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Acosta, the Maestro, leads FCC to a 3-0 over Charlotte!

Friday, Luciano Acosta resigned with FC Cincinnati. Saturday night proved to be a show by their captain worthy of the Landon Donovan MVP as Acosta led the Orange and Blue to a 3-0 victory over Charlotte FC.


Alvaro Barreal, Aaron Boupendza and the recently resigned king of the Queen city all found the back of the net in the match. Surprisingly, FCC only owned about 40% of the possession all game. But when you fire 20 attempts at Charlotte’s goal and nine of them are on target, you are bound to see balls hit twine!






But last night the spotlight was on Cincy’s #10. And he put on a performance that should solidify his MVP season. FCC Coach Pat Noonan mentioned that Acosta was battling an injury from the Montreal game Wednesday. From the get go, it sure didn’t look like it.




In the 16’ Lucho tried and almost nailed a bicycle goal!



If that had made it, the crowd’s reaction might have been heard at the Pirates/Reds game going on at Great American Ballpark.


Boup, there it is!


Boupendza after his 2nd half goal  Photo from: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


Lucho and Boupendza seem to have a connection on the pitch. 




His assist for Aaron’s goal showed his vision and skill. Barreal saw open grass ahead of Acosta, so he lofted a pass into that space. Lucho and Charlotte midfielder, Andrew Privett, raced after the pass.  Privett got a touch but it bounced a bit away from him. Acosta ran into the box, but pulled back quickly and hit his teammate with a perfect ball. Boupendza laced one into the upper 90 for the second goal.


Acosta: “Messi-esque”

But the night belonged to the captain. And his goal in the 78’ was sublime.

© Katie Stratmani-USA TODAY Sports

In fact, Acosta’s goal in the second half was something you might see from his fellow Argentine countryman, Leo Messi. 



The movement, explosiveness and creativity from the Cincinnati captain was on full display. Words won’t do that goal justice. Just watch and enjoy what will be the MLS goal of the year.


After the match, the fan favorite had these words for the fans:




Noonan Notes


Pat Noonan had praise for his entire team in the press conference after the match. After Wednesday’s late game against Montreal, the club only had two days to prepare. That can create problems with injuries and planning. But a Noonan coached team is 10-2-3 in short rest games!


“I thought with the third game turnaround [three games in seven days], the group was excellent.


You score three goals and keep a clean sheet against a team that is in good form despite results is impressive.”


Pat made a point to highlight three things from the match Saturday evening.




When asked if there’s any doubt that Lucho was MVP, he responded:


“No…Lucho was outstanding.”


He continued. “This is when you want to see the best version of your team…You want to be your best in this stretch run to the playoffs.”


“Quiet Confidence!”


Coach also mentioned the work and ability of Alvaro Barreal.


“He has a quiet confidence about him. It’s effective.” On the importance of the late first half goal from his winger. “That goal really helped the momentum going into the locker.”




Barreal was already nominated by FIFA for their version of goal of the year across all leagues. It’s called the Puskas Award. Vote for this goal during the US Open Cup against Pittsburgh!




What a strike!




Vote with this link!



Finally, Noonan talked about his defense. Missing center back Matt Miazga (suspension for yellow cards), the club went with the trio of Cincy’s own Nick Hagglund, Yerson Mosquera from Columbia, and California’s Ian Murphy. Roman Celentano, Cincy’s goalkeeper, had very little to do with these three winning aerials, heading away crosses, and aggressively tackling to keep a clean sheet.


“Our back line has had many different combinations because of guys missing. I thought the three of them (Hagglund, Mosquera, Murphy) were outstanding. They had a physical presence and did a good job of picking up runners in the box.”


Noonan is being kind. These three with the help of some of the midfielders, too, were everywhere. And when they decided to go forward, it gave Charlotte so many problems to defend.


Finally, this night was the maestro, Lucho Acosta, giving his teammates, coaches, fans, and anyone interested in soccer a performance that was worthy of his contract and the Landon Donovan MVP award.


Just put his name on it now. 



CIN          CLT

40%          60%       Possession

  20               9          Shots

    9                        Shots on target

    3                6         Corners

   6               27         Crosses

  22                8         Clearances

75.6          84.4        Passing Accuracy


Next up!

9/30 Cincinnati vs Toronto, 7:30 PM @Toronto

This is scheduled to be a free game on Apple TV+.


10/4 New York Red Bulls vs Cincinnati, 7:30 PM @TQL Stadium


10/7  Cincinnati vs Miami, 7:30 PM @Miami


International Break


10/21 Atlanta vs Cincinnati, 6:00 PM @TQL Stadium


End of the regular season

I am a math teacher in SW Ohio. Born and raised in NE Ohio, I am married with four sons who keep the flame burning for all things Cleveland. I cover soccer, betting, football and anything that focuses on the human side of sports.

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