FC Cincinnati aim for a winning streak, face NYCFC

League: MLS

Posted on: 22 Mar, 2024 at 11:14 PM

Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

FC Cincinnati will try to notch their first back-to-back wins of the season on Saturday night when they host an New York City FC squad that finally earned its first MLS points last weekend.

Cincinnati (2-0-2, 8 points) will be playing on six days' rest for the first time this season after it was eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions Cup by CF Monterrey earlier this month.

Three days after losing the second leg of that series in Mexico, Cincy rebounded with a 2-1 win at New England on Sunday.

Reigning MLS MVP Luciano Acosta came off the bench at halftime to score one goal and assist another, and Cincy survived some late pressure from the Revs.

While losing to Monterrey was disappointing, manager Pat Noonan said the extra early-season games have provided some clarity for a team integrating several new pieces.

"It's given us a lot of answers of what we think might be our strongest group and how some of the new faces look in different positions or within our group," Noonan said. "We have a better idea of what to work on and how to approach it."

Meanwhile, NYCFC (1-3-0, 3 points) are dealing with several key absences after defeating Toronto FC 2-1 at home last weekend.

Santiago Rodriguez scored his second of the season to level the game after NYCFC conceded early. Kevin O'Toole put the team ahead midway through the second half, converting a header via an audacious, outside-of-the-foot cross from Julian Fernandez.

But midfielder Keaton Parks is suspended after he was sent off late in the victory. Attacker Mounsef Bakrar and defender Tayvon Gray are both on duty for their international teams.

City manager Nick Cushing said the potential for new players to earn starts could give his side an extra mental edge this week.

"You can see in the training that some guys have a huge desire to play because the opportunity is there and they haven't played so much," he said. "I think that is confirmation that we built a roster that can cope in these moments."

--Field Level Media