For the first home match of the 2017 regular season, FC Cincinnati will take on Saint Louis FC. These teams played in a cross-conference series in 2016 with FCC taking both matches 2-1. This STLFC side is dramatically different in 2017 with only a handful of returning players. Here are 5 Things to Know going into Saturday night’s match as well as the new March to Matchday podcast!
Where: Cincinnati, OH – Nippert Stadium
When: Saturday, April 15th at 7:00 p.m. EST
Form: FC Cincinnati (1W-2L-0D, 3 pts.), Saint Louis FC (Preseason 3W-0L-1D, 10 pts.)
Know your Enemy – Ref Assignments:
REF: BRANDON ARTIS, AR1: James Duling, AR2: Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein, 4TH: Eric Tattersall
March to Matchday #4 vs Saint Louis FC – Podcast
Join host Bryan Weigel @bryanweigel as he welcomes Special Guest Phill Grooms from @STLSoccerReport for the newest addition to Cincinnati Soccer Talk lineup. March to Matchday will provide an in-depth preview of the upcoming opponent as well as how FC Cincinnati can best defeat them. This show will hopefully fit in your drive time to work, to the pub on game day or lead you right up to game time. We hope you enjoy!
5 Things to Know
Welcome to Nippert: It will be nice to return to home after a 3 match road trip that saw FC Cincinnati only grab 3 points. After a successful 2016 season, over 11,000 (6,500 in 2016) fans flocked to the orange & blue to become season ticket holders. These fans should develop more familiarity with the club and could provide an even more raucous environment for the 2017 season. Nippert itself will look a little different. FC Cincinnati removed the first several rows of the facility in order to widen the pitch. The 2016 playing surface measured 110 x 70 yards, while in 2017 it will measure 115 x 75. This could make a big difference as FC Cincinnati will want to play quickly at home on the fast turf surface.
Still Adapting to Playing Style: One key topic picked up in our most recent interview with Andrew Wiedeman is that the team is still adapting to a small style change with Coach Alan Koch. In 2016, the team like to move the ball on the ground quite a bit more to break down teams. The style in 2017 according to Wiedeman, is to get the ball moving faster up the field directly into the attacking players. Whether those balls come from the backline or through the midfield, the team is still trying to figure out how to be the most clinical in their scoring opportunities.
Squad Depth: Saint Louis FC, marks the first of a 3 match home-stand spread over 8 days. Couple that with injuries to Austin Berry, Justin Hoyte, Daryl Fordyce and the suspension this Saturday of Paul Nicholson, Coach Alan Koch may have to dig deep into his roster to keep the squad fit. It is possible that Mele Temguia, Eric Stevenson, Corben Bone, Andy Craven and Victor Mansaray among others could see an extended run out of some kind. I don’t foresee an extreme drop off in ability with these players. However, the unfamiliarity among them in a league match could work against FCC, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
It’s Still Early, but…: 3 points was certainly a disappointment for all involved after the first 3 matches. You could argue that in the first match that it boiled down to 88 minutes of quality play, but two errors cost us dearly. The second match was a mixed bag as Pittsburgh rarely left their defensive shell making it difficult for FCC to add onto their lead. I am preaching patience with the talent on this squad.It is still early for FC Cincinnati, but if Coach Koch’s side performs like they did vs. Bethlehem Steel FC this weekend, many fans may voice their concerns.
Saint Louis FC: Head Coach Predrag Radosavljević, better known by the nickname Preki took the helm of STLFC after a disappointing 2016 campaign. He quickly went to work overhauling the roster including loaning out star player Irvin Herrera to the NY Cosmos. After seemingly disappearing form the soccer scene after a rumored move to Leicester City in 2015, Preki has returned to management. He has added USL veterans to his roster including Forward Christian Volesky (3 goals), Forward José Angulo (2013 USL MVP) and Midfielder Ivan Mirković (2014 USL Cup Champion).
According to Phill Grooms of the STL Soccer Report, this team likes to build their attack through their central midfielders. They play a similar style to FC Cincinnati in 2016, where they like to create opportunities with good passing sequences and also will pressure the opponent high up the field. Look for an intense match where the FCC midfield could be called on to control possession and unlock the shaky STL defense.
Stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk for our Growler Cup Staff Predictions, 2017 FC Cincinnati Matchday Guide and more news and information leading up to the Saint Louis FC match!
Supporter Groups Pregame Match Parties
We encourage all fans to get down to Clifton early and enjoy themselves at the areas many restaurants and pubs. Many Supporter Groups hang out in the “Short Vine” area where you can join in the march to Nippert Stadium. Some of these locations can be rowdier than others, but families and opposing fans are encouraged to come out and join the various groups.
Die Innenstadt: Mecklenburg Gardens – 302 E University Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Pride: Ladder 19 – 2701 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Queen City Firm: Mio’s Pizzeria Pub – 2634 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Queen City Mafia: Short Vine Bearcat Statue Lot – 2700 Block of Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Legion: Taste of Belgium Clifton – 2845 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Bailey Bastards: Hang Over Easy – 3 W Charlton St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
For more information, check out our matchday guide!
TV: This contest is set for a 7 p.m. EST kickoff on Saturday night. Broadcasting partner Sinclair Broadcasting Group will now air all FC Cincinnati home & away matched. Saturday’s match will be live on Star64 (WSTR). The match will also be broadcast at FC Cincinnati’s pub partners or by Streaming internet on USL’s Youtube station.
RADIO: You can listen LIVE on FC Cincinnati’s radio partner 1360 AM which will simulcast the TV broadcast team. Tom Gelehrter will return as the play-by-play announcer for the team’s home matches along with Kevin McCloskey providing color analysis and Lindsay Patterson reporting from the sideline.