FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati signs new Designated Playerr
Photo by Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images

FC Cincinnati signs Japanese international as new Designated Player

Leave a comment

FC Cincinnati has its man, signing Yuya Kubo as a Designated Player from KAA Gent in Belgium.

Kubo, 26, scored 25 times with six assists in 73 matches for Gent, a tenure broken up by a six-month loan to Bundesliga side Nurnberg.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

He scored once in 23 matches for the German club, and has been effective in both the Europa League and Champions League qualifying. Kubo got his start in Europe with Swiss powers Young Boys.

Kubo also has two goals in 13 caps for Japan, though he’s not been capped since March 2018.

From FCCincinnati.com:

“We are delighted to add a proven offensive player in the form of Yuya Kubo to our roster,” FC Cincinnati general manager Gerard Nijkamp said. “We’ve made it a priority to bring impact players to Cincinnati and we believe Yuya’s versatility as an attacking player will be a great addition to our current group.”

Kubo plays as a striker and an attacking mid and joins a Cincinnati attack with no sure things but plenty of intrigue.

Cincy has Kekuta Manneh, Darren Mattocks, Brandon Vazquez, Fanendo Adi, Joe Gyau, and Frankie Amaya operate in playmaking midfield positions.

MLS Wrap: What we learned

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Here’s what we learned from MLS’ jam-packed action on Saturday.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

NYCFC rally to edge San Jose, remain first in Eastern Conference 

Dominating possession and taking a healthy amount of shots, it seemed like the San Jose Earthquakes were going to pull off a Matias Almeyda-era victory in New York City on Saturday.

But in just the span of three minutes, NYCFC changed the landscape of the game completely, scoring twice right before halftime. Keaton Parks recorded his first league goal in the 40th minute. In the 43rd, the Eastern Conference leaders put together this (yes, the covered half the field just like that):

Like in the sequences that led to the home side’s goals, the Quakes’ confidence to overtake the scoreline took a hit, failing to finish a number of chances following attack-heavy substitutions in the second half. As a result, San Jose, who are fighting for a playoff spot, dropped their fourth straight game on the road.

Speaking with media after their 2-1 loss, Almeyda – despite praising NYCFC as being one of the league’s best – took shots at Yankee Stadium’s field size. Should the league care? Absolutely. NYCFC? Not at all, just look at their record.


FC Cincinnati win first game under Ron Jans

FC Cincy supporters can finally rejoice, even their 1-0 win in Montreal wasn’t ideal.

The league’s youngest team ended up with 10-men late in the game. Kendall Watson was shown a straight red card, but Ron Jans earned his first three points at the helm. Early in the game, Allan Cruz’s goal foreshadowed what was to come for the Ohioan side following the final whistle: a celebration.

 

The Impact (37 points) remain three points behind New England, while Cincinnati (21 points) look to finish strong in order to avoid the ugly side of the history books. 

Carlos Vela rejoins LAFC, scores

There’s no way around it: LAFC is a completely different team with (or without) Carlos Vela, who can’t stop scoring.

The Mexican recorded his 28th goal of the season (six behind Jose Martinez’s single-season record) in the Supporter Shield favorite’s 1-1 draw in Philadelphia. It wasn’t a Vela-esque sequence at all, but it was enough to change the score.

The Union, who played without Marco Fabian because of his absence in the team’s meeting on Friday, opened the scoring. Three minutes in, Kacper Przybyłko’s floating header surprised Tyler Miller, giving the home side a perfect start in front of a noisy Talen Energy Stadium.

Just a couple of months ago, these were the two best teams in the league. LAFC remain atop of the Western Conference. The Union, however, are now five points behind NYCFC.


Crew trounce Atlanta United 3-1 despite Josef Martinez’ goal

Caleb Porter’s Columbus Crew, arguably, play the most effective soccer out of all the teams that are on the outside looking in when it comes to qualifying for the playoffs this season.

On Saturday, despite being statistically outdone by Atlanta United, the Crew managed to execute their chances, scoring three goals on only four shots on target. Gyasi Zardes, a pivotal piece of their attack, scored his 12th goal of the season. Costa Rican Luis Diaz added one of his own in the second half, before Miles Robinson’s own-goal 25 minutes later sealed three points for Columbus.

No goal, however, had as much significance as Josef Martinez’s.

The Venezuelan scored for a 14th consecutive game, making it the third longest streak in the history of the sport. The 26-year-old is now seven games away from Lionel Messi’s world record set in 2014.

Third in the Eastern Conference, nine points away from NYCFC with six games to go, don’t count the single-season scoring king to hold back from wanting to break the record.

Elsewhere in MLS

Chicago Fire 4-0 FC Dallas 

Orlando City 3-3 New England Revolution

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Houston Dynamo

FC Cincinnati’s Ledesma honors deceased father after penalty

Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Buried deep in a blowout loss is an emotional story involving Emmanuel Ledesma.

FC Cincinnati fell 5-1 to Toronto FC on Saturday, another home loss in what’s become a miserable debut season in MLS.

[ RECAP: FC Cincy 1-5 Toronto FC ]

The lone FCC goal came in stoppage time, as Ledesma scored a penalty.

But the consolation goal carried many times the meaning: Ledesma’s father died in Argentina this week.

The 31-year-old Argentine almost didn’t play in the match. Left out of the Starting XI, Ledesma had asked coach Ron Jans to consider using him off the bench as he bid to honor his father.

A late penalty gave him the chance to score, and Ledesma converted before lifting his shirt to reveal a message for his father and crossing himself before pointing to the heavens.

Ledesma planned to bring his father to the United States for a match next season.

From Cincinnati.com:

“I was thinking about bringing him over next year so that he could see me play for the first time, but that happens when you play with time,” Ledesma said. “You don’t play with time. Time has taken him away from me and today. I mourn him.”

 

Toronto outclass helpless FC Cincy (video)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The game in 200 words (or less): Toronto played a near-flawless game, but the reflectors are on a wounded FC Cincinnati. Saturday’s 5-1 loss is a fourth straight for the expansion side, who haven’t won a regular season game since mid July. Over the course of the season, FC Cincy have conceded 72 goals, tying the league record set by Orlando City last season with five games left to play. Thus far, there are no sings of improvement under coach Ron Jans, who was appointed over the summer. The Reds, on the hand, benefited from a poor opponent and from having the likes of Michael Bradley and Omar Gonzalez on the field, who were denied to join the USMNT by Toronto in order to focus on the team’s playoff push. It worked this time around, but they’ll need similar shifts from them – and Jozy Altidore – moving forward with the Reds just four points above the red line.

Three moments that mattered

10′ — Mullins opens the floodgates  — Superb finish by Mullins, horrid defending from Cincinnati.

28′ — Delgado headers it home   — Again, where are the defenders?

63′ — Bradley scores Toronto’s fourth  — This is exactly why the Reds didn’t allow Bradley to join the USMNT.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Marky Delgado

Goalscorers: Mullins (10′), DeLeon(21′), Delgado (28′), Bradley (63′), Benezet (85′), Ledesma (92’+2)

Crew make statement in ‘Hell is Real’ derby win over FC Cincy (video)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The game in 200 words (or less):  The “Hell is Real” derby is young, but the Columbus Crew are the first to win it since FC Cincinnati joined MLS at the start of the season. In other words, the bragging rights belong to the Crew, who routed the home side 3-1 in a game that Gyasi Zardes proved to be the difference maker. Coming in one goal shy of double digits, Zardes bagged a double in true Zardes fashion – holding up the ball, before darting into the box for a routine tap-in. Cincinnati, who have yet to win under Ron Jans, have lost six of their last seven and are dead last in the league’s overall standings. The season couldn’t end sooner for the expansion side. With six games left, three points might be too little, too late for Caleb Porter’s side. On a moral level, though, nothing comes close to a win against your biggest rival.

Three moments that mattered

22′ — Zardes’ first of two — The hold-up play, the run, the finish. Bravo, Zardes.

45′ — Diaz seals three points for Columbus  — As smooth as counter-attacking soccer gets.

89′ — Manneh scores one in front of the home crowd, scuffle breaks out — It isn’t rivalry week for nothing…

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Gyazi Zardes

Goalscorers: Zardes(22′), Zardes (33′), Diaz (45′), Manneh (89′)