Where: Bradenton, FL – IMG Academy Stadium
When: Saturday, February 25 at 4:00 p.m.
Saturday will be FC Cincinnati’s last preseason game in Bradenton, FL. The match will be played against the new eastern conference team the Ottawa Fury. Here are 5 things to know before the players take the pitch.
5 Things to Know
Bully the Bullies – The Fury have been tearing through their preseason, undefeated style with a strong physical lineup. The match Thursday against a familiar Oklahoma Energy ended with 5 yellow cards and a VAR red given to Ottawa’s captain Rozeboom. This team is known for its aggressive attack, featuring 3 starting forwards, including last year’s goal leader, Carl Haworth, and a towering six feet five-inch striker, Tucker Hume. FC Cincinnati has added some big men of their own this year, and they will need to own the pitch early. Expect to see a few cards on both sides as each team fights for physical dominance.
Party in the Midfield – FC Cincinnati is as deep at midfield as Yosief’s face is in a slice of pizza on matchday. The Fury has two deadly attackers in midfield (Bruna and Williams), but their passing was weak against St. Louis on Tuesday, and that’s putting it nicely. Both midfielders were passing to the wrong team in a way I have not seen since Louisville passed FCC all their star players. If FC Cincy and the Fury both play their usual attack formations, the chance for a midfield breakaway will exist. This will be a great game for the new speedy players to shine if they can steal away balls from midfield.
Mark Your Man – FCC had two goals scored against them Wednesday afternoon on set pieces. Both goals were scored by wide open players. Cincinnati will need to do a better job of making sure everybody is marked up. Cincy will also need to make sure the Fury’s Williams has zero daylight between him and the net. The result = this terror
— FuryFanatic (@FuryFanatic) February 22, 2017
Beat the n00bs – This is Ottawa’s first season in the USL. FC Cincinnati has the privilege of potentially handing the Fury their first USL loss. Cincinnati needs to show them early that they are the best in the east. I know it is just the preseason, but a win against a strong team will not only give our new coach his first victory, it will put the fans back home at ease. Cincinnati has been scoring late in the games so far, but an early goal or two could be enough to shift momentum early in the match.
Out Perform the VAR – VAR (Video Assistant Referee) has not been a friend of FC Cincinnati. Last season the VAR notoriously worked against Cincinnati benefiting the league champion Red Bulls II. IMG Academy is another testing ground for the new technology. In both of this week’s games when FCC needed VAR, it was not used. Wednesday against the Chicago Fire, a goal was erased after a player away from the ball was called offside. FC Cincinnati will need a strong performance to eliminate the nasty virtual enemy.
LIVESTREAM: The match will be broadcast LIVE on the IMG Academy’s TV site: live.imgacademytv.com. This game should be free to stream as just like the previous two.
*Fee subject to change.