FC Cincinnati travels to the Sunshine State to face Miami FC (NASL) in the Quarterfinal Round of the 2017 US Soccer Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. This match was rescheduled for August 2nd after a rainout on the original match date of July 12th. Here are 5 Things to Know going into Wednesday night’s match.
Where: Miami, FL – Riccardo Silva Stadium (FIU)
When: Wednesday, August 2nd (Originally Scheduled for July 12th) at 7:30 p.m. EST
– FC Cincinnati – 6th Place (8W-7L-6D, 30 pts. USL) 12-7-6 Overall
– Miami FC – 1st Place (11W-3L-3D, 36 pts. NASL) – Spring Season Champions – 15-3-3 Overall
– FC Cincinnati – Defeated AFC Cleveland 1-0, Louisville City FC 1-0, Columbus Crew SC 1-0 & Chicago Fire 3-1 on penalties.
– Miami FC – Defeated South Florida Surf 3-2, Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-0, Orlando City 3-1, & Atlanta United 3-2.
5 Things to Know
Get Back on the Horse: Coach Alan Koch & his squad will look to forget Saturday’s performance that saw 7 yellow cards and 3 ejections against the home side. This match and the short week could be a blessing for a group who will probably want to get out on the field immediately and forget the weekend that was. One positive outcome from Saturday’s contest could be the availability of leading scorer Djiby Fall for Wednesday. At the time of this post, Fall remains suspended for Saturday’s USL game vs. Orlando City B. To compensate for the loss of Djiby for this weekend, Koch may be forced to use Danni König in league play due to Fall’s ejection and related suspension. This could force Koch into starting the Senegalese forward in Miami on Wednesday. König was slated to start in the July match, but Koch could decide to sit the veteran so he can be fully fit for OCB. Of course, this is speculation but it could lead to a big advantage for the Orange & Blue.
Deeper Squad Travel to the Sunshine State: Koch may be happy that this match was pushed back several weeks. For the initial match on July 12th, key FC Cincinnati squad members Harrison Delbridge, Justin Hoyte, Austin Berry and Djiby Fall remained in the Queen City due to injury. Couple that with the additions of Sem de Wit, Kevin Schindler and Kyle Greig (reported unavailable), Koch will have a much broader group to select from. The only injuries that Koch could have to contend with are to LB Tyler Polak and reserve midfielder Eric Stevenson. This match could see a significantly different XI that was leaked prior to the last match. (4-2-3-1, Hildebrandt; Polak, Nicholson, Halfhill, Bahner; Quinn, Dominguez; McLaughlin, Bone, Dacres; König. Bench: Jaye, McMahon, Temguia, Josu, Stevenson, Walker, Cummings). One would think adding traditional starters to the 18 could positively impact Cincinnati’s chances in Miami.
Back 5 or Back 4: We have seen several different styles of play from FC Cincinnati in 2017. Early in the season, they tried to possess and work in crosses, in US Open Cup play vs. Columbus & Chicago they bunkered and sprang the counter, more recently they have tried to provide width from their wing backs and get more numbers centrally. The question is, what does Koch plan to do on Wednesday. The 4-2-3-1 offered up in July looked like a formation designed to clog the midfield while having Marco Dominguez play the role of the destroyer in front of a back 4. With the speed of Miami and the solid playmaking skills of Pinho & Poku, that makes a lot of sense. While a 3-4-3 allows FCC to play a back 5 defensively, the 4-2-3-1 gives the shape and limited spacing to stay compact centrally where the danger of the Miami attack lay.
Just Because it is Florida: Why are we playing this match nearly a month later than the originally scheduled date? FLORIDA RAINS. According to several weather apps, rain is forecasted again on Wednesday prior to the US Open Cup match, but it should hopefully be out of the way before game time. Rain percentage drops to 15% around game time and falls from there. The humidity though will be in full effect. It should feel like 96° before game time and that number will not fall under 90° until well after the match. That is a distinct home field advantage for Miami who is used to playing in the oppressive heat and humidity of South Florida. Both teams are on short rest and will have to contend with travel as Miami was in New York this weekend. This match must be played as the winner will host the New York Red Bulls (MLS) the next week.
The NASL’s Finest: Miami FC is without a doubt one of the best, if not the best team in either the USL or NASL (D2). Nesta’s side averages 2 goals per match in league play along with conceding less than a goal (0.8) per match. Miami can run out a list of big names due to the massive spending of owner Riccardo Silva. Former NYCFC man Kwadou Poku has been a key reason for the club’s success including a last second winner vs. Atlanta United. Forwards Stéfano Pinho and Vincenzo Rennella have 18 combined goals & 7 assists in league play with Pinho adding an additional 4 in cup matches.
Their high-flying offense is matched by their stout back line led by CB’s Mason Trafford & Rhett Bernstein. These two have been a part of a back four that allowed only 10 goals in league play. FC Cincinnati will have to finish their chances if they are to win. We haven’t even mentioned the midfielders Michael Lahoud and Richie Ryan who can put in precision passes to a running Poku, Rennella or Pinho. It is going to be tough to stay strong against this side, but we did say that for Chicago & Columbus as well. They were opened up for 3 goals on the weekend vs. the NY Cosmos, but that may have been due to both teams having only 10-men apiece because of 2 red cards.
Stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk for more news and information leading up to the Miami FC match!
SG Viewing Parties
The supporters groups will be taking up residence at their favorite away match viewing locations. See the list below for more information.
Die Innenstadt: Rhinehaus OTR – 19 E 12th St, Cincinnati 45202
The Pride: Ladder 19 – 2701 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Queen City Firm: J Taps Sports Bar & Grill – 6441 Glenway Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45211
The Bailey Bastards: Bucketheads – 6507 Harrison Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45247
TV: This contest is set for a 7:30 p.m. EST kickoff on Wednesday night. The match will be broadcast LIVE on Spectrum Sports Channel 311/1311 HD across Ohio. For customers in East Columbus as well as Northern Kentucky, the game will air on Channel 510/511 HD. It can also be seen at FC Cincinnati’s pub partners.