Top Football Sprots Stories

Pat Noonan praises FC Cincinnati’s mentality in 1-0 triumph over Philadelphia Union

FC Cincinnati triumphed 1-0 over Philadelphia Union to reach the Eastern Conference finals, leading head coach Pat Noonan to cite the team’s mentality as a huge reason for the positive result.

Although the game was closer than Noonan would’ve liked it to be, he won’t care as his team are just two wins away from a domestic double — something that sounded unthinkable when he took over as boss ahead of the 2022 campaign.

But now, two regular seasons later, the Orange and Blue are one of the best sides in all of MLS. Noonan’s approach to the game and the confidence he’s instilled within his squad are second to none, and Yerson Mosquera’s stoppage-time strike keeps Cincinnati’s title dreams alive.

“We move on,” Noonan said after the win. “Really pleased with the guys for finding a way to advance. It wasn’t always the prettiest but I thought on the night against a very experienced team … with what they put into tonight and being able to win.”

Noonan hailed players like Raymond Gaddis and Yuya Kubo, who were both called to action from the jump as the Orange and Blue had a handful of players unavailable for the clash. The 2023 Defender of the Year Matt Miazga was suspended after picking up a second yellow card during the penalty shootout Cincinnati’s game two win over New York Red Bulls in the first round.

While fellow defender Nick Hagglund recently underwent surgery to repair a hamstring tendon injury, leaving Noonan light in the center-back department.

Obinna Nwobodo, a key cog in Noonan’s midfield pairing, also missed the game through injury with Kubo taking up his place in the starting XI. Even with all of the somewhat fresh faces in the lineup, Cincinnati prevailed — a mark of a true contender.

“One might not have seen Yuya, and Ray and Alvis enough to understand that those guys were going to be ready…I thought they were outstanding,” said Noonan. “This was a backline that hadn’t played together for quite some time. I think maybe this combination has happened once; we’ve played a lot of different lineups…because these guys are good pros. They know how to be team players and they know how to take their moments, and those guys filled the holes of some important pieces tonight.”

Like most, if not all head coaches, Noonan did find one element of the win to critique: The way his side managed the game.

“I think decision-making can be better. That’s part of the composure that I talk about. Managing the game and not trying to do too much. I think there were stretches where we tried to do too much.”

The Supporters’ Shield champions now await an Eastern Conference final showdown with Wilfried Nancy’s Columbus Crew on December 2 at TQL Stadium, a mouth-watering fixture for all MLS fans.

Sign up now for MLS Season Pass on Apple TV to watch all the action from the 2023 Major League Soccer season. Click here to subscribe!

#Pat #Noonan #praises #Cincinnatis #mentality #triumph #Philadelphia #Union

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button