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Orlando City v FC Cincinnati: Acosta hails visitors for absorbing punches

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 May 2024

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Luciano Acosta has hailed FC Cincinnati for coming through a testing period as they look to make it three straight wins in MLS play at Orlando City on Saturday.

After going unbeaten through their first six games of the season, Cincinnati suffered back-to-back 2-1 defeats against the New York Red Bulls and CF Montreal.

However, they have since bounced back with two wins over difficult opponents, seeing off Atlanta United and the Colorado Rapids by the same scoreline.

Acosta scored his 44th goal for Cincinnati – the most of any player in franchise history – in that latter game, and he believes their resilience has been key.

“I think it’s just about our mentality,” Acosta said. “We lost those two games and it was a bit of a punch that woke us up. But now it’s about the mentality and getting back to it.”

Head coach Pat Noonan said of Acosta: “I think what makes it more impressive is teams are going to try to prevent him from having an impact.

“When you’re a key player and you’re able to do what he’s doing with the focus on stopping you in a lot of ways, that’s what is unique.”

Orlando, meanwhile, were beaten 2-1 by Toronto FC last week, halting their four-game unbeaten streak and dropping them to 13th in the Eastern Conference.

Forward Duncan McGuire felt the Lions should have taken maximum points from that game and is desperate to atone at Inter&Co Stadium.

“I definitely think we should’ve won,” he said.

“I think how difficult this felt and how this feels for us right now is going to push us and motivate us to train hard all week, to get a win for the fans at home and get the job done.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Orlando City – Duncan McGuire

Maguire scored his fourth goal of the MLS season against Toronto last week – no other Orlando player has netted more than once in 2024.

Those goals have come from an expected goals (xG) figure of 2.7, with the United States international also attempting a team-high 27 shots this campaign.

FC Cincinnati – Luciano Acosta

Acosta has contributed to at least one goal in four straight MLS matches (one goal, three assists).

It is Acosta’s fifth streak of four or more straight regular-season games with a goal contribution for Cincinnati, with Brandon Vazquez the only other player to achieve that feat for the team.

MATCH PREDICTION – ORLANDO CITY WIN

Orlando earned a win and a draw against Supporters’ Shield winners Cincinnati last season, making them one of two teams (also the New England Revolution) to play Cincinnati twice in the 2023 regular season and not lose either match.

The Lions may just fancy their chances of another positive result against Noonan’s men, who have only won one of their last three away games (one draw, one defeat).

Orlando have only lost two of their last 17 regular-season home matches dating back to last April, winning nine and drawing six, so viewers should expect a response to their loss last time out.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Orlando City – 49.3%

FC Cincinnati – 23.6%

Draw – 27.1%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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