Brenner scores 3 to beat D.C United, putting Cincinnati in MLS playoffs for first time since 2016
Cincinnati FC (5-10-3, 20 points) defeated D.C. United (6-11-6, 21 points) 3-0 Wednesday night in a season-clinching MLS match in the AmericanSoccerNews.com Knockout Round, leaving the Reds in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and moving them into first place in the Eastern Conference.
The win was Cincinnati’s third straight win in all competitions and the first by a team not named Sporting Kansas City since D.C. United defeated Real Salt Lake on May 18, 2013. The win was also Cincinnati’s first-ever playoff victory, as the Reds had missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 years following a 2016 first-round knockout game defeat.
Cincinnati was without the services of starters Alvas Powell and Danny Williams for the match against D.C. United as Powell was suspended by the league following an altercation with a member of the opposing team, and Williams was serving a red card suspension. With Powell and Williams out, Cincinnati played through substitute midfielder Jordan McIlrath, who scored a goal for the second time in two games as he scored with 10 minutes left in regulation.
Following the game, head coach John Spencer declared that the club had reached the playoffs for the first time in team history. The statement was met with mixed reactions from the local media. One observer noted that, despite the club’s playoff seeding position, Cincinnati had made its first postseason playoff appearance since 2016. Another stated that the team likely would have been on the losing end of the standings if the Reds hadn’t won Wednesday’s game.
Cincinnati’s starting lineup from Wednesday’s MLS regular season finale against D.C. United.
Midfield: Cyle Larin (F, 20), Jordan McIlrath (M, 7), Chandler Hoffman (