Matchday #12 FC Cincinnati vs. Rochester Rhinos
Capelli Sport Stadium – Attendance: 2,158
Saturday’s game will not be remembered for its play on the field, especially from the FC Cincinnati perspective. The game was more indicative of a reserve team match for FCC due to the midweek US Open Cup match and the large contingent of players that have had minimal playing minutes throughout the year. The majority of the players making up the defense McMahon, Nicholson, Halfhill, Dominguez and Goalkeeper Dallas Jaye were either making their first USL start or had fewer than 90 minutes of play. Only Tyler Polak had played any significant amount of time out of that group.
For the game itself, there was not a lot flow in the first half which made it difficult to watch. FC Cincinnati’s Goalkeeper Jaye had a couple interesting moments that made for some excitement. An easy high ball was played towards the top of the box slipped right through his hands and into a Rochester player’s feet, luckily the Rochester player was ruled offside. On another occasion, the ball was located just outside the box, bounced as Jaye was going for the clearance. Jay missed the ball and found himself was pressured by the Rhinos attack. The play luckily ended up with no damage. In his defense, the sun was shining directly into his goal box, but regardless as the goalkeeper, you need to have a little more certainty and aggression letting opponents know you own the box.
Once the second half started, play picked up for Rochester and the Rhinos controlled the tempo for most of the opening 20 minutes. Bob Lilley’s squad created numerous chances on which they could not finish, but the consistent attack finally paid off. Rochester’s Kenardo Forbes made a simple pass to the top corner of the penalty box and Kamdem Fewo sent a low shot through a group of FCC defenders and past Dallas Jaye into the lower right corner of the net. Once the score was on the board Bob Lilley’s side decided to clog the passing lanes on their final third of the field for the remaining 25 minutes. FCC was relegated to making over-the- top passes. It almost paid off in the 89th minute when Paul Nicholson played a long ball over the top to Andrew Weideman who volleyed it over the Rochester goal from about 10 yards out. The rest of game played out in Rochester’s favor and the Rhinos walked away with a 1-0 victory, while FCC walks away with more questions than answers.
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (4-3-3): Jaye (GK); (R-L) McMahon, Nicholson, Halfhill, Polak, Dominguez , K Walker (75′), Fordyce (74′), Mansaray (79′), König, Weideman
Subs: Williams (GK), Hoyte (74′), Josu (75′), Temgulia, Stevenson (79′), A Walker, Cummings
Rochester Rhinos Starting XI (4-2-3-1: Gomez (GK), Dover, Felix, Farrell, James, Forbes (75′), Fall, Boukemia (22′), Beresford, Defregger (75′), Graf
Subs: Lynd, Fewo (22′), Pratzner(75′) , Brown, Garzi(75′), Tergou, Madison
65′ – Rochester Rhinos – Fewo, (Forbes)
63′ – FC Cincinnati – Kennedy Walker – Yellow
90+1′ – FC Cincinnati – Garrett Halfhill- Yellow
3 Things to Know
Fresh Legs: This game will be known more for the lineup than the result on the field. FC Cincinnati Manager Alan Koch, stated that he rested a large contingency of players [starters] and played players that needed playing time. Maybe it is just me, but does one rotate an entire squad to get fresh or should we have rotated a few players at a time over two to three week? This game had more of a feeling of FCC being fine with dropping points or coming out with a tie at best. I know he has the coaching experience and we just played a tough Open Cup game with Louisville [who tied Charleston 4-4], but shouldn’t we want to acquire as many points early in the season? This would allow players some more rest around August/Sept before a playoff run.
Josu: FC Cincinnati’s newest signing made his debut in this game coming on in the 75th minute. The interesting aspect of his entry was the fact he came in as a Central Attacking Midfielder (CAM). He has been known as a defensive player that has good ball skills. He did not seem out of place in the CAM role and had a few skillful moments. By the time he came on the field Rochester had resigned itself to clogging the passing lanes and making it difficult for any thru ball. This allowed Josu and FCC to maintain a good amount of possession and create a few opportunities but that was more to the defensive stance Rochester was playing than our play.
Full Steam: Currently FC Cincinnati is averaging 1.25pts/ game and sits in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 15 points. However, with the schedule imbalance if we look at where FCC compares in points per game we are in a tie with Pittsburgh for 10th place in the standings. Charleston (2pts/game), Rochester (1.88), our nemesis Louisville (1.78), and Tampa Bay (1.75) lead the way in the East. Ottawa, Charlotte, Orlando, St Louis, New York are all ahead of us on Points per game. If we have any desire to get a home field playoff game we need to hit the gas soon. June and July are tough months, throw in the Open Cup game and it becomes almost nightmarish.
Wednesday 6/10 – vs. Charlotte Indepence – 7 p.m. EST – Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH.