The soccer boom in Cincinnati continues to grow and swell. In 2016 a great movement started but the success in 2017 is already eclipsing the former season. The three Cincinnati teams in the area are all at different points in their seasons. While all three teams have seen some early season struggles, a couple have started to turnaround. See all that below in the second edition of the State of Cincinnati Soccer.
Cincinnati Sirens FC
The Cincinnati Sirens are five games into the season and are struggling early. They currently sit last in the table with 4 losses and 1 win. Most recently, they lost to the Columbus Eagles on Saturday and the Cleveland Ambassadors on Sunday. Their lone win came against the Dayton Dutch Lions. Unfortunately, Sirens FC plays in a highly competitive region with few breaks and their 2 games outside the region are against a talented Cleveland team.
With the season half over, the team will need to win most of the remaining games to have a playoff shot. The chances of this happening are slim but winning the region isn’t the only goal the Sirens have. Starting today, the ladies are hosting a three-day camp training the youth in the area. The youth are taught by women that are currently in college, recently played for a college team or former professional players. Hoping to continue growing their brand, look for the Sirens to improve.
FC Cincinnati also started the season on the wrong foot, dancing around the playoff line. Recently, FC Cincy has changed formations, tactics and rotated the lineup. The change has paid big dividends with a win over the MLS’ Columbus Crew, a 2-2 draw vs the Charleston Battery and a win vs. Saint Louis FC.
Coach Alan Koch’s side currently sits sixth in the Eastern Conference but the two teams below them also have three games in hand. FC Cincinnati is not out of the woods yet and needs to continue earning three points. Before the formation change, Cincy had lost away to the Rochester Rhinos and drew the Charlotte Independence at home. The team quite frankly looked a bit stale and even struggled to close out a good amateur side in AFC Cleveland in their 1st US Open Cup match. The revitalization has come at the perfect time.
Fifteen games have been played so far into the FCC season with seventeen remaining to play. If all the eastern conference teams were equal in games played, FC Cincinnati would most likely fall just shy of the playoff line. With half their games still ahead of them the Orange and Blue have time to pull themselves out of the danger zone. The team will need to log a better 2nd half of the season compared to the first half and they looked poised to do just that.
Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC
Cincinnati’s PDL team is following a similar trajectory of the other clubs in town. Early season struggles followed by midseason success. The Cincinnati Dutch Lions are further along in their season than the other local teams. CDLFC started the year with very yo-yo results (W-L-W-L). The Cincinnati Dutch Lions have the talent but could not seem to find that consistent success they desired.
The last couple games have changed that for the Dutch Lions. June 17th they put up three goals and a clean sheet on the last place Derby City Rovers. CDLFC three days later took out the conference leaders K-W United FC 2-1 with a glorious stoppage time goal from Samuel Sergi. That goal showcases the talent that currently sits on the Dutch Lions roster.
It is unlikely they can catch up to the leader this season but 2017 has been a year of massive investment for the Cincinnati Dutch Lions. I expect great things to come from this club as they take the next steps.