FC Cincinnati: 2020 Preview – Off the Bottom?

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FC Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, OH – MARCH 17: FC Cincinnati defender Kendall Waston (2) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during FC Cincinnati’s inaugural home match against the Portland Timbers on March 17th 2019, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati OH. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With less than a month to go until the start of the 2020 MLS campaign, we are taking a look at how each team has evolved since last year, and their chances this term. This time, we look at FC Cincinnati.

Unfortunately for the newest team in the league in 2019, FC Cincinnati suffered badly, only managing to win six games all season, racking up a miserly 24 points from their 34 regular-season matches, finishing bottom of both the Eastern Conference and the Supporters’ Shield standings.

Put it this way, their debut season in the American top flight was the fifth-worst in the decade, and, had it not been for San Jose only amassing 21 points the year before, it would have been the worst points tally in the regular season since D.C. United’s 16 in 2013.

Related Story: FC Cincinnati: Best-rated starting XI of 2019 season

FC Cincinnati made it through to the Round of 16 in their first showing in the U.S. Open Cup since becoming an MLS team, but they were beaten by USL Championship side Saint Louis FC, who took the 1-0 victory en route to the quarter-finals.

Here is how things are shaping up in Ohio for FC Cincinnati ahead of the 2020 season.

FC Cincinnati, Emmanuel Ledesma

CINCINNATI, OHIO – JULY 06: Emmanuel Ledesma #45 of the FC Cincinnati waves to the crowd in the game against the Houston Dynamo at Nippert Stadium on July 06, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Best Performers

Due to their poor performances as a team, the club produced few players who enjoyed starring campaigns. They were poor defensively, struggled for goals, scoring just 31 times in those 34 games, and were largely outplayed by the opposition.

Costa Rican midfielder Allan Cruz got seven of their goals. He was the side’s top scorer for their debut season in the league, with Emmanuel Ledesma the only other man to bag more than four times in the regular season.

Ledesma came with the side through their transition from USL into MLS and he showed his quality, averaging a WhoScored rating of 6.79 to take the crown of being FC Cincinnati’s best player over the course of the 2019 campaign.

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