Major League Soccer

FC Cincinnati riding rare momentum into Orlando City match

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FC Cincinnati will try to ride the momentum of their first win in seven weeks into Sunday afternoon’s encounter with host Orlando City, which is mired in a four-match winless skid.

Midfielder Allan Cruz netted his team-leading second goal to end a 528-minute scoring drought for Cincinnati (3-7-2, 11 points), which presented interim coach Yoann Damet with a victory in his coaching debut — a 2-1 win over Montreal on May 11.

The expansion club was playing in its first match since dismissing Alan Koch earlier in the week.

Midfielder Fatai Alashe also tallied before Cincinnati held off the pesky Impact for its first win since a 2-0 victory over New England on March 23.

“We need to focus on us,” Damet said. “We need to keep preparing ourselves. There is still a lot of things we want to implement and the best way to do it is to look at ourselves and try to find the solution within the team.”

Midfielder Kekuta Manneh told reporters that he believes his team is ready to turn the corner.

“Last week is out of the way and we want to see if we can replicate that or do a better job than we did at home,” the 24-year-old Manneh said. “It’s hard to say doing a better job considering you just won a game, but just by being consistent on the field and doing everything right … that’s our objective.”

Cincinnati finds itself just one point behind Orlando (3-6-3, 12 points), which sustained its third straight defeat with a 2-1 setback at Seattle on Wednesday.

Forward Chris Mueller became the first member of the Lions other than Nani to score since April 6 when he tallied in the 75th minute, but the club failed to net the equalizer.

“We have to make sure our mentality stays strong, we don’t feel sorry for ourselves and we just follow the process and make sure that we get the same level of performance against Cincinnati on Sunday (that we had against Seattle),” Orlando City coach James O’Connor said.

Nani leads the team with five goals, two more than Mueller and Dom Dwyer.

–Field Level Media

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