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

FC Cincinnati 2 will play Philadelphia Union II on Sunday, August 7 at 6:00 p.m. ET at the Mercy Health Training Center. It’s the second and last meeting between the teams as Philadelphia pick up three points against FCC 2 on March 27.

FC Cincinnati 2 vs Philadelphia Union II

Contest: MLS NEXT Pro Regular Season

Side? site: Mercy Health Training Center, Milford, OH.

March 27, 2022 – PHI (2-0) CIN

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

The Orange-Blues clinched a point in Sunday night’s team’s first shoot-out of the season against Inter Miami CF II. Harrison Robledo opened the scoring after 57 seconds with a perfectly placed free-kick from 25 yards out. Dairon Reyes equalized for Miami in the 61st round, sending the match to penalties where Miami would win 4-3.

Philadelphia Union II defeated Eastern Conference leader 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 added time to sink the crew.

Philadelphia started MLS NEXT Pro with a bang, winning four of their first seven games, suffering just one loss and averaging fifteen points over that span. Since beating Orlando City B on May 16, Union II have picked just eight points, conceded eighteen and scored seven goals in nine games. Philadelphia have back-to-back wins against Orlando City B and Columbus Crew 2 and are looking to win three straight wins against Orange and Blue this weekend. The Union is currently 7th in the East, three points behind Toronto FC II who are fourth.

Nico Campuzano – Beckham Sunderland left Sunday’s game against Inter Miami CF II with an injury and is likely to miss FCC 2’s game against Union II. This means that Nico Campuzano is due for a start between the posts on Sunday evening. Substituting for Sunderland, Campuzano made a save to keep Miami from taking the lead and saved Miami’s first penalty. Campuzano has started one game this season, making four saves in the process.

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 a team lead in shots (37), shots on goal (14) and assists (18).

EVERYONE GETS A GOAL – It’s been an attack-by-committee approach for both teams this season as neither side has a clear top scorer. Ten players have scored 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 is the first MLS NEXT Pro match to be played at the Mercy Health Training Center. Three of FCC 2’s last four home games have been played at Mercy Health. FCC 2 defeated Brazilian club Mogi Mirim Esporte Clube in a friendly at MHTC on July 26.

IT’S BEEN A WHILE – It has 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, completing two three-game series against Inter Miami CF II and Rochester NY FC.

WELCOME TO THE EXHIBITION – On Thursday, MLS NEXT Pro announced its first league expansion with seven MLS member clubs set to begin play in 2023. Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and New York will join FCC 2 in the Eastern Conference while Austin and both LA clubs fill out the West.

This weekend will be a challenge. Philadelphia are a good side and we played them earlier this year when they were one of the best in the East. Of course they’re struggling with the ups and downs of the season, but they’re slowly getting back into shape. But it’s important that we keep doing what we’re doing, keep working on ourselves.”

– To this week’s game against Philadelphia

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

FC Cincinnati 2 started playing in MLS NEXT Pro in 2022. FCC 2 is designed to serve as a bridge between the FCC first team and the academy and is a professional path for players to grow and develop at FC Cincinnati. The club plays its games at NKU Football Stadium, Mercy Health Training Center and TQL Stadium.

ABOUT MLS NEXT PRO
Launched by Major League Soccer in March 2022, MLS NEXT Pro is a men’s professional soccer league in the United States and Canada that completes the path for professional players. With 21 clubs competing during the inaugural season – 20 MLS members and one independent club, Rochester New York FC – MLS NEXT Pro is growing the game through innovation and diversity, bringing professional football to new communities and building opportunities both creates off the field. Seven MLS member clubs will join MLS NEXT Pro in 2023, subject to FA approval: Atlanta United, Austin FC, Charlotte FC, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles Football Club, Nashville Soccer Club and New York Red Bulls. More MLS members and independent clubs will join in the coming years. Beginning in 2023, MLS NEXT Pro games will stream live on the Apple TV app as part of Apple’s monumental partnership with Major League Soccer. For more information on MLS NEXT Pro, visit mlsnextpro.com.

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