PREVIEW | FC Cincinnati 2 hosts Philadelphia Union II at Mercy Health Training Center

FC Cincinnati 2 will take on Philadelphia Union II on Sunday, August 7 at the Mercy Health Training Center at 6 p.m. ET. It is the second and final meeting between the two sides with Philadelphia going for the three points against FCC 2 on March 27.

FC Cincinnati 2 vs Philadelphia Union II

Competition: MLS NEXT Pro Regular Season

Web page: Mercy Health Training Center, Milford, OH.

March 27, 2022 – PHI (2:0) CIN

PHI – C. Paternina Molina (4′), J. Bueno (58′)

The Orange and Blue earned a point against Inter Miami CF II on Sunday night in the team’s first penalty shootout of the season. Harrison Robledo opened the scoring at fifty-seven seconds with a perfectly placed free kick from twenty-five yards out. Dayron Reyes equalized for Miami in the 61st minute sending the game to penalties where Miami would win 4-3.

Philadelphia Union II took down Eastern Conference leaders Columbus Crew 2 at Subaru Park last Sunday. Paxten Aaronson and Noah Fuson traded goals before Stefan Stojanovic broke the 1-1 tie with a stunning volley in the first minute of second-half stoppage time to sink the Crew.

Philadelphia started MLS NEXT Pro play with a bang winning four of their first seven games, losing just once and totaling fifteen points in that span. Since the win over Orlando City B on May 16, Union II have managed just eight points in nine games, conceding eighteen goals while scoring seven. Philadelphia collected back-to-back wins against Orlando City B and Columbus Crew 2 and looks to make it three in a row against the Orange and Blue this weekend. The Union are currently 7th in the East and are three points behind Toronto FC II, who occupy the top four.

Nico Campuzano – Beckham Sunderland pulled out of Sunday’s match against Inter Miami CF II with an injury and will likely miss the FCC 2 match against Union II. That means Nico Campuzano is in line for a start between the sticks on Sunday afternoon. Coming on as a substitute for Sunderland, Campuzano made one save to keep Miami in the lead and saved Miami’s first penalty. Campuzano started one game this season making four saves.

Christopher Donovan – One Union II player looking to regain his early season form is Christopher Donovan. Donovan scored three goals in the first five games of the season but has not scored since April 24. Despite the drought, Donovan remains one of Philadelphia’s most dangerous offensive players with three goals and team leads in shots (37), shots on goal (14) and offensive assists (18).

EVERYONE TAKES A TARGET – It’s been an attack-by-committee approach for both teams this season, with neither team having a clear number one scorer. Ten players have found the net for FCC 2 while four have scored multiple goals this season. Philadelphia has similar numbers, eleven and five, respectively.

BACK TO THE TRAINING GROUND – Sunday’s tie will be the first MLS NEXT Pro match played at the Mercy Health Training Center. Three of the final four FCC 2 home games will be hosted by Mercy Health. FCC 2 beat Brazilian team, Mogi Mirim Esporte Clube, in a friendly at MHTC on July 26.

IT’S BEEN A WHILE – It’s been over four months since FCC 2 played Union 2 to open the MLS NEXT Pro season. Since then, FCC 2 has played each team at least twice and completed two three-game streaks against Inter Miami CF II and Rochester NY FC.

WELCOME TO THE SHOW – On Thursday, MLS NEXT Pro announced its first league expansion with seven MLS-affiliated clubs beginning play in 2023. Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and New York will join FCC 2 in the Eastern Conference while Austin and the two Los Angeles clubs will participate in the West.

This weekend will be a challenge. Philadelphia is a good team and we played earlier this year when they were one of the best in the East. They’re obviously going through the ups and downs of the season, but they’re starting to get back into shape. But it’s important for us to continue what we’re doing, to continue working on ourselves.”

– In this week’s game against Philadelphia

“The results are starting to swing our way. The boys are starting to believe, and are a little more focused. I think their determination and their willingness to work on both sides of the ball is evident now. We are still on a learning curve and making fewer mental mistakes each week. You can see the kids keep fighting and that’s why we’re starting to see better results.”

FC Cincinnati 2 began play in MLS NEXT Pro in 2022. FCC 2 is designed to serve as a bridge between the first FCC team and the Academy, and is a career path for player growth and development at FC Cincinnati. The club plays its matches at NKU Soccer Stadium, Mercy Health Training Center and TQL Stadium.

ABOUT MLS NEXT PRO
Launched in March 2022 by Major League Soccer, MLS NEXT Pro is a professional men’s soccer league in the United States and Canada that completes the professional player journey. With 21 clubs competing during the inaugural season – 20 affiliated with MLS and one independent club, Rochester New York FC – MLS NEXT Pro is growing the game through innovation and diversity, bringing professional soccer to new communities and creating opportunities for both both on and off the field. Seven MLS-affiliated clubs will join MLS NEXT Pro in 2023, pending U.S. Soccer sanctions: Atlanta United, Austin FC, Charlotte FC, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles Football Club, Nashville Soccer Club and New York Red Bulls. Additional MLS-affiliated and independent clubs will join in the coming years. Starting in 2023, MLS NEXT Pro matches will be streamed live on the Apple TV app as part of a landmark partnership between Apple and Major League Soccer. For more information about MLS NEXT Pro, visit mlsnextpro.com.

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