MLS

Bravery, Confidence and Gumption the Keys to Winning FC Cincinnati’s First Hell Is Real Matchup in Columbus

FC Cincinnati Announce Roster for 2023 Preseason

May 12, 2024 – Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release

COLUMBUS – There was an emotional release on the field that spilled into the locker rooms deep in the tunnels of Lower. Com Field. The final whistle blew, the deep breaths exhaled, and the scoreboard showed a line that had never happened in the history of the two Ohio clubs.


FC Cincinnati stormed into enemy territory and beat the Columbus Crew 2-1. Luciano Acosta scored and assisted on a Kevin Kelsy goal within two minutes to put the hellish rivalry on ice and claim emphatically that Ohio is Orange and Blue until the next time these two meet.

From kickoff to the final whistle, FCC went blow for blow with The Crew on their turf. MLS’s best defensive core stymied the well-rounded Columbus attack at every turn, and the offensive group pushed the limits in the ways it could. While neither side broke through for over 70 minutes, what was clearly on display was a clash between two of the best teams the league offers, with both performing at an extremely high level.

But FC Cincinnati punched through. They punched through twice in two minutes with those goals from Kelsy and Acosta and then stood their ground, holding on to the two-goal lead despite an all-out offensive from their hosts that ultimately resulted in Columbus getting one goal back but failing to find the equalizer.

The performance took bravery, the breakthrough took confidence, and the outcome took gumption.

The bravery came from the entire group’s work to trust their approach and own their individual roles to achieve success. Matt Miazga, postgame, explained that due to the way Columbus plays, the defensive core in particular, but really the whole team, knew what they needed to do to win, and to win, they needed to perform with courage in their positions.

“They play really expensive football, so we have to do a lot of shifting and a lot of one-on-one defending, and I thought we did that really well,” the 2023 MLS Defender of the Year explained. “It’s a derby rivalry game. That’s enough for me to get me fired up. They’re obviously a good team, so it’s a tough game, but the reality is we have to focus on ourselves…so communication was key.”

“I was speaking with Miles (Robinson) and Ian (Murphy) and I was saying if we’re gonna play this brave approach in the back, we need to communicate and pass that on to the other guys as well because they like to get these half spaces where we really don’t know whether to go or not, but with…

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