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FC Cincinnati
Major League Soccer
Jun 22, 2023 at 12.30am UK
Nippert Stadium
Toronto FC

Cincinnati
3 - 0
Toronto

Arias (35'), Acosta (54'), Badji (63')
Nwobodo (19'), Gaddis (41'), Halsey (82')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Petretta (25'), Bernardeschi (41')

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

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

FC Cincinnati can match the 2002 San Jose Earthquakes for the longest winning run at home in MLS when they host Toronto at TQL Stadium on Wednesday.

The Orange and Blue have won all nine of their domestic encounters at home this season and lead the Supporters' Shield standings with 40 points, more than half of the Reds' current total (19), despite the Canadians going unbeaten in four straight matches, playing to a 1-1 draw versus Nashville SC the last time out.


Match preview

FC Cincinnati forward Dominique Badji (14) embraces FC Cincinnati forward Brandon Vázquez (19) after Vazquez' goal on May 10, 2023© Reuters

A franchise that could not buy a victory a few years ago cannot seem to lose in 2023, with Cincy currently unbeaten in their previous 13 matches in all competitions.

At the midway point of the current regular season, they have already collected 40 points, a feat which took them until matchday 30 to reach a year ago.

The biggest improvement in year two under Pat Noonan has easily been their defensive structure, as the Orange and Blue are tied with Los Angeles FC for the second-fewest goals conceded this season (16).

In 2022, this team made the postseason for the first time, thanks to their outstanding quality in the attacking third, winning six matches by two or more goals.

This season, they have discovered how to win close games, showing poise and a solid defensive commitment under pressure with 10 victories by a single goal, six of which were 1-0 results.

Not only are they perfect at TQL Stadium this year, but Cincy also hold a 100% record versus TFC in their current home venue, winning both encounters against them by a 2-0 score.

Toronto FC forward Deandre Kerr (29) celebrates after scoring a goal on May 28, 2023© Reuters

Throughout much of the current campaign, Toronto have lacked that killer instinct to finish teams off, and that is the primary reason they currently find themselves 13th in the Eastern Conference, three points outside of a playoff spot.

Bob Bradley has seen his side go into half time with the lead five times domestically in 2023 but they have only emerged victorious in one of those instances, drawing their previous two matches 1-1 versus Minnesota United and Nashville despite drawing first blood each time.

For a squad that invested heavily in attacking quality last year by adding players with experience in the big five European leagues, it is puzzling to see them among the lowest-scoring sides in MLS this season, having netted the third-fewest goals in the Eastern Conference so far (17).

TFC are one of only three teams in the league this year without a road victory, with their previous away triumph in this competition coming at the end of August 2022, 2-0 at Charlotte FC.

Their quality has been especially poor away from home this season as the Reds have failed to find the back of the net in half of their road fixtures played this year (four of eight).

Toronto have conceded 12 goals this season away from home, eight of which have come in the second half, including four beyond the 80th minute.

FC Cincinnati Major League Soccer form:


FC Cincinnati form (all competitions):


Toronto Major League Soccer form:


Team News

FC Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan points on May 10, 2023© Reuters

Yerson Mosquera will be suspended for this upcoming Cincinnati game due to yellow card accumulation, Nick Hagglund is listed as questionable with a hamstring strain, something which continues to keep Sergio Santos on the sidelines, while it seems unlikely that Brenner will return to the club before his summer transfer to Udinese, as the Brazilian has not played since sustaining an ankle injury weeks ago.

Brandon Vazquez and Matt Miazga will be a part of the US national team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which kicks off this weekend, Mosquera was named to the Colombian team during the current international window, Junior Moreno has been called up to the Venezuelan squad, while the recently signed Aaron Boupendza is with Gabon.

Luciano Acosta had the only goal for Cincy in their draw versus Vancouver, while he has 51 primary assists since entering MLS in 2016, second only to Julian Gressel of the Whitecaps (55) over that span, and Roman Celentano has the second most clean sheets in MLS this season (eight), one behind Stefan Frei, with five of those shutouts occurring at TQL Stadium.

Lower body injuries have kept numerous Toronto players off the field for weeks, including Matt Hedges, Shane O'Neill, Victor Vazquez, Adama Diomande, Alonso Coello Camarero and Michael Bradley.

Tomas Romero will be a part of the El Salvador squad for the Gold Cup, Richie Laryea and Jonathan Osorio were called up to the Canadian team and Sean Johnson was named to the US side.

Lorenzo Insigne has a goal in back-to-back contests for the Reds as he is tied with fellow Italian Federico Bernardeschi for the team lead in strikes domestically this year (three), while Mark-Anthony Kaye leads MLS in tackles won this season (46).

FC Cincinnati possible starting lineup:
Celentano; Arias, Gaddis, Murphy; Powell, Nwobodo, Moreno, Barreal; Kubo; Acosta, Badji

Toronto possible starting lineup:
Ranjitsingh; Franklin, Petretta, Mabika, Marshall-Rutty; Kaye; Kerr, Bernardeschi, Insigne, Akinola; Sapong


SM words green background

We say: FC Cincinnati 2-0 Toronto

The Reds are still figuring out how to win tight matches, something the Orange and Blue have perfected, and the overall depth and form of Cincy should enable them to maintain its 100% record on home soil.

How to watch

You can watch FC Cincinnati vs. Toronto and every MLS match this season live on Apple TV. Click here for more details on how to subscribe.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win 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.Home Win:data


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Game History

How you voted: Cincinnati vs Toronto

FC Cincinnati
90.0%
Draw
10.0%
Toronto
0.0%
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Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Inter MiamiInter Miami16104238211734
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati1510322314933
3New York City FCNY City158251916326
4Columbus Crew146622113824
5New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls146532521423
6Charlotte FCCharlotte FC156451413122
7Toronto157172424022
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia144642521418
9DC United154652125-418
10Nashville SCNashville143741720-316
11Orlando City144461522-716
12Atlanta UnitedAtlanta143471717013
13CF MontrealMontreal143471731-1413
14Chicago Fire152581427-1311
15New England RevolutionNew England132110926-177

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Salt LakeSalt Lake1585230171329
2Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd137422417725
3Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy156722722525
4Los Angeles FCLos Angeles147342519624
5Austin FCAustin156542018223
6Colorado RapidsColorado156452726122
7Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver145452017319
8Houston DynamoHouston145361315-218
9Seattle SoundersSeattle154561818017
10Portland TimbersPortland154472830-216
11St Louis City143742022-216
12Dallas133461620-413
13Sporting Kansas CityKansas142572226-411
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes1532102334-1111


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