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Orange and Blue record first-ever MLS win in home opener

March 17, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - FC Cincinnati News Release

CINCINNATI - Led by goals from Kendall Waston, Allan Cruz and Mathieu Deplagne, FC Cincinnati recorded their first MLS win in front of a sold-out crowd of 32,250 at Nippert Stadium defeating the Portland Timbers, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon.

After being awarded a free kick on the edge of their attacking third, FC Cincinnati opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Leonardo Bertone lofted a ball toward the far post, where a Kendall Waston header led to FC Cincinnati's first MLS goal at Nippert Stadium.

Following a deflected shot from Roland Lamah, Allan Cruz doubled the lead for the Orange and Blue in the 61st minute of action with a backheeled effort atop the six-yard box. Just two minutes later, Mathieu Deplagne capped off the scoring with FC Cincinnati's third goal of the match.

Spencer Richey registered his first-ever MLS shutout and win in the match. The goalkeeper stopped three shots en route to earning FC Cincinnati's first clean sheet of the season.

FC Cincinnati return to action on Sunday, March 24, when the team travels to play the New England Revolution at 4 p.m. The match will be televised locally on WSTR 64, streamed locally on FloSports and carried on the radio on WDJO. Season tickets, mini plans and individual-game tickets are on sale 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.

FC Cincinnati 3, Portland Timbers 0

Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio

Sunday, March 17, 2019


CIN - Kendall Waston (Leonardo Bertone) 15'

CIN - Allan Cruz (unassisted) 61'

CIN - Mathieu Deplagne (Darren Mattocks) 63'

FC Cincinnati: Spencer Richey, Mathieu Deplagne, Kendall Waston, Nick Hagglund, Alvas Powell, Victor Ulloa, Leonardo Bertone, Allan Cruz, Kekuta Manneh (Emmanuel Ledesma 85'), Roland Lamah (Greg Garza 80'), Fanendo Adi (Darren Mattocks HT)

Bench: Jimmy Hague, Justin Hoyte, Kenny Saief, Caleb Stanko,

Stats: Shots 17, Shots on goal 7, Saves 3, Corner kicks 10, Offsides 5, Fouls 13, Possession 48.7%, Passes 387 (76.7%)

Portland Timbers: Jeff Attinella, Jorge Villafana, Claude Dielna, Larrys Mabiala, Zarek Valentin, Cristhian Paredes, Bill Tuiloma, Sebastian Blanco (David Guzmán 79'), Diego Valeri, Dairon Asprilla (Andy Polo 67'), Lucas Melano (Jeremy Ebobisse 67')

Bench: Steve Clark, Jorge Moreira, Andrés Flores, Julio Cascante,

Stats: Shots 10, Shots on goal 3, Saves 4, Corner kicks 6, Offsides 2, Fouls 13, Possession 51.3%, Passes 413 (76%)


POR - Larrys Mabiala (caution) 45'+3'

CIN - Kendall Waston (caution) 46'

POR - Lucas Melano (caution) 65'

POR - Larrys Mabiala (ejection) 70'

CIN - Leonardo Bertone (caution) 90'

Referee: Ismail Elfath

Assistant Referees: Kathryn Nesbitt (AR1) and Jeffrey Greeson (AR2)

Fourth Official: Marcos DeOliveira

VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.

Weather: 51 degrees and cloudy

Attendance: 32,250


2' | Kekuta Manneh played a ball to the right of the 18-yard box, where Allan Cruz sent cross to Fanendo Adi, whose headed effort was just over the crossbar

15' | CIN GOAL - Following midfielder Kekuta Manneh winning a free kick 30 yards from goal, midfielder Leonardo Bertone played a right-footed ball to the head of a running Kendall Waston, who calmly headed the ball across the mouth of the goal to the far post for FC Cincinnati's first-ever MLS goal at Nippert Stadium

20' | From the corner flag, Roland Lamah provided an left-footed inswinging ball which met the head of Kendall Waston inside the six-yard box. Waston's headed attempt, however, was just over the crossbar

26' | Diego Valeri sent a cross to the far post. As the ball curled away from goal, Claude Diena headed the ball towards the right post of the goal, but his attempt at goal was cleared by a Kendall Waston header

32' | Diego Valeri stole the ball in the edge of the attacking third and sent in a low cross towards the penalty spot. Victor Ulloa's clearance deflected off of NIck Hagglund. Cristian Paredes recuperated the ball in the edge of the 18-yard box and passed back to Bill Tuiloma. Tuiloma's threatening shot to the right of the goal forced Spencer Richey to make a diving save

32' | From the corner flag, Diego Valeri sent a cross to the penalty spot. Larrys Mabiala flicked the ball over to the far post where Dairon Asprilla shot point-black but was denied by Spencer Richey

47' | Portland Timbers were awarded a free kick after Kendall Waston fouled Diego Valeri outside of the penalty box. Valeri stepped up take the set piece, but his shot sailed over the crossbar

59' | Diego Valeri found the ball on the right flank off the field after a Kendall Waston headed clearance. Valeri played a cross to Sebastian Blanco to the near post, whose header was off target.

61' | CIN GOAL - Allan Cruz scored on a backheel for his first goal in MLS. Initially, Roland Lamah shot from outside the box, but the ball deflected toward Cruz, who doubled Cincinnati's lead

63' | CIN GOAL - Darren Mattocks crossed the ball from the right side to Mathieu Deplagne at the back post. Deplagne first-timed the ball in for FCC's second goal in two minutes and a 3-0 lead. It was his first goal in MLS


Today's match resulted in FC Cincinnati's first-ever MLS win ... The Orange and Blue are now 1-1-1 through three MLS matches

FC Cincinnati's all-time record against Portland Timbers improves to 1-0-0

Cincinnati is now 1-1-0 against Western Conference opponents ... FCC lost their season opener on March 2 to Seattle Sounders FC, 4-1

Today's attendance of 32,250 marked FC Cincinnati's first MLS sellout ... in addition, it was FC Cincinnati's largest-ever crowd for a league match

The Orange and Blue recorded their first-ever multi-goal game as an MLS club ... in addition, FC Cincinnati has tallied at least once in each of their first three contests

FCC posted a season-high 17 shots, including a season-high seven shots on goal

FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch made no changes to the starting lineup from last week's match

Fanendo Adi and Alvas Powell earned starts against their former club ... tonight's match marked the first time either player has played against Portland ... Darren Mattocks -- who played for Portland from 2016-17 -- came on at halftime as a substitute

Kendall Waston recorded the first goal scored by a defender in FC Cincinnati's MLS history ... the goal was Waston's first since he tallied a brace with Vancouver against New York on Aug. 18, 2018

FC Cincinnati scored their first-ever MLS goal off of a set piece on Waston's header ... each of FC Cincinnati's first two goals were scored from open play

Leonardo Bertone notched his first MLS assist on Waston's 15th-minute tally ... the Swiss midfielder became FC Cincinnati's first player to record a goal and an assist on the season

Allan Cruz and Mathieu Deplagne recorded their first-ever MLS goals in tonight's match.

Darren Mattocks recorded his first assist with FC Cincinnati ... it was the forward's first assist since 2017, when he registered an assist with Portland at NYCFC on Sept. 9, 2017 ... Mattocks led all players with five key passes in just one half of match action

Spencer Richey made three saves en route to his first-ever MLS shutout ... Richey is now 1-0-1 on the season

Emmanuel Ledesma made his MLS debut after entering the game as a substitute in the 85' minute for Kekuta Manneh.

FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch

On tonight's win

"Very proud of our club and our city and all the players. I think we all know this club has worked incredibly hard to get where we are today, and I think the players showed their willingness to sacrifice for the team and they deserve to get the three points tonight. "

On foreseeing tonight's performance

"No, I hate to disappoint you, but no, we have worked incredibly hard and you can see from the first game the disappointment in Seattle. I think we were very disappointed with the performance, and honestly the result out there, we worked incredibly hard to prepare ourselves for Atlanta. I think we took an element of gratification by getting a point on the road and we'll take a lot of gratification out of the performance tonight and the result. I'm glad we could reward the city and our fans, in a game that was very, very special to this community with a great performance and honestly a huge three points. Our fans are the reason why we are where we are today, and I'm glad we could give them that sort of performance."

On the goals and his emotions throughout the match

"People that know me quite well, know that I don't get too high with the highs or too low with the lows so, first goal was nice, second goal was nice, third goal I celebrated. Yeah, we don't get too carried away I think our bench at times, I feel like I have to manage them because they are obviously all excited and they worked incredibly hard to set our team up for success, for the players seize the moment tonight. I think every player played well, every player went out and did the job that we asked them to do."

On the excitement of the players leading up to the game

"You could see in the warmups, they were excited. I think between the warm up and the start of the match, we spoke to them and I think I'm fortunate in that. I've been here for a few years, we've been through, two years ago when we had a lot of success in our season opener here at home, then last year when we suffered and it was nice to actually bring the payers to the field and saying don't get caught up in the moments or the occasion. Our job is to focus on the game and I think the players went out and did exactly that. They managed the game they didn't worry about managing the occasion by staying focused on our job is what set us up for success."

FC Cincinnati defender Mathieu Deplagne

On his goal

"It was perfect, perfect night for the team. The crowd was perfect and the fans in the stadium pushed the group to be good and be perfect. So far, it's good, and for me, personally, my first goal in the US and MLS and Cincinnati, it's perfect."

On atmosphere at Nippert

"Yeah, because at home you have to be good and to take points. The crowd helped us today and for the next game at home, I think it will be the same atmosphere. For our first MLS game here, was a perfect ending."

FC Cincinnati midfielder Allan Cruz

On his first MLS Goal

"Contento, primero con el resultado, con el trabajo de los compañeros. Sin ellos no hubiéramos sacado el resultado. Ha sido de mi carrera uno de los mejores goles que eh hecho. Estoy contento y agradecido con dios."


"Happy, first of all with the result and the hard work from my teammates. Without them we wouldn't have been able to get the result. From my career, it was one of the best goals that I have made. I am happy and give thanks to God"

On his backheel goal

"Una emociÃ"n tan inmensa, de meter mi primer gol en la MLS. Siempre agradecido con dios y con mi familia que esta siempre pensando en mi


"It was a rush of emotions when I scored my first goal in MLS. Always grateful to God and to my family who is always thinking of me"

On added motivation after Kendall scored

"Para mi fue una motivaciÃ"n que un Tico, un costarricense, hiciera un gol. Le dije que si en el primer partido no tuve la oportunidad de hacerlo, en el prÃ"ximo lo iba hacer."


"For me it was a motivation to see a Tico, a Costa Rican, to score a goal. I had told him that if I did not have an opportunity to score in the first game, that I would do it in the next.

FC Cincinnati defender Kendall Waston

On the crowd at Nippert

"Fantastic. I only saw them before on highlights, now I can experience it in person. It was amazing just getting to the stadium, seeing how they support. They're cheering, they're screaming being very loud. For me they're the number 12 player on the field because they support us the entire game."

On if this is the ideal way to go into the Costa Rica National Camp

"Yes. The best way. I always say that winning brings happiness. So, I'm happy. I can leave happy and now the only way we can continue getting better is working harder, but when you win, things are a little bit easier, because when difficult times come you struggle, so we have to enjoy this moment."

On team's reaction after players leave for international camps

"Identity of the club has to be the same no matter what players play or not. I think that everybody knows their roles, everybody knows what the coaches want us to play. So obviously, every player has different qualities and I think next week is huge because we don't want to be a team that's up and down. We want to have a certain standard. So, the only way is winning or creating points that can lead us to the playoffs."

On offensive explosion

"I think that we are creating during the days and during the week and this is not it. Obviously, today was great game, especially because it was three goals, but we still have to keep getting better at certain things. Hopefully, every game can be like this, but it won't be like that. Possible, but we know that reality is that we just have to continuing working hard.

FC Cincinnati defender Nick Hagglund

On the match

"That was the performance I was looking for for this city. It's what the city deserved, and I was just really proud that we got to give it to them."

On atmosphere at Nippert

"Amazing. It was electric through and through. I mean from minute one to minute 90 it was unbelievable.

On family and friends in attendance

"I had a bunch of family and friends here. My phone is blowing up from text messages, Instagrams, Twitters from 200 people that I knew were in the crowd, so it was an awesome experience."

On the team keeping a clean sheet

"I mean, it's a great execution of what we have been working at and training [for]. We went from getting shellacked in Seattle, and a gritty performance in Atlanta. So, coming home and putting it all together a little bit. It puts confidence in the team going forward."

Portland Timbers Head Coach Giovanni Savarese

On what the team can take away from the performance

"We knew these 12 games away from home were going to be difficult, especially coming to places like this. It was their home opener, there was excitement. And sometimes there are moments in the game that don't go our way. We also have to be realistic in the sense that it was not good enough. It's not good enough from the sense that we gave up too many goals and we need to be better. We need to continue to work. We need to continue to have a belief. This is not what we want to represent for our fans and we are not happy and we cannot live on what we did last year. We have to make sure that we do things this year and unfortunately today was not a good day for us and we have to figure things out. It's unfortunate also that it's another game where we go down to 10 men. Those are situations I think that go beyond our control and it's unfortunate, but that's not the reason that we lost 3-0. We need to be better in many areas."

On what the team can take away from the performance

"I think that our first victory should have been Colorado. We shouldn't have left that open for a tie. That should have been already. So we need to be better. We need to make sure we have a little more belief. We need to make sure that we put together a better performance and I think that we had very good moments against LAFC. We had very good moments against Colorado. Today maybe a little bit less. Maybe in the moment we had our best momentum is when the goalkeeper made some very key saves, but we cannot allow three goals in a game."

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jeff AttinellaOn his takeaways from the game

"I just think that as a team we could probably take away that it is a little bit of a gut check time. This obviously isn't the way we wanted the season to start, but at the end of the day we are dealing with adversity right now. Our team is going to come together. Luckily, we have that bye week coming up, so the team can kind of regroup a little bit and get this thing turned in the right direction."

On what the team needs to do to get better on the defensive side of the ball

"We've got to just dig in. We've got to watch the film. We've got to learn from these mistakes that keep happening. For me personally, the first thing I can do is look in the mirror and see what I can do better. Maybe I can do better organizing, do things to prevent these balls from coming in. And I think as a team it's just about being on the same page. These runners sneaking in between, maybe it's a lack of communication. Maybe it's guys losing their marks a little. The first thing for every one of us is looking in the mirror and figuring out what we can do to make the team a little bit better and get this team trending in the right way."

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