FC Cincinnati (12-6-7) hosts the Western Conference’s Saint Louis FC (7-10-9) in a Labor Day showdown at Nippert Stadium. This match follows the Orange & Blue’s midweek loss to the Charlotte Independence. Cincinnati Soccer Talk offers 7 things to know to get you ready for Monday’s contest.
Licking Wounds – Harkes men will look to get back on track Monday after suffering two consecutive losses for the first time this season. FC Cincinnati lost 3-2 to Charlotte in heartbreaking fashion on Wednesday. A 10 man Independence side found an 85th minute winner as the result of a FC Cincinnati own goal. This loss follows a controversial defeat at NY Red Bulls II last Sunday, where refereeing errors had a major impact on the outcome. The Orange and Blue have only managed one win in the past six games.
Smooth Sailing Ahead – FC Cincinnati’s recent drop in form has been directly related to quality of the competition they have faced. All of their recent losses and draws have come against Eastern Conference teams that have now qualified for the USL playoffs. The good news is that the last 5 games of the season are ALL against teams in the bottom half of the table in their respective conferences. This run of games represents an opportunity for the team to shore up its confidence and gain some steam heading into the postseason.
Western Conference Foe – For the first time in the club’s history, a Western conference opponent will visit Nippert Stadium. The St. Louis outfit is the MLS affiliate of the Chicago Fire and is the only Western conference opponent the Orange & Blue face this year. FC Cincinnati defeated Saint Louis FC 2-1 on the road back in July. Omar Cummings and Eric Stevenson had the goals in that mid-summer affair. There are four players on loan to Saint Louis FC from the Fire but most aren’t seeing regular playing time. Defender Patrick Doody has received the most minutes, but only played 90 minutes once in Saint Louis’ past 3 matches.
Saint Louis Skid – Saint Louis FC has been on a dismal run of form lately. Since Harkes’ men defeated Saint Louis in July, Missouri’s USL representative has only won a single game and gone 1-3-4 over that period. Saint Louis FC is currently sitting 13th out of 15 clubs in the Western conference, clearly out of playoff position.
Gaffer’s Gone – Things got so bad at Saint Louis FC that head coach Dale Schilly, who has been the head man there since 2014, was relieved of his duties on August 15th with 7 games remaining in their season. Assistant coach Tim Leonard is filling in for Schilly until the end of the season. Saint Louis General manager Jeremy Alumbaugh commented on the coaching change: “We’re expecting this move to energize the team and give us the push necessary to reach the playoffs. We have high expectations for this team and the effort and results over the recent string of games necessitated this change.”
Danger Man – An early season bright spot for Saint Louis FC was El Salvadorian striker Irvin Herrera who was one of the top USL goals leaders when the two teams first played. Herrera has cooled down considerably since then scoring only 2 goals in the past eight games. The FC Cincinnati defense was able to stymie Herrera in the first meeting. He didn’t get off a single shot. He is still a threat up front though and can be a difference maker for Saint Louis FC in the final third.
Two Home Games Left? – The Orange and Blue only have two matches left at home and five left overall in the regular season campaign. The final match at Nippert is a Saturday September 17th clash with Orlando City B. Both of those home matches hit the 10K ticket sales threshold well in advance. All self-respecting FC Cincinnati fans will want to see these games in person, so make sure you get your tickets early. Recent results have put some doubt around whether FC Cincinnati can secure a playoff match at Nippert. We a Cincinnati Soccer Talk are certain they will, but make sure you don’t miss one of your last opportunities this year to see the the Orange and Blue en vivo.
Stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk for Staff Predictions and more news and information leading up to the Saint Louis FC match!
The supporters groups will be taking up residence at their favorite pre-match locations before kickoff. See the list below for more information.
Die Innenstadt: Mecklenburg Gardens – 302 E University Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Pride: The Brass Tap – 251 Calhoun St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Lowen de Sudens: Barleycorn’s – 1073 Industrial Rd, Cold Spring, KY 41076
Queen City Firm: Mio’s Pizzeria Pub – 2634 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Queen City Mafia: Adriatico’s Parking Lot Tailgate – 113 W McMillan St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
RADIO: Join the Voice of FC Cincinnati Tom Gelehrter on 1530AM ESPN Radio