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Stefan Chirila Named MLS NEXT Rising Star for Matchweek 9

May 14, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release

FC Cincinnati Academy U17 forward Stefan Chirila has been named MLS NEXT Pro's MLS NEXT Rising Star for Matchweek 9, the league announced this morning.

Chirila helped FC Cincinnati 2 secure a fourth-consecutive MLS NEXT Pro win, and the team's first-ever win against in-state rival Columbus Crew 2 Sunday afternoon at Field. Chirila tallied the game's lone goal, scoring in the 13th minute with a composed finish inside the box.

The FCC Academy product made his MLS NEXT Pro debut in the Orange and Blue's opening match of the 2024 season against Chicago Fire FC II, playing nine minutes as a late second half substitution.

Chirila has appeared in six matches for FCC 2 this season, including three-consecutive starts. The young attacker has scored in back-to-back matches and now has gone three-straight matches with a goal or an assist.

The MLS NEXT Rising Star honor comes following a standout showing from Chirila at the 2024 Generation adidas Cup in which the electric goal scorer took home the U17 Golden Boot and was named to the competition's Best XI across both the U15 and U17 age groups.

Chirila's Matchweek 9 honor is the second of the season for FCC 2 as Gerardo Valenzuela won MLS NEXT Pro Goal of the Matchweek in Matchweek 7. Chirila and FC Cincinnati 2 are back in action on Sunday, May 19, as the Orange and Blue take on New York Red Bulls II at 5 p.m. ET.

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