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Matchday 15: NYCFC vs Cincinnati in the Boogie Down Bronx

Cincinnati look dangerous this year. NYCFC? Not so much.

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It’s Matchday 15, and New York City FC are back at Yankee Soccer Stadium to face FC Cincinnati. Here is your NYCFC vs Cincinnati preview and Game Day Hub.

RELATED: Oppo Research — 5 things you should know about FC Cincinnati

Game Day Essentials
  • Matchday 15: NYCFC vs FC Cincinnati
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, May 31, 7:30 pm ET
  • Kickoff Time: 7:39 pm ET
  • Venue: Yankee Soccer Stadium
  • Bruce Arena Forecast: Breezy, unbelievably pleasant, 68˚F/20˚C
  • Watch: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
  • Broadcast Team: Kevin Egan, Kyndra de St. Aubin
  • Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
  • Officiating Crew: Armando Villarreal (referee),  Corey Parker and Diego Blas (assistant referees), Thomas Snyder (fourth official), Victor Rivas (VAR), Jeff Muschik (assistant VAR) 

NYCFC vs Cincinnati preview

NYCFC are winless in their six games in all competitions, including that one-goal loss to Cincinnati in the US Open Cup on May 10. The team desperately need a win. FCC are comfortably ahead in the Supporters’ Shield race. But a midweek game at Yankee Soccer Stadium against a travel-weary Cincinnati gives NYCFC the best possible scenario to stage an upset win against one of the best teams in MLS.

NYCFC vs Cincinnati H2H

New York City dominate the head-to-head between these two clubs largely because Cincinnati was the league doormat during their first three years in MLS. Cincy’s fortunes changed last year, when they made the playoffs — and drew NYCFC twice in the regular season.

It’s completely different now that Cincinnati have the best record in the league. NYCFC lost to Cincinnati for the first time ever earlier this month when the two sides met in the US Open Cup. True, both teams were heavily rotated, but the win was well-deserved.

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• Injury Report: Mitja Ilenič, Talles Magno, and Thiago Martins are all out with lower body injuries. Alfredo Morales and Matías Pellegrini were both out last Saturday, but they’re listed as available. Midfielder Richy Ledezma left that game with a knock. but is also available.

• Where will NYCFC find goals? They scored early against Philadelphia. (Yay!) But they failed to follow up despite looking sharper in attack than they have in some time. (Boo!) New York City have just two goals in their last four games in all competitions.

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• Will the defense keep their cool? The NYCFC backline gave up two goals against Philadelphia in first-half stoppage time that were carbon copies of each other: A long ball over the top finished by Union forward Júlian Carranza. This season, the NYCFC defense have been particularly susceptible to set pieces and target men.

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• Injury Report: Forward Sergio Santos is expected to miss the game. In addition, the striker Brenner officially left for Udinese, and Designated Player Obi Nwobodo will miss the game because of yellow card accumulation.

• Cincinnati have legit goal-scoring threats in Luciano Acosta and Brandon Vazquez. They also have an attack that could feature Yuya Kubo, the young and speedy Quimi Ordonez, or MLS vet Dom Badj. Expect to see a couple of these names in the Starting XI, and a couple more subbed in after the start of the second half.

• FCC are finishing up an exhausting run of games: A hotly-contested win at home over Columbus Crew in Hell is Real, a marathon 120-minute plus penalty shootout victory over New Jersey Red Bulls in Harrison last Tuesday, a lifeless but effective one-goal win over Colorado Rapids in Colorado on Saturday. Impressively, Cincy last lost a game on April 15. But the drawn-out win over Red Bulls, and the flat performance against Colorado, suggest that the congested schedule and travel days are starting to catch up with them.

• Looking for insider information on Cincinnati? Check out Oppo Research: 5 things you should know about Cincinnati.