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FC Cincinnati Host Atlanta United FC in Return to TQL Stadium

May 14, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release

After an emotional weekend victory in Columbus, FC Cincinnati return home for a midweek test with Atlanta United FC looking to continue not only their win streak but also their string of positive, dominant performances.

With a 5-1-1 record on the road, The Orange and Blue have set their focus on dominating at home this week as they prepare for two home matches in four days. With the game coming so quickly after the weekend win though, one that FCC Head Coach Pat Noonan acknowledged postgame may have been one of the best in his tenure with the club, moving on from that celebration to refocus on this week is key to success for FC Cincinnati.

"In the past, we've talked about how the sign of a good team is when you have a poor performance or result, how do you respond from it and come back and have a better performance, and hopefully a better result? Well, on the other side, when you have a good performance, how do you respond?" Noonan said Monday in a press conference. "Obviously, we have a quick turnaround against a difficult opponent...So what does it look like in the immediate aftermath to go and perform again?"

"Because if we don't turn it around the right way, and if we're not prepared for Atlanta, then we'll get humbled very quickly."

FC Cincinnati is catching Atlanta United FC as they struggle to get positive outcomes early in the season. The 5 Stripes are winless on the road this season with an 0-2-2 record and have lost a league high three games at home this season, including the loss to FCC last month.

"Just like we can't get too low, when we have bad performances, we can't get too high," Noonan continued. "It was a special moment and a good win. But it's over now. We need to make sure we're focused on Atlanta."

With a win Wednesday FCC would continue their four game winning streak and potentially challenge for the top spot in the Supporters' Shield table. A goal from Luciano Acosta Wednesday night would also set a new club record for the longest goal scoring streak in club history with five.

FC Cincinnati vs Atlanta United FC - Wednesday, May 15, 2024 - 7:30 p.m. ET - TQL Stadium


Stream: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV

TV: FS1, Fox Deportes

TV Talent (English, Apple): Steve Cangialosi (PxP), Danny Higginbotham (Analyst)

TV Talent (Spanish, Apple): Anlejandro Figueredo (PXP), Eduardo Biscayart (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 Atlanta United FC

FC Cincinnati has been the better of the two sides since Pat Noonan took over as Head Coach in 2022, but the all-time tally still belongs to Atlanta United FC as FCC is 3-5-5 against the Georgia squad. In the five meetings since Noonan took over though, FCC is undefeated with a 2-0-3 record.

In an odd twist though, FCC is all-time 0-2-3 when hosting The Five Stripes at TQL Stadium and will thus be looking for their first win against Atlanta Wednesday night.

In the meeting earlier this season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Luciano Acosta and Luca Orellano combined for a quick knockout blow as two goals in three minutes to erase a 1-0 lead from Atlanta and secure the win.

Acosta has been a menace against Atlanta in his career scoring nine times, the most against any one team in his career. His five goals with FCC also stand as the most in club history against Atlanta. Orellano became the ninth player in club history to score against ATL, and is one of three active players to have a goal against them (joining Acosta and Yuya Kubo).


Bringing Out The Brooms - With FC Cincinnati wrapping up a season series for the first time in 2024 on Wednesday, and with last month's 2-1 win over Atlanta, FCC look to sweep the Five-Stripes. FCC swept four Eastern Conference clubs last season in MLS Regular Season play (NYC, NSH, MIA, TOR).

Winning on Wednesday - Under Pat Noonan, FC Cincinnati have fared well on Hump Day. Since 2022, across all comps, FCC are 10-2-5 in 17 matches falling on a Wednesday. FCC are 1-0 this season (2/28: W 4-0 vs Cavalier) and are scheduled for 6 more matches on a Wednesday after this week.

Milestone Moments - Last Saturday's match at Columbus was FC Cincinnati's 50th win under Head Coach Pat Noonan. In regular season play, Noonan has earned the most points of any head coach since the start of the 2022 Regular Season (Courtesy Elias).

First time goal scorer - FCC have already had eight players score their first goal for the club in 2024, which ranks third most in club history for the amount of first-time goal scorers for the club in a single season. Kevin Kelsy's head Saturday night joined Malik Pinto, Alvas Powell, Gerardo "Dado" Valenzuela, Miles Robinson, Luca Orellano and Corey Baird.

Scouting Atlanta United FC (3-5-3, 12 points, 10th in Eastern Conference, D-L-D-L-L)

Atlanta United FC comes to TQL Stadium for their annual visit in dire straits. Losers of their last two and winless in their last six dating back to the end of March, The Five Stripes are desperately trying to right the ship and get back to the winning the club has done for so long.

Since last seeing FC Cincinnati, Atlanta has struggled on its home turf, losing twice more and drawing to last-place Chicago Fire FC 0-0 at Soldier Field. With only three goals in their last three games, the high-powered offense fueled by Thiago Almada and Giorgos Giakoumakis has struggled to ignite. But FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan said Thursday in his press conference that Atlanta is too talented to take lightly despite the lack of production in recent weeks.

"As a coach, I just see a dangerous opponent," FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan said of Atlanta's recent struggles. "We've just seen them, we saw what the challenges look like when we went and played at their place. And with results not going their way, I expect them to be very motivated to come and beat us. So our focus needs to be on a very talented team that while they're not getting results, they're very dangerous. So we can look at, at least recently having played them, (and) I think there's a lot of good things to take from that game."

The rematch is the first time FC Cincinnati will see a repeat foe in league play in 2024. Atlanta, managed by Gonzalo Pineda, deployed a 4-2-3-1 lineup in their last match with FCC but needed to use significant rotation due to injury. So, while typical starters Giakoumakis, Xande Silva, and Tyler Wolff started on the bench, all three are expected to be available for the match without limitation.

In net for Atlanta, Brad Guzan has started all 11 games and made 24 saves. Guzan ranks 17th in saves this season and ranks 13th in save percentage. The 39-year-old American has been a staple in MLS, logging 12 seasons and over 250 appearances while winning MLS Cup in Atlanta in 2018.

"(We) have to get back to that simplicity of the game. Defending well, connect your passes, and make the ball work for you," Atlanta United Head Coach Gonzalo Pineda said at his press conference on Monday. "It's not just really the tactics, but the situations we go through and overcomplicate at times. It's a matter of getting back to who we are, we are Atlanta United we have to get back to that."

While Atlanta United FC's league struggles have left them winless in their last six, the club did earn a win on May 7 against Charlotte Independence in the US Open Cup Round of 32.

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