now turns its attention to the upcoming match at Orlando City this Saturday.

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