MX23RW : Wednesday, August 10 16:40:15| >> :600:345684:345684:
[monks data]
Apr 24, 2022 at 10pm UK at Nippert Stadium
Cincinnati
1 - 2
Los Angeles
Acosta (45+4')
Harris (19'), Badji (90+4'), Blackett (90+7')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Acosta (59'), Musovski (79')
Henry (6'), Ibeagha (33'), Musovski (90+4'), Crepeau (90+7')

Preview: FC Cincinnati vs. Los Angeles FC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between FC Cincinnati and Los Angeles FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Los Angeles FC will pay their first-ever visit to TQL Stadium on Sunday as they take on FC Cincinnati in the second-ever meeting between both sides in Major League Soccer.

Cincy are winless in three straight domestic fixtures, while the Black and Gold are tied with the Philadelphia Union for the best record in the league, winning five of their last six matches in all competitions.


Match preview

FC Cincinnati forward Brandon Vazquez (19) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against CF Montreal in the first half at TQL Stadium on April 2, 2022© Reuters

The Pat Noonan project in Ohio has had its share of bumps and bruises, but to see this team in contention for a playoff berth is a baby step in the right direction.

Against Atlanta United, in their previous MLS encounter, the Orange and Blue failed to fire a single effort on target but still managed to hold onto a 0-0 draw, despite having only 34% possession.

A win this Sunday will put them at 10 points after eight league games, which would be their best-ever total to this point of an MLS campaign, besting the old mark of eight points set in their inaugural season in 2019.

A couple of talented individuals on this squad have elevated themselves to a new level, enabling Cincinnati to turn a few close games into victories, including Brandon Vazquez and Luciano Acosta, who are first and second in goals for the team with five and one respectively.

Under Noonan, we have seen them play much more of a vertical game, with some aggressive running and overlaps from their fullbacks, though they are not getting that consistent collective effort to win more games.

Given how much they have struggled in previous seasons on the back end, it is an encouraging sign to see them doing a better job at preventing goalscoring opportunities lately, with clean sheets in each of their previous two matches played in all competitions.

Los Angeles FC midfielder Ilie Sanchez (6) is congratulated after scoring a goal against Orlando City in the second half at Orlando City Stadium on April 3, 2022© Reuters

Currently, Steve Cherundolo is pushing all of the right buttons at LAFC, a side who are looking a lot more like the one from 2019 that won the Supporters' Shield with 72 points, scoring an incredible 85 goals in that regular season.

Another victory this weekend would give them the same amount of points at this stage of the campaign as the 2019 team (19), who set what was at the time the MLS record for points in a regular season.

There is still a long way to go if they are to beat that feat, but they are well on their way with 13 goals in four matches this month.

So far this year, LA have rarely looked rattled no matter what might be thrown at them, earning seven points from losing positions, including last Sunday when they overcame a Diego Palacios own goal to win 3-1 over Sporting Kansas City.

The Black and Gold are scoring at a frantic pace, forcing opposing defences to be at their best, with LA scoring multiple goals in all but two MLS encounters in 2022.

So far this year, we are seeing this team play with a lot more balance all over the field, closing down their opponents effectively in transition while also putting away plenty of scoring opportunities in the final third.

FC Cincinnati Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D

FC Cincinnati form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W

Los Angeles FC Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Los Angeles FC form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W



Team News

FC Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan during the first half against the Charlotte FC at Bank of America Stadium on March 26, 2022© Reuters

No player on FC Cincinnati was more relieved about their draw a week ago than Dominique Badji, who got penalized for a handball in the box but was bailed out by his goalkeeper Alec Kann, who stopped Marcelino Moreno from the penalty spot.

Kenneth Vermeer remains out with a leg injury, Ronald Matarrita is recovering from ankle surgery, Alvas Powell has a hamstring strain, Calvin Harris is questionable with a leg problem and Nick Hagglund will be suspended after receiving a pair of cautions versus the Five Stripes.

Alvaro Barreal netted his first career brace with Cincinnati in their 2-0 victory at the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday against Pittsburgh Riverhouse SC, while Roman Celentano, Harrison Robledo and John Nelson made their first starts for the Orange and Blue in that fixture.

A brace from both Cristian Arango and Danny Musovski helped LA to a comfortable 5-1 win against Orange County SC in their U.S. Open Cup tie, with the other tally coming courtesy of Cal Jennings.

Eddie Segura is nursing a right knee injury and is unlikely to feature in the foreseeable future, while Erik Duenas continues to heal from his left knee problem.

Carlos Vela leads LA with four goals this season, and reports this week indicate that the club will be signing the Mexican striker to a contract extension through until the 2023 season, while Jose Cifuentes notched his first of the domestic campaign in their victory over SKC, with Ismael Tajouri-Shradi picking the winner off a brilliant volley that was voted the MLS Goal of the Week.

FC Cincinnati possible starting lineup:
Kann; Blackett, Murphy, Cameron, Gaddis; Cruz, Kubo, Barreal; Acosta; Brenner, Vazquez

Los Angeles FC possible starting lineup:
Crepeau; Palacios, Henry, Murillo, Hollingshead; Sanchez, Blessing; Acosta, Cifuentes, Vela; Arango


SM words green background

We say: FC Cincinnati 1-4 Los Angeles FC

Although Cincy have been stingier defensively of late, those clean sheets were not against teams with nearly as much attacking potency as the Black and Gold.

Los Angeles look to be the real deal, and they should have no trouble defeating a side who, while improved, have not been consistent or shown that they can stay composed at the back against a quality side.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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How you voted: Cincinnati vs Los Angeles

FC Cincinnati
21.4%
Draw
0.0%
Los Angeles FC
78.6%
14
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Los Angeles FC midfielder Ilie Sanchez (6) is congratulated after scoring a goal against Orlando City in the second half at Orlando City Stadium on April 3, 2022
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia24129341182345
2New York City FCNY City23126543241942
3CF MontrealMontreal2412484039140
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2410773830837
5Columbus Crew238963126533
6FC CincinnatiCincinnati248884043-332
7New England RevolutionNew England237973534130
8Chicago Fire2486102730-330
9Orlando City2486102736-930
10Inter MiamiInter Miami2486102939-1030
11Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2492133034-429
12Atlanta UnitedAtlanta237793134-328
13Toronto2475123442-826
14DC United2364132847-1922

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia24129341182345
2New York City FCNY City23126543241942
3CF MontrealMontreal2412484039140
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2410773830837
5Columbus Crew238963126533
6FC CincinnatiCincinnati248884043-332
7New England RevolutionNew England237973534130
8Chicago Fire2486102730-330
9Orlando City2486102736-930
10Inter MiamiInter Miami2486102939-1030
11Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2492133034-429
12Atlanta UnitedAtlanta237793134-328
13Toronto2475123442-826
14DC United2364132847-1922

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