Today brings us to part two of our three part 2016 CST FC Cincinnati Yearly Awards. Our staff and guest panel will pick the 2016 Moment of the Year. Don’t forget to check out the 2016 Goal of the Year article as well.
Contributing on our 2016 Cincinnati Soccer Talk Yearly Awards along with our staff are Pat Brennan (Cincinnati Enquirer), Chad Hollingsworth (ScratchingThePitch.com), David Keim (SixthDaySoccer.com), Jeremy Lance (Wrong Side of the Pond Podcast), Laurel Pfahler (WCPO.com contributor) and Tana Weingartner (91.7 WVXU).
We asked our staff and guests to answer three questions for our inaugural season awards. Who is their FC Cincinnati Player of the Year? What was their favorite goal (preseason included)? What was their favorite moment of the season?
These three awards will go along with our 2016 Cincinnati Soccer Talk Fan Vote Player of the Year Award that was given to FCC center back Harrison Delbridge. Make sure to listen to this week’s PODCAST where we discuss the award and the upcoming playoffs with the Australian defender.
Nominees (in order by date)
After deliberation, the staff and panel have identified three main moments that will be considered as the final nominees for the 2016 CST Moment of the Year.
First Home Match – April 9th – vs. Charlotte Independence
On a night where the temp at kickoff was 39 degrees, 14,658 fans experienced the first home match in FC Cincinnati history vs. the Charlotte Independence. The attendance number was thought (little did we know) to be a monster crowd catapulting FC Cincinnati to national attention. The game had it’s own fireworks, that will be explained further.
“My moment of the year was the Austin Berry headed goal against the Charlotte Independence in the inaugural match at Nippert,” said Michael Walker. “The hometown hero returns to lead his upstart club and grabs the game winner in the home opener. You couldn’t have scripted a better headline.”
SixthDaySoccer.com’s David Keim also liked the Charlotte match. “There’s a rush of spine-tingling energy from remembering Okoli’s aforementioned scissor-goal and the the crowd of the first game.” David was a little hesitant to choose a match because of the importance of what lies ahead. “The atmosphere created at every single game by the supporters have proved that Cincinnati is a soccer town. But it feels like everything is building toward something even greater in the playoffs. We’re not done yet.”
Bryan Weigel remembers getting to his seat at the first match and being shocked by the day. “We got to the pregame pub early. I couldn’t believe the crowd especially with the weather. The group then marched to Nippert, chanted on the concourse and got to our seats way earlier than what I was used to. I was surprised how many people were there early, watching the team warm up and setting the tone for a wonderful year.” On Berry, “The hometown hero’s goal was just icing on the cake. What a day!”
35,061 Pack Nippert – July 16th – vs. Crystal Palace
That picture says 1,000 words. What a day that was including the perfect weather, traveling fans and a packet stadium. July 16th will easily go down as a foundation point of our club. This match led to global notoriety, rapid growth in the city and is a great nominee for moment of the year.
“I hate to say it, but Crystal Palace was the moment of the year. I hate to say it because it had no real meaning. It was the moment of the year, though, because it carried a lot of significance,” said ScratchingThePitch.com founder Chad Hollingsworth. “As amazing as the atmosphere was during the regular season, the Palace match provided a glimpse of how this town is truly capable of supporting soccer. The future is limitless in the Queen City.”
Several commentators were just amazed by the feeling in the stadium. Pat Brennan from the Enquirer writes, “From Friday morning through the end of the match, Cincinnati was absolutely buzzing about this occasion. Nothing compares (so far).”
“From the moment the teams walked out for the FCC v CPFC game. Nippert was full and rocking… all for soccer. Amazing electricity,” says Tana Weingartner of 91.7 WVXU.
The crowd cannot be underestimated when picking this as a favorite moment. “I think drawing 35,061 fans for the largest ever soccer attendance in Ohio has to get the nod,” says Laurel Pfahler, contributor to WCPO.com. “Not only did it prove what FC Cincinnati has been saying about the soccer market here but it also showed how well the club was put together that so many fans would get behind it for an EPL preseason game.”
For others, the Crystal Palace match justified our initial beliefs. Jeremy Lance of Wrong Side of the Pond, “This is what we all grew up dreaming about, in this city. A capacity crowd, an international opponent. That night was full of moments that we will all remember for a lifetime.”
Dirty River Derby Part III – July 23rd – vs. Loisville Town SC
This moment may have been chosen for the impact it had on our table standing in the East, but also claiming bragging rights in the first year of the River Cities Cup/Dirty River Derby.
“For me the moment of the season was the big 2-0 win over Louisville in June. I think it was a big hurdle for this team to get over,” writes Nick Seuberling. “Louisville came into town earlier in the season and won 3-2 and we drew 0-0 in Louisville. It was a signal to the rest of the league that FC Cincinnati were for legitimate Eastern Conference contenders.”
Yosief Tzeghai also picked the defeat of Louisville in late July. “It cemented FC Cincinnati as the winners of the Dirty River Derby. It was great to win, but FCC also snapped a 17 game unbeaten streak for LCFC.”
For Bill Wolf, it was about payback and setting a new tone especially among the fanbase. “They gave us a spanking in our second only game at home in front of a (then) record crowd. When we went to their stadium, we played to a very ugly scoreless draw. To come back home and tilt the series in our favor was phenomenal. To shut them out. Wow! If the 12th man ever made a difference it was that day. So loud…. so energized.”
Winner: 35,061 Pack Nippert Stadium for Crystal Palace
Look at the social media below and see what others thought about that match. It was an amazing event and one that we hope to build off of in the future.
— Keenan Singleton (@KJMSingleton) July 16, 2016
— Brandon Saho (@BrandonSaho) July 16, 2016
— Jeff Berding (@JeffBerding) July 16, 2016
We hope you enjoyed this article. Check back for the 2016 Staff Voted Player of the Year for FC Cincinnati. We will also be publishing our game preview (7 Things to Know) and our picks for Staff Predictions.
Pat Brennan – Pat is the beat writer covering FC Cincinnati for the Enquirer and is a co host of the Enquirer’s FC Cincy Beat – @PBrennanENQ
Chad Hollingsworth – Chad can be found covering FCC & the USL on his website ScratchingthePitch.com and as co host of theUSLShow Podcast – @ChadHoll
David Keim – David covers a variety of leagues including EPL, MLS, the USL and more on his website SixthDaySoccer.com – @6thSoccer
Jeremy Lance – Jeremy appears on air covering regional soccer events on ESPN3.com, is the PR Director of the Dayton Dynamo and is a co host of the Wrong Side of the Pond Podcast which just began it’s 4th season. – @JeremyLance
Laurel Pfahler – Laurel covers FC Cincinnati for WCPO.com and covers other pro & college sports for various national media outlets. – @LaurelPfahler
Tana Weingartner – Tana is a reporter & Digital News Editor for WVXU/WMUB/NPR covering Greater Cincinnati news and FC Cincinnati. – @TanaWeingartner