After picking up three points in eight days, FC Cincinnati will hit the road and drive to the other Queen City. Almost in reverse of FC Cincy, Charlotte started the season hot with two wins and has since slid down the table. Most recently, Charlotte has struggled on the road and fell last weekend to the Charleston Battery by two. Can FC Cincinnati pick up their fifth road win of 2018? Check out our 5 things to know below.
Where: Matthews, NC – Sportsplex at Matthews
When: Saturday, May 12th at 7:30 p.m. EST
2018 Form: FC Cincinnati – 1st Place (5W-1L-2D, 17 pts.), Charlotte Independence – T-10th Place (2W-3L-2D, 8pts.)*
YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE THIS WEEK – Ref Assignments:
REF: KEVIN BROADLEY AR1: BEN PILGRIM AR2: ZENO CHO 4TH: JOSHUA ESCOBAR
March to Matchday
Join host Bryan Weigel @bryanweigel, as he previews FC Cincinnati’s ninth USL regular season match of 2018 as FCC travel to the Charlotte Independence. Joining Bryan on this week’s show is guest Ben Goshorn (@TheSoccerGoose) of the Talkin Jack Podcast (@TalkinJacks), a podcast that covers the Charlotte Independence.
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!
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
Keep the Party Going: FC Cincinnati has a chance to make history this week. In the club’s short existence, they have only hit a three-game winning streak once before. The team now has a chance to go for four and preserve the top of the table ranking. The USL season is long and full of ups and downs. Alan Koch will need to keep this team focused and fighting to maintain the current success. The coach pulled the squad into a huddle after the win vs. Atlanta and tried to do just that. He told the team to enjoy the win but also to keep their foot on the gas.
Beware the Trap: Charlotte is a tough squad to analyze and diagnose. On paper, they have great players and several have numerous MLS experience. This is a good match to ignore both squad’s places in the standings. Despite being in 12th place, Charlotte boasts players like Cordell Cato, Je-Vaughn Watson, Jorge Herrera, and Eamon Zayed along with four younger talents loaned down from the Colorado Rapids. In the past couple matches, Charlotte’s coach, Mike Jeffries, has not been afraid to change up players and formations. Two weeks ago he got a 0-0 draw vs. Indy by playing a four-man back-line focused on more conservative play. Last week vs, Charleston, he elected to roll out a more offensive style and started Zayed up top for the first time. It is hard to tell how Jeffries will handle the Orange and Blue, but the away squad will need to be prepared for several different options.
Attack the Weak Spots: A red card was issued to Henry Kalungi in the previous match vs. Charleston Battery. One starting defender is now unavailable to play this week, and the Cincy attack should take advantage. Last week Atlanta pulled a keeper up on an emergency loan, and the Orange and Blue were able to eat his replacement for dinner. Ledesma should pressure the center part of the field and build on his success in that area. Charlotte has had a tendency to leave attackers unmarked in chaotic situations. Cincy needs to take advantage of any set piece chance that comes their way, as one was given up last week by the Independence.
Don’t Get Distracted: Fans of FC Cincinnati have a variety of battles on their hands. USL play, MLS, and Open Cup drama are all currently swirling around online. Team staff has done a great job keeping it away from the pitch, and they need to continue to do so. At the end of the day, points and wins are the only things that should matter to them. It is likely Koch has a plan for another 3 match week and the players need to stay focused on that plan. On the bright side, Wednesday’s match should be played with depth and will relieve pressure on most of the starting XI.
Midfield Powerhouse: Cincy’s midfield has not just improved in passing as the year has gone on; it is now a goal scoring powerhouse. If Walker and Bone can continue this pressure, they will force opponents to pick their poison on the attack. They should continue shooting the ball if the forwards are well covered, and dump the ball off if Charlotte moves in too close down the midfield. Cincinnati has proved they can score from outside the box as well as in it, and the midfield needs to maintain that threat by punishing the opposition every time they make a mistake or leave a man unmarked. One area the midfield could improve is in the defensive half by making sure passes are clean, especially in clearance situations. Lately, the power offense has covered up some of these mistakes. One low scoring match would expose the problem if it is not corrected.
Growler Cup – Round 9
Returning for 2018 is our Growler Cup! If you contribute $5/ month or more as a supporter of the site, you are entered into the Growler Cup prediction contest. Supporters of the show along with our hosts will predict the score and result for the upcoming week’s match. We have changed the rules for 2018. You get 3 pts for picking the correct result, 1 pt for correct FCC goals and 1pt for correct opponent goals. There will be many opportunities to win as well in 2018. Along with the overall champion (2017 – Chris Dimeo), fans can get on our show to chat with the staff or partake in a trivia contest by scoring the most amount of points in a given month. You will see the predictions of our staff below. Please consider supporting the site at CincinnatiSoccerTalk.com/Support.
TV: This contest is set for a 7:30 p.m. EST kickoff on Saturday night. Broadcasting partner Sinclair Broadcasting Group will now air all FC Cincinnati home & away matches. The broadcast duo of Tom Gelehrter and Kevin McCloskey will provide the play-by-play and color analysis to FCC fans live on WSTR Star 64. The match will also be broadcast at FC Cincinnati’s pub partners or by Streaming internet on ESPN+.
Stay tuned to our Twitter handle – @CincySoccerTalk, for updated information.