FC Cincinnati kicks off their second match of the 2018 preseason campaign on Saturday afternoon vs. USL-foe the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The match will be the second of three down at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL before the club returns back to the Queen City in mid-February. FC Cincinnati started off with a 1-1 draw against the New England Revolution on Tuesday and look to continue their preseason on a good note vs. the Rowdies. Check out our 5 Things to Know in the lead-up to FC Cincinnati’s third season in the USL.
Where: Bradenton, FL. – IMG Academy Soccer Campus
When: Saturday, February 10th at 3:30 p.m. EST
2017 Form: FC Cincinnati (USL) – 6th Place (12W-10L-10D, 46 pts.), Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL) – 3rd Place (14W-7L-11D, 53 pts.)
Friday Recap/Saturday Preview
5 Things to Know
Build On Tuesday’s Success: FC Cincinnati played pretty well vs. the New England Revolution in their first match. In the first half, the team showed exceptional forward ball movement, especially in small spaces. Alan Koch is still looking to solidify his starting lineup so we expect more movement around the pitch. It would be encouraging to see the same great ball movement despite any player changes. Keep your eye on Manu Ledesma and the fancy footwork he has already displayed.
Stay Healthy: Winning is fun in the preseason, however, it is not about the final result. A whole slew of battles is taking place on the field. Players are fighting for roster spots and coaches are trying out new ideas and formations. FC Cincinnati has, unfortunately, lost two players this offseason (Gibson, Heinemann) to the injury bug and another two are in the final stages of recovery (Josu, McLaughlin). It is important, no matter what the goals are, for players to not take any foolish chances. At the end of the day, no points are going on a table here. Put on a show but keep it clean.
Remember This Opponent: Unlike the game versus the Revolution, FC Cincinnati will see the Rowdies two more time this year. Use the free match to figure them out. It is no secret Tampa Bay Rowdies will be toward the top of the standings in 2018. They have a few dynamic and scary players. This is a great match to test out strategies for stopping what you know. Marcel Shafer has terrorized Cincinnati in the past with his long shot. He is a player that the defense cannot let get open in space. Joe Cole is the king of picking off a wild pass and capitalizing. He also seeks out balls deflected by a keeper. If these players are on the pitch, use this time to get adjusted and make them pay in the regular season.
Trust the Process: Corbon Bone played 45 minutes in the #10 role on Tuesday and came away with a goal. That was not the only surprise that fans noticed when the starting eleven was announced. Alan Koch is trying a number of interesting strategies and some are bound to work while others might fail. As fans watching, enjoy the tinkering. There is still plenty of time before matches count for points. Trust the process and have fun even in failure.
Height battle Cincinnati Soccer Talk was quick to notice Lasso’s size on the pitch vs New England. The man uses his body to win balls on defense and on free kicks. Tampa Bay Rowdies are not a small team. It will be interesting to see how FC Cincinnati’s size plays out in this additional match. The second item in this list is all about staying healthy but we still expect a bit of a battle from the giants. Keep an eye on Lasso as he has already put his head on a free kick this preseason.
Stay tuned to our Twitter handle – @CincySoccerTalk, for updated broadcast information and our post-match show.
Post Match Show
Following the match, the guys of Cincinnati Soccer Talk will join the Unused Substitutes (Rowdies Podcast) for a special live show on location in Florida. If you are in Sarasota, join us at the Shamrock Pub at 2257 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, Florida 34237, or join us on RadioStPete.com for the stream. The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Stay tuned to @CincySoccerTalk for updates.
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: Buffalo Wings & Rings Oakley – 4615 Factory Colony Ln, Cincinnati, OH 45209
The Pride Norden: BC’s Bottle Lodge Montgomery – 8175 Hetz Dr, Cincinnati 45242
The Bailey Bastards: Bucketheads – 6507 Harrison Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45247
— IMG Academy (@IMGAcademy) February 9, 2018