FC Cincinnati defeated Orlando City B on Wednesday night by a score of 3-1 in a water-logged match in Florida. The Orange and Blue (4-2-1) are now in second place in the Eastern conference and will turn their attention to the Harrisburg City Islanders (2-4-0) this weekend. Cincinnati Soccer Talk offers 7 things to know about this Saturday’s contest.
1. Dizzying Heights – If FC Cincinnati can take all 3 points, they will move within 1 point of leader Louisville City FC (who is idle this weekend) at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. The Orange and Blue look better on paper in terms of personnel, 2016 record and almost any statistical category you want to analyze. Games clearly aren’t played on paper, but this is a winnable game for FCC.
2. Islands in Pennsylvania? If you’ve never been to Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, you should know that there is a mile-long “City Island” in the Susquehanna River between Harrisburg and Wormleysburg, hence the team name. FNB field, where the Islanders play, is situated on this island.
3. Union Divided – The Islanders were the affiliate MLS side Philadelphia Union from 2010 through 2015, but that affiliation was dissolved last August. While this may seem like a negative, especially given their shaky 2016 start, Islanders head coach Bill Belcher seems to like the independence and roster stability of being unaffiliated. Harrisburg does expect a dip in attendance however as Union fans turn their attention to the Bethlehem Steel.
4. Danger Man Cardel Benbow is a 20 year old Jamaican midfielder playing in his second year for the Islanders. He will line up on the left side of midfield and has the pace and ability to move the ball into dangerous places. Benbow has registered 2 goals on 9 shots so far this season.
5. Rotation? – Coach John Harkes started the exact same lineup against Orlando City B as he did against Wilmington just 4 days prior. Many people were expecting changes given the close run of games and the travel. Given that Harrisburg is coming off a full week of rest, we are more likely than ever to see some rotation in FCC’s starting eleven. Derek Luke, Antoine Hoppenot and Omar Cummings are a few of the names that could feature if Harkes opts to switch things up.
6. The View is Better Up Front – FC Cincinnati’s opponents have scored first in each of their past three matches. FC Cincinnati has come from behind to win two of those matches and secured a draw in the third. These displays of comeback character have been great, but let’s hope they don’t make a habit of this and get off to a better start in Pennsylvania.
7. Captain Kenney – FC Cincinnati’s center back and captain, Austin Berry, has missed the last two matches as a result of a thigh strain he suffered in training last week. Midfielder Kenny Walker has filled in as team captain for the last two matches and will likely wear the armband again on Saturday. His performance and goal on Wednesday highlighted his reliable midfield distribution and long range shooting ability.
READ MORE from Cincinnati Soccer Talk: