MLS: FC Cincinnati rolling, but struggling Fire have had their number


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FC Cincinnati have just one defeat in their last 19 MLS home matches.

That setback came against the Chicago Fire, who haven’t been nearly successful on the road since that triumph.

League-leading Cincinnati sets out to improve to 9-0-0 at home this season and push its club-record MLS winning streak to six games when it faces the Fire on Saturday night.

FCC (11-1-3, 36 points) currently have an eight-point lead over second-place Nashville SC in the Eastern Conference. Cincinnati’s current point total is tied for second-most in league history through 15 matches. The Los Angeles Galaxy recorded 37 in 1998.

“They just keep putting their head down and going about it in a really good way, and are doing things really well,” FCC coach Pat Noonan said.

Cincinnati has outscored opponents 12-4 during its five-game winning streak, and 15-5 while claiming all eight 2023 home matches. Dating to last season, FCC are 12-1-6 in their past 19 at home, where the only loss came 3-2 versus Chicago on Oct. 1 — the final home match of 2022.

The Fire (3-4-8, 17 points) are 2-0-2 all-time at Cincinnati, but 1-4-2 on the road this season. Currently below the playoff line in the East, Chicago is winless in four straight league contests overall, but played to a draw in each of the last three.

Chicago managed just one shot on goal during Wednesday’s scoreless draw at Toronto FC.

“I think (that) outcome is always positive when you’re on the road,” interim Fire coach Frank Klopas said.

“We continued to play until the end. Clean sheet, we take a point, and so those are positives, and we continue to grow.”

Chicago veteran Kei Kamara has a team-leading four goals, but none in his last four MLS matches. Teammate Kacper Przybylko has notched three in league play, but he’s gone scoreless in three straight.

Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta opened the scoring in Wednesday’s 3-1 victory at New York City FC. He has posted five of his team-high six MLS goals in his last five contests.

–Field Level Media


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