FC Cincinnati got a huge 3-0 win last week against a surging Harrisburg side. Djiby, Danni Konig and Jimmy McLaughlin were all able to get on the scoresheet for the Orange & Blue as the offense seems to be clicking before a stout defensive tesxt vs. the Rhinos. Saturday night could be interesting as Coach Koch will have some big personnel decisions to make ahead of the midweek US Open Cup Quarterfinal contest in Miami. Here’s how some of the staff here at CST feel things will transpire.
Rochester, led by coaching legend Bob Lilley come into the match conceding the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference (15). The Rhinos, however, are a different team at home than on the road. Through 8 roads matches, Lilley’s side has allowed 12 goals to the home side (1.5 gpm). Take out a 5-0 drubbing in Charleston, this still sees the Rhinos giving up at least 1 goal per match on the road. Look for an improved FCC offense to take advantage of a shaky Rhinos squad and gain points on the table. If I could wager a guess on our squad, I think you will see Kyle Greig in the XI in place of either Konig or Djiby as Coach Koch may elect to sit one of them for the midweek US Open Cup fixture vs. Miami FC. I am picking a 2-0 Widmer’s Cleaners Clean Sheet for the boys in Orange & Blue.
FC Cincinnati cannot afford to lose this match if they want to feel confident they can finish ahead of Rochester and fight for a home playoff match. I have high hopes for this match because for because FCC is finally getting some regular rest and also have full access to their recent signings. Most of the regular players played pretty light minutes against Valencia on Monday and will be available for Saturdays show down. Rochester traditionally has been strongest at home, but in a packed Nippert Stadium, I predict a 2-0 victory for the FC Cincinnati Soccer Ball Kicking Good Guys.
FC Cincy has a lot of momentum going and I think the train will keep on running through this weekend. The Rochester squad that we’ll face isn’t the same team we saw win 5 of 6 earlier in the year but that doesn’t mean they are on a poor run of form. Bob Lilley has them playing the exact style he wants going unbeaten in 5 (2 W, 3 D) while conceding once. Their issue seems to be getting the ball into the back of the net getting multiple goals once in their last 13. I think we’ll see Djiby Saturday with Greig, leaving Konig fresh for Wednesday. With that in mind, I’m going to predict a 2-1 FC Cincinnati win. I think we’ll control the game but somehow the pesky Rhinos will get one to keep it close until the end.
Rochester had a midweek game against Toronto at home and disposed of the “2” team by a score of 2-0. The surprising part of that score line was the 2 goals scored by Rochester. Their shutout was expected considering that the Rhinos lead the Eastern Conference in Goals Against Average with a paltry 0.89 Goals/Game. Since the Rhinos will be visiting Nippert I expect they will play a very compact defense and try and escape with a point. I do not expect to see a goal from the Rhinos against Cincinnati’s fourth ranked defense in the East. If FCC scores early that would open Rochester up and probably allow the boys in Orange and Blue to sneak a second goal in. However, I think FCC will have some new blood in the lineup and it will take some time to crack the Rhinos defense. I think FCC scores late and decides to become more compact and make it difficult on Rochester and walks away with a 1-0 Widmer’s Cleaners Clean sheet.
Other Staff Picks: Seubs 1-0, Boston 1-0, Bill 2-0, Griffin 2-0, Ben 2-1
ICYMI: Check out our 5 Things to Know before Saturday’s match.