FC Cincinnati has managed to start the season strongly, which looks even more vital than ever before given that they are currently on a rather horrible slide in the MLS at the moment.
The club was on a fine run as they continued to pick up win after win and propel themselves up the league standings as they looked to challenge for a playoff spot in the early part of the 2022 campaign, however they have since seen that strong start get halted.
FC Cincinnati’s fine winning record comes to a screeching end
The Orange and Blue are yet to record a five-game winning streak since entering the MLS, however they were very close to finally pulling off that particular accomplishment. That is until they faced the New England Revolution.
The 2021 Supporters Shield holders had spanked FC Cincinnati in the U.S. Open Cup in the Round of 32 5-1 on May 12, but the Orange and Blue managed to put that defeat behind them as they claimed a 2-1 victory over Chicago Fire that weekend. However, just a few days after the domestic cup defeat, they came up against the Revs once again, this time in the MLS.
Unfortunately, the same kind of result occurred once again, as Pat Noonan witnessed his side go down 3-2, this time in front of their home fans at the TQL Stadium instead of at the Gillette Stadium and on the road.
With the international break looming and a long period between the next games – almost a month’s worth – FC Cincinnati would have been desperate to get back to winning ways and show everyone that they mean serious business this season as they look to try and achieve their best-ever finish since entering the league as an expansion side.
However, the game against CF Montreal appeared to still be carrying a hangover for the Orange and Blue, as they ended up suffering a second successive defeat, losing 4-3 on the night. Indeed, the way that they were beaten would have infuriated everyone at the club and fans in Ohio, as the team literally lacked focus when it mattered most.
All is not lost
Whilst the two back-to-back defeats will have hurt, and the fact that they will have to wait a long time before they can look to put things right, it is easy to forget that FC Cincinnati has managed to start off strongly and does appear to be on course to achieve their best-ever finish in the MLS.
As we headed into the international break, the club has managed to put together a record that reads 6-7-1, as well as obtaining a total of 19 points. Currently, that is good enough for sixth in the Eastern Conference after 14 games played.
This record will have provided fans in Ohio with newfound confidence about one of the soccer sides to be based in the state; Columbus Crew being the other. In fact, with sports betting being possible in the state in the near future, there are some that will have been interested in what FC Cincinnati is doing on the field these days.
As individuals continue to ensure they are staying ahead of legal sports betting in Ohio by keeping tabs on the latest updates, many may have started to take a keen interest in the Orange and Blue when they take to the field and compete in the MLS as they have become a potential wagering option for those who may be interested once the activity finally becomes live within the state.
Indeed, if the expansion franchise is able to get back to winning ways, then there is every possibility that they will show that they can compete with the MLS’ biggest clubs and fight for the MLS Cup in the near future.
What’s next for FC Cincinnati?
As we mentioned, there is now a long break being experienced in the U.S., with fans in Cincinnati, Ohio, having been able to witness the USMNT in action against Morocco in a friendly as part of the country’s preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar this weekend.
Nonetheless, those at FC Cincinnati will undoubtedly have been working hard to ensure that they are ready to take back to the field and right the wrongs they have recently experienced and go again in their pursuit to put together a winning streak.
FCC will have an extremely difficult proposition in the first game after the hiatus, though, as they will compete against the Philadelphia Union on the road. The hosts are second in the Eastern Conference and have managed to accumulate a total of 25 points with a record of 6-1-7.
There are issues that need to be addressed in the sports field, too. Noonan – who will go up against his former club – will know that his side is struggling in key areas of the pitch. For instance, the team has conceded three or more goals in the last two matches when they had initially allowed just two goals in the previous eight games.
This could become a real problem for FCC, as they have conceded a total of 25 goals in the 19 matches played; making it the third-worst in the Eastern Conference as Toronto FC (27) and Montreal CF (26) are the only franchises to have conceded more.
Let’s not forget that FC Cincinnati has a number of positives to draw from, too, and it is something that fans in Ohio will likely continue to remind them of each and every time they take to the TQL Stadium field. Remember, the expansion has managed to make the best start in its MLS history, whilst they have also shown that they can score goals. A total of 21 have been scored thus far.
Whilst the two-game slide is something that many in Ohio and Cincinnati would have been concerned about, it is not something that needs to be thought about too much. The side knows that they can play soccer this season and are showing everyone that they have come to terms with the MLS as they continue to try and record their best season ever.
If they put the two defeats out of their minds ahead of the game against Philadelphia Union, then there is every chance that they can return to winning ways!