After last Wednesday’s 3-1 win, the Orange & Blue got some much-needed rest before heading back to work this Monday. With 5 of 7 away down the stretch to close the season, Saturday’s result is critical in the playoff hunt. Pittsburgh is tied for 8th place, just 1 point behind FC Cincinnati. A loss could see FCC drop all the way to 10th, while a win could give the boys some breathing room and confidence to lock up a playoff spot. Saturday promises to be exciting so make sure to check out our 5 Things to Know as well as the new March to Matchday Podcast!
Where: Cincinnati, OH – Nippert Stadium
When: Saturday, September 2nd at 4:00 p.m. EST – ORANGE OUT
Form: FC Cincinnati – 7th Place (9W-9L-7D, 34 pts.), Pittsburgh Riverhounds – T-8th Place (8W-8L-9D, 33 pts.)
YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE THIS WEEK – Ref Assignments:
REF: JOSEPH DICKERSON, AR1: Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein, AR2: Matthew Rodman, 4TH: Maggie Short
March to Matchday Podcast – Mike Sparks of Mongoals (Pittsburgh):
Join host Bryan Weigel and guest Mike Sparks of the Mongoals Podcast (@Mongoals) for the newest March to Matchday preview podcast. March to Matchday will provide an in-depth preview of the upcoming opponent as well as how FC Cincinnati can best defeat them. This show will hopefully fit in your drive time to work, to the pub on game day or lead you right up to game time. We hope you enjoy March to Matchday!
Don’t forget you can now download and subscribe to Cincinnati Soccer Talk on iTunes today! The podcast can also be found on Stitcher Smart Radio now. We’re also available in the Google Play Store.
5 Things to Know
Who’s in Goal?: The Hounds have questions in goal after they lost a pair of goalkeepers in starter Trey Mitchell and backup Keasel Broome to season-ending injuries this month. The club acquired GK Alex Kapp on loan this week from Minnesota United FC of MLS. They also signed Matt Perrella from New Jersey Copa FC of the NPSL. No matter who they start it will be a difficult task coming into a tough environment at Nippert Stadium where communication is critical between the keeper and the back line. Perrella got the start on Saturday picking up the win but not before conceding 2 goals.
Starting XI: After the long layoff, Alan Koch should finally be able to roll with his first choice starting XI and sub package for the first time in several months. It will be interesting to see who Koch trots out Saturday and could tip which formation we should see the rest of the season. With the US Open Cup behind us, the club should have adequate rest here on out so I wouldn’t expect too much rotation. Will Koch go with Djiby/ Konig up top in a 3-5-2 or could we see him revert to a 3-4-3 and push Andrew Wiedeman or Jimmy McLaughlin to the wings? We should get our answer to which hand Koch is playing Saturday afternoon.
Hot Hot Hot: Pittsburgh is riding a season high winning streak of 3 games heading into Saturday. They’ve outscored their opponents 8-3 over that period with 2 road wins. Their results have coincided with the improved play of forward Corey Hertzog and midfielder Kevin Kerr. Hertzog is rounding back into form with 3 goals in his last two matches. Kerr is the reigning USL Player of the Week after 2 assists and a goal in their 3-2 win over Bethlehem. If FCC wants to walk away with 3 points it will be critical for the Orange & Blue to limit the chances there two players get on the ball.
Cup Final: During an interview this week, Coach Alan Koch said that he was going to treat the final 7 matches like individual cup finals. With Pittsburgh 1 point back in the standings, a win would be huge to help FC Cincinnati’s playoff chances. 5 of their remaining 7 matches are against teams directly in competition for playoff spots 6-8 so not only would a loss hurt the Orange & Blue but it would directly help a competitor. 6 points separate teams 6-12. FC Cincinnati has a 6-1-1 record against its seven remaining opponents but the final 3 spots are anybody’s to be had and it’s crucial for FCC to win both of their final home matches.
Where’s the D?: FC Cincinnati has failed to keep a clean sheet since July 22, totaling a span of 5 matches. Mitch Hildebrandt leads the league in saves (77) but also leads in shots faced (111). You could attribute some of these numbers to tired legs, especially with CB’s Harrison Delbridge & Austin Berry tallying a lot of minutes during the open cup run, but something needs to change. If FC Cincy concede early, the Orange & Blue faithful could be in for a long night as the club has only come from behind to win once this season.
FC|C Supporters Unite for Houston
We’ve all been struck by the photos and reports of the devastation caused (and continuing to be caused) by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area. In times like these, we all come together as one to lift up our fellow citizens and help as they struggle to survive and rebuild. It is with that spirit of cooperation that we, the Supporters Groups of FC Cincinnati, are coming together to ask for your help with the relief efforts in Houston.
Starting with this Saturday’s FC Cincinnati match, representatives from The Pride, Die Innenstadt, The Bailey Bastards, The Legion, and Queen City Firm will be on hand at pre-match gathering locations in Clifton to collect donations of bottled water or cash, which will be then donated to Matthew 25 Ministries, a local Cincinnati charitable organization that will be participating in the Houston relief effort. We are calling on all FC Cincinnati supporters to consider donating cases of bottled water or money that can be used to help people in need. Every dollar and every bottle of water will be donated to help those are struggling with the impact of this catastrophic event.
Over the past two seasons, soccer has brought us together as a city, and now it offers us the chance to unite in a way that can help our fellow citizens who are suffering as a result of Hurricane Harvey. We are calling on all FC Cincinnati supporters to unite in support of Houston and show what Cincinnati can do when we come together.
The Supporters Groups of FC Cincinnati
WHERE TO DONATE:
– The Pride: Ladder 19 (2701 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219)
– Die Innenstadt: Mecklenburg Gardens (302 E University Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219)
– The Bailey Bastards: Hangover Easy (13 W Charlton St, Cincinnati, OH 45219)
– The Legion: Taste of Belgium, Clifton (2845 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219)
– Queen City Firm: Mio’s Pizzeria Pub, Clifton (2634 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219)
Supporter Groups Pregame Match Parties
We encourage all fans to get down to Clifton early and enjoy themselves at the areas many restaurants and pubs. Many Supporter Groups hang out in the “Short Vine” area where you can join in the march to Nippert Stadium. Some of these locations can be rowdier than others, but families and opposing fans are encouraged to come out and join the various groups. The Supporters March Should begin at approx. 3:00 p.m.
Die Innenstadt: Mecklenburg Gardens – 302 E University Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Pride: Ladder 19 – 2701 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Queen City Firm: Mio’s Pizzeria Pub – 2634 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Queen City Mafia: Short Vine Bearcat Statue Lot – 2700 Block of Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Legion: Taste of Belgium Clifton – 2845 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Bailey Bastards: Hang Over Easy – 3 W Charlton St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
For more information and how to join the supporters march, check out our matchday guide!
TV: This contest is set for an 4:00 p.m. EST kickoff Saturday afternoon. The match will be broadcast live on Local 12. The match will also be broadcast at FC Cincinnati’s pub partners or by Streaming internet on USL’s Youtube station. Tom Gelehrter will return as the play-by-play announcer for the team’s home matches along with Kevin McCloskey providing color analysis and Lindsay Patterson reporting from the sideline.
RADIO: ESPN 1530 AM