Major League Soccer

FC Cincinnati defeat Orlando 2-1 to break 14-match losing streak

Lizzy Becherano
FC Cincinnati player Brandon Vazquez scored twice to earn his side their first victory in 14 matches.
FC Cincinnati player Brandon Vazquez scored twice to earn his side their first victory in 14 matches. / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

FC Cincinnati finally broke their 14 match losing streak with a 2-1 triumph over Orlando City SC on Saturday at Exploria Stadium.

The game also marked head coach Pat Noonan’s first victory with the club since joining during the offseason from the Philadelphia Union

Brandon Vazquez was the star of the night, scoring twice to lead his side to the much-needed three points. While his first goal worked to instill confidence in FC Cincinnati, Vazquez’s second sealed the deal. 

“We know how the past has been for this club, and we know the quality of players we have and see it in training every day. I feel like we truly believe we all are invested and we believe in ourselves,” Vazquez said.

“We believe in this group. And we're really close. Like I said, if we just believe, I think that's the most important thing. Everybody actually feels it in them that we can win. And I think we've been doing that the past couple of weeks, regardless of results.”

The team concluded last season bottom on the Eastern Conference table with 20 points in 34 games and a record of 4-8-22. While several changes were made during the offseason, their start to the 2022 campaign with a 5-0 loss against Austin FC and a 1-0 defeat vs. D.C. United appeared to suggest that little would change this year.

However, Noonan insists the team is now finally breaking the pattern. 

“Obviously, the past hasn't been so kind as far as results and how the seasons have finished, but coming off of a really good performance last weekend, without the result, I think this was an important win,“he said.

“Just for the confidence of the group, and moving into our fourth game, having won a game and understanding that this group is going to win and we're moving in the right direction.

“I was just pleased for us as a group to win this game. It wasn't so much myself. It's nice to get that out of the way, of course, but it was important for our group to understand what it feels like, winning and winning on the road and winning against a good team.”

Goalkeeper Alec Kann reiterated sentiments by marking the victory as a 'huge relief'. 

"It’s a huge relief for me and the group to kind of get that monkey off of our back and get three points on the board, and it’s something to build on. I thought last week, we deserved more than what we got in the game against D.C. And tonight, I think on the balance of play, maybe a bit fortunate to get the three points. But we had to dig in and that's what it takes to win in this league.”

The team returns to the pitch on Saturday against Inter Miami at TQL Stadium.