FC Cincinnati vs. Vancouver Whitecaps Betting Preview
Before making the 100 mile trip up I-71 for the Hell is Real Derby against Columbs Crew this weekend, FC Cincinnati has a home match against the struggling Vancouver Whitecaps. The Orange and Blue have gone five in a row without a loss but will have to face the Whitecaps without two starters, including captain Luciano Acosta.
Wednesday’s kickoff at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati is set for 8:00 p.m. ET, streaming on ESPN+ and airing on FCC TV. These teams have met just once, and not since 2019. Vancouver won that meeting 2-1, in Cincinnati and the hosts goal came from Allan Cruz.
FC Cincinnati Must Adjust
The Orange and Blue navigated a horrendous stretch of the schedule without a loss. Since the international break, they have drawn against each of the top three teams in the East: NYCFC, Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls. They also have a win over fifth-place Orlando City and a draw with last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners New England.
With the results from those last five games, FCC is now in seventh place, sitting in a playoff spot and they have a franchise-record 26 points. They have played better on the road than they have at home, but the draw against RBNY came in front of their largest crowd this season of 24,476.
Brandon Vazquez established a new FCC single-season record with his ninth goal of the season on Saturday. He scored off a rebound after his initial shot was saved, but FCC gave up the lead on a penalty kick. The Orange and Blue continue to have bad penalty luck as they have been called for six PK’s this season with no other MLS team giving up more than four.
The bad news from Saturday came from the midfield where both Cruz and newly-minted MLS All-Star Luciano Acosta were sent off. Cruz picked up his second yellow card right before the hour mark while Acosta was shown a straight red for a stoppage-time confrontation with RBNY’s Aaron Long. Neither will be available to Pat Noonan on Wednesday though newly acquired attacker Sergio Santos could make his FCC debut.
Between them, Vazquez and Brenner have scored in five straight games and the duo have seven of FCC’s nine goals in that span. Brenner had a hat-trick against NYCFC and scored in three straight games before being held without a goal by RBNY on Saturday. Vazquez scored against the Union and RBNY while Acosta also had a goal in the NYCFC draw.
Alvaro Barreal, who has two goals, will likely shift into the attacking midfield slot on Wednesday. Look for Haris Medunjanin, who has played in 16 games but started just four, to start in place of Cruz.
While FCC is still among the four-worst in the East in goals allowed, keeper Roman Celentano has solidified the defense in goal. The 21-year-old has started 12 straight games since taking over for Alec Kann. He has 36 saves and has allowed 19 goals with five wins, four draws and three clean sheets.
Vancouver Struggles to Score
Vanoouver has had some success at home this season but it hasn’t translated on the road. They are 2-7 with no draws in nine road games overall and they have a -13 goal differential in games away from home. Vancouver’s seven road goals are second-worst in MLS to Inter Miami’s four and their 20 goals allowed are fourth-worst.
They did win their last road game, a 2-0 win at FC Dallas on June 18, their only road points against a team with the winning record this season. Last weekend they fell 3-1 at home against Minnesota United with Lucas Cavallini scoring off the bench.
The Whitecaps don’t have any MLS All-Stars. Cavallini leads the team with six goals but no other players has more than two goals on the season. Newly signed Designated Player Adrian Cubas scored the game winner against LAFC on July 2 and the Whitecaps played a 0-0 draw against New England to start the homestand.
The Whitecaps will also be shorthanded for Wednesday’s game as winger Deiber Caicedo will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. The 22-year-old Colombian started 12 games this season, played in 16 overall with two assists and one goal. Pedro Vite made his fourth start of the season in place of Caicedo against Minnesota.
Cody Cropper is the Whitecaps goalkeeper after Thomas Hasal went down with a hand injury in April. Cropper has allowed 12 goals in 10 games with 18 saves. He has five clean sheets with five wins and two draws in nine starts.
FC Cincinnati +150 moneyline
Vancouver Whitecaps +330 moneyline
Total Goals: 2.5. Over -145. Under +120
First Goal: FC Cincinnati -195. Whitecaps +155. No Goals +1400
Vancouver hasn’t played well on the road at all this season and FCC are finally putting it all together. Playing without Acosta and Cruz will be a challenge, but if the Orange and Blue are really ready to be in the top half of the East, this is a game they win.
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