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Orange and Blue eliminated from MLS is Back Tournament

July 29, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - FC Cincinnati News Release

ORLANDO - After Jürgen Locadia scored a late equalizer from the spot to send the match to penalties, FC Cincinnati's run in the MLS is Back Tournament came to an end after falling on penalty kicks, 4-2, to the Portland Timbers in the Round of 16 on Tuesday night. FC Cincinnati (2-3-0, 6 pts.) goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń made an MLS career-high seven saves in tonight's contest.

While both sides had chances on goal in the first half, the two clubs remained scoreless after 45 minutes of play. The Portland Timbers (3-1-1, 10 pts.) opened the scoring in the 67th minute when Jarosław Niezgoda found the back of the net following a low cross from Diego Valeri.

The Orange and Blue were able to earn a penalty when Allan Cruz pounced on a ball mishandled by Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark and drew a foul within the penalty area. Making his first appearance since March 7, forward Jürgen Locadia buried his penalty attempt to level the match for FCC. After 90 minutes of play with the two sides level, a pair of penalty misses from FC Cincinnati sent Portland through to the MLS is Back Tournament Quarterfinals.

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. For more information about the Orange and Blue's activities and events at and supporting the MLS is Back Tournament, please visit the team's website at fccincinnati.com, or the club's tournament landing page at fccincinnati.com/MiBTournament.

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. The priority deadline for premium seating deposits has passed, and deposits for traditional reserved seating will open later this year. 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.

FC Cincinnati 1, Portland Timbers 1 (POR advances on PKs, 4-2)

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex | Orlando, Fla.

July 28, 2020

SCORING SUMMARY

POR - Jarosław Niezgoda (Diego Valeri) 67'

CIN - Jürgen Locadia (penalty) 81'

PENALTY KICK SUMMARY

CIN - Siem de Jong (good)

POR - Diego Valeri (good)

CIN - Allan Cruz (good)

POR - Felipe Mora (good)

CIN - Jürgen Locadia (saved)

POR - Sebastian Blanco (good)

CIN - Kendall Waston (missed high)

POR - Jarosław Niezgoda (good)

FC Cincinnati: Przemysław Tytoń, Mathieu Deplagne, Andrew Gutman, Kendall Waston ©, Tom Pettersson, Haris Medunjanin, Caleb Stanko (Jürgen Locadia, 73'), Frankie Amaya (Fatai Alashe 59'), Joseph-Claude Gyau (Kekuta Manneh 89'), Adrien Regattin (Allan Cruz 59'), Yuya Kubo (Siem de Jong 58')

Bench: Bobby Edwards, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Greg Garza, Nick Hagglund, Zico Bailey, Tommy McCabe, Brandon Vazquez

Stats: Shots 12, Shots on goal 5, Saves 7, Corner kicks 0, Offsides 3, Fouls 7, Possession 44.4%, Passes 424 (86.1%)

Portland Timbers: Steve Clark, Jorge Villafaña, Dario Zuparic, Chris Duvall, Larrys Mabiala, Diego Valeri ©, Sebastian Blanco, Diego Chara, Yimmi Chara (Jarosław Niezgoda 64'), Eryk Williamson (Andy Polo 88'), Jeremy Ebobisse (Felipe Mora 90')

Bench: Jeff Attinella, Julio Cascante, Tomas Conechny, Christian Paredes, Bill Tuiloma, Pablo Bonilla, Marco Farfan, Renzo Zambrano, Marvin Loria

Stats: Shots 19, Shots on goal 8, Saves 4, Corner kicks 10, Offsides 0, Fouls 18, Possession 55.5%, Passes 498 (90.6%)

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

POR - Sebastian Blanco (caution) 18'

POR - Jorge Villafaña (caution) 29'

CIN - Andrew Gutman (caution) 31'

CIN - Joseph-Claude Gyau (caution) 46'

CIN - Fatai Alashe (caution) 90'

Referee: Armando Villarreal

Assistant Referees: Andrew Bigelow, Claudiu Badea

4th Official: Ramy Touchan

VAR: Rosendo Mendoza

AVAR: Kathryn Nesbitt

Weather: 76 degrees and mostly cloudy

Attendance: N/A

GAME NOTES

With tonight's result, the Orange and Blue are now 2-3-1 through six matches across all competitions ... in addition, FC Cincinnati finish the MLS is Back Tournament with a 2-1-1 record in the competition ... FC Cincinnati's all-time, all-competition record against the Portland Timbers moves to 1-0-1

The Orange and Blue move to 0-3-1 across all competitions when trailing in a match

Tonight's match was the first match in FC Cincinnati's MLS history to require penalty kicks to determine a winner ... the Orange and Blue's last match to require penalty kicks was in the 2018 USL Championship Playoffs, when FC Cincinnati advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals following penalties against Nashville SC on Oct. 20, 2018

Jürgen Locadia scored on FC Cincinnati's first penalty attempt of the season ... the Dutch striker has now scored two goals in three appearances across all competitions for the Orange and Blue ... FC Cincinnati have converted five of six penalty attempts across all competitions in the club's MLS history

Head coach Jaap Stam made no changes to the starting lineup from the match against the New York Red Bulls on July 22 ... it is the third time in the club's MLS history - and the first time this season - that it has maintained the same starting lineup for two consecutive matches

Jürgen Locadia returned to the matchday roster and made his first appearance since March 7 at Atlanta ... the striker suffered a quad injury prior to FC Cincinnati's first match in the MLS is Back Tournament ... tonight marked the first time FC Cincinnati fielded a full 23-man matchday roster for an MLS is Back Tournament match

Jimmy McLaughlin (ankle), Spencer Richey (concussion) and Maikel van der Werff (groin) were unavailable for selection because of injury

POSTGAME QUOTES

FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam

On tonight's match

"Yeah, again a tough match. We knew that from the start ... We did well, we defended well. We sat a little bit deeper at times. We had difficulties because they tried to create an overload on the sides - not that they created a lot of opportunities, but of course, when you're dropping in deeper and deeper than at times, you can get in situations where it can be a risk by doing that, but they didn't create a lot of opportunities. I'm sure they had the feeling that they had a lot of possession so they did very well, but they had the possession because we've given them the possession as well ... I think in the first half, we came out a couple of times very good. We had space that we knew from the start that we were going to create, the only thing is that sometimes you need to be a bit more brave, you need to be a bit more accurate in your passing and going forward. Eventually, when you get into areas around the box, you need to have a shot as well and trying to score. Sometimes we took too long, we wanted to find the next play every time and then the situation of creating opportunities is gone. So, unfortunately, that didn't happen for us. Second half, we try to pick things up, spoke about it again. Of course, you get a little bit of the same ritual as well in how they played. We went forward and then we eventually scored the goal as well, they gave an offsides, which was unfortunately, because I think it wasn't, but he decided to give it. And then you need to keep on going and then we had the one moment of miscommunication and then they scored, and that's their quality. After that, you need to do something, and you need to change things in the team, and we went back to the 4-3-3 which we also can play, you need to take a little bit more risk, you need to go forward. We're bringing in a couple of other players as well, a couple of subs, and I think they've done very well, they've helped us forward. After that, I think we were the better team. We created, we dominated. We made the equalizer eventually as well by getting the penalty. And then after that, we had a very big opportunity with Locadia to make the second one. Unfortunately, the ball didn't go in, and then you go to the penalties. Penalties, we know, it's always a gamble. Some you can miss, some you can score. The players took their responsibility, that's what matters. That's what you need, and unfortunately, we're not going to go to the next round. We go back home, but from all of this, from the whole tournament, from the whole period that we've been working together - I think, it's five weeks, six weeks - now, a lot of positives within the team. How the team is approaching the game. What they're doing when they're conceding at the moment that was in the beginning of the season, it was a lot different. They went for it. They're willing, the work ethic within the squad as individuals, but also as a team. So we're very happy with what we've seen. The most important thing for us is now to know to wait for when the season is going to start and to hopefully do well in that."

On the progress that has been made during the team's time in Orlando

"Well, I think if you look at the team that when we've been working together, you can see that the team's been growing. The players have become, I think, a little bit better, having more confidence in what to do and a lot of that has got to do with getting results. We spoke it from the beginning already, about how can we get this team into a certain mode of getting that little bit of success, which helps you a lot, and helps you go forward, a lot quicker, and then we spoke about it that you can do that with training with working a lot, but the best medicine for that is winning games. If you see that we've won two very difficult games. The third one, this one, we equalize of course, it gives the players a lot of confidence in the team as well in what they're doing ... Also today, we had an opportunity, we had a chance to win this game, which we didn't, the players are disappointed. And that's a very good thing, that's very positive. We need to keep on working, we need to keep on building from what we've been doing the last couple of weeks, and then hopefully we can make steps and then get points in the league."

On if he was pleased with the team's transition to playing in a 4-3-3 formation

"Yeah, I was very pleased. There's always the choice that sometimes when you need to go back to playing a certain way, because it's different of course when you play for 20 minutes, or when you play for 95 minutes, we need to realize that as well. Even in the other system that we've been playing, you know players have been working very hard. And the beginning of the game, when it's nil-nil, it's of course in the head of players - and I've been there myself as well - it's totally different than when you're one behind and you need to keep on pushing for the equalizer. So, it's totally different, you can't compare the (two) situations. So, in both situations, we were very happy in what we've seen. And then there's still a lot of room for improvement."

On next steps for the team to make progress moving forward

"For the next steps, it's again, working together in training sessions and getting a better understanding with each other and how we want to play and what we want to do to get more comfortable in the things that we need to do, and then hopefully we can show that in games. Now, and we're not sure when the season is going to start, there's no games probably in between again, so that's a shame. But, we need to do it and we need to show it on the training field and that's what we're going to be doing, and hopefully, we can make progress in doing that, but also by playing games again in the league. We can make a lot of progress and then that's what we're looking for."

On the decision to choose which players ultimately took penalty kick attempts

"You're asking players and how they feel. You know, players if they feel confident in taking one, that's how it normally goes. Before the session yesterday, we've trained on penalties as well. I've been there myself, I've spoken to the team a little bit about that as well, you know you take your responsibility. You want to score, you never miss on purpose. Sometimes, you miskick it and then it goes over or the goalie saves it. The most important thing is, with which I find very good, is that players take the responsibility and get that ball and try to score. Afterwards, when it goes well, of course, you're very happy. When you're not scoring, then there's disappointment. You can see that as well, but that's good, because you need to be disappointed if you're not winning."

FC Cincinnati forward Jürgen Locadia

On tonight's match

"I think in the second half we played good as a team. I think when I came in we switched the system. We created two, three chances, and unfortunately, I didn't score. Unfortunately, we didn't win the penalty shootout, but I think, overall, we can be happy with the team's performance this tournament. I think this is the way we want to continue as a team, as a club. Everybody is a part of the so-called success of this tournament."

On his return to play after not playing since March

"First of all, I am happy to be standing on the field again, to step foot in the game again. Like you said, it's been a long time. I want to say thank you to the medical team for helping me and teammates also, for supporting me. Like I said, I am happy to make my first minutes. On my performance, I think I did what I could do in the game in the short amount of time. Missing the chance, of course, is unfortunate, also in the penalty shootout. That's what happens, but I am glad to make my first minutes."

On his recovery process

"Well it happened, I think, on the second day we came here in Orlando. Obviously, I was mad, disappointed. The doctor told me it is going to be between four weeks. I think the medical team pushed me. I think it's been three weeks right now, three weeks and some days. It's been a long time for me, a long ride through recovery time. I am happy, man, making my first in the squad again. Unfortunately, with a loss today, but overall I am a happy man today."

FC Cincinnati defender Mathieu Deplagne

On tonight's match

"Disappointed, because the result is not there for us, but we show a lot of character after conceding the first goal and to organize after. I think we have opportunities to win the game, but that's it. Penalty kicks are like the lottery. It's the knockout stage, so we can end like this, but we showed a lot of improvement during the tournament, so that's good for the future."

On FCC's defensive improvements during the tournament

"After conceding four goals, it's never easy to keep up and to continue the group stage. So, we find like a way to defend stronger, defend better. It was good in the last two games. And after we continue, when you win two games, for sure we continue on this way, so it was a lot of improvement. But involving the guys on the defense, we need this base to continuing the season and showing strong defense. It's our mentality. We are Cincinnati. We're not LA, we are not Miami. So, we need to show a strong, strong defense, and after, we can produce maybe a better football. We had a lot of players also injured like Jürgen, so to recover him and also other guys is important for following the season."

On leaving Orlando to come back to Cincinnati

"It's a strange feeling because after one month without the families and everything, for me, it's the first time in my professional career like to be in a bubble seeing nobody and just playing football. Now, it's about (recovering) after this weather and these other games. It's special, too. For us, it's like a bit of rest and continue the season, we hope. We have no news for now. I think we're going to finish the season in the winter, so we'll see. We are looking forward to show Cincinnati is on the map of the MLS."


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