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Paul King - Becoming Royalty

Started on 10 June 2019 by TheLFCFan
Latest Reply on 2 October 2019 by ScottT
A terrific achievement for any MLS team, nevermind one that is a new franchise! Incredible work and hopefully the US Open Cup can for the first time, go to the metropolis that is Cinncinati!
Huge result for the new franchise! A big final and a chance for some silverware for the King ;)
A fantastic victory which presents everyone with the chance of silverware! San Jose are certainly beatable opposition, but will be equally as desperate to win!
TheLFCFan's avatar Group TheLFCFan
4 yearsEdited

Englishman Rebels Against New England Revolution

Joe Aribo scored twice to help secure FC Cincinnati’s first MLS win in nine games.

Englishman Joe Aribo, brace helped to secure FC Cincinnati their first Major League Soccer win in nine games, in an impressive 6-1 away win over New England Revolution.

Having endured a torrid time over the past ten Major League Soccer games, FC Cincinnati have finally ended their winless run and in some style. Julian Gressel, Greg Garza, Emmanuel Ledesma, Aron Jóhannsson were on the scoresheet along with a brace from Joe Aribo to secure the 6-1 win.

Having only scored one first half goal in eight MLS games, many supporters would of missed Cincy’s opener. With just three minutes on the clock, a deflected shot from Emmanuel Ledesma fell straight to Julian Gressel who tapped home to open the scoring. Despite the positive start, New England equalised five minutes later through Cristian Penilla. Diego Fagúndez stole the ball from Aron Jóhannsson on the half-way line, before lobbing the ball over the Cincinnati defense. Penilla picked it up in space and duly slotted the ball home.

The games quick start continued as after two minutes following the equaliser, Cincy once again took the lead. An overlapping run from American left back, Greg Garza saw Emmanuel Ledesma play him through and on the tight angle, Garza slammed the ball home. Garza’s goal was his first for the club and just his third goal in Major League Soccer, having previously scored twice for Atlanta United.

Once again another goal quickly followed, with Joe Aribo, a recent signing from Charlton Athletic on a free, grabbing his first of the game. An Emmanuel Ledesma freekick in a wide right position was swung into the box. With a lot of deflected attempts, both shots and clearances, the ball fell perfectly for Aribo, who slammed the ball hard and fast past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.

Having played a part in all three goals, Emmanuel Ledesma got onto the scoresheet on the 38th minute. A cross was played into the box by Cincinnati vice-captain, Alvas Powell, which was seemingly going straight towards New England right back, Alberto Almici. The Italian, however, clearly had no idea that Ledesma was behind him and decided to let the ball run, allowing the Argentine winger to pounce onto the ball before calmly slotting it past the helpless New England keeper.

With the half-time score 4-1, Paul Kings side didn’t waste much time to add another onto the scoreboard. After some interplay between Alvas Powell, Julian Gressel and Rasmus Schüller, the Finnish center midfielder, found Aribo on the edge of the penalty area. The 23 year old Englishmen then took one touch before curling the ball into the top right hand corner.

The final goal of the game came in the 63rd minute sealing the victory for Cincinnati. A corner from Emmanuel Ledesma, picking up his third assist of the game, found the head of American striker, Aron Jóhannsson. The striker who only joined Cincinnati a month ago, found no problem with finding the net, adding his second goal in three league games for his new side.

Following the final whistle, a look of relief fell upon manager Paul King's face. Going on his worst league run since taking over at Cincinnati, was clearly taking its toll and you could sense the delight during his post match press conference.

“It is certainly an incredible result for us. The past few months have been tough on everyone at the club as we felt we deserved to take a lot more points from those games than we have. But thankfully today we held them to a single goal and took our chances exceptionally well. Joe (Aribo) continued to impress me since he joined the squad, and Emmanuel (Ledesma) was excellent in his creation. The whole team were on top form and it was very pleasing to see. However, we can’t let this win get to our heads, as we will fall straight back in to that slump which is something we certainly don’t want to happen. We have five games left in the league now, and we are aiming for that playoff place. Then going into the playoffs we want to have momentum on our side, so winning games is very important.” commented Paul King on the result.

Cinicinnati will next play local rivals, Columbus Crew next week Saturday (September 7th 2019) in a game that Cincinnati fans will be searching for revenge following their defeat earlier in the season.

The article wasn’t wrong, I was relieved. The past few months have been some of the worst in my entire footballing career. Getting to the U.S. Open Cup final was all well and good, but had we dropped out of the Playoffs after the start we had I would of been distraught.

A run of eight games with no win in the league is a massive cause of concern for any team, no matter what is expected of them. Had it gone any further I really think the board would have started to have discussions. It may be an overreaction on my part as nothing was expected of us this year, but I set myself high standards, as well as setting the same standards to my players. That's why I have waived four players already this season, with Corben Bone and Fanendo Adi being added to the list that already consisted of Matt Turner and Darren Mattocks. If you are going to come and complain to me that you aren’t playing enough, then you better well show you are going to work hard, Adi just didn’t do that for me.

He is a very talented player, who performed well at Portland Timbers and also scored a good amount of goals for us in the USL last year. But with Brian Black coming in to the side and performing and Diego also coming in and providing experience and talent of the bench, he just didn’t want the challenge. So I had no choice, he had to go and now he is a free agent with nobody looking likely to sign him.

It is certainly a hard business to work in, players can be impressive over a few seasons, but if they then stop performing they will lose their place in the side before eventually losing their roster spot. But that is the game, someone will always be there to replace you, which is something I like to remind my players.

With Connor Randell, a former Liverpool academy player coming in on a free transfer, rejecting LA Galaxy in the process, he is the exact type of player I want in this team. A young player who is going to work hard. For now he will be backup to Alvas Powell at right back, but with his talent and work rate he could pose a long term threat to Alvas stay in the side. Competition for places can only benefit us.

If this run of winless games has taught me anything it is the fact that a player who isn’t going to give you everything, is a player you don’t need. Adi was a bad apple in the squad and as soon as he has gone we are yet to lose a game. I can’t put all the blame on him and certainly take a lot of it myself for failing to adapt sooner, but mistakes are there to be learnt from and I intend from learning from these past months to make me as great a manager as possible.


Justice: It was certainly not the best performance I have seen, however, the determination and work rate to come back showed, in Brendan Rodgers words, "Great Character" to come back and win that game. The final is certainly nice to get to in our debut season as a MLS club but now we want to win it to really show our class.
BigMaguire: It is certainly pleasing to be in the final with our shoestring budget compared to al lot of the bigger MLS clubs. It is now about ensuring we go on and win the final!
Jack: It certainly is a big opportunity against a side we have already had success over this season!
Scott: As I said to Jack, we have beaten them away once this season so that certainly boosts our confidence going in. But as you say, they will be wanting it just as much as we do!
A fantastic win and the perfect way to bring an end to a dismal run of form in the league, if there was one! Paul had every right to be concerned and he'll be a much happier man should Cincinnati get a few wins under their belt again. He presents himself as a manager who isn't afraid to make tough decisions and understands what he wants. Adi hasn't met the requirements he sets and therefore has been told where to go! Randall's imminent arrival will be a real boost, he's a very talented full-back.
A terrific way to end a bad run of form, with a convincing 6-1 thrashing! Hopefully the confidence from this win is brought into the US Open Cup Final, as if you perform anywhere close to this, you will surely steal the trophy and bring it back to Cincinnati!
It is an incredible way to bounce back from a run of form that left you less than happy with your players. If players kick off about not playing much, they need to perform on their chances on the pitch or in training, or they need to shut up. Good to see you waive players who provide a toxic atmosphere.
A huge, emphatic result and a great day for all of the Joe Aribo's from England. Should be a great boost to morale after previous undesirable form.

Columbus Crews Past Rivals Cincinnati

The Hell is Real Derby is quickly becoming ‘Hellish’ for Paul King and his FC Cincinnati side, having suffered the second loss of the season to their local rivals.

Columbus Crew, have once again defeated their closest rivals, FC Cincinnati, in a 1-0 victory at the Nippert Stadium. A Gyasi Zardes goal consigned Paul Kings side to another lose to Columbus Crew having also lost to their state rivals 1-0 earlier in the season.

Coming into the game, FC Cincinnati were in high spirits, having beaten New England Revolution, 6-1 away from home last time out. However, a depleted back four due to international duty,with Alvas Powell, Kendall Watson and Greg Garza missing out, saw that momentum wiped away for Cincy. Yet this didn’t stop them from dominating the early stages, keeping the ball well and threatening the Columbus Crew goal on many occasions in the opening half an hour.

However, Cincinnati lacked the clinical edge they had shown in the previous match and failed to find the opening goal, which instead came through American striker Gyasi Zardes. Experienced right back, Harrison Afful played a cross into the box, deflecting off a helpless Leandro Bertone. The ball fell perfectly for Zardes who had no problem tapping the ball home from less than three yards away giving him his sixth goal of the season.

Cincinnati will certainly feel frustrated, as they continued to pile on the pressure onto Columbus, however, they couldn’t take their chances. With debuts to Connor Randall and Rui Rua, as well as Josh Kim and Jimmy Medranda receiving starts due to the international break, the Cincy side was much changed from the victory over New England. That was clear to see, as despite the shots they had, only one was a decent chance, and it was clearly a disjointed display from Paul Kings side.

“It is certainly disappointing. We had finally managed to get some momentum on our side after that emphatic win over New England, but then the schedule and timing came at the wrong time for us. Losing four key players, three of which make up our back four, to International duty is just very unfortunate. However, we can’t blame that on the loss. We had chances, we just didn’t take them and that isn’t acceptable. With the way we controlled the game tonight, we really should of done more and it is something we will be looking at on the training pitch in the coming weeks.” said Paul King on the result.

Columbus Crew have now lost just three of their past 15 games, winning nine of them, a run that has seen them close the gap between themselves and Cincinnati to just a single point. Having spent a large majority of the season outside of the playoff spots, this recent run has impressed manager Caleb Porter massively.

“The boys have been great recently. We didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, winning just four games in thirteen matches and we felt as though we were letting ourselves down. Thankfully this run has shown our true class and quality. We have beaten some very good sides in the past couple of months, most notably New York City and LA Galaxy. We now look in a strong place to finish in the Playoff spots. I do feel for Paul (King) as he did have a good chunk of his players missing today, but that is football and we took advantage, so yes I am very impressed with how we played today and of late.” commented Caleb Porter, Columbus Crew Head Coach.

With four games remaining in the Major League Soccer regular season, both FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew look set for a Playoff berth. Cincinnati will need just four points from their remaining four games against, Sporting Kansas City, Toronto, Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas. Where Columbus Crew will need five to guarantee their spot with games against New England Revolution, DC United, Sporting Kansas City and Colorado Rapids.

Cincinnati will also play San Jose Earthquakes in that period, in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. The match will come between an away trip to Toronto and their home match against Real Salt Lake, adding to Paul Kings scheduling woes, with the game coming four days apart from the league fixtures.

With the way the Eastern Conference table currently stands, Cincinnati will have their shot at revenge in the postseason. As it stands the Orange and Blue will host Columbus Crew in the third “Hell is Real” derby in the quarter finals of the Playoffs.


Scott:A quite enjoyable game to see, especially after that shocking run of form. Paul will certainly be pleased with the turn around, but following the loss to Columbus Crew, it certainly needs to start becoming more consistent. Adi asked for games, then when he was given them, did nothing and therefore he had to go. Randall is certainly a talent and hopefully will improve our depth, something we have lacked so far.
BigMaguire:That would certainly be the aim. As I said to Scott, it is all about getting the consistency now. Winning 6-1 in one game is great but if it means we lose the next couple it isn't good enough!
Justice: The run has made King a lot less likely to tolerate players not pulling their weight. Work rate is a big part of his system and that translates from the group he has at the club. Adi wasn't willing to put the work in and when he was given the chance he didn't take it.
Jack:Joe Aribo's was great in that game, and to be fair he has been incredible since his arrival. The victory was certainly impressive and now our morale should hopefully be back on the up!
A tough loss to take, especially when you are left with a depleted squad like Paul was for this game. Columbus seem to have really found their stride recently. Hopefully the scheduling doesn't prove to be too much of an issue as it has been. I think Cincinnati need to have words with the MLS, it seems very unfair!
Unlucky with the timing of the international break, decimating your back 4. A sour pill to swallow after such an emphatic 6-1 drubbing of New England just days before. But hopefully Cincy respond in the next fixture. And that title should have its own award :)
That pun. I have no more to say.
Disappointing defeat to your rivals, but if as expected you face them in the playoffs, i'm sure King will be out to write those wrongs.

Dominant Display Seals Cincy Playoff Spot

FC Cincinnati have booked their spot in the post season of the MLS for the first time in the clubs history, following a 4-0 win over Sporting Kansas City.

Having made their Major League Soccer debut just over half a year ago, FC Cincinnati have gained a spot in the MLS playoffs. Going into the match with four games to go, the side knew they needed just four points to secure a top seven place, however, with Atlanta United dropping points, the win for Cincinnati secured their place.

Cincy started brightly from the off, peppering the Sporting Kansas City goal, with 11 shots (7 on target) within the first 25 minutes of the game. As well as controlling possession, a theme of Kings side this year, Cinicinnati got the opener half an hour into the game. An Emmanuel Ledesma corner was headed clear towards the edge of the box, falling to the feet of Rasmus Schüller. The Finnish creator, found Gressel in acres of space, allowing him to power his shot into the goal.

The second of the game, came from a well executed counter-attack. Kansas, were in a dangerous attacking position but with a poor ball into the box, captain, Kendall Watson, cleared the ball away for Cincinnati. Ledesma, once again involved in the goal, latched onto it and made his way up the field. A ball over the Sporting Kansas defense found Joe Aribo who put a first time ball across the face of the box, for Aron Jóhannsson. The American initially hit the post, before making up for his miss seconds later by scoring the team's second.

Joe Aribo continued his impressive run of form, by grabbing his first and Cincinnati’s third of the day on the stroke of half time. A well worked play saw Rasmus Schüller, once again set up a goal, as he played the ball across to his midfield partner on the edge of the area. A touch to get the ball out of his feet was all Aribo needed before he powered the ball past Kansas goalkeeper, Tim Melia.

The 33 year old keepers day continued to go downhill as only seven minuets into the second half, Julian Gressel had secured his second goal of the day. The final goal of the game was also the best of the day, as a corner fell to the German 28 yards from goal. The winger had no hesitation in striking it first time, whipping it into the far corner, securing the win for his side.

Fans of Sporting Kansas day was only made worse, when in the 87th minute a Lucas Melano consolation strike, was ruled out for offside. The 238 travelling supporters saw their team whipped off the pitch, in a game where Cincinnati took no prisoners. Cincy ended the gamew ith 65% possession whilst having 34 strikes on goal (15 on target) to Sporting Kansas City’s 5 shots. The stats, as well as the performance, clearly impressed the Orange and Blue boss, Paul King.

“Is there a better way to seal a first ever Major League playoff spot? We were excellent from the get go today. I couldn’t believe we hadn’t scored before Julian (Gressel) got his first. The boys kept the ball excellently and it is clear that even this late into the regular season, we are improving. This is certainly something we will be looking to take with us into the Playoffs. Hopefully we can build on this momentum going towards our Cup final in just over a weeks time.” were the words of King.

Cincinnati who were expected, at best, to finish lower to mid-table, have exceeded all expectations from the get go. Having secured an opening day, shock win over giants LA Galaxy, Cincy have gone from strength to strength this season. Having started the season in fine form, losing just five of their first 19 games in all competitions, before a six game unbeaten run, Cincy were clearly underestimated by many. A tough run followed but in the past three games Cincy have scored ten goals and conceded just two, showing signs of a return to form.

Having joined New York Red Bulls,New York City and Toronto FC in confirming their Eastern Conference Playoff spots, it looks likely that Cincy will either face Philadelphia Union or rivals, Columbus Crew in the Playoff quarter finals.


Scott:They are certainly the inform side at this point in the season. Thankfully despite the scheduling being a nightmare so far, we have sealed our playoff place with this result against Sporting Kansas City.
BigMaguire: Well with our full side we are clearly a strong outfit. Clearly shows the lack of depth we currently have. It will be a big job for King to bring in new faces who can be used when needed this off season.
Justice: You loved it.
SOA: It would be great to beat them in the playoffs if it comes to it as they are certainly becoming an irritating team to play!
A fantastic achievement for Kings side! Hopefully you can Crews past Columbus if you cross paths :)

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