FC Cincinnati returns to action in the first of two matches of the week. Coming off a 1-1 draw at home to the Wilmington Hammerheads, John Harkes’ side will be looking for redemption in Orlando. In case you missed it, check out our full match preview that will get you all the info you need on Orlando City B. This week we will also include a prediction from contributor Bill Wolf.
FC Cincinnati should be able to exploit the loss of center back Devron Garcia. It looks like heavy rains may also be in the works for Wednesday evening that will make all offensive chances count. Both teams have struggled to score and with the tough conditions forecast, I predict a 1-0 win for the Orange & Blue. Forward Sean Okoli may get some crosses whipped his way and I expect him to finish for a winner.
There are plenty of factors that go into this match against Orlando City that aren’t reflected in the standings. This is the middle match in what will be three matches in eight days so one would expect some normal starters to be rested with a match in Harrisburg on the horizon. Captain, Austin Berry, is still a question mark after missing the previous match with a strained quad. Will Coach Harkes allot 180 minutes to both center backs Nicholson and Delbridge in such a short amount of time? Overall, FC Cincinnati is a stronger side on paper, but I believe those factors will impact the amount of scoring from both sides. FC Cincinnati Soccer Ball Kickers take home the win by a score of 1-0.
Orlando City B is not a team that looks too troubling on paper. They’ve played 4 games at home and only won 1. They are averaging only 5 shots a game and just over 2 shots on goal per game at the Titan Soccer Complex. This is not a high powered offense by any stretch and while it’s not likely the OCB will knock in a bunch of goals, they aren’t allowing many at home either. Over those same 4 home matches OCB’s opposition has only scored 3 goals total. Look out for some physical play from OCB as well. Orlando City B has compiled a stunning 10 yellow cards and 4 red cards in their home matches this year. Ugo Okoli should wear body armor for this match. FC Cincinnati will create significantly more chances. If they are opportunistic in front of goal and can survive the beating, it should be enough to get a valuable win on the road. I’m predicting a 2-1 win for FC Cincinnati.
SPOILER ALERT: John Snow Lives!!!!! Now that I got that out of the way, let’s talk about Wednesday night’s match against OCB. With 2 dropped points against Wilmington, it is critical that we start this stretch of play with 3 points. I think we may see Jimmy McLaughlin on the bench after a full 90 minutes and possibly see the first starts of the season from Hoppenot and Mohomed. These two have looked good when inserted into the lineup and I look for them to stake their claim for more playing time by getting the ball into the back of the net. Orlando has some talent on their side of the ball in MLS DP Bryan Rochez but he has looked subpar in his 7 appearances netting once. I like FCC to get right big time with a 3-1 win!
A midweek game with some injuries to boot. Squad rotation will certainly need to occur. Some fresh blood and new faces will need getting adjusted, which means few goals. The back four should play solid, but FC Cincinnati will fail to keep a clean sheet. I predict 1 point for FCC in a 1-1 draw.
A lot going against the good guys this game. Playing on a grass surface. Expecting thunderstorms and heavy rain tonight and most of tomorrow. Both of which will put their possession game under pressure. Fatigue from travel. Austin Berry questionable. Throw in Conor Donovan, an MLS center back, coming off his first game from injury where OCB got a clean sheet. It’s hard to believe that with all of that against us, it would be the first game that we manage to get that elusive shutout. That said, I think that FCC pulls out a 2-1 win. Orlando City B just hasn’t shown that they are a strong team yet and though they have individual players of quality, they haven’t found what they need as a team to consistently achieve
Also, if you haven’t yet check out some of our recent stories:
Orlando City B vs. FC Cincinnati – A Simple Man’s Preview
Episode 12 of the Cincinnati Soccer Talk Podcast – The Dreaded Tie
Photo Gallery – FCC vs. Wilmington