Matchday #5 – FC Cincinnati vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
A match billed as the USL Match of the Week didn’t disappoint. Both clubs ran out offensive sides in what would be a thrilling evening.
Tampa Bay got off on the front foot nearly 7 minutes into the match as newcomer Marcel Schäfer unleashed a rocket from almost 30 yards out. The German received the ball in the middle of a pitch picked up his head and deposited it into the upper right corner of keeper Mitch Hildebrandt’s goal.
FC Cincinnati’s first good look, came in the 21′ where a long ball was slipped towards left winger Jimmy McLaughlin. McLaughlin, however, was just beaten by Tampa Bay keeper Matt Pickens who denied the chance.
The Orange & Blue continued to work in the first with McLaughlin, Bone, and Dacres creating opportunities. FC Cincinnati got on the board in the 36′ off a Kenney Walker corner that center back Harrison Delbridge headed home past Pickens.
McLaughlin could have double the lead for FCC in the 43′, as he cut inside and beat three defenders in the box. His shot from inside the penalty area skimmed wide right. FCC mustered one more chance that went just over Djiby’s head as both clubs entered the break 1-1.
Things got off in the second half, similar to the end of the first with FC Cincinnati applying the pressure. In the 64′ right back Matt Bahner put on a dribbling display & spin up the center of the pitch that allowed him to set up sub Daryl Fordyce on goal. Fordyce, unfortunately, mistimed his effort and put a soft shot on frame to Pickens.
FC Cincinnati nearly got on the sheet again as Kenney Walker in the 70′ lined up to take a free-kick off a counter started by Kadeem Dacres. Walker’s ball bent a tad too much and sailed wide left.
Things became more difficult for FC Cincinnati in the 75′ as Dacres was sent off for a high challenge. Dacres must have been warned crusing along the Tampa Bay sideline after receiving abuse all match.
Tampa Bay dominated possession throughout the rest of the second half, but could not unlock a tough FC Cincinnati defense. Things got a little scary as Rowdies star Joe Cole put a high kick into the head of McLaughlin. The winger would be down for several minutes but saw out the rest of play.
No teams could find the netting and saw out a decent draw and 1 point towards the standings.
FC Cincinnati will be disappointed that they couldn’t finish the chances they had but should feel comfortable in knowing they stood toe-to-toe with arguably the best squad in the USL.
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (4-3-3): Hildebrandt (GK); (R-L) Bahner, Berry, Delbridge, Polak; Bone, K. Walker, Wiedeman (61′); McLaughlin, Fall (82′), Dacres (75′ Red Card)
Subs: Jaye (GK), Mansaray (82’+), McMahon, Fordyce (61’+), Nicholson, Quinn, Craven
Tampa Bay Rowdies Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Pickens (GK); (R-L) King, Lowe, Collins, Boden; Chaves, Schäfer; Jones (90′), Nanchoff (80′), Fernandez (65′); Brown
Subs: Reynares (GK), Mkandawire, Morrell, Cole (80’+), Vingaard, Hristov (65’+), Paterson (90’+)
- 7′ – Tampa Bay Rowdies – Marcel Schäfer (Chavez)
- 36′ – FC Cincinnati – Harrison Delbridge (Walker)
Rate the performance of your favorite FC Cincinnati player. On Tuesday all ratings will be tabulated and official grades will be given.
Someone Besides Djiby Scored – It had to come sometime, didn’t it? With the equalizer from Delbridge, people can finally breathe a sigh of relief that Djiby is not the only player who can/did score. Several FCC players had good looks this evening. Walker, Fordyce, McLaughlin and Dacres could all have had a goal this evening and will look to get their tally this weekend.
Good Play from Wings, Need to Finish – It may be an understatement to say that Dacres and McLaughlin impressed this evening. Both wingers played well cutting in off the wing to create chances. While their service may be lacking, this corps that includes Mansaray or Wiedeman is getting better as the season progresses. It will be sad to see Dacres miss this Saturday’s match vs. Lou City, but the depth in these positions should be sufficient to give the Dirty River Rival a tough go.
Central Midfield Showing Improvement – The addition of Corben Bone, coupled along with formation change has allowed FC Cincinnati to dictate play with and without the ball. You can see the relationship between Bone and Walker from 2016 and they are pushing the squad forward. Wiedeman slotted into Walkers attacking role tonight, but will probably play wide with the Red Card suspension of Dacres. Look for Quinn to come on Saturday vs. his former squad Louisville City.
Saturday 4/22 vs. Louisville City FC – 7 p.m. EST – Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH. Make sure to check out the upcoming 5 Things to Know, March to Matchday Podcast and our Growler Cup Predictions coming later this week!
March to Matchday #6 Podcast with Guest Jordan Cooper (Louisville City FC)
Get the lowdown on FC Cincinnati’s next opponent now!