FC Cincinnati midfielder Luciano Acosta believes his side are on the right track despite drawing each of their last three MLS matches, after they stretched their unbeaten run to five games with a 1-1 stalemate against the New York Red Bulls.

Ahead of their clash with the Vancouver Whitecaps, Cincinnati have claimed results against a series of illustrious opponents, including both New York franchises and Orlando City.

With Cincinnati having finished their draw with the Red Bulls with a two-man disadvantage, Acosta is pleased with their efforts, even if they have missed opportunities to turn some of their recent draws into wins.

“Obviously the last couple games we have been playing some of the best teams in the league,” Acosta said.

“I thought that we had some chances to win these games and we could have won. But we will not be defeated and we’re going to keep on this path that we’re going.”

Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan added: “Not just the results, but the guys have done some good things. I think they’re in a pretty good rhythm of how they’re climbing, how we’re creating.”

While Cincinnati are seventh in the Eastern Conference with 26 points, Vancouver sit 10th in the Western standings with 24 points after a 3-1 loss to Minnesota United last time out.

Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini is looking for an improvement on his team’s performance in that contest, in which Vancouver conceded three goals in the final 20 minutes after opening the scoring.

“Mistakes happen and we have to learn from mistakes, to be better next Wednesday,” he said.

“I thought we played well until we scored the goal, I don’t like what happened after we scored the goal, we didn’t press, but it happens against a good team.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

FC Cincinnati – Brandon Vazquez

Vazquez scored his ninth goal of the season in Cincinnati’s draw on Saturday, setting a club record for the most goals in a single season. He has been involved in eight goals in eight home games this MLS season, contributing to at least one goal in six of his last seven games at TQL Stadium.

Vancouver Whitecaps – Lucas Cavallini

Cavallini scored his sixth goal of the season last time out, equaling his single-season high in MLS (six in 2020). The goal was Cavallini’s fourth MLS goal with his head, to go with six left-footed goals and five right-footed goals, and he will provide an all-round threat in Ohio.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– This will be the second meeting between FC Cincinnati and Vancouver, with the Whitecaps winning the first meeting 2-1 in Cincinnati in August 2019.

– Nine-man FC Cincinnati held on to a 1-1 draw against the Red Bulls on Saturday, the club’s fourth draw in its last five matches and third in a row (W1).

– Cincinnati are unbeaten in five straight MLS matches for the first time in club history.

– The Whitecaps have won two of their last three road matches after winning just two of their previous 29 away MLS matches (D10 L17).

– Vancouver, who won their last away match 2-0 at Dallas, haven’t won consecutive away matches in a single season since victories at Portland and San Jose in August.