FC Cincinnati vs. Atlanta United preview, prediction

As fans, players and the coaching staff hugged and celebrated, FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam wore the same stoic expression through the post-match afterglow and all the way through his post-match interviews.

As fun as the win was, harsh realities remained about FC Cincinnati's situation: The club remained lodged in 13th place in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference. It expanded its cushion over last-place Toronto to a five-point margin, but the performance was still far from flawless against the last-place team in MLS. 

Stam levied some measured criticism for FC Cincinnati's play in the first half of the Toronto win. The criticism was weighed against an equal dose of praise for the manner in which FCC elevated its performance in the second half, but it was still striking – if not refreshing – to hear Stam critique his side amidst the celebrating still carrying on in the stadium post-match.

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