Lauren Eylise, of Cincinnati, sings the National Anthem to kickoff FC Cincinnati’s first home game in Major League Soccer. (Photo by: Ray Ball)

By FC Cincinnati reports and Ray Ball

Major League Soccer is now a part of the Cincinnati sports venue, following FC Cincinnati’s home opening win of 3-0 over the Portland, Oregon, Timers, Sunday evening at a sold out crowd at Nipper Stadium on the University of Cincinnati campus.

The  local futbol club, which gained Major League Soccer status  last summer, packed the stadium for its first home game in the majors, defeating the Portland, Oregon, Timberwolves 3-4.

Lauren Eylise, of Cincinnati, opened the historical home opener in singing the National Anthem.

Eylise is a hometown singer and songwriter, who has performed and toured nationally. She says it was an honor to welcome the newest member of the MLS right here in Cincinnati.

“These are the opportunities that are really worth it to me. FC Cincinnati joining the MLS really shows what can happen when you have the city’s support and commitment. I’ was excited to be singing in front of more than 32,000 fans, all celebrating soccer in Cincinnati,’’ she said.

A number of activities were planned for the home opener including a fireworks show and a panoramic photo.

Led by goals from Kendall Waston, Allan Cruz and Mathieu Deplagne, FC Cincinnati recorded their first MLS. After being awarded a free kick on the edge of their attacking third, FC Cincinnati opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Leonardo Bertone lofted a ball toward the far post, where a Kendall Waston header led to FC Cincinnati’s first MLS goal at Nippert Stadium.

FC Cincinnati’s Kendall Watson scored the first goal in the home opener against Portland Timbers. (Photo by: Michael Mitchell)
FC Cincinnati’s Kendall Watson scored the first goal in the home opener against Portland Timbers. (Photo by: Michael Mitchell)

Following a deflected shot from Roland Lamah, Allan Cruz doubled the lead for the Orange and Blue in the 61st minute of action with a backheeled effort atop the six-yard box. Just two minutes later, Mathieu Deplagne capped off the scoring with FC Cincinnati’s third goal of the match.

Spencer Richey registered his first-ever MLS shutout and win in the match. The goalkeeper stopped three shots en route to earning FC Cincinnati’s first clean sheet of the season.

FC Cincinnati returns to action on Sunday, March 24, when the team travels to play the New England Revolution at 4 p.m. The match will be televised locally on WSTR 64, streamed locally on FloSports and carried on the radio on WDJO.

Lauren Eylise, who opened the match with her rendition of the National Anthem, staked her spot in the music industry with the release of her EP “Life/Death/Life” in September 2017. Though never formally educated in music, the development of Lauren’s craft was propelled by her passions for sound, exploring the depths of her soul. Her emergent repertoire has drawn streams from her homeland in Cincinnati to New York, and internationally in Germany, France and South Africa. In 2016, she was named Women In Charge’s Best R and B Artist of the Year.

This article originally appeared in the Cincinnati Herald. 

Major League Soccer makes historic debut in Cincinnati with a win

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