FC Cincinnati make road history ahead of Supporters' Shield clash vs. Miami


Before a highly-anticipated showdown against Inter Miami CF on Saturday (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass), FC Cincinnati made sure to take care of business on the road against D.C. United.

In fact, Wednesday's 3-2 victory at Audi Field made history for the Orange & Blue, who tied an MLS non-shootout era record with their seventh straight road win – previously set by CF Montréal in 2022.

Last year's Supporters' Shield winner also earned their league-best ninth away win of the season to keep pace with Miami, as the current Shield leaders also got it done on the road in Matchday 24 with a 2-1 win at Charlotte FC – their fourth straight victory without Lionel Messi or Luis Suárez due to Copa América commitments.

It sets up a massive weekend clash at TQL Stadium between the first and second-place teams in MLS. The Herons are on 47 points, but Cincinnati are just two points back with a match in hand.

"I give the guys credit because we've gone on the road two games here and gotten results, and it's not easy to do," head coach Pat Noonan said after the win, which came courtesy of a Pavel Bucha brace that followed Kevin Kelsy's 10th-minute opener. "I told them before the game... 'You guys are a good team on the road,' and it might not always be the way we want it to look.

"That's credit to the opponent, that's credit to going on the road in tough atmospheres, but you have to be able to adjust at times and adapt to the conditions, and I think they do a good job of that."

Robinson returns

The US men's national team's early exit from Copa América meant the return of center back Miles Robinson, who started and played all 90 minutes in a boost for a defensive line missing Matt Miazga and Nick Hagglund to long-term injuries.

"[Robinson] looked like he hadn't missed a beat," Noonan said of the 27-year-old. "I thought he was excellent tonight. I think he commanded the back line in a good way, won the majority of his aerial duels, and then had purpose with where the headers were going."

Battle for 1st

Robinson will be needed on the weekend because next up for Cincinnati is a Miami team that has barely put a foot wrong despite the absence of their two brightest stars, seeing youngsters like Ian Fray and US Olympic team hopeful Benjamin Cremaschi seize the opportunities given to them. The latter scored the late game-winner at Bank of America Stadium.

Thanks to Wednesday's triumph in Charlotte, Miami can not only extend their lead at the top of the Shield standings, but match Cincinnati's league-high nine away wins with a victory at TQL Stadium.

"They're a very deep team. You can see with key pieces missing the team that they're fielding is very strong," Noonan said. "There's a reason they're still winning games and doing it home and away.

"(They have) a lot of quality and a lot of guys that have played meaningful minutes and now are getting more consistent starts. But they still look very strong and will be a great test for us."