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Allan Cruz scores FCC-leading fifth goal of 2019

August 17, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - FC Cincinnati News Release

CINCINNATI - FC Cincinnati fell to New York City FC, 4-1, at Nippert Stadium on Saturday night despite taking an early lead through Allan Cruz.

FC Cincinnati (5-18-3, 18 pts.) tallied first for a third consecutive match as Cruz recorded his team-leading fifth goal of the season. New York City FC (11-5-8, 41 pts.) equalized minutes later on Valentin Castellanos' tally and then took the lead on Heber's game-winning tally in first-half stoppage time. Castellanos and Héber each added second goals in the 71st and 89th minute, respectively.

FCC goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton saved an NYCFC penalty attempt when he stopped Maxi Moralez's effort in the first half.

Saturday's game was Cincinnati Head Coach Ron Jans' home debut.

FC Cincinnati return to the pitch on Sunday, Aug. 25 when they host Columbus Crew SC for the second #HellisReal Derby match of the season. First kick is set for 6 p.m., and the game will be televised nationally on FS1, streamed on FOX Sports GO and carried on the radio on WDJO with an audio stream on TuneIn (WDJO) and fccincinnati.com.

For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team's official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. Individual-game tickets and group options are on sale for all remaining FC Cincinnati games at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-5425 (KICK).

New York City FC 4, FC Cincinnati 1

Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio

August 17, 2019

SCORING SUMMARY

CIN - Allan Cruz (Andrew Gutman, Victor Ulloa) 30'

NYC - Valentin Castellanos (Maxi Moralez) 32'

NYC - Héber (Valentin Castellanos, Maxi Moralez) 45+3'

NYC - Valentin Castellanos (unassisted) 71'

NYC - Héber (unassisted) 89'

FC Cincinnati: Przemysław Tytoń, Mathieu Deplagne, Kendall Waston ©, Maikel van der Werff, Andrew Gutman, Caleb Stanko, Victor Ulloa, Allan Cruz, Roland Lamah (Derrick Ettiene Jr. 57'), Emmanuel Ledesma (Kekuta Manneh 57'), Darren Mattocks (Joseph-Claude Gyau 86')

Bench: Jimmy Hague, Justin Hoyte, Nick Hagglund, Rashawn Dally

Stats: Shots 12, Shots on goal 6, Saves 1, Corner kicks 5, Offsides 2, Fouls 10, Possession 40.9%, Passes 337 (78%)

New York City FC: Sean Johnson, Ronald Matarrita, Eric MIller, James Sands (Ben Sweat 9'), Maxime Chanot, Alexandru Mitrita, Maxi Moralez (Tony Rocha 74'), Alexander Ring ©, Keaton Parks (Sebastein Ibeagha 76'), Valentin Castellanos, Héber

Bench: Brad Stuver, Jesus Medina, Juan Torres, Gary Mackay-Steven

Stats: Shots 12, Shots on goal 5, Saves 5, Corner kicks 1, Offsides 1, Fouls 12, Possession 59.1%, Passes 507 (80.9%)

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

NYC - Eric Miller (caution) 23'

CIN - Allan Cruz (caution) 26''

Referee: Nima Saghafi

Assistant Referees: Corey Parker, Felisha Mariscal

4th Official: Kevin Broadley

VAR: Jorge Gonzalez

Weather: 82 degrees and sunny

Attendance: 27,273

HOW IT HAPPENED

14' | Andrew Gutman sent a cross into the 18-yard box to Allan Cruz. The Costa Rica international headed the ball on frame, but Sean Johnson made his first save of the night on the effort

24' | PENALTY SAVE - FCC was awarded a penalty kick after Roland Lamah was brought down by Eric Miller. Emmanuel Ledesma stepped up to the penalty spot, but his attempt was denied by Johnson

30' | CIN GOAL - Victor Ulloa one-timed a through ball to Gutman coming on down the left flank. Gutman sent a low cross in to Cruz, who first-timed a right-footed shot into the top right corner of the goal

32' | NYC GOAL - Maxi Moralez played Valentin Castellanosoutside of the box, and he moved outside before cutting in and curling in a shot inside the far post past Przemysław Tytoń

35' | PENALTY SAVE - NYCFC was awarded a penalty after Gutman's hand made contact with the ball as it came through the box. Moralez attempted to tuck his shot inside the left post but was denied by Tytoń

45+3' | Moralez sent a driven cross towards the penalty spot where Castellanos put a soft pass in the path of Heber to run in between defenders and put NYCFC ahead just before the half

58' | Kekuta Manneh switched fields and set up Derrick Etienne Jr. on the far side, where he blasted a shot from outside of the box, but the shot was parried over the crossbar by Johnson

71' | NYC GOAL - Maxime Chanot's header was deflected and floated toward Castellanos, who headed the ball inside the six-yard box in for his second goal of the night

89' | NYC GOAL - Héber drove the ball from near midfield all the way inside the penalty box where his shot found space for NYCFC's final goal of the night

GAME NOTES

With tonight's loss, the Orange and Blue move to 5-18-3 through 26 MLS matches ... in addition, FC Cincinnati fall to 3-8-1 in home contests ... FC Cincinnati's all-time, all-competition record against New York City FC sits at 0-2-0 ... Cincinnati is now 3-10-2 against Easterrn Conference opponents

Przemyslaw Tyton recorded his first MLS penalty save in tonight's match when he stopped Maxi

Moralez's attempt in the 35th minute ... the penalty save was FC Cincinnati's MLS-leading third of the season, Spencer Richey has recorded a pair of penalty saves for the Orange and Blue

FC Cincinnati became the third team in MLS to have a pair of goalkeepers record a penalty save this season ... FC Dallas' goalkeeping duo of Jesse González and Jimmy Maurer have also recorded penalty saves, as does Colorado's duo of Tim Howard and Clint Irwin

Allan Cruz scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season in the 30th minute ... the midfielder has scored four goals at Nippert Stadium -- most among all FC Cincinnati players ... each of Allan Cruz's last four goals have been the first goal of the match for either side

Andrew Gutman tallied his first MLS and FC Cincinnati assist on Cruz's tally ... the left back is FC Cincinnati's second defender to record an assist this season -- Mathieu Deplagne has registered a pair of helpers for the Orange and Blue in 2019

Victor Ulloa also claimed an assist on Allan Cruz's tally, his second assist of the campaign ... Ulloa's two assists ties his single-season best, which he twice recorded with Dallas in both 2015 and 2016

Emmanuel Ledesma's missed penalty in the 24th minute was FC Cincinnati's first penalty miss of the season ... tonight's match was also the first time this season where FC Cincinnati and the opponent both attempted a penalty in a match ... both efforts were saved

FC Cincinnati maintained the same starting lineup for a second consecutive match for the second time this season ... FCC also kept the same starting XI on March 10 and March 17

Fanendo Adi (calf), Frankie Amaya (groin) Leonardo Bertone (groin) and Spencer Richey (back) were unavailable for selection because of injury

POSTGAME QUOTES

FC Cincinnati Head Coach Ron Jans

On how to get momentum before the matchup against Columbus

"There are a lot of good things ... we want to improve. We want to see who fits our vision of qualities, and we want to win games. For me, and I hope the fans, are disappointed with the results. That happened a lot during this game, and it happened a lot last week. We will continue doing that, and I am sure will win some games, too. But, it isn't just the result. I demand from every player, you have to give it all. Every day. Every game, and they did. So, I cannot blame them."

On whether tonight's match was a setback

"Maybe you can take a scan of my brain when I go to bed and when I wake up, and I think I am not as positive as I am now. But, I see a lot of positive things. I think we could have a result, but it is no use saying it when you lose 1-4. There were moments in the game when we could've led more than one-nil, maybe when we could have scored on the penalty. But, that is only if. What I see is a group that is better than the 18 points we have now, and I am sure we will get results. I am even more sure. That is why I am positive. I like the NBA (National Basketball Association), some teams won't reach the playoffs. They lost game after game, and they accept to start losing. We won't. I won't. The desire from the players is there, and they have to keep on doing it. "

On his first game coached at Nippert

"I have witnessed attendances like this before, but never over here. I feel so welcomed, and I want the people to be so proud of FC Cincinnati, the players, the club, but also maybe of the head coach. I feel very welcomed, but in the end, you have to show you're a good coach. It is too early to tell now, but we are trying. We are working hard, and I think when you work hard you get also that you improve. When you improve, you can win games."

FC Cincinnati Defender Andrew Gutman

On playing for FC Cincinnati

"I love being here, I love the team; the guys are great. We did a lot of good things today and we're just missing that final ball, that final touch and stuff like that, but the ideas are fantastic. We just need to get back to the training ground and keep working on it."

On his assist

"As a fullback, when I get that deep, I know what the defense is dropping. It's almost instinctively, they drop a little too much. If I can hit a cut back ball, that's usually the space to hit. So, I just hit it real hard and Allan (Cruz) smashed it home and it was a great goal by him."

On if he was surprised that his pass made it through to Cruz

"A little bit, but as a fullback, you kind of just whip balls in and somehow they always squeeze through. You've always got to make that ball, cross that ball in and hopefully something good happens and on that one it did."

On the result tonight and momentum versus Columbus

"I think so. I don't think the result was reflective of how we played today. I thought we played a lot better than a 4-1 result. We just have to review the game and move on and get another result against Columbus."

FC Cincinnati Midfielder Caleb Stanko

On his evaluation of the match

"I think we did a really good job of going ahead. It's unfortunate that we missed that PK - that would've sealed the deal in my opinion. So, missing that PK and then coming back and them scoring two minutes later just took so much wind out of our sails."

On if it's difficult to refocus after giving up late first-half goals

"I think we need to really buckle down on our concentration, especially after goals. That's the best opportunity for our opponents to score and it seems like that's happening too often."

On if there is momentum heading into the match against Columbus

"Absolutely. With this new coach (Ron Jans), I think he brings a lot of energy. I think he is playing a different style that takes time to adjust to, but I think the guys have done well and we're adjusting quickly, and I think this will carry over into next season, and of course, into next week."

On Ron Jans' message after the match

"He said that we showed real character, and that he's proud of us. But this is not the end, he started looking towards Columbus. And it's unfortunate because there are moments like we already talked about where we looked really good. But it was a combination of individual mistakes and also, they have some really good players, so this created a lot of good opportunities."

New York City FC Head Coach Domenec Torrent

On James Sands' broken collarbone

"It's bad news for us. We have to check in New York. We have to wait at least two days, that is not good news for us because I love this player. We need this player. We need everybody, but especially this player. Sometimes the soccer is not fair with the players, and right now it's not fair with Jimmy (James Sands). He deserves to play with our team. He's an amazing player. Sometimes that happens. That is soccer. Soccer is sometimes unfair with players, and that happened with Jimmy. It's bad news for us."

On Ben Sweat's impact as a sub

"No, but I knew he was ready to play ... I'm happy with the players comeback after two games, after three games, and they are, they have focus in the game, I'm very happy for win, is a pity for Jimmy, very happy with the [inaudible] Ben brings especially. [inaudible] Not all the time is about all of the scorers, it's very important, because right now, they are in top form, both, Heber and Taty (Valentin Castellanos). It is good news for the New York. But we have to, step by step we have to focus right now on the next game, is Columbus, and we try to win the next game. When you are in September, or October, you have to be focused in every single game. Because it's not easy to play here, in this kind of field ..."

On if he has his team playing how he wants, heading to Columbus

"Not exactly. We are much better. Much better. But not exactly, because I remember we play much better one month ago, but we are in the right way. We play many, many times short. I know that. We practice. To me, we are in trouble play long ball, but no long ball, for long ball, we have two, three signals. Different signals and everybody, Anderson when Sean (Johnson) say that, you have to play diagonal, or maybe Sean want to play behind them, but I'm happy because at least we tried to play short. I don't like to play short, for playing short, but when we play short we have more opportunities to kill five players. After that you have smart players in between the lines, Maxi (Maximiliano Moralez), Miti (Alexandru Mitrita). But that's my opinion. It's better than last game for sure, but that's not exactly the best way to play. We played much better. I remember, for example, if you ask me about that, almost a perfect day was a game against D.C. in the cup. We short play short, when they are coming, you can play long after that. But ok, we are in the right way."

New York City FC Forward Héber

On how New York City FC gained momentum

"In the beginning of the first half, I played like a winger, where (Alexandru) Mitrita played last game, so in the second half we changed a little bit. I played close to the 18-yard box. We played with three strikers, and I think this helped. I like to be close to the box."

On adjusting to MLS

"Yeah, I am very happy to have 12 goals. I am more happy, because I can help my team. If I have these 12 goals, it is because our team works hard. So I can't take the ball from Sean (Johnson) and dribble everyone and score. About MLS, it's a very good league. It is amazing. Every game is full, the stadium, and the quality of players is good. Better than Croatia. So I am very glad to be here."

On what this game does for his confidence

"It is not only for me. It is for our team. So when we win this type of game, away 4-1, it is very good for us. Especially for strikers. We say in Brazil, we live for the goals, we live for the scores. So when we score, everyone is happy. I am happy. I am very happy for Taty (Valentin Castellanos) also, because everyone is in good shape and we can help the team."


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