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FC Cincinnati vs DC United Game Review

FC Cincinnati

Starters: Roman Celentano, Nick Hagglund, Matt Miazga, Yerson Mosquera, Alvas Powell (Ian Murphy 88′), Obinna Nwobodo, Junior Moreno (Yuya Kubo 88′), Álvaro Barreal (Raymon Gaddis 79′), Lucho Acosta (Malik Pinto 87′), Sergio Santos (Brenner 65′), Brandon Vazquez

Subs: Alec Kann, Joey Akpunonu, Dominique Badji,  Angulo 

Captain: Lucho Acosta

Formation (5-2-1-2)

DC United

Starters: Tyler Miller, Victor Pálasson, Derrick Williams, Donovan Pines, Ruan (Cristian Dájome 64′), Mateusz Klich (Ted Ku-DiPietro 88′), Russell Canouse (Chris Durkin 88′), Lewis O’Brien, Jacob Greene (Yamil Asad 88′), Taxi Fountas, Christian Benteke

Subs: Alex Bono, Matai Akinmboni, Brendan Hines-Ike, Kristian Fletcher, Jackson Hopkins

Captain: Russell Canouse

Formation (3-5-2)

Game Recap: 

First Half: All good things come to an end, and unfortunately DC United’s win streak came to an end in Cincinnati. Things started off on the wrong foot when Ruan was a last-minute addition to the starting lineup after defender Andy Najar picked up an injury during warm-ups. This didn’t help a back line that was already down two of its five starters.

Then after kickoff, as in all recent games, the Black & Red started on the back foot, as FC Cincinnati came out strong and attacking. At one point the Orange and Blue would have 75% of possession, as DC could not string three passes together. TQL Stadium was rocking as the Orange and Blue continued to press their advantage.

Still despite Cincinnati having nearly all the possession, DC would not break, and slowly but surely they grew into the game, and began to threaten the home team. FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano kept the score even at zeroes, with a couple key saves. The first of these saves came in the 24th minute when Ruan nearly broke the scoreless tie. Benteke found a streaking Ruan, who fired a one time shot from the right edge of the penalty box. Unfortunately it was directly at Celentano who smothered the shot.

Other shots would come from Christian Benteke and Lewis O'Brien.

There were some downright comical moments in the vein of Keystone Cops by the Black & Red defense, and DC was lucky not to give up a goal; especially when Tyler Miller came forty five yards out of the goal to defend.

The half would end with the two sides knotted in a draw. FC Cincinnati still had the majority of the ball, but DC United had the majority of the chance creations.

Second Half: The second half again opened with DC whithering a concerted attack by the Blue & Orange, but no where near as intense as the beginning of the match. It looked for a short time that DC United would be able to withstand the attack, but second-half goals by Luciano Acosta and Alvaro Barreal dashed those hopes. Their two goals helped FC Cincinnati remain unblemished at home.

Acosta scored the opening goal in a truly unique manner in the 59th minute. He took a corner kick and curled it to the near post. It bounced in, possibly off Tyler Miller. It was Acosta’s first-ever “Olimpico” and was quite the shock of a goal as it was definitely against the run of play at that moment.

DC did bring in one of their newest acquisitions, as Cristian Dájome came in for Ruan.

The second goal for the Orange & Blue was a much more straightforward goal, and again it was their former talisman attacking midfielder who did in his former club, this time with an assist. Acosta set up the second goal with a leading ball down the left flank to Barreal. Barreal dribbled just inside the penalty box and unleashed a powerful shot, placed just inside the goal post in the 73rd minute.  

DC was scrambling, and Celentano looked set to earn his sixth shutout when Taxi got his third goal of the season from the left side of the box after a ball skimmed the head of a Cincinnati defender in the midst of a scrum off of a on a set piece situation.

For some reason a review of Taxi’s goal was called. It was confirmed, and there never was any explanation as to what was being reviewed. The minutes that passed seemed to sap the momentum, and then Cincinnati did a great job wasting the extra-time play which led to a plethora of yellow cards. Despite the slowed down game, both teams did manage a couple attacks, and the could have easily ended at 3-1 or 2-2.

It was not to be as DC was only able to create a couple dangerous opportunities that Celentano was able to stifle easily.  On the night Celentano made enough saves to become the all-time FC Cincinnati  leader in career saves.

On the night, FC Cincinnati remained unblemished at home following the 2-1 win, and DC’s win streak came to an end.

Notes From the Couch:

  • DC is on the back foot again to start the match

  • DC aren’t decisive and are not moving the ball quickly enough 

  • Alvas Powell is giving Greene an on-field lesson right now. Somehow he fouls Greene but makes it look like Greene was the instigator

  • The ref is a bit clueless and gives Greene a cheap yellow

  • DC is beginning to grow into the match

  • What the heck is Tyler Miller doing? He's bodying up on a player with the ball, 45 yards from goal!

  • Not the best few minutes by the defense

  • Ruan is giving Cincinnati some fits up the right side

  • Benteke is so strong at holding the ball 

  • Second half start feels a bit like the opening 20 minutes 

  • Acosta’s just scored an Olimpico


  • I miss Lucho Acosta

  • Acosta’s pass was threaded perfectly to a streaking Alvaro Barreal

  • I so miss Lucho Acosta!

  • Wayne Rooney brought in his US Open Cup starters with Yamil Asad, Chris Durkin, and Ted Ku-DiPietro really late in the game

  • TAXI!

  • The Black & Red are really dangerous on on a set piece situations

  • Really don’t understand why Taxi’s goal is being reviewed 

  • Lewis O’Brien has a bit of a heel in him, the foul on Brenner was pure heel

  • I want Audi Field to be the fortress TQL Stadium is becoming 

  • DC is still moving in the right direction

Words from the Gaffer: 

Wayne Rooney: “I thought once we were at about 20-25 minutes we we started playing what we trained and tactically how we felt the space would be and making two, three passes. Then we knew we would get space on either side of the midfield and take their forwards out of the game. And that’s what we were doing and it felt we were in in real control. We just couldn’t get the goal. So I think there’s a lot of positives.

Player Ratings (FotMob):

Tyler Miller            2.9

Jacob Greene          2.3

Derrick Williams    2.7

Donovan Pines       2.2

Victor Pálsson        3.2

Ruan                       2.4

Russell Canouse     3.1

Lewis O’Brien.       2.9

Mateusz Klich        3.7

Taxi Fuentas.          3.5

Christian Benteke   4.0


Chris Durkin           N/A

Yamil Asad             N/A

Christian Dajome    N/A

Ted Ku-Dipietro      N/A

Next Match: DC United go on the road to New Jersey for the US Open Cup to play New York Red Bulls on Tuesday, May 9th, at 7:30 pm ET.

DC United’s next MLS match is home against Nashville on Saturday May 13th.


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