2022 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Fredy Montero (58')
  • Kelyn Rowe (69')
  • Brenner (24')

FC Cincinnati earn draw with Sounders, inch closer to playoffs

Kelyn Rowe receives a red vs. FC Cincinnati (0:17)

Kelyn Rowe receives a red vs. FC Cincinnati (0:17)

Brenner scored his 15th goal of the season and sixth in his past three games to help FC Cincinnati close in on their first MLS playoff berth with a 1-1 draw against the host Seattle Sounders on Tuesday night.

Brenner's first-half strike was enough for Cincinnati (11-8-13, 46 points) to secure a point and move up to fifth place in the Eastern Conference with two games remaining.

The three teams beneath Cincinnati in the fight for seven East playoff spots all have an additional game to play, but Inter Miami and the Columbus Crew are both four points back as they sit in a virtual tie for the final spot. Orlando City is one point back of FC Cincinnati.

Cincinnati is unbeaten in its past 11 games (7-0-4) as it closes its fourth season in MLS after it finished last in the East in the first three.

Fredy Montero leveled the game early in the second half for Seattle (12-16-4, 40 points), which had its fading playoff hopes further dented. Sounders midfielder Kelyn Rowe was sent off in the 69th minute as his team finished the night five points beneath the Western Conference playoff line with two games left.

Brenner put Cincinnati in front in the 24th minute when he positioned himself between two Sounders center backs and ran onto Luciano Acosta's diagonal ball from the left.

Seattle's Abdoulaye Cissoko slid and deflected the pass but couldn't prevent it from reaching the Brazilian, who finished off a one-on-one chance by putting a powerful low strike past goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

Montero leveled the game 13 minutes after halftime on an attack that started similarly. He held his run and received Rowe's diagonal pass.

But Montero had a lot more to do to beat diving goalkeeper Roman Celentano, unleashing a ferocious strike from the edge of the penalty area that sailed into the near top corner.

Brenner and Acosta were also involved in getting Rowe sent off, when the latter got on the break and tried to play the former in on goal. Rowe tripped Brenner without making contact on the ball, and he was dismissed by referee Rubiel Vazquez for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

Frei made an excellent point-blank save in the 76th minute to deny Cincinnati's leading scorer, Brandon Vazquez, his 17th goal. Sergio Santos fired over the bar from close range in second-half stoppage time on another excellent chance for the visitors.

--Field Level Media