FC Cincinnati denied MLS history: "I thought they deserved it"


FC Cincinnati's perfect streak at home has come to an end, and with it their quest for Major League Soccer history.

Saturday night's 2-2 draw with fellow Eastern Conference contender New England Revolution was the Orange & Blue's first one-pointer of the season at TQL Stadium, after an impeccable 10W-0L-0D run to start the season. Even more impressive: they were just a single victory away from becoming the first-ever MLS club to win 11 consecutive home matches in a single season.

Head coach Pat Noonan openly admitted Cincy were chasing the record books, expressing his regret for falling just short.

"There is [disappointment] for the guys that have done so much to position themselves to have this achievement if we were to win the game. I did talk about that briefly because it's unique in the history of the league to do something and to be a first in a positive manner," Noonan said post-match.

"I thought they deserved it. It's disappointing it didn't happen."

Cincy, playing before another sellout crowd of 25,513 fans, equaled the 2002 San Jose Earthquakes for the longest such streak in MLS history.

Still, it's doubtful Noonan and company will stay too disappointed for too long considering their Matchday 22 result somewhat steered the ship of the Supporters' Shield leaders after last week's ugly and unexpected 3-0 loss to D.C. United.

"Good response. That said, the first 30 minutes is as good as we've played all year," the second-year manager said.

Saturday's improved performance also allowed role players to further seize their opportunities amid a shortage of starters due to Gold Cup absences (Brandon Vazquez and Matt Miazga with the USMNT) and injuries (Junior Moreno). Chief among them was forward Dominique Badji, who netted both Cincinnati tallies; he also scored an own goal for the Revs, who additionally got on the scoreboard through Gustavo Bou.

"All around, one of his best performances. If you look at the goals, being able to get two, that's important for a striker and he took those two moments," Noonan said of the Senegal-born forward. "He'd probably tell you he could've had a couple more."

Noonan also likely believes Cincy could've had a couple more consecutive home wins in them as well. That said, he won't likely let the disappointing feeling linger for too long, considering his team are six points clear atop the overall MLS standings with a 13W-2L-5D record.

"All in all, even though the streak comes to an end, the guys have still done a lot of good things," he said. "And now, we can maybe stop thinking about that where we just go and play."