Match Day 1: FC Cincinnati vs. Charleston Battery
MUSC Health Stadium
Result: Charleston Battery 0 – FC Cincinnati 1
The first leg of the 2018 USL marathon concluded Saturday night on warm night in Charleston, South Carolina. Supporters of the Orange and Blue made the trek to watch the boys battle against the Battery. It was a much anticipated match up as the Battery have spoiled Cincinnati’s previous two season openers and FCC followers have been anxious to see the showcase of Koch’s new look squad.
Lance Laing was ready from the whistle. The Jamaican winger had a near ten second goal. Off of the kickoff Lance got off an attempt and struck the crossbar and catching the Charleston keeper, Cooper, off guard. The play sparked an attacking barrage from Cincinnati.
FC Cincinnati kept possession and defended the Battery counters very well in the first half. The passing among the Orange and Blue was impressive. Ledesma, Hoyte and Welshman created a scoring chance in the first ten minutes that was blocked by the keeper.
Shortly after, Bone sent a beautiful through ball to Welshman who was able to get off a shot that was deflected by Cooper. Blake Smith hustled to the box and buried the shot off of the rebound. (1-0 FCC)
To cap off the half, Newton kept Cincinnati on top by making an incredible save off a Charleston shot. Newton had to extend to his right and make a diving save on the line.
Charleston came out of the half with a vengence and the players in white maintained possession and kept the Cincinnati defense busy. Clearing the ball and trying to create and counter attack, Lance Laing picked up and yellow near the 63′ trying to win ball out of the air.
Once again, the new man between the posts, Newton, kept Cincinnati in the lead my making a point blank save. Evan Newton made an impressive debut for this club.
Koch made a few changes in the second half, with König and Seymore coming on for Welshmand and Bone. The duo created a near scoring opportunity with König heading the ball to Seymore who tried to tap ball past the keeper.
Overall the second half was not very impressive offensively for the Orange and Blue. They seemed content to play the long ball and the success rate was not very high. Things got chippy in injury time as König and Griffith got tied up, the official gave Griffith straight red and König a yellow.
The Orange and Blue withstood the second half onslaught from Charleston and finally leave MUSC Health Stadium with three points.
Ol’ Jimmy Boy– McLaughlin left out of the 18. This is the second match in three seasons that Jimmy has missed the 18. More details to come on the severity of his shoulder injury.
Welshman – The work rate and ability to hold up the play was very impressive for Emery Welshman. Not predicted to start as a key striker in the offseason, Welshman started and played very well until König relieved him in the 67th minute.
Brick Wall – Evan Newton made an incredible debut, keeping Cincinnati in front by making some incredible saves. It is safe to say that this is his job to lose.
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Newton (GK); Hoyte, Keinan, Lasso, Smith; Walker, Bone(72), Ryan; Ledesma(90), Welshman(67), Laing
Subs: Albadawi, Barrett, Haber(90), König(67), Richey, Seymore(72)
Charleston Battery Starting XI : Cooper (GK), Griffith, Mueller, Thomas, van Schaik; Rittmeyer, Anunga, Hackshaw, Higashi; Guerra, Svantesson(88)
Subs: Kuzminsky, Bolt, Candela, Kelly, Mansaray(88), Wild(80), Okonkwo(88)
FC Cincinnati vs. Indy Eleven – Sat. March 31st. 7:00 p.m. – Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN. – TICKETS