FC Cincinnati returns to beautiful Nippert Stadium to take on AFC Cleveland (NPSL) in the 2nd Round of the US Soccer Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Here are 5 Things to Know going into Wednesday night’s match as well as the new March to Matchday Podcast Special w. Jeff Pejsa of AFC Cleveland!
Where: Cincinnati, OH– Nippert Stadium
When: Wednesday, May 17th at 7:00 p.m. EST
March to Matchday Special US Open Cup – Podcast with Jeff Pejsa of AFC Cleveland
Join host Bryan Weigel @bryanweigel as he welcomes the Director or Marketing & Communications from AFC Cleveland Jeff Pejsa. Bryan and Jeff preview FC Cincinnati vs. AFC Cleveland for the newest addition to Cincinnati Soccer Talk lineup. 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 March to Matchday!
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5 Things to Know
US OPEN CUP – The first US Open Cup, first played in 1914, is the oldest cup competition in soccer in the United States and the country’s oldest annual tournament for team sports. While professional soccer came and went in various forms and incarnations, at various stages of the 20th century, the Open Cup crowned a champion for each of the last 103 years. Even through the Great Depression, two World Wars. This year is the 104th version of the tournament. FC Dallas defeated the New England Revolution 4-2 in the 2016 version of the tournament.
ROSTER ROTATION – Have you been looking for other players that haven’t been in the starting XI this season? This may be your shot to see them. Traditionally in the early rounds of the US Open Cup, professional teams like to give their reserves, academy players, or back ups a chance to shine. Look for some players who have not received much of a run this season to appear at least in the matchday 18. You could see Eric Stevenson, Dallas Jaye, Mele Temguia or Marco Dominguez get a full 90′ in Nippert for the first time this season.
GETTIN DJIBY WITH IT – The big question on many people’s mind going into this match is, will we see Djiby? The Senegalese Forward has been suspended since the April 22nd contest vs. Louisville City FC. I wouldn’t be surprised if Coach Koch allowed the FCC lead man to at least start and get a good chunk of minutes. This appearance could come in handy if they win and would want Djiby to start in a US Open Cup 3rd Round potential matchup vs. Louisville. I personally would love to see the big man back on the turf at Nippert. A Cup win with Djiby could be a start of a run of momentum to get FC Cincinnati back into the top of the league
LET’S GO ON A RUN – To borrow this same headline from last week, LET’S GO A RUN! How exciting would it be if Cincinnati could win Wednesday and face Louisville with the potential of playing Columbus Crew SC? I know I am thinking far ahead a bit, but if a 3rd Round match vs our rival is juicy, what would a match vs. Crew SC be? This is the excitement that the US Open Cup brings. Plenty of teams down on their luck have found success in cup competitions. This opportunity can be looked at as what it is, a fresh, new chance to impress and shine as a club. Get to Nippert Wednesday and cheer on your Orange & Blue.
THE CHAMPS – AFC Cleveland is not the 2016 Indy Eleven NPSL squad we faced. This is a group that battled and won the NPSL(1 of 2 4th Division leagues). The club returns All-league Midfielder Brian Potocnik who scored 5 goals in their 2016 campaign. Longtime Wampus Striker Vinny Bell has also returned for the 2017 campaign. Bell has notched 12 goals & 8 assists in 28 career matches for the Royals. AFC Cleveland has traditionally looked to dictate play to their opponents by controlling possession. I am interested to see how they plan to line up vs. FC Cincinnati. The Royals will not be a pushover on Wednesday.
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