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Nani and Orlando City visit struggling Cincinnati

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FC Cincinnati aim to snap a bevy of undesirable streaks on Saturday when they host Orlando City SC.

FC Cincinnati (3-7-6, 15 points) are winless in their last seven matches overall (0-2-5) and all six contests at home (0-3-3) this season. To boot, they are also mired in a 299-minute scoreless run on the heels of registering a pair of scoreless draws.

The struggling club is also undergoing change after it parted ways with general manager Gerard Nijkamp on Friday afternoon.

Nijkamp has guided FC Cincinnati to a 7-20-10 record since serving as their general manager since May 30, 2019. He spent seven years at PEC Zwolle in the Eredivisie prior to joining FC Cincinnati.

“We sincerely appreciate Gerard’s efforts over the past two years and respect his decision to return to his family in Europe. We wish him and his family the best of luck moving forward,” FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding said. “With a significant portion of the season remaining, our focus is on improving our play on the pitch and earning a playoff spot.”

FC Cincinnati were held scoreless for the seventh time this season in a draw against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday. They were not done with the Red Bulls however, as they acquired midfielder Florian Valot from New York on Thursday in exchange for $50,000 in 2022 general allocation money.

Valot, 28, has recorded five goals and nine assists in 43 MLS regular-season appearances with the Red Bulls.

Orlando City (8-4-5, 29 points) own a 2-3-2 mark in their last seven matches after coming off a 1-1 draw against Inter Miami CF on Wednesday.

Captain Nani notched his sixth assist on Antonio Carlos’ goal in first-half stoppage time. Nani also scored one of his club-best eight goals in the Lions’ 3-0 victory over FC Cincinnati on May 1.

“It was a game that I think both teams showed that they were coming in with a short period of recovery, trying to find those answers during the game through the players with their effort,” Orlando City coach Oscar Pareja said. “We obviously came to win the derby with that energy, but today we have to walk with that point and we will do that and prepare for the next one.”

Tesho Akindele scored in the first minute of Orlando City’s victory over FC Cincinnati, while Junior Urso tallied in the 80th.

Mauricio Pereyra has recorded three of his team-leading seven assists in the last three matches for the Lions.

FC Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta has a club-best four goals. His three assists are tied for the team lead with Ronald Matarrita, who is in line to make his 100th career MLS start on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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