A visit from struggling New York City FC might be what FC Cincinnati need to win for the first time in August.
On Saturday night, FC Cincinnati aim to remain unbeaten at home this season and defeat NYCFC for a third time over all competitions in 2023 when the clubs clash in Ohio.
Cincinnati (15-3-6, 51 points) opened August by bowing out of the Leagues Cup on penalties against Nashville SC. The club then dropped a 3-0 decision at Columbus last weekend in a return to MLS action before suffering another shootout loss — in the U.S. Open Cup — to Lionel Messi and Inter Miami CF this week.
It's just the second time Cincinnati has gone three consecutive matches — spanning any competition — without a victory in 2023.
"Lift your heads up and you keep going," Cincinnati midfielder Alvaro Barreal said.
"Now we focus on MLS, and we're in a very good way. We have to keep fighting."
Cincinnati has outscored its opponents 24-8 while posting an 11-0-1 record at home in MLS this season. With a victory Saturday, FCC can tie the 2002 San Jose Earthquakes for most points through the first 13 home matches on a season.
FCC posted a 1-0 win over NYCFC at home in U.S. Open Cup action in May and topped the club 3-1 on the road in June. Cincinnati's Brandon Vazquez (12 goals over all competitions) scored twice over those two matches, while Barreal recorded a goal with an assist.
NYCFC (5-9-11, 26 points) are six points below the playoff line in the Eastern Conference, have lost two straight overall and are 0-2-2 in MLS play since recording a 1-0 victory at CF Montreal in early July. That win is New York City's lone one over the last 16 MLS matches (1-7-8).
"If we get those small details going, I think we can go for a very good run," said defender Birk Risa, who made his NYCFC debut in last weekend's 2-0 loss to Minnesota United.
Maxi Moralez made his return to MLS and NYCFC last weekend. He's totaled 26 goals in 163 career league matches spanning seven seasons with the club.
—Field Level Media