This will be only the second time the Rapids have faced FC Cincinnati since FCC joined MLS as an expansion side 2019. The first time these two clubs met, the Rapids earned a 3-1 victory on their home field at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, thanks to goals from Andre Shinyashiki, Diego Rubio and Nicolás Mezquida.
This match will be the Rapids first against an Eastern Conference opponent since Colorado’s Home Opener last season, a thrilling 2-1 win over Orlando City SC in March 2020. It will also be Colorado’s first time playing at Cincinnati’s brand-new TQL Stadium, which opened on May 1.
Both Colorado and Cincinnati are coming off a long international break that gave the teams three weeks between MLS matches. FC Cincinnati had a tough start to 2021 prior to the break. FCC is currently ranked last in MLS with four total points and a 1-4-1 (W-L-D) record. All four of their points came on the road this season, as they currently hold a 0-2-0 record as the home side. Scoring goals has been an issue for Cincinnati, who has been held scoreless in three of their six total matches this season.
FCC’s lone victory came in a 2-1 win on May 22 against CF Montreal, which is definitely an impressive result against a team that has been above the playoff line since the start of the season. The win came in comeback fashion, with an equalizer in the 70th minute and the game-winner in the 86th. The victory marked the first time in 37 games that Cincinnati has fought back for a victory after giving up the first goal.
KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH
Brenner was the big offseason move for Cincinnati, a young Designated Player joining MLS from São Paulo FC. He scored 21 goals in 37 games in his last season in Brazil, so expectations are high for the 21-year-old Brazilian as he continues to adjust to play in the U.S. He scored in FCC’s opening game of the season but has yet to break back onto the scoresheet.
While FC Cincinnati doesn’t have any players with more than one goal, the source of those goals is clearly Ronald Matarrita, who has assists on 50 percent of his team’s six goals. Matarrita joined FCC this offseason after spending the last five seasons with NYCFC. The left back was called up to the Costa Rican national team during the international break but did not play due to a calf injury. If he returns for the match against the Rapids, he will be one to watch.