Following FC Cincinnati’s 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls, Luciano Acosta was already facing the likely league-administered punishment for the red card issued to him.
But Acosta still decided that publicly discussing his frustration with Major League Soccer refereeing was worth risking the possibility of further punishment.
In an official press conference and with the help of an interpreter, Acosta spoke for about seven minutes after the match, and mainly about the refereeing decisions which he says are continually going against his club. .
“I’m angry. I’m angry with the result. I’m angry with the way the game was officiated and it’s the same every time,” Acosta said via the interpreter. “It looks like it’s against us. I didn’t think Allan was a red and, for (mine), it was chest to chest. I’m just not as big as Aaron Long, but it’s It was the product of frustration, of being hit over and over again during the game and having it boil over in the moment.
“I don’t know why it’s happening like this. That’s why I wanted to come here and show my face and say something…I’m here to defend my team and defend my club.”
Acosta said he was confident he was also accurately expressing the feelings of his teammates, adding: “As captain, I feel like I’m the voice of the group. I talk to the players in the locker room. They feel the same. Maybe some of them wouldn’t come out and say it because they don’t want to be fined, don’t want to have (suspended) an extra game. as captain, I will defend my club.
FC Cincinnati saw the draw against the Eastern Conference leaders Red Bulls with 10 men for about 30 minutes. Allan Cruz receives his second yellow card for a tackle in front of the New York bench in the 58th minute.
In the dying seconds, Acosta himself was shown a red card after making contact with Red Bulls defender and captain Aaron Long. This forced Cincinnati to close the game with nine men.
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All this was preceded by a penalty for a foul by Ray Gaddis, which was checked by the video assistant referee and finally confirmed.
After Brandon Vazquez opened the scoring in the 21st minute, Lewis Morgan equalized from the penalty spot eight minutes later.
“As you can see there have been a few calls,” Gaddis said. “Obviously the referee called me. I wouldn’t agree with the call on how it went. That’s my point of view.”
With a season-best TQL Stadium crowd of 24,476 already providing a powder keg atmosphere, the Red Bulls’ ensuing goal celebration produced a roar in which Cruz received his first yellow card.
The 1-1 draw was enough to see FC Cincinnati improve to 7-7-5 in 2022, and 1-0-4 since the end of the June international break.
But the Red Bulls’ draw was still little consolation for the FCC’s growing frustrations with officiating, which head coach Pat Noonan also addressed after his five-word opening statement: “Good point, terrible football game.”
When asked if he had a problem with the performance of the game’s officiating team, Noonan smiled and asked rhetorically, “Are you tricking me? Does that answer the question? “
“There are things that we haven’t handled particularly well,” Noonan continued in response to the question. “There were a lot of little things that I didn’t think were going our way and didn’t look very balanced. I think the physicality (of New York) wasn’t right. quite a problem. I thought our guys did a great job with direct play, winning aerial duels, mostly being solid with knockdowns.
“I feel bad for everyone who has to watch this. It’s – it’s so bad. And so, for the fans, the people back home who have to sit through this, it’s unfortunate. This was not a football game.”
Acosta and Noonan’s comments also seemed to come in the context of the club’s 4-4 draw on 29 June against New York City FC.
After that match, Noonan called in an assistant referee for unprofessionalism in a post-match exchange.
“I don’t have a good answer right now. I don’t think it’s just us,” Noonan said. “I watch the games. We are not alone. It is something that we hope to improve. You know, just like we want to improve the quality of the game on the pitch. If our league is to continue to grow, it must grow in all the domains.”
What served as Noonan’s consolation on the night was how FC Cincinnati ended the Red Bulls game without Cruz, and later Acosta.
“Excellent. We haven’t given up on dangerous looks,” Noonan said. “They didn’t change what they were doing. They were looking for balls behind and we handled that pretty well. You’re not going to win every knockdown. You’re not going to have every perfect clearance. Those are the times when you just have to make sure defensively that you’re ready to deal with the runs behind, the balls behind.”
FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano finished the game with two saves.
At the end of league-wide action on Saturday, the FCC remained tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference, ensuring they would stay above the playoff line for another week.
Vancouver Whitecaps will visit TQL Stadium on Wednesday (8 p.m.) and FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew will resume the “Hell is Real” derby on Sunday in Columbus.
Welcome to Cincinnati.com’s live coverage of the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference game between fifth-placed FC Cincinnati and first-placed New York Red Bulls at TQL Stadium (7:30 p.m.). Refresh this page throughout the game for live updates and analysis, and follow Enquirer FC Cincinnati reporters Pat Brennan (@PBrennanENQ) and Sara Tidwell (@saramtidwell) on Twitter for further updates.
• Final: FC Cincinnati 1, New York Red Bulls 1.
• 90th minute – Red card, FC Cincinnati: Luciano Acosta.
• 58th minute – Red card, FC Cincinnati: Allan Cruz (second yellow).
• Half time: FC Cincinnati 1, New York Red Bulls 1.
• 29th minute – GOAL, New York Red Bulls (1-1): Lewis Morgan converted a penalty after Cincinnati’s Ray Gaddis was deemed to have fouled in the FCC penalty area.
• 21st minute – GOAL, FC Cincinnati (1-0): Brandon Vazquez followed up a rebound and made two quick touches from a close but wide angle for a tap-in. The goal was his ninth of 2022, giving him the most in a single season for an FC Cincinnati player since the club joined MLS.
• Match in progress around 7:38 p.m.
• FC Cincinnati starting XI: Roman Celentano (GK), Alvaro Barreal, Tyler Blackett, Geoff Cameron, Nick Hagglund, Ray Gaddis, Obinna Nwobodo, Allan Cruz, Luciano Acosta (captain), Brandon Vazquez, Brenner Souza da Silva.
• FC Cincinnati Bench: Zico Bailey, Yuya Kubo, Nick Markanich, Haris Medunjanin, Ian Murphy, Quimi Ordonez, Harrison Robledo, Kenneth Vermeer (GK).
• New York Red Bull starting XI: Carlos Coronel (GK), Frankie Amaya, Tom Edwards, Cameron Harper, Patryk Klimala, Aaron Long, Luqinhas, Lewis Morgan, Dylan Nealis, John Tolkin.
• Red Bulls bench: Tom Barlos, Caden Clark, Daniel Edelman, Omir Fernandez, Ryan Meara, Serge Ngoma, Andres Reyes, Dru Yearwood, Steven Sserwadda