Austin FC vs FC Cincinnati preview: How to watch, team news, predicted lineups, kickoff time and ones to watch
Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images

Austin FC open their second season in MLS with their first-ever meeting against FC Cincinnati at the Q2 Stadium.

The Verde and Black ended 2021 with four wins in their last five home matches while the Orange and Blue finished with the fewest points in MLS last season.

Team news

Austin FC

The Verde and Black saw a number of changes from last season. Veterans Matt Besler and Aaron Schoenfeld both retired while former FC Cincinnati forward Kekuta Manneh saw his contract option declined.

Tomas Pochettino was loaned to Argentinian side River Plate and McKinze Gaines was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in December’s Expansion Draft by Charlotte FC.

Maxi Urruti came over from Houston, Ethan Finlay was acquired from Minnesota and Kipp Keller was selected in the most recent MLS SuperDraft.

FC Cincinnati

Five players were signed via free agency as Dominique Badji, Ray Gaddis, Alec Kann, John Nelson and Alvas Powell are all now in the Queen City. 

Yesterday, the club also acquired a pair of players through two separate trades: Junior Moreno comes over from D.C. United and Harrison Robledo from the New York Red Bulls as a homegrown player.

Predicted lineups

Austin FC: Stuver; Kolmanic, Gabrielsen, Romana, Lima; Ring, Valencia; Fagundez, Driussi, Dominguez; Djitte

FC Cincinnati: Kann; Mataritta, Vallecilla, Cameron, Powell; Medunjanin; Cruz, Kubo; Acosta; Brenner, Vazquez

Ones to watch

Brad Stuver (Austin FC)

A bright spot for the club despite allowing the defense in front of him allowing the fourth-most goals in the league, he led the league in saves with 136, doing what he could when shots came his way.

Luciano Acosta (FC Cincinnati)

The Argentine is the Orange and Blue's most dynamic player, setting a club record with ten assists while placing second with seven goals. 

He also set Cincinnati records for shots on goal (24) and corner kicks taken (67) while being named to the MLS Team of the Week five times.

Previous meetings

This is the first-ever meeting between Austin and Cincinnati.

How to watch

In Austin, the match will be shown on the CW Austin while fans in Cincinnati can watch the game on WSTR Star 64.

Kickoff is set for 6pm Eastern time.