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Manneh's Goal Not Enough

August 25, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - FC Cincinnati News Release

CINCINNATI - FC Cincinnati fell to Columbus Crew SC, 3-1, at Nippert Stadium on Sunday night in a Heineken Rivalry Week match. Kekuta Manneh scored the lone goal for the Orange and Blue late in the second half.

FC Cincinnati (5-19-3, 18 pts.) conceded three first-half goals as Columbus Crew SC (8-15-6, 30 pts.) moved to 3-1-3 in their last seven matches. Gyasi Zardes opened the scoring in the 22nd minute and completed his brace 11 minutes later. Luis DÃ-az added a third goal for the visitors in first-half stoppage time.

Manneh scored his fourth goal of the season in the 89th minute for FCC.

This was the second game in three weeks between the teams in the #HellisReal derby. On Aug. 10, the teams played to a 2-2 draw in Columbus at MAPFRE Stadium.

FC Cincinnati return to action on Saturday, August 30, when they face FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium. First kick is set for 8 p.m., and the game will be televised live on WSTR 64, streamed on FloFC (in-region) and ESPN+ (out-of-region), carried on the radio on WDJO with an audio stream on TuneIn (WDJO) and

The team next plays at home on Saturday, Sept. 7, when the Orange and Blue host Toronto FC at 7:30 p.m. Individual-game tickets and group options are on sale for all remaining FC Cincinnati games at or by calling 513-977-5425 (KICK).

For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team's official website at, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati.

Columbus Crew SC 3, FC Cincinnati 1

Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio

August 25, 2019


CLB - Gyasi Zardes (Luis DÃ-az, Pedro Santos) 22'

CLB - Gyasi Zardes (Harrison Afful) 33'

CLB - Luis Di-az (Pedro Santos) 45'+1'

CIN - Kekuta Manneh (Emmanuel Ledesma) 89'

FC Cincinnati: Przemysław Tytoń, Mathieu Deplagne, Kendall Waston ©, Maikel van der Werff, Andrew Gutman, Caleb Stanko (Leonardo Bertone 56'), Victor Ulloa, Allan Cruz, Roland Lamah, Derrick Etienne Jr. (Emmanuel Ledesma 75'), Darren Mattocks (Kekuta Manneh HT)

Bench: Jimmy Hague, Nick Hagglund, Justin Hoyte, Joseph-Claude Gyau

Stats: Shots 14, Shots on goal 6, Saves 3, Corner kicks 4, Offsides 2, Fouls 10, Possession 51.1%, Passes 437 (77.3%)

Columbus Crew SC: Eloy Room, Harrison Afful, Josh Williams (Alex Crognale 80'), Connor Maloney, Jonathan Mensah, Artur, Pedro Santos, Wil Trapp ©, Youness Mokhtar (David Accam 67'), Luis Diaz (Luis Argudo 54'), Gyasi Zardes

Bench: Jon Kempin, Alex Crognale, Romario Williams, David Guzman, Davi Accam, Jordan Hamilton

Stats: Shots 12, Shots on goal 6, Saves 5, Corner kicks 5, Offsides 2, Fouls 19, Possession 48.9%, Passes 426 (76.8%)


CIN - Andrew Gutman (caution) 23'

CIN - Maikel van der Werff (caution) 31'

CLB - Connor Maloney (caution) 31'

CLB - Harrison Afful (caution) 43'

CIN - Mathieu Deplagne (caution) 57'

CLB - Artur (caution) 62'

CLB - Jonathan Mensah (caution) 90'+1'

CIN - Victor Ulloa (caution) 90'+1'

CIN - Emmanuel Ledesma (caution) 90'+5'

Referee: Joe Dickerson

Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski, Kevin Klinger

4th Official: Elvis Osmanovic

VAR: Sorin Stoica

Weather: 79 degrees and sunny

Attendance: 30,611


19' | Crew SC recorded their first shot on target following a corner kick. Will Trapp sent an outswinging ball just beyond the edge of the six-yard box, where Gyasi Zardes headed the ball directly at Przemysław Tytoń for the save.

22' | CLB GOAL - Zardes won a goal kick midfield and played a through ball to a charging Pedro Santos. Santos found Luis DÃ-az on the right flank, who sent a low cross into Zardes, who one-timed a left-footed shot beyond an outstretched Tytoń.

33' | CLB GOAL - Harrison Afful received the ball in the right flank of the field and after taking a couple of touches, sent in a curling through ball to Zardes. Zardes chested the ball and slotted past Tytoń for his second goal.

45+1' | CLB GOAL - From the center of the field, Zardes headed the ball down to Santos, who lobbed a pass to Diaz. Diaz dribbled through the right side of the field and once inside the penalty box, blasted a shot near post for the 3-0 lead.

56' | Allan Cruz collected a 50-50 ball, controlled and then lobbed a pass over to Derrick Etienne Jr. as he made a run towards goal. Etienne's shot, however, corralled in by Room.

66' | Josh Williams broke up a play between Cruz and Andrew Gutman. Cruz tracked the ball down and ripped a low shot towards goal, catching a deflection on the way towards goal, but Room recovered to parry the ball out for a corner kick.

89' | CIN GOAL - Emmanuel Ledesma threaded a ball to Kekuta Manneh, catching him in stride. With his second touch, Manneh curled a shot around Room to pull one goal back for the home team.


With tonight's loss, the Orange and Blue move to 5-19-3 through 27 MLS matches ... in addition, FC Cincinnati fall to 3-9-1 in home contests ... FC Cincinnati's all-time, all-competition record against Columbus Crew SC sits at 1-1-1, and 1-0-1 in MLS play ... Cincinnati is now 3-11-2 against Eastern Conference opponents

Kekuta Manneh scored his fourth goal of the season in tonight's match, equaling the mark he set with Vancouver and Columbus in 2017 ... the midfielder has now recorded 30 goals in his MLS career ... Manneh is currently tied for second-most goals among FCC players with Emmanuel Ledesma

Emmanuel Ledesma recorded his FCC-leading fourth assist of the season on Manneh's strike ... Ledesma's eight combined goals and assists are most among all FCC players this season ... in FCC's last 10 minutes, the midfielder has scored four goals and has added three assists

Derrick Etienne Jr. made his first start as an FC Cincinnati player in tonight's contest ... the midfielder became the first player to feature for FCC after playing matches in the same season with a different MLS franchise (New York Red Bulls) ... Etienne played 75 minutes before he was replaced by Emmanuel Ledesma

Kekuta Manneh became the first player to play MLS regular-season matches with both FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew SC ... Manneh replaced Darren Mattocks at halftime and scored the lone goal for the Orange and Blue

Tonight's lineup was FC Cincinnati's 25th unique lineup of the season ... FC Cincinnati Head Coach Ron Jans made one change to the starting lineup from the match against New York City FC on Aug. 17... Derrick Etienne Jr. replaced Emmanuel Ledesma

Fanendo Adi (calf), Frankie Amaya (groin), and Spencer Richey (back) were unavailable for selection because of injury


FC Cincinnati Head Coach Ron Jans

Overall thoughts on the match

"Expectations were so high when you meet your rival at home. It was a very intense game in Columbus. I think against New York (City FC) we were competitive for an hour. Then in the first half tonight I did not see a team. I did not see players doing the game plan and I do not know why. In the second half, we did much more building up, better in possession, creating chances and we could have scored maybe earlier and we scored in the end and saw a team in the second half that was playing as a team. What is most important is they killed the game. They did a great job, Columbus in the first half and we had trouble winning the ball, putting the pressure and with the speed of the attackers and I read somewhere on how to keep (Gyasi) Zardes in control. I think he was the man of the match because of his speed and his goals in the second half. So, it is a good lesson for us in the club and this coach. You have to be a team player and you have to give it all and I did not see enough of that in the first half, but I know a lot of guys in the club have the spirit. So, we will continue working on that, but for today we had more expected from this game."

On not sticking to the game plan

"The game plan you have to do with eleven players and in the building up we did not get to the right positions on how we wanted to, we showed it. I think two times in the first half we had three versus two in the midfield. In the second half we did a lot better, but the pressure, some players...I won't mention names here, but they didn't do what we wanted. When you don't press with eleven and two or three players do the same thing you are in trouble and Columbus did well finding the bouncing players and the speed and they scored three goals and killed the game in the first half."

On lack of communication/teamwork

"I did not say there was no teamwork, there was not enough teamwork in the first half. But in the second half they (Columbus) had very good chance with (Gyasi) Zardes and the shot from (Pedro) Santos, but the rest of the chances were for our team. So if you say the first half the teamwork was not enough. I don't think it is communication, I think it all starts in the brain and some players their emotions they decide what they do, but you have to use their brains too."

On goals moving forward this season

"The goals remain the same. We want to reach the playoffs, but we won't. The goal is to cultivate a way of playing and to see which players fit in our future plans and I think I was patient in the first three games, but you have to do it, otherwise you are not in the plans of FC Cincinnati and my plans. So the goals are to improve the way of playing and to see who is a part of FC Cincinnati next season."

FC Cincinnati Forward Kekuta Manneh

On the loss

"Disappointing. Very, very disappointing. Take nothing away from the effort the guys put in. I think we came out in the second half, even in the first half, played well, very unlucky ... I thought we were unlucky not to get a result this game, but give credit to the guys. They really fought till the last whistle. Just didn't get a result of it."

On scoring against his former club

"It feels good. It feels good, but disappointing at the same time. I would've liked to get a result against them, That would be more important. It feels nice to be able to score goals and get back in the scoring seat. Hopefully, take it in from that and to the next game. Hopefully, help the team win the next game."

On his mindset as he entered in the second half

"We have nothing to lose. (I) came in the game and wanted to help the team as much as possible. Like I said, we were very unlucky. The mindset is we have nothing to lose. We have to go out and play the way we want to play and express ourselves, work hard, and the results will take care of themselves. You can see that if you divide into two halves, the game, we won the second half. So, I think we have to start doing that, keep the same energy throughout the game."

FC Cincinnati Defender Kendall Waston

On his thoughts on tonight's match

"Well, it was a really hard one. They punished us three times. From there, they can be more relaxed, take care of the ball, have more confidence and we have to chase and chase and chase. We created some chances, but we didn't score. I think that was the key of the game. In the first half, we weren't there, we were asleep, and Columbus was ready to go. That's why they punished us."

On why FC Cincinnati struggled in the first half

"Wow. I really don't know, because obviously everyone got on the field to try to win, to try to go as hard as possible. But, we just got to check ourselves. Everybody has to be a critic with their own self to see what we have to get better on, because we cannot continue like this."

On Coach Ron Jans' message at halftime

"Wake up. Wake up. Wake up and just look forward. We cannot put our head down in mid-half because if we would have continued with our heads down and showing that same face, I think we would have gone home with like six goals (conceded). So, we were talking about putting our head up and try to fight. Try to fight and show another face, because it's not only for ourselves . All our fans that are here are coming to the stadium to support us, and they don't deserve that."

Columbus Crew SC Head Coach Caleb Porter

On Gyasi Zardes' Performance

"Yeah, obviously that is what you want out of your striker. He's had a couple rough games, and missed some chances. We had some great talks after those games, and I kept telling him that I believe in him. And I gave him a couple-day break. He bought into it and understood. I think he just needed a little bit of a couple days rest, and it sure looked like it helped today. It was great for him. I mean, he looked every bit as good as the type of striker that we want and need."

On tonight's match and win

"I think what was good about it is that we showed the type of football we can play, and a bit of the vision moving forward of what we want it to look like. That first half was the best half of the year, and I thought it was as close to the vision of how we want to play moving forward as we've had all season long. We were aggressive, we pressed from the opening whistle. We got on the ball when it was on to break and be ruthless in transition, we were. When it was time to keep the ball, we did. I thought second half we dropped off too much and didn't keep the ball enough. We have to play the way we did first half for longer periods. But, I think to show what we're about, show what we're capable of and obviously send our supporters home feeling good was really important tonight. We talked about not thinking about any games prior. It's been a rough year, it's been a challenge. We had adversity, we had more adversity today. We lost more guys with injures today. I mean, I can't believe it, every game it seems like we lose another guy. But, we wanted in spite of all those things, to send our supporters home, make them feel good, to remind everybody the type of club that we are, the type of team that we are, and the type of players we have."

On having success on the right side of the pitch

"Of course, we look at the opponent and we set up a plan where we want to get behind their team, especially on the right side. If you look at most of their games, if you watch through the goals they've given up, far more of their goals come down their left side. So, we want to be direct and aggressive on that side. We wanted to play the pocket on their left side with Youness (Mokhtar). I thought we did really well in terms of executing the way we wanted to play and I thought our transition play was good. I thought our pressing was really good. There have been some games where we felt we couldn't do that or maybe we felt that it was not going to be the right thing to do, and I thought today we showed we can play that way aggressively, press high from the front, and get the goal or keep the ball. We showed front-half dominant football today, and we have to continue with that and certainly in the second half we didn't show that but we get the result, we get the three-one win and I'm pleased. We are going to enjoy it, obviously our fans should enjoy it as well. I just want to thank them for showing up, being loud and supporting us through this tough year. We still have five games to go and we are not done yet, we are going to keep swinging, we are going to keep fighting, who knows what happens."

Columbus Crew SC Forward Gyasi Zardes

On getting rest midweek

"Yeah, so like you said, coach (Caleb Porter) gave me a couple days off mid-week. I think that was great for myself. Just allow myself a little bit more rest, and prepare for this game."

On if his goal show the rest of the team has confidence in him

"Oh yeah, I mean throughout the last, previous games, my team, they have confidence in me every time I step onto the field. And it's vice versa. I have confidence in them. Just to be able to put the ball in the back of the net, and help us go up a goal, and then help us go up two goals just means a lot."

On if this game is a breakthrough

"Yeah, I mean like you said, we've been trying to score first, and today we capitalized on that. Now I think we need to carry this momentum into the next game."

On the traveling crowd

"It feels great, we have some of the best fans in the league, and I've been saying that since the moment I got here. When I see thousands of fans, in like close to zero-degree weather out here, and they're still out there supporting us. Just for them driving and traveling down here, it means a lot to us players."

On if there was extra motivation due to the rivalry

"Every player in this room treated this game like a cup game."

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