SOCCER | MLS

FC Cincinnati vs. Atlanta United FC Pick & Prediction SEP 15TH 2021

Complete Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta
FC Cincinnati
Atlanta United FC
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FC Cincinnati has little time or reason to celebrate the end of their 12-match winless streak with one of the hotter teams in MLS next on the schedule.

Atlanta United (7-7-9, 30 points) host Cincinnati (4-10-8, 20 points) on Wednesday looking for their sixth win in seven matches.

Cincinnati had five losses and seven ties before defeating Toronto FC 2-0 on Saturday in a matchup of the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference.

That doesn't matter now, Cincinnati coach Jaap Stam cautioned.



"We need to look ahead," he said. "Of course, after Toronto everybody was happy and delighted, and you can celebrate a little bit, but there's not much time. You need to prepare for the next game and it's going to be Atlanta."

Atlanta is 5-1-1 in the past seven games and has turned around its season. On Friday, the Five Stripes defeated Orlando City 3-0 to earn the first win for coach Gonzalo Pineda in his second match since being hired in August.

"It's not about my first victory," he said. "It's about these three points that are valuable for the club."

The Five Stripes can relate to what Cincinnati endured, having gone through their own 0-5-7 stretch earlier this season under Gabriel Heinze, before he was fired on July 18, and interim coach Rob Valentino.

Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan said Pineda has changed the culture.


"He's come in and instantly has tried to create a positive vibe within the group," he said.

Cincinnati will have to deal with Atlanta star striker Josef Martinez, who returns from international duty with Venezuela.

"Atlanta's a good side, a quality team," Stam said. "They have a lot of movement, a lot of individual quality as well. It's going to be a difficult game and we need to prepare for that and try to get a result out of this game."

--Field Level Media

FC Cincinnati vs. Atlanta United FC

Adam Jahn and Marcelino Moreno each scored in the game's first 26 minutes, and Atlanta United ended a three-game losing streak with a needed 2-0 home win over lowly FC Cincinnati on Sunday night.

Aiming to keep their playoff hopes alive, United (6-12-4, 22 points) also ended an 0-4-2 rut with an early offensive surge that proved to be enough to earn their first taste of victory since Oct. 3.

Cincinnati (4-14-4, 16 points), owner of the fewest points in MLS, was eliminated from playoff contention after losing its fourth in a row and eighth in its last nine.

Playing with a sense of urgency and looking for a strong start, Atlanta came through just eight minutes into the match.

Following some stellar one-on-one footwork against FC Cincinnati defender Andrew Gutman, Jurgen Damm delivered a perfect pass across the box to a waiting Jahn, who easily drilled the ball into the right corner of the net for his third goal of the season.

The hosts made it 2-0 in the 26th minute, this time via a penalty kick from Moreno. United was set up from the spot after Jon Gallagher was tripped in the box by star Cincinnati defender Kendall Waston. Moreno then drove the ball right down the middle for his first MLS goal.

Cincinnati made some noise late in the first half. The visitors got a pair of quality, up-close strikes, but Atlanta keeper Brad Guzan slapped both attempts away.

Cincinnati was blanked for a third consecutive match, but actually held a majority of the possession in the second half. It took 14 shots overall and put four of those on target, but was unable to test Guzan any more than it did in the first half.

FC Cincinnati's 11 goals in 2020 are by far the fewest in the league. They have also failed to score in four consecutive road contests.

--Field Level Media
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