FC Cincinnati will look to earn their first victory at their brand new TQL Stadium on Friday when they host the Columbus Crew.
The Orange and Blue are unbeaten in their three previous fixtures after coming back to draw the Houston Dynamo 1-1 last Saturday, while the reigning MLS Cup champions erased a two-goal deficit last weekend to draw the New England Revolution 2-2.
A season that looked destined for failure once again has turned around dramatically for FC Cincinnati, and all it took was a three-game road trip for their fortunes to change.
Jaap Stam has seen his side collect seven points from their last three games, with an opportunity on Friday to set a new franchise record for their longest unbeaten run which, if they can pull out a win or a draw, would be four.
Some key additions to the defensive line are starting to pay dividends, with centre-backs Geoff Cameron and Gustavo Vallecilla showing a lot of chemistry and composure, as Cincy have only conceded once in their past three matches.
Cincinnati will be without centre-back Maikel van der Werff, who has a groin problem, while Yuya Kubo has been invaluable for the Orange in Blue in either midfield or attack, leading the team with 24 tackles won, which is the fourth most in MLS.
Jaap Staam will have to omit two players from his lineup this week because of the Gold Cup, including midfielder Allan Cruz and defender Ronald Matarrita, who will both represent Costa Rica.
The Orange and Blue officially signed striker Arquimides Ordonez to the first team roster as a Homegrown Player for the remainder of the season.
FC Cincinnati possible starting lineup:
Vermeer; Castillo, Vallecilla, Cameron, Gyau; Acosta, Stanko, Kubo; Ordonez, Brenner, Barreal
Columbus Crew possible starting lineup:
Bush; Afful, Jonathan, Wormgoor, Abdul-Salaam; Hairston, Kitchen; Matan, Espinoza; Zelarayan, Santos
We say: FC Cincinnati 1-0 Columbus Crew
Neither side have been particularly potent offensively, as Cincinnati and the Crew are the second and third lowest-scoring teams currently in MLS, but the Orange and Blue have made great strides defensively with a solid back four who are starting to gel as a unit.
Cincinnati have not fared well in their previous regular-season matches with the Crew, but they are playing the defending champs at a good time, with Columbus missing their starting keeper and leading scorer, while Cincy have momentum on their side, riding a three-match unbeaten run