Written by: Kyra Campbell

FC Cincinnati (13-1-4) remain perfect at home following their 3-0 victory over Toronto FC (3-6-10), despite missing several key players due to international call-ups and injuries. The win keeps FCC 8 points ahead of second place Nashville SC (10-4-5) in the Supporters’ Shield standings.

      Cincinnati’s lineup featured heavy rotation. The backline consisted of Ray Gaddis, Ian Murphy, and Alvas Powell as Matt Miazga is out on international duty with the USMNT, Yerson Mosquera is serving out his yellow card accumulation suspension (and returning from international duty with Colombia), and Nick Hagglund still coming back from injury. Alvaro Barreal and Santiago Arias slotted in in their usual wingback spots. Marco Angulo filled in for Junior Moreno, as he picked up a knock on international duty with Venezuela. Luciano Acosta and Obinna Nwobodo started in their normal sports in the midfield. Yuya Kubo, filling in for Brandon Vazquez, who is also away with the USMNT, paired up with Dominique Badji up top.
      Toronto dominated possession for much of the match, but it was FCC who struck first, when Arias was able to score off a Barreal corner in the 35th minute. Soon after in the 41st minute, an altercation between Gaddis and Federico Bernardeschi occurred, where Bernardeschi headbutted Gaddis, and both would receive a yellow card. FCC would go up 2-0 in the 54th minute, when Kubo pressured Toronto goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh, who then made a poor pass that Angulo laid off for Lucho to put in the back of the net. Badji would put the Orange and Blue up 3-0 in the 63rd minute, thanks to a great assist from Lucho. Roman Celentano made some key saves to keep the clean sheet, earning him Team of the Matchday honors along with Lucho. The match also saw three FCC players make their MLS debut: Bret Halsey, Gerardo Valenzuela, and Stiven Jimenez, who is tied for the 5th youngest player to ever make his MLS debut at 15 years, 362 days old.

FC Cincinnati will travel to the nation’s capital this weekend to take on D.C. United (6-8-5). The previous meeting between these two teams resulted in a 2-1 win for FCC. The match is at 7:30pm on Saturday 6/24, and as always, fans can catch the match the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+.

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