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Chattanooga FC beats FC Cincinnati 2 to earn first-ever MLS NEXT Pro victory

Chattanooga FC cruised past FC Cincinnati 2 with a 3-0 victory to earn three points for the first time in club history competing in MLS NEXT Pro.

After a competitive but goalless first half, CFC opened the floodgates courtesy of a quickfire brace from half-time substitute Jesus Ibarra. The first of the two was the pick of the bunch with Ibarra finding the top corner with a long-range strike with the outside of his boot.

Mehdi Ouamri added the cherry on top with an assured finish after Taylor Gray slotted him in with a carefully-weighted through pass into the penalty area.

The win sees CFC jump to the top of the overall Eastern Conference standings for the night.

"We showed up today and the vibe and energy were good," said Sporting Director and Head Coach Rod Underwood. "To be fair, there was a lot of reflection after Tuesday's loss [in the U.S. Open Cup]. It also helped that we got some more players in. Some of our guys who we know will be key players got more minutes."

Underwood expanded on what changed at half-time, tactically: "We made some adjustments to how we pressed. Mehdi (Ouamri) and Taylor (Gray) getting a few more minutes and Jalen (James) getting his first real start, with the way we press with our front guys, because they're so new, they haven't been able to orchestrate it as much as we would like. It is orchestration and coordination. It's like dancing. You just don't show up and get a dance partner and dance."

Watch the full post-match press conference with Underwood here.

Chattanooga FC will now travel to New York City for the club's first away match of the season when they face NYCFC II on Wednesday evening at 7:30pm. Fans can watch the match on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.


  • Chattanooga FC had three players make their first regular season starts for the club: Duvan Viafara, Mehdi Ouamri and Jalen James
  • Alex McGrath captained the side for the second time in MLS NEXT Pro
  • Jonathan Burke, Alex McGrath, Andres Jimenez Aranzazu, Joseph Perez, Anatolie Prepelita and Milo Garvanian played the full 90 minutes
  • Luis Garcia Sosa, Alex McGrath and Taylor Gray each recorded an assist

Box Score:  

Chattanooga FC (1W-0L-1D, 1SOW, 5 pts.)  - FC Cincinnati 2 (0W-1L-1D, 0SOW, 1 pt.)

Finley Stadium | Chattanooga, Tenn.

Final Score:     

CFC: 3

CIN: 0

Scoring Summary:    

CFC: Jesus Ibarra (A: Luis Garcia Sosa) 60'

CFC: Jesus Ibarra (A: Alex McGrath) 67'

CFC: Mehdi Ouamri (A: Taylor Gray) 71'


CFC – Alex McGrath (Yellow card) 7’

CIN – Ben Stitz (Yellow card) 16’

CIN – London Aghedo (Yellow card) 30’

CFC – Carlos Rivas (Yellow card) 90’+2

CIN – Justin Hylton (Yellow card) 90’+6

Stats (CFC/CIN):

Shots: 12 / 9
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 11 / 17
Offside: 3 / 2


CFC: Jon Burke, Joseph Perez, Duvan Viafara (Farid Sar-Sar 87’), Anatolie Prepelita, Milo Garvanian, Luis Garcia Sosa (Callum Watson 66’), Andres Jimenez Aranzazu, Alex McGrath, Taylor Gray (Ethan Koren 87’), Mehdi Ouamri (Carlos Rivas 74’), Jalen James (Jesus Ibarra 46’)

Substitutes not used: Jean Antoine, Robert Screen, Damian Rodriguez, Logan Brown
Head Coach: Rod Underwood
CIN: Hunter Morse, Isaiah Foster, Gaël Gibert, Brian Schaefer, London Aghedo (Blake Bayless 38’), Amir Daley, Yair Ramos (Justin Hylton 83’), Alejandro Guido (Yeiner Valoyes 61’), Peter Mangione, Jesus Castellano, Ben Stitz (C) (Stefan Chirila 61’)

Substitutes not used: Kayne Rizvanovich, Juan Machado, Nicholas Samways, Connor Stout
Head Coach: Tyrone Marshall


Referee: Anya Voigt
Ast. Referees: Jarred Mosher, Colin Ashley
Fourth Official: Donovan Euban

GALLERY: Chattanooga FC 3-0 FC Cincinnati 2