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FCC wrap five-season run at Nippert Stadium

October 28, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - FC Cincinnati News Release

CINCINNATI - FC Cincinnati fell to Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, in the club's final match at Nippert Stadium on Wednesday evening.

FC Cincinnati (4-13-4, 16 pts.) had a majority of possession in the first half, but neither side was able to score prior to halftime. The Orange and Blue nearly opened the scoring prior to the halftime whistle when Zico Bailey threaded a through ball to Jurgen Locadia in the 18-yard box, however the forward's ensuing shot was stopped by Tim Melia.

Sporting Kansas City (11-6-3, 36 pts.) broke the deadlock in the 57th minute when Alan Pulido played a pass to Roger Espionsa in the 18-yard box, where the Honduran's left-footed shot deflected off Tom Pettersson and went past Spencer Richey. The Orange and Blue had an opportunity to equalize in the 63rd minute from the penalty spot, however, Siem de Jong's shot hit off the post.

FC Cincinnati will be back in action on Sunday, Nov. 1, when the club travels to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to play Atlanta United FC. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on WSTR 64, carried on the radio on WDJO (99.5 FM, 107.9 FM and 1480 AM), streamed regionally on fccincinnati.com/stream, out of market on ESPN+, while an audio stream will be available at 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. Additionally, fans are encouraged to download the team's official mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.

Information about seating options at the club's state-of-the-art West End Stadium - which will open in Spring 2021 - is now available at westendstadium.com. Season ticket deposits are now being accepted for traditional reserved seating and The Bailey. For more information about 2021 season memberships, visit westendstadium.com or the stadium's social properties on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram at @WestEndStadium, or by calling the team's sales and service staff at 513-977-5425.

Sporting Kansas City 1, FC Cincinnati 0

Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio

October 28, 2020

SCORING SUMMARY

SKC - Roger Espinoza (Alan Pulido, Gadi Kinda) 57'

FC Cincinnati: Spencer Richey, Zico Bailey (Saad Abdul-Salaam 78'), Nick Hagglund, Tom Pettersson (Jimmy McLaughlin 90'), Andrew Gutman, Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brandon Vazquez 80'), Haris Medunjanin ©, Frankie Amaya, Siem de Jong, Joseph-Claude Gyau, Jürgen Locadia (Yuya Kubo 77')

Bench: Bobby Edwards, Kendall Waston, Mathieu Deplagne, Tommy McCabe, Rashawn Dally,

Stats: Shots 13, Shots on goal 2, Saves 3, Corner kicks 6, Offsides 1, Fouls 12, Possession 62.4%, Passes 593 (86.0%)

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia, Andreu Fontàs, Jaylin Lundsey, Roberto Puncec, Amadou Dia, Gadi Kinda (Cameron Duke 81'), Ilie Sánchez, Felipe Hernandez (Roger Espinoza HT'), Johnny Russell ©, Alan Pulido (Erik Hurtado 90'), Khiry Shelton (Gerso HT')

Bench: John Pulskamp, Dániel Sallói, Matt Besler, Graham Smith, John Pulskamp, Luis Martins

Stats: Shots 13, Shots on goal 4, Saves 2, Corner kicks 4, Offsides 0, Fouls 12, Possession 37.6%, Passes 358 (77.7%)

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

SKC - Roberto Puncec (caution) 60'

Referee: Dave Gantar

Assistant Referees: Andrew Bigelow, Gjovalin Bori

4th Official: Joshua Encarnacion

VAR: Hilario Grajeda

Weather: 52 degrees and cloudy

Attendance: N/A

GAME NOTES

With tonight's loss, the Orange and Blue are now 4-13-4 through 21 MLS matches ... FCC finished the season 1-4-4 in matches played at Nippert Stadium ... FC Cincinnati's all-time, all-competition record against Sporting Kansas City moves to 0-1-1 ... The Orange and Blue are now 0-3-0 against Western Conference opponents this season

Tonight's match was FC CIncinnati's 85th and final competitive match at Nippert Stadium after five seasons ... the Orange and Blue recorded a 38-24-23 record at Nippert Stadium across all competitions while competing in the USL Championship (2016-18) and Major League Soccer (2019-20)

Jimmy McLaughlin made his first MLS appearance for FC Cincinnati in tonight's match ... McLaughlin replaced Tom Pettersson in the 90th minute ... it was McLaughlin's first appearance with FC CIncinnati since the club's USL Championship playoffs match against New York Red Bulls II on Oct. 27, 2018 ... it was McLaughlin's first MLS appearance since June 6, 2015, when he played for the Philadelphia Union against New York City FC

Head coach Jaap Stam made one change to the club's most recent match against Minnesota United FC on Oct. 24 ... Jürgen Locadia replaced Alvaro Barreal

Allan Cruz, Greg Garza, Alvaro Barreal, Caleb Stanko, Przemysław Tytoń and Maikel van der Werff were excluded from the matchday roster because of injuries

POSTGAME QUOTES

FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam

On tonight's performance

"I can only say that it's unbelievable that we've played many games and it's unfortunate that you don't get the results that you deserve. Do we deserve them? Because we missed the opportunities ourselves. You give away a game. They come out once and they score a goal. We get several, several opportunities and we can't finish them off, so that's a pity. Nothing to the players because they've worked hard, and they've played well. Second half is always different from the first half - it's a bit more open, you can see, and we spoke about it at halftime. They tried to press a little bit, be more and more aggressive going forward. We found it hard in the beginning to play away from there, but that one ball over the top - that makes a difference at times. Sometimes you need to use it, you get a penalty, you need to finish that. We can't, and after that, you control the game. You get opportunities after that, as well; but for some reason we can't get it in the back of the net. That's unfortunate, because we can say a lot and we complain about things, of course, but we need to look at ourselves because in a lot of home games we gave it away ourselves. We couldn't finish the games, and that's why we are where we are now, to be honest."

On giving Jimmy McLaughlin an appearance in Nippert Stadium's finale

"You do, and it's not because of Jimmy (McLaughlin) and doing favors for Jimmy. He's been out. He's a guy who's always ready for the club. He's working hard. He came back from injuries. He's been out for a long time. We needed to make an extra sub, bring an extra forward in, and you can make a choice between Rashawn (Dally) and Jimmy. Rashawn had his opportunities, as well. Jimmy came back and you hope that when he comes in, he can bring the extra sparkle to get dangerous and get them forward. Although, it is a couple of minutes. For him, it's special to finish his last game over here... I think for everybody it's been great to play here. We spoke about it a little bit yesterday, as well. There's been history made over here, and going to a new ground. I think everybody is thankful for what we could do over here, and what the club has been doing over here for me. It's unfortunate that you can't see the stadium, Nippert, with fans, but it is how it is. We need to keep on going. There are only two games to go and hopefully we can finish them well and give us a little bit of a better feeling to finish the season, but it's unfortunate, again, going back to this game. You get nothing from this game. Especially if you see where the opposition is standing in the ranking and where we are."

On Siem de Jong playing as striker and Jürgen Locadia as a winger

"That went very well up top, because Siem (de Jong) is very good and he played up top in the past, and Jürgen (Locadia) played in his previous clubs on the left side a lot, and playing from the left. He was a goal scorer, as well, in the league where he played. So, they are very familiar in their position how to play, and you can see by Siem dropping into areas, the opposition didn't know how to respond or how to deal with that, which brought us more possession and opportunities to go forward, so I think it was a very good conclusion to do that."

FC Cincinnati defender Tom Pettersson

On tonight's match

"I don't know. I felt like we had the ball a lot, and got a lot of guys to keep the ball in possession, and say go forward and create some chances. Wish we did, but their keeper (Tim Melia) made some really good saves. Unfortunately, they scored on one chance and we couldn't score today. We lost. I don't know what to say really. I'm so disappointed."

On how frustrating the recents results are

"Of course, it's frustrating. At one point in the season, we didn't create enough chances to be honest. Right now, we are creating chances, but of course it's about confidence. If we score a first goal or if we equalize, it'll boost up this team. Now we don't get that, so we struggle. We keep on fighting and try to score. Of course, goals change games. So, it's tough, but we have to build ourselves. We haven't done enough to score, obviously. We miss the chances, and they don't. We have to do it better. Of course, there's a lot of confidence. It is what it is."

On how Jürgen Locadia's performance

"I have no idea how he is. You would have to ask him or the physical team. He is fighting like everyone else, and of course he wants to score more goals and all that. It's not easy. We have to give him more chances as well. We all know as a striker and the goal scoring, if you score one goal, you get more. He just needs to score a goal and we will score a lot. He is a really good player. We're all struggling right now with our confidence. Soccer is a lot about your head and it's a lot about confidence. We also have to earn the result. If you win the game and get a few goals from playing well, then you feel like you're heading somewhere, and it's so much easier on you. But right now, we're struggling. It's tougher for us."

FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Spencer Richey

On tonight's match

Man, just feels like that summarizes our season pretty accurately. I thought we played well for large portions of the game. we dictated the game especially early on, we created some chances, and they created a couple. They ended up scoring that goal. But if it did not deflect off Tom (Pettersson), I probably end up making that save. (Tim) Melia makes a couple great saves for them and then we hit the post. I thought it accurately summarized how this year has gone for us. You can't fault guys for their effort, I know eventually effort is not enough and results need to start coming. Unfortunately, we didn't get it done tonight.

On the message from head coach Jaap Stam

"He said similar things. Tonight, is another example where it's like what do we have to do to get the ball to go in the net. We are getting good chances. We hit the post twice. (Tim) Melia makes a great save on Jürgen (Locadia), closes the angle well. If I knew, I certainly would have something a long time ago, whenever I found that out. For whatever reason, we are not able to put the ball in the back of the net over this last stretch of games. If you can't do that, and even give up one goal, the result is not going to look good for you. Hopefully these next two games we can play with a lot of pride and find the back of the net. That would be fitting how these series have gone, if we have a goal-fest these next two. We'll see."

On his last match at Nippert Stadium

"100%. It (not having fans) certainly takes away what makes Nippert what it is, the people that fill it and the atmosphere they create. Obviously, this year we haven't gotten to experience that. It's been interesting. Some guys from the team have been asking me. Brandon (Vazquez), for example, only got to experience Nippert when he came with Atlanta (United FC) last year. You guys have no idea. It's insane. It's been some of the most fun games that I have ever played in. That's due, 100%, to the supporters and the atmosphere they create. That's to Jeff (Berding) and the rest of the guys that started this club. They always say they don't really know what it is that they did, but they put a group of people together and delivered it to a city that was hungry for soccer. I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that next year, going into the West End Stadium, the supporters can start to get some of the results they deserve. They've been patient. They've been supportive. They could have easily been smashing us these past two years for a team that has largely underperformed, and that's myself included. Hopefully, looking into the future there are brighter days ahead.


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