FC Cincinnati missing key defenders in match vs. Union

ByField Level Media ESPN logo
Wednesday, June 19, 2024

FC Cincinnati, who sit in second place in the Eastern Conference, will try to make up for a loss in their last match at home when they host the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday.

Cincinnati (11-3-3, 36 points) returns home following a 4-2 victory in San Jose. Cincinnati's three-match home unbeaten streak was snapped in a 2-0 loss to Nashville on May 29.

The victory in the Bay Area came at a cost for Cincinnati. Center back Matt Miazga, who left the match against the Earthquakes with a leg injury, will not be available against Philadelphia. Cincinnati is already without Miles Robinson, who is away on international duty.

"I still feel good with them, with what we have," Cincinnati coach Pat Noonan said of the team's defenders. "But of course, when you lose key pieces, the experience, the leadership, the quality, especially in that position, we'll take a hit.

"We'll look at our options and see what the best combination is. But yeah, we're talking about losing two key pieces. But our opponent for Wednesday is missing a lot of pieces, too. So that can't be an excuse."

Philadelphia (4-5-8, 20 points), eighth in the East, heads to Cincinnati with points in four of its last five -- the lone loss in that stretch coming 2-1 at the hands of Inter Miami over the weekend.

The Union have dropped two of the previous three meetings with Cincinnati, picking up a single point in a 2-2 draw last September.

"Two opponents that know each other very well. Every game we play against them is a one-play game, and the margins are really tight," Union coach Jim Curtin said.

"We know we have to be at our absolute max, be very compact and hard to play against, against a really good Cincinnati team."

Midfielder Daniel Gazdag, away on international duty, leads the Union with 10 goals in 15 matches this season. Quinn Sullivan has a team-leading five assists in 17 matches. Luciano Acosta and Yuya Kubo both have seven goals for Cincinnati.

Wednesday is the first of two meetings between the clubs. The two sides meet again on Oct. 19 at the Union.

--Field Level Media