It’s the first leg of the River City Derby as FC Cincinnati plays host to that team down the river. Just like the previous two matches, we each offer up our predictions for Saturday night’s match. What do you think will happen? Comment below!
FC Cincinnati (2-1-0) comes into this match riding a massive wave of momentum after last Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Charlotte Independence. A wonderful scissor kick goal from Sean Okoli and a diving header from captain Austin Berry were the difference. This time they’ll have their handsful with LCFC who are just ahead of them in the table.
Louisville City FC (2-1-0) found their scoring boots over the weekend in a 4-1 win over Orlando City B. They’re going up against a team that has yet to keep a clean sheet early this season.
For each result we pick correctly we each get 1 point. If we pick the correct scoreline, a bonus point is awarded. We’re keeping our season tally as part of our Growler Cup Challenge.
Bryan Weigel – (2 PTS)
I don’t know who will be having more emotions pre-kickoff on Saturday; the players or the rival fans? With the news that there will be a huge crowd at Nippert, there should be plenty of excitement on and off the pitch. I think this game boils down to how FC Cincinnati will be able to control possession. Can our defense and Ross Tomaselli channel passes up to our attack without giving the ball up in dangerous areas? Will Berry and Delbridge be able to mark the talented Chandler Hoffman? This may be the best offensive team that we will have played this far, so I am predicting a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the River City Cup/Derby. I believe that the atmosphere and good offenses on both teams may allow Saturday to become one of the more memorable events in the history of Cincinnati sports.
Yosief Tzeghai – (2 PTS)
What is there left to say about Louisville? They are a side with many new faces this year to not only further develop emerging talent and replace what was lost last season. Chandler Hoffman is the man in waiting to replace LCFC’s former hero to their cause, Matt Fondy. He has made stints in MLS and is looking to find consistency with Louisville. He will likely be the biggest headache for the backline, especially the centerback tandem of Berry and Delbridge. This goes beyond the rivalry and banter between fans. Both of these clubs look to distance themselves from one another in the Eastern Conference standings.
These teams utilize a high press and while their formations differ, I largely expect this to be a stalemate. This match, more than most for FC Cincinnati, will rely on the good guys capitalize on their opponents’ mistakes because I don’t see Louisville committing many. The midfield improved on their habit of middle third turnovers last week and need to continue this if they want to avoid strong counters from LCFC. Even last week the team lost focus after their second goal and allowed Charlotte into the attacking third almost immediately after that goal. These lapses lead me to predict FC Cincinnati soccer ball kickers 2, Louisville City FC 2.
Michael Walker – (3 PTS)
Louisville City featured an effective high pressing midfield last weekend that forced Orlando City B into mistakes. LCFC turned those mistakes into four goals. A key to FC Cincinnati’s success will be how well Bone, Tomaselli and Walker handle this pressure. If they handle it well and can pass through it, they can turn LCFCs aggressiveness against them and create goal-scoring opportunities. If they get turned over in midfield with any frequency, Cincinnati will likely concede more than one goal for the first time this season. It will also be interesting to see which LCFC team shows up. After narrowly winning their first game, they looked dismal in game 2 at home against Red Bulls II. Last week, they looked like world-beaters against Orlando City B. Will the real LCFC please stand up? This game finishes 2-2 and leaves FC Cincinnati with unfinished business when they head to Louisville for match 2 of the River Cities Cup on June 25 (everyone should plan to go to that, BTW).
Brad Weigel – (3 PTS)
This Saturday will mark my first time seeing FC Cincinnati play in Nippert Stadium. Watching the game from my phone on the way back from The Masters was a challenging experience since I wanted to be in the Bailey badly. I predict that we will see a fast-paced, high-energy game. Both teams really like to control possession and are proactive on the attacking front. There was a reason why LouCity was 2nd in the USL last season and that is there style of play along with a prolific striker up front. I say that last week’s guest Andrew Wiedeman will score 2 goals and Louisville striker Chandler Hoffman will notch at least 1 in a 3-2 victory for the Orange & Blue.
Nick Seuberling – (2 PTS)
I watched Louisville absolutely struggle to score against Charlotte in week 1. It took a miracle of a goal at the death to beat the Independence. Then we watched as they lost to NYRB2 and out of nowhere follow that up with a goalfest in a 4-1 win over Orlando City B. I’m not sure what to make of this team. I do know this, FC Cincinnati looked amazing at Nippert and it’s going to be another fired up crowd again Saturday night. There will also be about a 40 degree difference in temperature at kickoff too. I think that FC Cincinnati with an Andrew Wiedeman goal (he was on our podcast this week, we’re his good luck charm….hopefully) to start things off in the first half. I also think Kenney Walker gets on the scoresheet as well. They’re also due for a clean sheet on defense and I think they get it this week. 2-0 FC Cincinnati.
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