FC Cincinnati 2 hand Philadelphia Union II first loss of the season behind Valenzuela hat trick
Source: Fccincinnati

FC Cincinnati 2 (3-3-1, 10 points) earned a 3-1 win over Philadelphia Union II (3-1-3, 14 points) Sunday afternoon at Scudamore Field at NKU Soccer Stadium for their second consecutive victory in MLS NEXT Pro play. The Orange and Blue handed Union II their first loss of the season and move into the upper half of the Eastern Conference table.

Gerardo Valenzuela accounted for all three goals for FCC 2, netting the first hat trick in the team's third season. Valenzuela, who made his season debut for FCC 2 last Sunday against Atlanta United 2, scored his first goal of the MLS NEXT Pro season to give the Orange and Blue a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute of play.

The Orange and Blue doubled the lead four minutes into the second half as Valenzuela tallied his second of the afternoon. Peter Mangione assisted on the goal, picking up his first of the season after scoring his first MLS NEXT Pro goal last week against Atlanta.

Kyle Tucker scored Philadelphia's lone goal of the afternoon to keep Union II in it, but Valenzuela stole the show, completing his hat trick in the 88th minute. The Orange and Blue have now scored seven goals over their last two MLS NEXT Pro matches.

FC Cincinnati Academy U17 forward Stefan Chirila made his first MLS NEXT Pro start and his fourth appearance of the season. Chirila played 90 minutes in the contest and helped spring the Cincinnati attack on Valenzuela's third and final goal of the match.

Next up for FC Cincinnati 2 is a home match against Crown Legacy FC next Saturday, May 4, at Scudamore Field at 4 p.m. ET. Tickets for the match can be redeemed through the redeemed through the FC Cincinnati app. Streaming and broadcast details will be released at a later date.

AS IT HAPPENEDCIN: Gerardo Valenzuela, GOAL - 21' (1-0) - Peter Mangione battled a pair of Philadelphia Union II defenders before navigating into open space and picking out Valenzuela near the top of the box. Valenzuela beat one Union II defender before splitting another pair and calmly dribbled around Andrew Rick to roll a brilliant solo effort into the back of the net.

CIN: Gerardo Valenzuela, GOAL - 49' (2-0) - A foul from Philadelphia set the Orange and Blue up with a free kick from about 30 yards out from goal. Peter Mangione curled a perfect ball in and found Valenzuela making a run to the near post. Valenzuela met the service and guided it across the face of goal and into the back of the net at the far post.

PHI: Kyle Tucker, GOAL - 77' (2-1) - Tucker earned one for the visitors in the 77th minute as Union II looked to make a late second half comeback. Tucker lined up over a free kick from 24-yards out beat Hunter Morse through a congested penalty area for his second goal of the season.

CIN: Gerardo Valenzuela, GOAL - 88' (3-1) - FCC 2 caught Philadelphia out as Union II searched for a match tying goal. Stefan Chirila was able to combine with Ben Stitz down the right wing to break open a two on one opportunity for the Orange and Blue, and Stitz found Valenzuela making a run into the box. Valenzuela was taken to the ground during his attempt but kept it on frame as it rolled across the line.

FC CINCINNATI 2 GAME REPORTFC Cincinnati 2 vs Philadelphia Union IIDate: April 28, 2024Competition: MLS NEXT ProVenue: Scudamore Field at NKU Soccer StadiumKickoff: 4:03 p.m. ETWeather: 82 degrees, clear

SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-FCIN: 1-2-3PHI: 0-1-1

CIN - Gerardo Valenzuela (Mangione) 21', Gerardo Valenzuela (Mangione) 49' Gerardo Valenzuela (Stitz) 88'

PHI - Kyle Tucker 77'

LINEUPSCIN: Hunter Morse, Moises Tablante (Ben Stitz 76'), Isaiah Foster (Jesus Castellano 84'), Brian Schaefer, London Aghedo (Gael Gibert 61'), Amir Daley, Nico Benalcazar (C), Stiven Jimenez, Gerardo Valenzuela, Peter Mangione, Stefan Chirila (Yeiner Valoyes 90'+7)

Substitutes not used: Luke Laramore, Alejandro Guido, Juan Machado, Nicholas Samways, Connor Stout

Head Coach: Tyrone Marshall

PHI: Andrew Rick, Francis Westfield (C), Olwethu Makhanya (Carlos Rojas 46'), Neil Pierre, Jose Berdecio (Gavin Wetzel 61'), Bukuru Ngabo, Christopher Olney Jr., Gio Sequera (Kyle Tucker 62'), David Vasquez, Edward Davis (Leandro Soria Zarate 62'), Sal Olivas

Substitutes not used: Michael Sheridan, John Andrus, Alex Perez-Aguilar

Head Coach: Marlon LeBlanc

STATS SUMMARY: CIN/PHIShots: 13 / 8Shots on Goal: 5 / 2Saves: 1 / 2Corner Kicks: 5 / 5Fouls: 12 / 18Offside: 5 / 1

MISCONDUCT SUMMARYPHI - Gio Sequera (Yellow card) 45'+1CIN - Amir Daley (Yellow card) 75'PHI - Neil Pierre (Yellow card) 86'CIN - Jesus Castellano (Yellow card) 90'

OFFICIALS Referee: Matt ThompsonAst. Referees: James Duling, Sharon GingrichFourth Official: Mohamed Sadraoui