FC Cincinnati makes Playoffs for first time ever; faces New York Red Bulls Saturday in Round One of Audi MLS Cup Playoffs

Fifth-seeded FC Cincinnati travel to Harrison, New Jersey to take on the fourth-seed New York Red Bulls in Round One of the 2022 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs on Saturday, Oct. 15 at noon ET.

The matchup opens the first round of the MLS postseason, and will broadcast locally on Star64, nationally on UniMás and TUDN (Spanish audio) and on MLSSoccer.com/MLS App (English audio), and over the radio locally on ESPN 1530.

FC Cincinnati, making the club’s first appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs, will take on a Red Bulls franchise which have qualified 23 times for the MLS postseason, the most in league history, and have qualified for 13th straight seasons, the longest active streak in MLS.

For more information on the Orange and Blue’s first appearance in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, visit FC Cincinnati Playoff Central presented by Mercy Health.


Local TV: Star64
National TV: UniMás and TUDN (simulcast)
Stream: MLSSoccer.com and MLS App
Local Radio: ESPN 1530
Local Talent: Tom Gelehrter (play-by-play), Kevin McCloskey (analyst), Alex Stec (sideline)
National Talent: Luis Omar Tapia (play-by-play), Raul Guzman (analyst), Marcelo Balboa (analyst), Xavi Sol (sideline)

Be sure to follow @FCCincinnati on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for live updates from the game.

For fans making the trip to Red Bull Arena, tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster. FC Cincinnati supporters will be located in section 220 of Red Bull Arena. A limited number of seats are available in adjacent sections.

The Watch Party at TQL Stadium is sold out! All ticket proceeds sold for the Watch Party went to the FC Cincinnati Foundation. For more information on the programs and initiatives of the FC Cincinnati Foundation, and how you can donate to the great cause, visit the Foundation’s page.

Fans without tickets to the Watch Party or the game are encouraged to watch at one of FC Cincinnati’s 14 official Pub Partners located across the region, presented by Coors Light.

The Red Bulls lead the all-time MLS series over FC Cincinnati, 4-2-3 (2-1-1 at Red Bull Arena)

Head Coach Gerhard Struber was named the gaffer for the Red Bulls on Oct. 6, 2020 prior to their playoff game against Columbus Crew. That made him the first head coach in MLS history to begin as a manager in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Last year in his first full season, he finished with a 13-12-9 record, but his 7-1-4 mark over the club’s final 12 games led New York to the playoffs and gave them momentum into this year.

New York began this season hot, accumulating a 9-3-6 record across all competitions through May. Much of that was attributed to their road record, as they became the second team in MLS history to win their first five road games of the season in regulation, the first since the LA Galaxy in 1998. Their .618 road win percentage this season and nine road victories only trailed CF Montréal (.706, 11 road wins).

Yet, their home win percentage is what led to their season being capped at fourth place in the Eastern Conference. With a 6-6-5 record at Red Bull Arena and a .500 win percentage in Harrison, New Jersey, it was tied for the second-lowest home win percentage in the league.

However, their 424 points at Red Bull Arena since it opened in 2010 is the most in the league over that span. Across all competitions, New York are 8-4-1 at Red Bull Arena in their last 13 games.

But, New York have lost three of their last five dating back to the beginning of September. That is despite a 2-0 win over Charlotte FC at home on Decision Day last Sunday.

Visit here for more information on the Red Bulls ahead of Saturday’s matchup.

 Not only are FC Cincinnati making the club’s first appearance in the MLS postseason, but so too are many of the players on the active roster. In total, 11 FC Cincinnati players have appeared in at least one career MLS Cup Playoff game (Powell, Nelson, Hagglund, Acosta, Santos, Badji, Cameron, Miazga, Matarrita, Gaddis, Moreno), totaling 66 appearances.

Three other players appeared in the regular season for a playoff team but not in the playoffs (Kann, Vazquez, Vermeer).

Nick Hagglund is the only player to have scored a goal in postseason play (Nov. 30, 2016 for TOR vs MTL). He has also recorded two postseason assists. The only other players to have tallied a playoff goal contribution are Sergio Santos (PHI) and Ronald Matarrita (NYC), who each have one career postseason assist.

Hagglund (2017 Toronto) and Alvas Powell (2015 Portland) are the only active roster players to have played in an MLS Cup Final, which both players and their clubs won those nights. Alec Kann and Brandon Vazquez are the two other members of the active FCC roster to have lifted MLS Cup, they were part of the MLS Cup-winning 2018 Atlanta United FC squad.

EXPERIENCE AMONG THE COACHES – FC Cincinnati’s coaching staff is well experienced in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Head Coach Pat Noonan has guided his team to the playoffs in 18 of his 19 seasons as a player or coach in MLS. He’s also a two-time MLS Cup winner with Columbus (2008) and LA Galaxy (2012).

Noonan’s total leads a coaching staff which has earned 47 combined MLS Cup Playoffs appearances. Assistant Dominic Kinnear has been part of four MLS Cup-winning teams, including twice as a head coach with Houston (2006 and 2007) and prior as an assistant with San Jose (2001 and 2003). Kenny Arena was an assistant with LA Galaxy in their cup-raising season in 2014, and General Manager Chris Albright is a 3x-MLS Cup Champion as a player (1999 with D.C., 2002 and 2005 with LA Galaxy).

THE HOME AWAY FROM HOME – When it comes to road venues, no place has FC Cincinnati seen more of than Red Bull Arena. Saturday will mark the Orange and Blue’s eighth all-time fixture at Red Bull Arena, three more than the next closest (Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, 5).

All-time against the Red Bulls on their home pitch, the Orange and Blue are 1-2-2, with the lone win coming on Sept. 19, 2020, a 1-0 win. That came during the Covid-shortened season in which FC Cincinnati spent three consecutive weekends in September at Red Bull Arena, including two matches against New York City FC using the venue.

LOW SCORING BATTLES – The past six matchups between FCC and RBNY have featured two combined goals, or fewer, and eight of the nine all-time MLS fixtures have combined for two or fewer goals.

FC Cincinnati have conceded one goal from open play to the Red Bulls since the 2020 season opener, in pre-pandemic days.

GET UP, IT’S GAME DAY – Saturday’s noon ET kickoff will mark the second-earliest kickoff in club history. The only fixture to have been played earlier in the day for the Orange and Blue came during the MLS is Back Tournament, a 9 a.m. ET kickoff against Atlanta United FC on July 16, 2020.

The previous earliest kickoff this season came on March 19 at TQL Stadium against Inter Miami CF, a 1 p.m. kickoff. FC Cincinnati won that contest, 3-1, and this season are 3-1-0 in games started before 5 p.m. ET.

BACK TO WHERE IT BEGAN – FC Cincinnati’s Matt Miazga, acquired by FCC from Chelsea FC on August 5, returns to Red Bull Arena where the Red Bulls’ Academy product made his MLS debut at the age of 18 for RBNY. As part of two Supporters’ Shield winners in 2013 and 2015, Miazga made 35 appearances over three seasons where he scored one goal and added two assists.

The Clifton, New Jersey native started and played all four games for the Red Bulls in 2015 in their run to the Eastern Conference Finals. One of his two goals this season with the Orange and Blue came at Red Bull Arena back on August 20.

BUSY BRENNER – FC Cincinnati’s in-form Brenner has had his name mentioned quite a bit this week. On Monday, he was named the MLS Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire on the same day he was named to the MLS Team of the Week.

Then on Wednesday, he was named MLS Player of the Month for September/October for the first time in his career. Of course, it is all for good reason. The Brazilian has scored nine goals in his last five games, tied for the most in a five-game span in MLS history. Against D.C. United, he became the sixth different player in MLS history to score at least three hat tricks in a single season and the first since Atlanta’s Josef Martínez in 2018.

Also against D.C. United, he recorded his second game this season with at least three goals and one assist, becoming the first player to do so twice in a single season since Landon Donovan for the LA Galaxy in 2007

Head Coach Pat Noonan on the team’s mentality ahead of Saturday
“I don’t think they’re content with just being here. The goal was to be here and now that we are, you know, let’s try to do something special. And that starts on Saturday. I think the mentality of the group and the way that guys are going about training and going about conversations on and off the field shows a group that’s focused and understands the challenge ahead, but I think is still very confident in being able to step on the field Saturday and have success.”

For more information on the Orange and Blue’s first appearance in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, visit FC Cincinnati Playoff Central presented by Mercy Health.

2023 FC Cincinnati Season Ticket Memberships are now available. Season Ticket Members are guaranteed the best seats at the best prices for every match at TQL Stadium in 2023, in addition to access to exclusive events, discounts on merchandise and more!

2023 Season Tickets are on sale now at fccincinnati.com/tickets. Fans looking for more information can contact a dedicated FC Cincinnati representative at (513) 977-5435 or e-mail tickets@fccincinnati.com.

FC Cincinnati are playing their fourth season of MLS competition in 2022, and their second playing at TQL Stadium. For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. Additionally, fans are encouraged to download the team’s official mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.


Posted in MLS