Get to know the matchup in Keys to the Game, presented by Honda:
Strong at the Back
FC Cincinnati, who let in 56 goals in 2022, has become incredibly solid in defense, only allowing 14 goals so far in 16 matches, posting eight clean sheets so far this season.
New York has been incredibly strong defensively this season, too, allowing only 12 goals in 15 matches across all competitions.
Combined, both teams have six victories that have come by a 1-0 scoreline.
It will take a lot for each team to find the back of the net against such strong defensive units, but whoever does it first might seal their trip to the next round of the U.S. Open Cup.
Away from Home
Cincinnati has been on a tear so far this season, currently sitting atop the Supporters’ Shield standings.
They are 10-0-0 at home across all competitions in 2023, but the road has been a different story, where they are only 1-1-3.
The Red Bulls are 4-1-3 at home, between Red Bull Arena and MSU Soccer Park. Will location make the difference in this matchup?
Look Out for Lucho
Forward Luciano Acosta has been one of the key cogs in a much-improved Cincinnati attack throughout the 2022 season.
He lead MLS in assists with 19 in 2022, and has eight goal contributions so far in only 12 appearances this season.
In his most recent appearance, he scored twice in Cincinnati’s 3-2 win over in-state rival Columbus Crew.
Acosta’s name should be circled when it comes to shutting down a potent Cincinnati offense.