FC Cincinnati host the New York Red Bulls in a festive atmosphere on Wednesday night at TQL Stadium as the Orange and Blue captured the first Supporters’ Shield trophy in their history after a 3-2 road win over FC Toronto four days ago at BMO Field.
The celebration will take place just after the final whistle on Wednesday. The visitors need points much bigger, but Cincy’s players will hardly allow them to ruin the party on a big occasion.
On the other hand, the short-handed New York Red Bulls deteriorated their playoff stock with a 1-0 loss to direct rivals Chicago Fire on Saturday in Harrison, New Jersey. Can they pull off a much-needed upset on the road against the best team in the league? Here are our expert predictions and best odds at US sportsbooks for Wednesday’s match-up.
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The Orange and Blue Capture Their First Supporters’ Shield Trophy
FC Cincinnati snapped their three-game winless thread last Monday when they beat Charlotte 3-0 on the home turf. They backed it up with the weekend’s road success at Toronto, scoring three goals in the second successive MLS affair on the occasion.
Brandon Vazquez was Ontario’s Orange and Blue hero, completing a first-half brace to hand his team a head-start in a tie between the top and the bottom Eastern Conference sides. It was his fifth multi-goal display in a Cincy shirt, seventh in general since 2019. Pat Noonan’s troops did reveal uncommon defensive holes by allowing a couple of quick-fire goals just before the break, but Aaron Boupendza confirmed his fantastic form by powering home the match-winner 20 minutes from time.
The Orange and Blue are now eleven points clear atop the conference standings, and they’ve captured their inaugural Supporters’ Shield trophy with three games to spare. They’ve also locked up the top seed and the home-court advantage throughout the entire postseason action.
The loss against Chicago Was a Massive Setback for the Red Bulls
The Red Bulls’ playoff ambitions were dealt a colossal blow on Saturday night when Troy Lesesne’s men fell 1-0 at home to the Chicago Fire. It was an unfortunate outcome for the Metros, who deserved much more in a game they dominated for the most part. NYRB dropped to 12th place in the East and is currently sitting three points shy of Montreal in 9th.
The match was decided just after the hour-mark when defender Hassan Ndam earned his second yellow card offense for a sliding tackle on Fire’s Jonathan Dean. Chicago notched the game’s only goal just after that free kick as Xherdan Shaqiri found Georgios Koutsias with a beautiful curled ball into the penalty area.
It was the fourth defeat in the last seven outings for the Red Bulls, who have managed just a single win along the way. They’ve scored more than a single goal just once in the last ten fixtures across competitions, courtesy of a 3-5 win at D.C. United in the previous road tie.
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Best Pick — FC Cincinnati to win and Over 3.5 Goals (+380) with DraftKings
FC Cincinnati is scoring for fun these days. They notched three goals in each of the last two MLS outings, and they’ll go into this off of a five-goal thriller against FC Toronto. The New York Red Bulls showed a lot offensively four days ago against Chicago despite failing to convert in the final third, and we would not be surprised to see them on the scoresheet at TQL Stadium either.
The quality is by all means on FC Cincinnati’s side. They have a chance to set a new MLS record for most home wins in a single campaign, and we can hardly see them dropping the ball against these Red Bulls. There is merit in the super-attractive +380 odds offered for this betting option at DraftKings.
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