FC Cincinnati were able to grab their first win of the season beating CF Montréal 2-1 in Fort Lauderdale. After falling behind by a goal, Jürgen Locadia scored the tying goal (first on the season) and center back Gustavo Vallecilla sealed the win with a late game-winner.
After a scoreless (and mostly uneventful) first half, CF Montréal scored in the 56th minute when Djordje Mihailovic slotted home a pass from Romell Quioto.
This was the kind of goal that has plagued the club this season. Vermeer came off his line to prevent a cross and then dove back after being unable to do so. Mijailovic came crashing in, followed by FCC defenders, to punch it past Vermeer. The result was a goal and a scrum of players on the ground.
FCC kept fighting however, and found the equalizer in the 71st minute off of a corner kick. The ball bounced around the box until Geoff Cameron finally headed in a pass to Jürgen Locadia who was able to perfectly place the ball in the far post side netting with his head.
Then after dodging a few close calls by Montreal, FC Cincy scored the winner off of another set piece. This time a freekick in the 86th minute when Ronald Matarrita found Gustavo Vallecilla who had risen above his marker to head the ball just inside the near post. This was also Vallecilla's first goal for the club and capped off another impressive showing by the young center back.
Today’s match marks the first come-back victory in FC Cincinnati’s MLS history.
FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam
On Today's Match
“I think in the second half we found it a little bit difficult. Not saying from the start, but afterwards. They (CF Montreal) kept on pushing and we didn’t come out, to be honest. They get very close to our box. That’s why they scored that goal as well. We kept running back, instead of going forward. After, we did well. Very good response in scoring that equalizer. Afterwards, they’re pushing forward to get the second one as well, which is very good. You could see that they want to work every game, very hard to get the result. They’re very dedicated to what they need to do. They try to do their best. Also, a win in a road game in these circumstances … it’s not easy to come back against a very good side. They’ve got players, good team. At times it was difficult, but we moved forward and showed what we can do. We all know in these games we need to work very hard. We need to work very hard to get something out of it, to get a result. That’s what we did today. So, I am very proud of the team and what they’ve done.”
On how rewarding it was for the players
“It is rewarding, because I see the guys, the players, work very hard every day. We always speak about that. You see that you’re not getting the result, we don’t reward ourselves in what we’re doing. At times, you have a little bit of luck as well, but that is in football, in soccer. We all know that. But it’s very good to get the result. It gives you the extra boost as well. It gives us a good feeling.”
On the formation used
Coach Stam surprised many when he changed formation from his club's standard 4-3-3 to a 5-3-2 setup with Caleb Stanko playing on the back line.
“We did very well in this formation. In the first half, we did very well. We came out several times, which was very dangerous. Second half, like I said, we struggled a little bit in the beginning by doing that. Afterwards, we picked it up. We made a couple of changes that worked out well. That’s how it is. You need to make changes in your set up as well to get something out. Also, because the opposition plays in a certain way. But also, that we think that we can make a change in play like this. And all in all, it is a very good and very important result as well for everybody.”
FC Cincinnati forward Jürgen Locadia
On today’s match
“It's a great feeling. I'm happy. I'm happy for the team, for the club. Happy for the people involved in the club. And it's been a crazy game today. I think they created a lot of opportunities in the first half, and we got lucky in the first half. At the end of the day, we won the game and that's important for us, for Cincinnati.”
On his role in the club
“If my role has been to start from the bench, it's just okay. I'm okay with it. I think the coach (Jaap Stam) makes the first 11. Then, I have to respect that and the other players on the bench have to respect it. If he makes other choices, we all have to be ready. I think that's the attitude of all the players, bench or not bench player. So, I respect the situation. I respect the choices of the coach.”
On the impact he had on the match
"I'm happy we'll bring back the three points to Cincinnati.”
“Good. Thanks. I'm happy for myself, for the team. It's always hard to come back from being down, 1-0, but today we showed class. We showed character. And I think for us, we have to continue like this. And hopefully we can score the first goal in the next game, instead of chasing the other team. This is a great day and a great match for us. I think everybody's happy in the club, outside of club defense. I think we deserved the match after so many losses and being unlucky in the previous games. Finally, luck is on side today. So, I'm happy for the team. Happy for the club. Happy for the fans. I'm happy we'll bring back the three points to Cincinnati.”
FC Cincinnati defender Gustavo Vallecilla
On his goal
"I hope to score many more!"
“Truth is that I am very motivated after scoring my first goal this season. I hope to score many more and I hope to give the club more good memories. The team feels very good. We had been working hard. We deserved the victory, because the club had been working hard. Thanks to them, we were able to get our first win.”
On how comfortable he is in FC Cincinnati’s system
“I have felt very comfortable since I arrived. Like I said, they welcomed me very well. They have made me feel good, like if I was at home. I’ve got to keep on working, keep getting adjusted to everyone. We have to keep moving forward.”
On the impact the formation change had
“Yes. We played a bit different from our last match at home, however I think it was the effort from every single person who wanted to win our first game. I think that effort motivated us till the very end.”
FC Cincinnati had some moments of weakness today, and benefited by some luck to be sure, but they came away with a deserved 3 points on the road. They showed a lot of improvement of both sides of the field. This is the type of performance that can spur a club on to success. It was a much needed win on the road and against a team that had been playing well. We will see if FC Cincy can use this match as a stepping stone to better things ahead. They definitely gave fans reason to stand tall today.
By: Rob Burkhardt