FC Cincinnati Challenges History in Pursuit of Supporters' Shield Leadership

FC Cincinnati keeps making history in MLS
Philadelphia Union v FC Cincinnati
Philadelphia Union v FC Cincinnati / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

Last Wednesday, FC Cincinnati showed why they're a team to be respected. The 3-2 win against D.C. United wasn't just another match; it was a milestone, a golden page in the club's book of extraordinary feats. The seventh consecutive away victory, matching an MLS-era record without penalty shootouts set by CF Montréal in 2022, made it clear that this team means business.

In a pulsating Audi Field, Cincinnati kept their cool and played solid soccer. Pavel Bucha shone brightly with two goals, sealing the victory after Kevin Kelsy's early goal in the 10th minute. In his post-game comments, Noonan highlighted the team's ability to adapt and achieve results even in hostile environments. He emphasized, "I told them before the game... 'You guys are a good team on the road,' and it might not always look the way we want, but the ability to adjust and adapt to conditions is commendable."

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With Miles Robinson back, returning in great form after the USA's early exit from Copa América, Cincinnati's defense was bolstered, compensating for the absences of Matt Miazga and Nick Hagglund.

As Cincinnati celebrated their win, the looming shadow of an imminent challenge appeared on the horizon: the clash against Inter Miami CF next Saturday. This won't be just another game; it will be an epic duel between the top two teams in MLS. With Inter Miami just two points ahead and with an extra game, the showdown at TQL Stadium promises to be electrifying.

Saturday's match won't just be a battle for points; it will be a fight for pride, leadership, and the confirmation of who truly is the giant of this season.

Inter Miami, even without their stars Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, who are away on Copa América duties, have shown they have depth and plenty of quality. Promising youngsters like Ian Fray and Benjamin Cremaschi have stepped up, with Cremaschi securing a late victory at Bank of America Stadium against Charlotte FC. The win not only kept Miami atop the Shield standings but also demonstrated their strength.

Noonan knows the challenge is immense. "They are a very deep team. You can see that even with key players missing, the team they put on the field is very strong. There's a reason why they keep winning games, both at home and away," he said.

The leadership of the Supporters' Shield is at stake, but more than that, the right to be called the best team in MLS this season is on the line.