Brenner scores 3 to beat D.C United, putting Cincinnati in MLS playoffs for first time in 12 years
Cincinnati (2-3-2) opened the season with a 1-1 tie at home against Colorado and last weekend it was Columbus visiting. Cincinnati has been on the losing side of that tie in each of the last four years, but now has a chance to become the first team in MLS to accomplish the feat since the Colorado club achieved it in 2003.
“We’re excited for this to happen, and we hope to earn the right to be in this conversation,” manager Tod Leiweke said after the game. “It’s a tough situation we’re in. There are a lot of great teams out there, but at the same time, it’s very important that we can be known as a consistent, playoff-bound team. No one wants to be a playoff team in the MLS. They want to win but want to be a part of the conversation as well.”
Leiweke said he believes Cincinnati can become that. While the team has not yet had a chance to play a full regular season game, a victory over D.C. would vault into a playoff tie for the second year in a row (the first being D.C. in 2006), and the third time in the last 12 years.
Cincinnati’s second-half surge was capped by a solid goal from midfielder Jimmy McLaughlin, who scored to put the team up 4-0 after two goals in the first half and three in the second ended the game in a draw.
The second and third goals were scored by a pair of attackers, with goals from Chris Pontius and Michael Barrios, putting the team up 6-0 at the break, and 8-1 after 30 minutes.
The team has two more chances to go to MLS play in April, with a road trip to Chicago to play the Fire on April 5 in a game to decide the Eastern Conference’s second playoff spot in the final week of MLS play.
The Fire, like Cincinnati, is in the process of building an MLS playoff team as well, having already reached the playoffs in each of the last three seasons. This year’s edition of the Fire