Pre-season: FC Cincinnati at Northern Kentucky University
NKU Soccer Stadium – Attendance: 1,497
Result: FCC 3 – NKU 0
FC Cincinnati defeated NKU 3 – 0 in front of a capacity crowd. The Orange and Blue dominated possession for the majority of the match with neither of its two keepers being significantly challenged.
As expected Coach Koch stuck to the same 60-30 split in playing time that he used in Indianapolis. In general, the players who got less playing time in Indy, started and got the majority of playing time. Exceptions were Tomi Ameobi, who got his first cap with the team, Danni König, who had rolled his ankle at training at was given limited playing time, as well as Josu, who finally got to play a competitive match since his surgery.
Tomi opened up the scoring early in the match, and tallied his first goal for the Orange and Blue. In the 12th minute, Haber brought the ball down the left side and shook his defender with some fancy footwork including a step over. He crossed the ball into the box and Tomi rose up and nodded the ball into the back of the net.
In the 35th minute, Haber, getting his second assist, served the ball in from the corner and found the head of Dekel Keinan.
FCC’s third goal came in the 73rd minute off another corner kick. This time, taken by Kenny Walker, the ball found Lasso at the back post. Lasso, uncharacteristically, used the outside of his left foot to drive the ball past Barkeiv.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) February 28, 2018
Stats – As fun as it is to get a win, the stats show this was a fairly unbalanced game. 25 shots for FCC vs. 1 shot for NKU. FC Cincinnati keepers only forced to make one save vs. 5 saves for the Norse and the Orange and Blue took 13 corners vs. 1 corner for NKU. No doubt building fitness and working on tactics and executing a game plan has value, but no one should get very excited about this result.
Depth – Though no one should read into the result of this game, one thing that should be noted is that there was no drop off in any position or from any substitution. No player looked like a liability or struggled to keep up. No group was more evenly matched with NKU. The depth of the squad is such that FCC dominated through the full 90 minutes. This bodes well for Cincinnati’s season, juggling the USL and the Open Cup and dealing with injuries and fatigue.
A Different #9 – In years one and two, FCC brought in large number 9’s who specialized in set pieces and holdup play. This produced a style of play with long balls out of the back sent forward to the target striker. This squad looks very different, with a lot more possession and the 9’s are playing with a different style as well. Tomi, Welshman and Danni are all running onto the ends of crosses or looking for through balls. Tomi and Welshman both show significant pace as well. They each look to burst past defenders and take on the keeper one on one.
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Richey (GK); (L-R) Smith (60′), Keinan (60′), DeWit (60′), Bahner (60′); Ryan (60′), Halfhill (60′); Haber (60′), Albadawi (60′), Cicerone (60′); Ameobi (45′)
Subs: Newton (GK) (60′), Village (GK), Barrett (60′), Bone (60′), Hoyte (60′), Josu (82′), König (45′ – 60′), Laing (60′ – 82′), Lasso (60′), Ledesma (60′), McLaughlin (60′), Seymore (60′), Walker (60′), Welshman (60′)
NKU Starting XI: Barkeiv (GK), Murphy, Babaew, Komolong, Beckers, Greive, Suchecki, Probert, Harris, Kooistra, Moyes
Subs: Schatz (GK), Bjurhall, Perez, Evans, Dharsey