CIN-CLB Week 18

FC Cincinnati vs. Columbus Crew SC | 2020 MLS Match Preview

2020 MLS Regular Season Week 18
FC Cincinnati vs. Columbus Crew SC
Nippert Stadium – Cincinnati
October 14 – 7:30 PM ET


LOCAL TV: Star64, FOX Sports Ohio

It's the fourth chapter of the Hell is Real Derby this season and FC Cincinnati are hoping for their first win against the rival Columbus Crew when the teams meet Wednesday night at Nippert Stadium.

FC Cincinnati (3W-10L-4D) are now goalless in five straight matches following a 1-0 home loss to Toronto FC, their fourth consecutive defeat. Columbus (9W-3L-4D) are winless in their last three after a 2-1 defeat to the Montreal Impact in Week 16.

The Crew have dominated the series, with a pair of lopsided victories this year, including a 3-0 win at MAPFRE Stadium in the last meeting Sept. 6. The teams played to a 0-0 draw in the only match at Nippert Stadium on August 29. 

FC Cincinnati

It's now four consecutive shutout defeats for offensively-starved FC Cincinnati, which fell to Toronto FC 1-0 at Nippert Stadium Sunday. The club had a late penalty shout with referee Robert Sibiga pointing to the spot after Omar Gonzalez was ruled to have fouled Alan Cruz. But the initial decision was reversed following Video Review. 

"The penalty, it was like 10 yards away from it, so he saw it very well from a very short distance," Jaap Stam said of Sibiga after the match. "The first thing he does is give the penalty. I think if it was for one of the big teams in the league they would’ve had a penalty, but for some reason we don’t get it – and I think it was [one]. So it’s a strange decision."

On Monday, FC Cincinnati acquired forward Franko Kovacevic from TSG Hoffenheim on loan through June 2021. Cincy have the option to extend the loan through the 2021 season. FCC and Hoffenheim announced a partnership on Sept. 25. Kovacevic's loan is the first player movement between the two clubs. 

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Maikel van der Werff (D) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Greg Garza (D) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Przemyslaw Tyton (GK) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Jurgen Locadia (F) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Kendall Waston (D) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Mathieu Deplagne (D) - undisclosed injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: Kendall Waston (D)
  • International duty: None

Columbus Crew SC

The Crew's Week 17 match against Orlando City SC was postponed following two confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the Columbus Crew staff. Orlando City confirmed a positive test result among its first team roster earlier on Saturday. 

MLS also postponed the FC Dallas vs. Minnesota United match following two confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 among the Minnesota United player pool. The league said that both matches were postponed to ensure the health and safety of all players and staff and to allow for further testing and evaluation prior to travel and competition.

Project Starting XI

  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Vito Wormgoor (D) - ankle injury
    • OUT: Darlington Nagbe (M) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Waylon Francis (D) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Lucas Zelarayan (M) - hamstring strain
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty:  None

Series Matchup at FC Cincinnati

  • FC Cincinnati: 0 wins, 1 goal
  • Crew SC: 1 win, 3 goals
  • 1 draw


  • Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
  • Assistant Referees: Peter Balciunas, Cory Richardson
  • 4th Official: Lukasz Szpala
  • VAR: Hilario Grajeda