Saturday will be FC Cincinnati’s fifth official game of the 2017 preseason. The match held at Bonney Field in Sacramento, CA will feature two candidates for MLS expansion, Sacramento Republic FC and FC Cincinnati. These two clubs have arguably the two largest followings in the USL and should make for an exciting game. Here are 5 things to know before the players take the pitch.
5 Things to Know
Harry’s Return to the Indomitable City- FC Cincinnati center back Harrison Delbridge returns to the city where he signed his first professional contract back in 2014. He made 16 appearances a part of the Sacramento Republic for their inaugural season. They were guided that year by Saint Louis FC’s new coach Preki who led them to their first USL Championship.
Opening Day Line Up?- On the podcast this week Coach Alan Koch said that he was going to give his best XI a longer run than we have seen in the 3 previous matches. What remains to be seen is the formation the club will play. We have seen FCC start out in 4-2-3-1 but looked stronger going forward in the 4-1-4-1. This could be our first look at which way Koch is leaning and what squad the Orange & Blue will trot out this season.
Last True Test- This will be the last professional side FCC will face before the season opener. Next Saturday, March 11, the club will face the University of Cincinnati at Gettler Stadium. The Orange & Blue with then take on Xavier University on Friday, March 17. You can purchase tickets here for the UC match.
Hurting Center Backs- The Sacramento Republic FC tied for second fewest goals allowed in the USL Western Conference in 2016 but return just 2 of their 4 central defenders from that vaunted group. Without last year’s starter Chris Christian, the club was going to rely on 20-year-old starlet Carlos Rodriguez. Unfortunately for Coach Paul Buckle, Rodriguez had surgery to fix the ankle he fractured in last week’s friendly against San Jose Earthquakes and will be out for a few months.
Build From the Back- Similar to FC Cincinnati, the Republic like to control possession and build from the back. Look for full backs Emrah Klimenta and James Kiffe to get up the field and contribute on the attack. It will be crucial for Kenney Walker, Corben Bone, and Aodhan Quinn to match their performance from Ottawa and disrupt Sacramento’s style of play for the club to be successful. In addition, the back 4 will need to communicate better to mark Sacramento’s attacker’s if Klimenta and Kiffe can get balls into the box. This was an area of concern from the 3 games at IMG Academy and Coach Koch will need to fix if he wants to win the USL Championship.
The supporters groups will be taking up residence at their favorite away match viewing locations. See the list below for more information.
FC Cincinnati Official Viewing Party and 3rd Jersey Reveal:
Bring The Bailey indoors at MadTree 2.0 starting at 8 pm. MadTree Brewing’s new location will serve as the club’s official watch party. Tonight also marks the official launch of the new 2017 alternate kits. Supporters in attendance will have the first opportunity to pre-order the new jersey, and one person will walk away as the first fan in the city with the kit in hand.
The Pride: Madtree Brewing 2.0 – 3301 Madison Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45209
Die Innenstadt: Rhinehaus OTR – 19 E 12th St, Cincinnati 45202
The Bailey Bastards: Bucketheads – 6507 Harrison Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45247
LIVESTREAM: The match will be broadcast LIVE on Sacramento Republic FC’s YouTube Page. Go to youtube.com/SacRepublicFC to stream Saturday night’s match. Click this LINK to access the direct game feed.
Tune in to the latest Cincinnati Soccer Talk podcasts and look for our new podcast on your favorite podcast network each week!