Matchday #22 FC Cincinnati vs. Orlando City B
Nippert Stadium – Attendance: 25,308
On a night where everything seemed to be perfect, FC Cincinnati and the Orlando City B played an entertaining soccer game in front of 25,308 fans in perfect weather conditions. FC Cincinnati was fresh off their US Open Cup victory that propelled them to the semi-finals of that tournament and riding high. Orlando City B came in riding a 6 game unbeaten streak and were a stronger team than normal with 6 players loaned down from their MLS side for this game.
The home team came out on the front foot and controlled the first ten minutes creating a number of opportunities that had the Orlando defense baffled. Most of the trouble came from the play of recently signed Kyle Greig, whose energy ignited the Orange and Blue offense. In the sixth minute, FCC’s Josu sent a beautiful cross into the box and it landed perfectly on the end of Greig’s head, which the ball was quickly deposited into the back of Orlando’s net making the game 1-0. But the pressure did not stop coming from Cincinnati. On the ensuing kick-off, FCC quickly regained possession and Jimmy McLaughlin sent a cross into the box to Greig who was pulled down and the home team was awarded a penalty. Aodhan Quinn stepped up to take the penalty and Orlando’s goalkeeper, Earl Edwards, dove to his right and parried the ball away and then quickly smothered it. A missed opportunity to put the visitors away early.
The game appeared to change on that missed penalty, Orlando became the aggressors and for much of the next 15 minutes controlled the pace of the game. Orlando’s Pierre Da Silva, USL’s #1 player under age of 20, wanted the ball and his teammates quickly obliged. Da Silva asserted himself and the run of play, offensively, for Orlando came from the youthful playmaker’s feet. As the pressure switched in Orlando’s favor, the team from the south sent a ball into FCC’s box that flipped up into the air off Austin Berry’s head and the ball was just far enough from Hildebrandt and Orlando’s Neal was able just to flick the ball over Hildebrandt outstretch arms, but the ball missed the goal by a few inches. That missed opportunity did nothing to quell the visitor’s desire to score and moments later Orlando was awarded a throw close to FCC’s penalty box. The long throw was headed by Sem De Wit straight to the top of the box, where Orlando’s Austin Martz delivered an equalizer for his first goal of the season.
The half started to settle into a back forth battle at that point and Alan Koch appeared to set his team up defensively to focus on Da Silva and remove him from the equation. Orlando was still able to create some problems with Hadji Barry’s speed and a couple of Orlando opportunities were dismissed. FC Cincinnati also created a fair share of opportunities but was unable to finish the play. The game entered halftime tied 1-1.
The second half began the same way the first half ended, with both teams creating opportunities but FCC appeared to have the better run of play. In the 55th minute, FCC was pressuring Orlando and the ball was cleared out of the penalty area which Rocha gained possesion and quickly passed down FCC’s left side and found a racing Hadji Barry who came in one-on-one with Mitch Hildebrandt and beat him, putting the visitors on top.
Immediately following the goal Alan Koch made a sub, with Kenney Walker coming in to replace the uninspired Adhan Quinn. Fifteen minutes later, König and Schnidler were subbed on and the game became a battle of wills. Orlando was just trying to hold on and FCC was attempting to find the weakness in Orlando’s defense. Attack after attack by the Orange and Blue was turned away and any chance at leveling the score seemed futile. But just when all hope seemed lost, in added time, Kenney Walker sent a long ball to the top of Orlando’s box that an Orlando defender appeared to try and flip back to his keeper, but the ball did not have enough on it. This weak attempt allows König to get a foot on the ball and beat the Orlando keeper to tie the game at two. The goal was König’s 8th of the season. The game ended a few minutes later which allowed the home town boys to acquire a hard fought and exciting point in league play.
3 Things to Know
Control Counter: FCC has become a counter team while in the USOC and has been set up to defend more. But when FCC needs to play more on the front foot they need to improve their defense on opponents counters. FCC had the better part of play in the second half but on a ball that came out quickly, Orlando was able to free Hadji Barry for a game changing goal. FCC needs to either foul (professionally) at midfield to slow the counter or not get so far forward to put themselves in danger of being countered. (Easier said than done)
(Set)Pieces are not Cake: Why do we struggle defensively with set pieces and long throws? This has been a struggle that has carried over from last year’s team. Coach Koch needs to find a way in which we can clean this area of our game up. There have been a number of times this has occurred this year, Charleston game at Nippert is another example of the same type of occurrence.
Depth: Greig, Schindler, De Wit, Josu have clearly made this team so deep that FC Cincinnati can almost change pieces at will without losing anything. As this team progresses deep into the season they have so many players that provide value and make it difficult for most opponents to know what type of team they will be playing against. Even though we have numerous pieces, interchanging each piece is slightly different from the other and that can create different challenges for our opponents. Also, this depth allows FCC to rest players for a late season run, something many teams do have the luxury to do.
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (3-4-3): Hildebrandt (GK), De Wit(68′), Schindler; Berry, Delbridge, Bahner, Josu, Quinn(56′), K Walker; Bone; McLaughlin, Greig, Wiedeman(69′), König
Subs: Williams(GK), König(69′), Dacres, Dominguez, Hoyte, Schindler(68′), K Walker(56′)
Orlando City B Starting XI (4-5-1): Earl Edwards Jr. (GK), Ellis-Hayden, Hines, Pereira, Alston(45′), Carroll; Clowes(77′), Schweitzer; Martz, Neal(76′), Cox; Rocha, Da Silva, Barry
Subs: Fenlason, Carroll (45′), Donovan, Jules, Schweitzer(77′), Gallardo, Cox(76′)
6′: FC Cincinnati – Kyle Greig (Josu)
14′: Orlando City B – Austin Martz
55′: Orlando City B – Hadji Barry (Rocha)
90+2′: FC Cincinnati – Danni Konig (Walker)
8′: Orlando City B – Zachary Ellis-Hayden (Foul)
42′: FC Cincinnati – Aodhan Quinn (Foul)
45+1′: Orlando City B – Seb Hines (Foul)
90+2′: Danni König (Foul)
Saturday 8/12- vs. Louisville City FC – 7:30 p.m. EST – Slugger Field