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FC Cincinnati Take on St. Louis Looking to Tie Club Record

May 17, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release

FC Cincinnati prepares to play its third game in eight days on Saturday night when the youngest club in the league comes to TQL Stadium to take on The Orange and Blue. St. Louis CITY SC visits The Queen City for the first time as FCC looks to continue its league-high five-game win streak and tie the club's MLS record for consecutive wins.

With the short week quickly turning their attention to the next game, FC Cincinnati returned to training on Thursday, looking to move on quickly from their Wednesday victory and refocus on the weekend.

"It is a quick turnaround, but St. Louis is dealing with the same schedule this week," FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan said on Friday. "So when you lose that extra day of prep like we had in the lead up to Atlanta, things happen a little bit faster. You have to try to get as much information in a short amount of time to your players."

The Orange and Blue are not unfamiliar with multi-match weeks and quick turnarounds. FCC weathered the storm of short-rest matches earlier this season when playing in the Concacaf Champions Cup along with MLS play. FC Cincinnati also has a history of success when playing on short rest. Since Pat Noonan took over in 2022, the club is 14-2-5 when playing on three days' rest and is undefeated (3-0-2) this season under the same circumstances.

"We want to make sure that we stay as fresh as possible going into the game tomorrow," Noonan added. "But with the two days in between (it was just) let's put Atlanta past us and make sure that we're focused on St. Louis."

FC Cincinnati enter the Saturday match in second place in the Supporters' Shield table and lead MLS in points per game with 2.08. With a win, The Orange and Blue could leapfrog Inter Miami CF to retake the standings lead if other results play out in their favor.

FC Cincinnati vs St. Louis CITY SC - Saturday, May 18, 2024 - 7:30 p.m. ET - TQL Stadium


Stream: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV

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

TV Talent (Spanish, Apple): Oscar Salazar (PXP), Luis Gerardo Bucci (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 St. Louis CITY SC

FC Cincinnati welcome the youngest MLS club to TQL Stadium for the first time on Saturday night and play them for the second time in the young club's history.

Last season the two sides met for the first time in St. Louis' inaugural season at CITYPARK, where the hosts defeated a heavily rotated FC Cincinnati 5-1 in a match that was delayed by tornado and heavy rain storms near the downtown stadium. Sergio Santos scored the lone goal for FC Cincinnati on that night in the 52nd minute.

Of the players who started that match, only five remain available for selection on the roster for this weekend's match.


Man between the Metal - Through 13 games of the 2024 MLS season, FC Cincinnati's defense has allowed 10 goals, the fewest in MLS. A big key to that has been Roman Celentano, who has secured five clean sheets, tied for the league-lead (Stuver and Kahlina). Celentano's 4 goals allowed and 0.44 GAA are both the fewest in MLS. Only RSL's Zac MacMath also has a GAA under 1.00 (0.90).

Teenage Dream - Last Saturday in Columbus, forward Kevin Kelsy at 19 years, 289 days became the youngest player in FCC history to score an MLS Regular Season goal. With his 7th minute goal against Atlanta on Wednesday, he became the fastest teenager in MLS history to score two goals in MLS play (scored twice in 58 minutes of on-field play).

West Coast Winning - Saturday will mark the second of six regular season matches in 2024 against a Western Conference opponent. Last season, FC Cincinnati went 4-1-1 against the West - with the lone loss being at St. Louis CITY SC. Under Head Coach Pat Noonan, FC Cincinnati are 8-3-4 against a West opponent in MLS play, including 1-0-0 this season after April's 2-1 win vs Colorado Rapids.

Salute to Service - FC Cincinnati will celebrate all members of the armed services Saturday for "Salute to Service" night at TQL Stadium. Defender and 2023 SuperDraft selection London Aghedo attended the Air Force Academy. Aghedo was the 2022 Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and played four seasons for the Falcons.

Scouting St. Louis CITY SC (3-2-7, 16 points, 9th in Western Conference, L-W-D-D-W)

St. Louis CITY SC has become painfully used to draws this season, leading the league with seven even-score finishes to start the season. After the club raced out to a hot start in their first MLS season, finishing atop the Western Conference before faltering in the playoffs, their sophomore season has seen more struggles through 12 games as the club has battled injury and absence to their starting lineup.

Managed by Bradley Carnell, who came to St. Louis as the club's inaugural manager from the New York Red Bulls system, has a history beyond last year's match in playing FC Cincinnati as he was an assistant coach of the 2017 Red Bulls squad FC Cincinnati faced off within the US Open Cup. Carnell has brought that typical high press the Red Bulls organization is known for to St. Louis.

Most often, CITY utilizes a 4-2-3-1 formation to start games with Brazilian DP forward Klauss up top and the combination of Celio Pompeu, Indiana Vassilev and Rasmus Alm falling in behind him.

St. Louis has been notably without DP midfielder Eduard Löwen, as the German national has been out with an injury and away from the club with personal matters. Löwen returned to the club this week ahead of the match with Cincinnati but is likely weeks away from full fitness. He revealed Thursday that his absence was due to his wife being diagnosed with Brain Cancer. FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan expressed Thursday that his and everyone at the club's thoughts and prayers are with Löwen and his family and wishes for a speedy and healthy recovery.

The backline for CITY has seen some rearranging but at the center of the back four is MLS Defender of the Year finalist Tim Parker. Parker missed the opening parts of the season with injury but has since returned to his usual spot, now leading the club in clearances and aerial duels since his return.

St. Louis typically likes to play out of possession and hit opponents on the counter. CITY is second to last in MLS this season ahead of only Chicago Fire with 46.32 percent possession on average per game. In games where CITY have greater than 50 percent possession they are 0-1-3 this season.

Leading the team this season in scoring is the aforementioned Klauss, who has five finishes on the season and has added two more assists. The Brazilian came to STL from the Belgian side Sint-Truiden after spending time at Hoffenheim of the German Bundesliga. Fellow Brazilian Celio Pompeu has added three goals and two assists, and Vassilev (who played for Inter Miami CF and EPL side Aston Villa) has a goal and assist as well but ranks third on the team in non-penalty xG.

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