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 FC Cincinnati

By the Numbers: FC Cincinnati at CF Montréal

April 12, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release

FC Cincinnati make their third international trip of the season, heading to Canada for their first match north of the border in 2024 for CF Montréal's home opener at Stade Saputo in historic Olympic Park in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. With kickoff set for 7:30 p.m., fans can watch the match MLS Season Pass on Apple TV and listen locally on ESPN 1530.

Let's break down this matchup with some key numbers to consider, presented by CTI.


FC Cincinnati matches with CF Montréal have regularly gotten off to a hot start, with goals coming early and often. The Orange and Blue own the all-time series with CFM, earning a 4-3-2 record and a 2-2-1 record when playing away, but FCC has scored seven goals in the first 15 minutes against CF Montréal.

All-time, FCC has scored 29 goals in the first quarter-hour of matches, with the seven tallied against Montréal accounting for 24% of those. Against no other team has FCC scored more than three goals in the first 15 minutes, tallying three apiece against NYCFC and Nashville SC.


The FC Cincinnati back line has been excellent in 2024, acting as a rock to build upon and earning praise league-wide for their work as the last line of defense. Defense is a full 11 effort for FCC, who regularly highlight how important the work done by midfielders and forwards alike contributes to their success, but the work in the defensive third of the field has been stout.

The Orange and Blue rank second in MLS with 70 tackles in the defensive third this season, per and Opta, with Yuya Kubo and Matt Miazga leading the way for FCC with 11 tackles apiece.

Also ranking fourth in total tackles won league-wide and second in the dispossession of opponents, FCC has stymied opposing attackers and thwarted efforts early to stop enemy attacks.


2023 MLS MVP and FC Cincinnati Luciano Acosta is the only active player to score on CF Montréal for FC Cincinnati. He registered three goals in his time with The Orange and Blue, including last season's thrilling 90+7-minute equalizing PK to give FCC a draw on the road, the latest equalizer in club history.

Acosta has registered four goals in his career against Montréal when accounting for his time with D.C. United before arriving in the Queen City. Yamil Asad and Sergio Santos have also both scored goals versus Montréal in other stops along their MLS career but never for FCC.

On the other side of this coin, many of CFM's historic top scorers for FCC are no longer with the club.

Joel Waterman, Mason Toye and Mathieu Choiniere are the only active CFM players to have scored against FC Cincinnati.


Under new manager Laurent Courtois, CF Montréal has been looking to find their edge and grow into their system under the first-time top-flight manager. While it is hard to get a true picture of the club after six games due to them playing all six on the road, some interesting data points have emerged.

Per, CF Montréal has the fewest progressive passes in MLS thus far this season with 139 and the third-fewest progressive carries in the league with 71. "Progressive passes" measure the number of passes that move forward toward the opponent's goal by at least 10 yards or into the opponent's penalty area (with a few exemptions). Carries measure similar but with the ball at a player's feet rather than a pass. By comparison, FCC ranks in the league's top half in both metrics.

The stats independently may mean little. They are cumulative stats, so CF Montréal, who have only played six matches compared to some other clubs who have played seven or eight, may be disproportionately underrepresented. But knowing that CF Montréal only plays with 43.5 percent possession on average (fourth lowest in MLS), a more broad picture of how CFM tends to play emerges.

Very few clubs have played without the ball as much as CF Montréal have so far this season, absorbing pressure and pressing opponents more before breaking out quickly, very little of Montréal's game this season has been played with the ball at their feet or in the attacking third. CFM ranks highly in most defensive stats, including clearances and blocked shots, by their style of play, perhaps indicating what kind of game observers can expect to take in Saturday night.


FC Cincinnati has been pressuring defenses and earning set-piece opportunities because of it. Heading into Saturday's match with Montréal, FCC has earned 43 corner kicks, second most in MLS and one shy of leading D.C. United. With 99 free kick attempts, The Orange and Blue also rank in the top half of the league.

Luciano Acosta leads all MLS players in shot creating actions with 54 and shot creating actions per game with 8.4, ahead of LA Galaxy's Riqui Puig and New England Revolutions Carles Gil respectively. A "shot creating action" is measured as any pass, dribble or foul taken that directly results in a goal attempt. The FCC captain has been lethal in dead ball set pieces this year, scoring one and assisting on two goals.

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