The orange and blue of FC Cincinnati are looking to finish the week 2-0 after a big 3-1 win in soggy conditions late Wednesday night against Orlando City B. Here’s how we feel Saturday night will go down when they head up north for their 2nd game in Pennsylvania this year when they take on the Harrisburg City Islanders. Here are our Staff Predictions.
I think the dirt that the horses run on in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday may be better than the matted grass laid over the infield in Harrisburg. This will be FC Cincinnati’s first opportunity this season to play on a baseball diamond and the lack of width it brings. Harrisburg should take advantage of their smaller field if they hope to beat FC Cincinnati. Coming off a great win in Orlando, I predict the Harkes’ Road Warriors will go on to win this match 3-2. Nothing but 3 points should be acceptable since the only team Harrisburg was able to beat was OCB. Onto the Pittsburgh game.
FC Cincinnati prepare for their third match in seven day against the Harrisburg City Islanders. To the surprise of many, John Harkes sent out the same lineup as he did in the previous match despite the squad being on short rest. One would assume that this would be the match we see some of their traditional bench players get their first USL starts as a member of FC Cincinnati. Depth can be as important as talent as the season goes along. With Austin Berry’s playing status in doubt as well as resting some season-long starters, I believe the depth of the FC Cincinnati Soccer Ball Kickers will bring a 2-1 win to the good guys.
Saturday’s match is a great opportunity for FC Cincinnati to close in on Louisville for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. A win will put FCC one point behind LCFC going into the Pittsburgh match at Nippert, which will magnify the excitement around that rivalry game. The Orange and Blue have been good on the road so far, winning 3 of their 4 matches away from Nippert. I’m expecting that good form to continue with a 3-1 win over the Harrisburg City Islanders on Saturday.
I’m an optimist. I like to think no matter what that my team will win. So when I hear people say “coming off short rest away, I’ll take a draw” I just have to scoff and walk away. Yes we may have two away games on short rest but FC Cincinnati has too much talent and class not to show against Harrisburg. Add to that the loss of starting left back James Thomas due to a Red Card and the variable could add up to another tremendous offensive showing by the Orange & Blue. What is yet to be seen is how Coach Harkes will rotate the squad and if that squad can notch their first clean sheet of the season. It’s probably unlikely considering Harrisburg has scored in every game they’ve played and that’s why I’m predicting another 3-1 FCC Win. Defensive Midfielder Bobby Warshaw may be one of my soccer role models but this team FCC team is just too good and I think they are going to win going away!
The boys fought hard on Wednesday night in a soggy match. This is their 3rd match in 8 days, you’d think that legs will start to be an issue. Fortunately they’re getting Omar Cummings healthier by the match and their other subs are making impacts. Nicholson has filled in for the injured Berry at CB and they haven’t missed a beat.
Harrisburg City hasn’t played anyone great and haven’t played well themselves. I’m thinking that this could turn into a goalfest but I’m going to stick with my prediction from the podcast, 2-1 for FC Cincinnati.
After 3 games in 8 days with two of those on the road, the FCC bench is going to be tested. I expect Coach Harkes will have rotated in several of his strong subs as starters in both the OCB game and this game against the Islanders. Even then, there will be tired legs and the home team will have rested a week since their last game. The rotation of players and the fatigue makes be doubt whether we can pull off a clean sheet.
The Islanders have only won 2 of 6 games and both against OCB. The first against an OCB team that finished with only 9 players on the field and the second at home giving up a PK and falling to 10 men from a red card in a game that had OCB pressing hard and unable to equalize. I’m expecting the game to be physical with more of the “Hack Okoli” soccer we’re learning to accept. Harrisburg has only won by one goal in each of their wins and their strategy seems to be to get ahead and then defend.
This game will be the only game of the trio with nice weather so hopefully the team can use that to their advantage with their high press, possession style. With the subs trying to prove themselves and the starting 11 trying to prove they should maintain their status, the boys are going to press hard and early and with the favorable field conditions, get an early goal which will open up the game. I’m predicting 3-1.
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