FC Cincinnati Shines and Reclaims the Lead

With a 6-1 rout over Inter Miami, FC Cincinnati takes back the top spot
Philadelphia Union v FC Cincinnati
Philadelphia Union v FC Cincinnati / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

Last Saturday, FC Cincinnati treated us to an eye-popping performance, thrashing Inter Miami CF 6-1 at TQL Stadium. This result not only restored their lead in the Supporters' Shield race but also sent a clear message to the rest of the league: Cincinnati is here to stay and dominate. Team captain Luciano Acosta summed up the post-game sentiment perfectly: "This team, these fans, we deserved this tonight."

When the dust settled, it was clear that FC Cincinnati wasn't just here to compete; they were here to reign. The mission was simple: win to regain control. And boy, did they do it in style! With a stellar performance worth noting, the team displayed enviable consistency and focus—essential qualities for any team aspiring to reach the top.

Follow MLS Multiplex on X (Twitter).

Coach Pat Noonan, always insightful, didn't need to say much to his team before the game. "Sometimes I don't even have to talk to them. I think they were ready for this game," Noonan said after the match. He emphasized the importance of staying focused and following the game plan to ensure success. Throughout the season, this has been Cincinnati's mantra. The performance isn't always as spectacular as it was against Miami, but consistency is the team's strong suit.

The first half of the game gave a good glimpse of what was to come. Luciano Acosta, the Argentine maestro, scored a breathtaking goal—his 50th in the Orange and Blue jersey—and contributed two assists, complementing Yuya Kubo's two goals. Inter Miami, missing stars like Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, and Jordi Alba, tried to resist, but the night belonged to Cincinnati.

It was this absence of key Miami players that Acosta sensibly addressed after the game. "They were missing some important pieces today, everyone should know that," said the reigning MLS MVP, highlighting that Cincinnati played their game without worrying about sending messages to the opponent. "We came to play our game, they played theirs. No messages or anything like that. We are just us."

This victory gains even more significance considering the challenges FC Cincinnati faced. Recently, the team lost their central defenders, Matt Miazga and Nick Hagglund, both placed on the season-ending injury list. Even so, the defense held strong, and the attack shined. With 48 points and an average of 2.18 points per game, Cincinnati surpasses last year's mark, solidifying their position at the top of the MLS.

"It's just about taking it game by game and step by step," Acosta emphasized. "Thinking about this group, we don't have guys like Matt and Nick, and a win like this is for them, who we obviously miss a lot."

Inter Miami, coming off a four-game winning streak even without Messi and Suárez, met their match in Cincinnati. With 12 wins in their last 14 games, Noonan's team showed why they are considered title contenders. "You have to beat good teams if you want to be at the top of the table, top of the conference, and playing at home in the playoffs," Noonan stated.

And how can we not mention the upcoming showdown? On August 24, Cincinnati and Miami will face off again, this time at Chase Stadium, in a match that promises to be decisive in the Supporters' Shield race. "Everyone in our locker room knows where we are right now and what our group's potential is," Noonan said. "So, yes, we know we can fight for it, but we won't get there if we keep thinking about it at this stage."