FC Cincinnati return to the comforts of Nippert Stadium to face the Wilmington Hammerheads on Saturday night. FC Cincinnati is coming off a come from behind win in Canada against TFCII while Wilmington played NYRB2 tough in a 1-0 defeat last week. If you missed it, be sure to check out our full match preview which will get you ready for this weekend’s action. Now it’s time for some Staff Predictions!
This should be a great matchup of talented midfields featuring several former EPL players on Wilmington. I am interested to see how Coach Harkes lines up his team. There have been injury concerns with Antoine Hoppenot and Ross Tomaselli, both are unknowns going into the weekend. Will we see FCC go back to the 4-2-3-1 that was successful in the 2nd half? I hope this is the case and looking at Wilmington, I don’t see a formidable offense. My pick is a HUGE Orange & Blue victory 4-1 over the Hammerheads. Let’s hope Forward Omar Cummings can make his home debut this weekend. I project two goals for Okoli, 1 for Wiedeman and 1 for Cummings.
Admittedly, I have no idea if we will see the full starting squad and bench we’ve become accustomed too. Tomaselli is still a question mark for the match after suffering an injury last week in Toronto and he has been a mainstay in the starting lineup. Wilmington has not proven to be a strong offensive threat so far this year. The FC Cincinnati backline should be able to subdue them for the vast majority of the match, even if Tomaselli (the most defensively present midfielder) is not in action.
The offense will look to carry the momentum from the second half of FCC’s last game against Toronto. The x-factor to the match will be Omar Cummings. He has been nursing an injury since the start of the season and yet he scored the winning goal when he came on as a substitute last week. There is no telling how much playing time Cummings will get against Wilmington, but I feel he will have ample time on the pitch to make an impact. FC Cincinnati Soccer Ball Kicking Good Guys will get their second win at Nippert Stadium with a score of 3-1.
FC Cincinnati will face a Wilmington side on Saturday that’s a much improved version of the team that finished bottom of USL’s Eastern Conference last year. The Hammerheads have had a difficult time producing offense to date but have kept games close, even against Charleston and Red Bulls 2, two of the East’s best teams. I don’t expect them to just roll over, but I do think FC Cincinnati has the better team and certainly the better offense. I think FC Cincinnati will score twice and get their first clean sheet of the year, rain or shine. 2-0 to FC Cincinnati.
It looks like supporters of FC Cincinnati may get their first test to see how deep their colors run with the anticipated storms Saturday night but hopefully the Orange and Blue can bring a little of their own Thunder and Lightning to the table against Wilmington. The Hammerheads (HH’s) don’t score a lot but they don’t concede many either. Last week they held the potent NYRB2 offense to 1 goal in a losing effort. Wilmington likes to assert itself physically and is near the top of the league in Yellow Cards and Fouls Committed. With FCC’s attacking prowess, I expect the HH’s to pack it in and look for opportunities on the counter. That being said, I think it’s time for Corben Bone to punch in a Free Kick and Jimmy McLaughlin to get on the board. These two players have made great contributions to the team and it’s time for them to get rewarded. I predict a 2-0 FCC Win and the first clean sheet for the club this season.
I’ve been saying it for weeks that this team will eventually get a clean sheet and they never do. So I’m going to use reverse psychology, even if it means getting the scoreline wrong in hopes that FC Cincinnati gets their first clean sheet of the USL season Saturday night. I’m predicting lots of goals for the good guys, 4 in fact. I think they walk out of Nippert with a 4-1 win!
STAFF PREDICTIONS – GROWLER CUP STANDINGS
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