ST. LOUIS −There were two deluges at CityPark on Saturday. One came in the form of severe weather that delayed the start of the match by more than two hours, and one came during the 90 minutes as St. Louis City SC rained goals down on FC Cincinnati.
St. Louis City, the high-flying expansion franchise now leading all of Major League Soccer in the standings, toppled previously-undefeated FC Cincinnati, 5-1, Saturday at CityPark. The loss was the first of the year for FCC, which dropped to 5-1-2 and remained tied for first in the Eastern Conference.
The inundation arrived early in the match. Jared Stroud rocketed a goal in for 1-0 in the third minute. Two late first-half goals – one apiece from Eduard Löwen and Kyle Hiebert – effectively put the game out of FCC’s reach before the intermission.
FC Cincinnati was shorthanded in the contest and played without the injured Luciano Acosta, as well as Brenner Souza da Silva, who appears headed for the exit to Udinese of Italy’s Serie A. But even with those absences, FC Cincinnati’s disappointed in the first half.
In a likely acknowledgement of that, FCC head coach Pat Noonan made three substitutions at halftime. Cincinnati’s play improved marginally but the score didn’t. By the 57th minute, a Nicholas Gioacchini goal followed by an unfortunate Roman Celentano own-goal he could do nothing about made the score 5-0.
Sergio Santos fought for a consolation goal in the 62nd minute. It was his team-leading third goal of 2023, and it wasn’t much consolation.