NYCFC vs FC Cincinnati preview: Time for the U.S. Open Cup, or is it?

Maxime Chanot of NYCFC
Maxime Chanot of NYCFC / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC has not been good on the road in 2023.  Unfortunately, in the midst of their four game Major League Soccer road trip, they have to travel to Ohio to face FC Cincinnati in the U.S. Open Cup. 

In MLS, the Orange and Blue has just one loss, and is 7-1-3.  In the team’s early years in the league, all NYCFC did was beat them down.  Recently, the tides have turned, and now the Pigeons have found themselves facing a formidable opponent over the last few matches. In 2022 during the regular season, both fixtures ended in draws.  

Since NYCFC has been struggling away from home, there are low expectations heading into this fixture.  In fact, some fans might believe the team should not go all in for the U.S. Open Cup, especially since it is likely the home side will.  As such, many were not happy with the rotation choices for the Charlotte FC fixture, and still would rather see the best lineup during the Hudson River Derby this weekend.  Alas, no matter the lineup, there are not too many that think the Pigeons will end up with a win.

Hence, let’s take a look at the U.S. Open Cup game preview.

When is the match between New York City FC and FC Cincinnati?

The match will take place on Wednesday, May 10, at 7:00 PM.

Where is the NYCFC game?

The game will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio at TQL Stadium.

Where can fans watch the NYCFC game?

Fans can catch NYCFC on the CBS Sports Golazo Network.  The free streaming channel can be found on, the CBS Sports app, Paramount+, and Pluto TV.

What can New York City FC expect from Cincinnati?

New York City FC can expect another rough road game, for FC Cincinnati currently sits in second place in the Eastern Conference in MLS.  Although, like the Pigeons, goal scoring has not been their forte, for they have only scored two or more goals in four of their fixtures. 

However, defensively the Orange and Blue has been on fire, for Roman Celentano and his backline have six clean sheets in all competitions.  For a team like NYCFC, who struggles to score, it will be difficult to break down the defense, especially with talented center-backs like Matt Miazga. 

Plus, Cincinnati has Brandon Vazquez.  The forward only has two goals in all competitions, but he is still a threat.  In 2022, he had 20 goals overall, so it is only a matter of time before he finds his goal scoring boots again.  Both he and Luciano Acosta will likely be the biggest threats for NYCFC.  Acosta has two goals too this season, but he is one of the top attacking midfielders in the league.  His threat as both a provider and scorer means the Pigeons must find a way to stop him.   

Which NYCFC player should supporters watch?

For this match, NYCFC supporters should pay attention to everyone on the pitch.  Times have not been fun on the road, and now is the time for players to step up.  Who will take the charge, and lead the team to wins?  Or, will it be another disappointing fixture, where the Bronx team fails to present their full potential away from home?

Moreover, will Nick Cushing give some of the younger players a chance?  If so, fans should pay attention to those that do not get playing time, and see whether they can take advantage during these troublesome times. 

What is the prediction for New York City FC?

New York City FC has not been doing well on the road.  Cushing, believes FC Cincinnati will put out a top lineup, especially since their bye is this weekend.  As mentioned throughout the preview, the club has been doing well so far in 2023, and will be a formidable opponent. 

Based on Cushing’s comments over the last week, and then the way he managed the game in Charlotte, fans can expect the Pigeons to have one of their better lineups on the pitch as well. 

However, the road woes continue, and expectations are low.  Therefore, the prediction is that NYCFC will lose, 2-0, in Cincinnati.  The Bronx side will be eliminated in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.

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As always, anything can happen, and New York City FC is no different.  The recent form away from home makes it difficult to believe that the team can leave Ohio with a win, and move on in the oldest soccer tournament in the country.