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FC Cincinnati Go for Season Sweep When Hosting Red Hot New England Revolution

June 21, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release


FC Cincinnati is expecting to see a very different squad from the one they saw in March when they welcome the New England Revolution to TQL Stadium Saturday night.

The Revs, who sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference entering the match, are in an excellent run of form as the once struggling team has rattled off three consecutive wins to earn their longest winning streak of the season and rocket up the points count.

"They are obviously in good form. They're coming off a three-game winning streak and you can see a team that's obviously more confident," Pat Noonan said at a pre-match press conference Friday of his upcoming opponents. "Anytime you are winning games, that's going to be the case.

"But they also have a healthier group. [Carles] Gil playing at a very high level. I think [Giacomo] Vrioni has been continuing to perform and improve, [DeJuan] Jones available, the addition of [Xavier] Arreaga in go with [Aljaz] Ivacic, which I hope I got this right. I might have messed that up, so I apologize if so. I just think the their group is more stable and when you have new additions, when you have a new coach, despite Caleb's [Porter] experience, it does not always look perfect right away, but they are a very good team."

FCC will have to turn around quickly from the Wednesday victory over Philadelphia and save major reflection for after this match as they prepare for the new opponent. Noonan, who said they had plenty to review and learn from, will have to refocus quickly and adapt on individual performances rather than full team review.

"We didn't want to focus too much on the good or bad of the Philly game," Noonan said. "We will have a chance to do that (like) we have in the past when you have the three games in a week, and you have a little bit more time than we can really hone in on some different things. But, I think our focus needed to shift pretty quickly to New England despite the result and despite some things that need to be addressed."

After battling the heat Wednesday night FCC will once again be tested by the weather as temperatures and heat index projections indicate it could be even hotter at kick-off than the midweek match.

With the heat at high levels, FCC fans in attendance will be allowed to bring one 20 oz. factory-sealed bottles of water into TQL Stadium to help beat the heat, with water fountains available on the concourse level at sections 105, 107, 109, 112, 124, and 133 to refill.

FC Cincinnati vs New England Revolution - Saturday, June 22, 2024 - 7:30 p.m. ET - TQL Stadium

HOW TO WATCH

Stream: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV

TV Talent (English, Apple): Nate Bukaty (PxP), Devon Kerr(Analyst)

TV Talent (Spanish, Apple): Sergio Ruiz (PXP), Walter Roque (Analysis)

Radio: ESPN 1530

Radio Talent: Tom Gelehrter (PXP), Kevin McCloskey (Analyst)

Be sure to follow @FCCincinnati on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for live updates from the game.

All-time vs New England Revolution

In matchday four of the MLS season FC Cincinnati went to New England's Gillette Stadium and emerged with a vital 2-1 road victory thanks to goals by Yaya Kubo and Luciano Acosta despite the club traveling back from Mexico prior to the match and overcoming a heartbreaking elimination in the Concacaf Champions Cup just days earlier.

The victory was just the second at New England ever and the first since 2019 and with the return match now set FCC will be looking to defeat the Revs at home for the first time ever. All-time FCC is 2-4-3 against the MLS charter club and 0-2-1 at home. Acosta and Kubo are the only active FCC players to score for The Orange and Blue against New England but Sergio Santos and Corey Baird have each scored in non-FCC matches.

FCC Head Coach Pat Noonan is very familiar with the New England organization having played 119 matches for the Revs and scoring 47 goals across four seasons. The ninth overall pick in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft out of Indiana, Noonan finished as the runner-up rookie of the year and helped the Revs win the 2007 U.S. Open Cup which remains their only Open Cup title.

FC CINCINNATI NOTES

Quick Turnarounds - Following another MLS midweek matchday, Saturday marks FCC's third match in eight days. Under Head Coach Pat Noonan, the Orange and Blue have been strong when playing despite short rest. Since 2022, FC Cincinnati are 15-2-5 when playing a game just three days following another, across all competitions. This year, the club is 4-0-2 on two-days rest after the club dealt with early-season schedule congestion due to the Concacaf Champions Cup.

Never Before - The New England Revolution have come to Cincinnati four times previously and are undefeated 3-0-1 in the Queen City. They are the only Eastern Conference team to have never lost in Cincy.

With first-time home wins over Colorado Rapids, Atlanta United and St. Louis CITY at TQL Stadium earlier this season, nine clubs have never lost in Cincy, eight of which are Western Conference teams.

Noonan's Law - FC Cincinnati third-year Head Coach Pat Noonan leads all coaches since the start of the 2022 MLS Regular Season - his first season as a head coach - in points earned. Noonan surpassed 50 wins across all competitions with Cincinnati with the club's Hell is Real derby win in Columbus on May 11.

All For Lucho - Through 18 games of MLS play, Luciano 'Lucho' Acosta leads MLS with 66 key passes. The 2023 MLS Most Valuable Player finished top-three each of the past two seasons. Key Passes track all passes which directly lead to a shot. If the shot results in a goal, that is an assist. And, to no surprise along with the statistic, Acosta leads MLS in assists at 14.

Scouting New England Revolution (5-10-1, 16 points, 15th in Eastern Conference, W-W-W-L-L)

New England has started the season off to one of the worst starts in the clubs storied history, losing 10 of their first 13 matches to kick off the season and earning just 7 points entering match number 14 of the season. Of late though, the Revs have seemed to hit their stride and are now riding an unlikely three game winning streak entering the return match against FC Cincinnati and looking to continue their unlikely turn around.

Some of the wins have come at fortuitous moments for New England, catching Nashville, Red Bulls and Vancouver at inopportune times, but given how much the club has struggled success of any kind - no matter the circumstances surrounding them - is important to building confidence.

New manager Caleb Porter, who was brought in this offseason for his first season in New England, has typically sent out his squad in a 4-2-3-1 formation with DP midfielder Carles Gil in the middle of the offense to create freely, but has utilized a 4-3-3 formation and a 5-3-2 formation on occasion this season when the timing calls for it.

Gil, 31, has been the offensive superman for New England since joining the club in 2019. Tallying 37 goals and 67 assists in 149 starts, the Spanish midfielder formerly of Aston Villa and Valencia has become one of the most feared players in the league in open space.

Part of New England's upside despite poor performances this season has been the youth on the squad that continues to develop and makes New England one of the more exciting future teams in MLS. Esmir Bajraktarevic, a Bosnian-American 19-year-old who is expected to join the US Olympic team at the Paris summer games is expected to feature heavily going forward and midfielder Noel Buck, who has spent time with England Youth National Teams, has also had strong showings as the club has found results of late.

Goalkeeping duties for The Revs have been split between Henrich Ravas and Aljaž Ivačič, but it has been the Slovinian Ivačič who has taken over duties as of late. With seven-starts this season, the former Portland Timbers player has significantly helped tidy up the defense for New England, conceding just 11 goals in his seven starts with two being penalty kicks. While not a qualified leader yet due to matches started, Ivačič leads MLS in Post Shot Expected Goals Stopped with 0.41 per 90 and is already seventh in saves per game with 4.

New England, despite playing on the road this match, will have a slight advantage of their own heading into the weekend fixture as unlike FCC the Revs did not play a mid-week matchup this week and thus may be fresher than The Orange and Blue who played a grueling Wednesday night match in extremely hot temperatures.


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