Cincinnati is a soccer town. One professional team and two semi-pro teams all had games on Saturday. The Cincinnati Sirens FC (WPSL) had their home opener at Lakota East, while Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC hosted their third home game at NKU later that night. Both these teams have high hopes and will help shape the Cincinnati soccer landscape over the next few years. These teams offer local players a chance to improve and advance their own soccer careers. Imagine a standout Cincinnati Dutch Lions’ player landing an FC Cincinnati contract. These teams don’t just focus on winning, they have a vested interest in development.
Cincinnati Sirens FC
The Sirens held tryouts at the beginning of May and started training shortly afterward. The roster boasts several returning players as well as new recruits just out of high school. The Sirens play in a tough conference that includes Saint Louis, Columbus, Dayton, and Indy. It is hard to tell how the ladies will do this early in 2017, but they finished fourth just above the Columbus Eagles in 2016.
The Sirens only had one away game logged before Saturday, in which they fell to the Dayton Dutch Lions by two. They had a tough task on Saturday with Fire & Ice FC visiting from Saint Louis. The St. Louis squad brought in a potent attack and Kailey Utley landed a hat trick against Cincinnati. The game finished 0-4 with Cincinnati falling, but there were several bright spots.
The Sirens defense held up well considering most of the game was played on their side. The Cincinnati forwards also showed promise on the counter attack. The pieces look to be in place for Cincinnati, and if they can build confidence as a unit and strengthen the midfield play, these ladies could make a run. This women’s team is great for the city, and soccer fans in the area will enjoy watching them play.
FC Cincinnati looked to be putting all the pieces together after a four-game winning streak in May. Saturday’s game in Rochester made quite a few heads turn. The Orange and Blue came out with a very surprising starting roster leaving off many of the regulars. The move was most likely made due to the added games from the US Open Cup.
FC Cincinnati decided to play their preferred Starting XI on Wednesday against Louisville in the US Open Cup and offered mainly backups or players returning from injury in the league game vs. Rochester. Roster turnover is needed at this point, but Koch’s gamble to rest most of the starting eleven will be questioned as the team lost 0-1.
Overall, Cincinnati still looks poised to make the USL playoffs for the second year, and the team goal leader, Djiby, returns from suspension next week. The team is also getting healthy as Kenny Walker and Justin Hoyte have returned to the lineup. The boo birds may be out again if FC Cincinnati waiver in this weeks matchup vs. the Charlotte Independence.
Cincinnati Dutch Lions
The Dutch Lions (PDL) have played about 1/3 of their season thus far. The season started off with a telling friendly victory against a very good NPSL Dayton Dynamo team. The home opener at NKU’s soccer stadium was spoiled however with a 0-1 loss against the West Virginia Chaos. The Dutch Lions dominated most of the game but were unable to find the net.
They rebounded just six days later scoring four goals against the Dayton Dutch Lions. Cincinnati won their game 2-1 Saturday vs. the St. Louis Lions with 2 late goals. They find themselves in third place in the PDL’s Great Lakes Division. The Cincinnati Dutch Lion’s owners have also shown real commitment to the team. The team travels in a newly purchased charter bus and has a new bar sporting the team’s logo is opening in Covington. House of Orange opens on Thursday, June 8th.
@bostonkeith for @CincySoccerTalk