Leading up to the MLS Is Back Tournament toward the end of July, FC Cincinnati (FCC) showed signs of having a promising 2020 season. Since the tournament, however, the club hasn't won a single match.
FCC hasn't managed to score a single goal in the five matches following the tournament's conclusion. The last goal they scored was within their only appearance in the tournament itself, which ended in a 1-1 scoreline decided by penalties with the victor being that of eventual tournament champion Portland Timbers.
As a result, FCC is tied with inaugural club Inter Miami F.C. for the second most ineffective offense across MLS conferences, with only six goals.
FCC has allowed more than twice as many goals (15) to be scored against them on the defensive side of the pitch, placing them eleventh in the eastern conference with the worst goal differential in the MLS at -9.
On Sunday, FCC visited the Columbus Crew, currently in first place in the eastern conference with 23 points, for another installment of the "Hell is Real" rivalry.
After keeping the game relatively close till the end of the first half, the Crew thrashed FCC 3-0 after the first half, reminiscent of the lopsided 4-0 loss against Columbus in the MLS Is Back Tournament.
Now, FCC is on the outside of the postseason picture looking in. Due to the impositions of COVID-19, the playoff picture for both conferences have been expanded. With ten out of the fourteen teams in the eastern conference able to qualify.
While there is still a substantial amount of season to be played, if the Lions indeed fail to make the playoffs, this play period will undoubtedly play a crucial part in the failure.
Despite suffering from injury drawbacks since his arrival, the striker loaned from English Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion, Jürgen Locadia, has been one of few that has been able to make somewhat of an impact with the ball at his feet.
Locadia shares the club's top scorer title jointly with forward Yuya Kubo with both of them scoring just two goals. However, Locadia has done so in three fewer matches played.
The former PSV Eindhoven prospect hasn’t yet had the same success he had in the tournament in the regular season, along with the rest of his team. Frustratingly unable to put the ball in the net and taking only six shots in that timeframe.
With such a lack of production on offense, FCC has been tremendously helped with quality play by their first-choice goalkeeper, Przemyslaw Tyton.
The former Polish international is tied for first in the MLS with the clean sheets (5), three of which have come in 0-0 draws since the club returned from the tournament at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
FCC will look to recover in good form as they travel to take on New York City FC on Sept. 12 at Red Bull Arena. The announcement of the remaining schedule for the season should come not long before or after.