FC Cincinnati clinch Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs spot


The first Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs spot belongs to FC Cincinnati, continuing the Eastern Conference club’s ascension under head coach Pat Noonan and general manager Chris Albright.

The Orange & Blue’s berth was secured with a 2-1 win Wednesday evening at Atlanta United in Matchday 29, occurring nearly two months before Decision Day (Oct. 21).

Cincy are atop the Supporters’ Shield table, pursuing the club’s first MLS-era trophy and the single-season points record the 2021 New England Revolution (73) set. With eight games remaining, they have 57 points and are playing at a 2.19 points-per-game pace.

Playoff history, key paces

This is Cincy’s second straight playoff trip after they spent each season from 2019-21 as MLS’s last-place team, a rough start to their expansion journey. But they took a big step forward in 2022, winning their Eastern Conference Round One matchup at the New York Red Bulls before losing a Semifinal bout at the Philadelphia Union.

Cincy's 2023 squad includes an All-Star trio in midfielder Luciano Acosta, left wingback Álvaro Barreal and center back Matt Miazga – while strikers Brandon Vazquez and Aaron Boupendza complete their attacking trident after Brenner was transferred midseason to Serie A side Udinese. Acosta (Landon Donovan MLS MVP candidate), Boupendza and d-mid Obinna Nwobodo are their three Designated Players.

Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs

MLS Cup presented by Audi is set for Dec. 9, while the playoffs begin Oct. 25-26 with Wild Card matches. All games can be watched on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

  • Seeds 1-7 in each conference qualify for the Round One Best-of-3 series.
  • Seeds 8-9 in each conference qualify for the Wild Card matches.