The #OrangeOut is set to take place as FC Cincinnati hopes to break their own USL attendance record on Saturday night when the Pittsburgh Riverhounds come to town. The club announced Friday evening that they have already sold over 20,000 tickets for this game. They also removed two tarps from the lower bowl at Nippert Stadium freeing up more tickets to be sold. But enough about this, it’s time for some Staff Predictions!
I want to issue a challenge to anyone to wear more ORANGE gear tomorrow than me. Nippert should be rocking while the #OrangeOut should be a memorable day for FC Cincinnati fans. In terms of on the field, I hope that we will see Austin Berry play, but I am not holding my breathe. I am going to assume that Zak Boggs starts up top in place of the suspended/terminated Romeo Parkes to pair with forward Corey Hertzog. Hertzog did have the same amount of shot & shots on goal as Parkes, but finished at a much lower level, 1 goal in 15 shots. If Cincinnati can remain compact on defense, while not turning the ball over carelessly like in Harrisburg, they should have more talent to win. In the spirit of Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri buying his squad pizza for a shutout, I am predicting the same. I’ll buy Yosief a germ-free pizza and FCC wins 3-0.
Pittsburgh is a squad with a long way to go at this point. Though they have faced a staunch schedule that certainly contributed to their lackluster performance in the standings thus far this year. The wrench thrown in the gears of the Riverhounds is the release of their leading scorer, Romeo Parkes last week. Though the side has some talented players beyond Parkes, the other key Riverhounds players will be receiving more attention in Parkes’ absence. FC Cincinnati is finally on proper rest and they will be able to play their full starting lineup without the fear of overworking the squad. Omar Cummings finally seems to be fit for FCC and whether it’s as a substitute or a starter he has already been a great contributor. I have full faith in the collective defensive side of FC Cincinnati team play and they will be able to slow down what’s left of a speedy Pittsburgh side. The match and shutout go to the FC Cincinnati Soccer Ball Kickers by the scoreline of 2-0.
The cards are stacked in FC Cincinnati’s favor this weekend. Pittsburgh has personnel problems. Their star goalscorer has been permanently released for violent conduct. Their Crew SC loanees played on Wednesday and will be short on rest. Nippert’s going to be packed with a record setting crowd looking for blood against a rival city. The Cincinnati Bengals even have their back. Given these facts and Pittsburgh’s position in the table, it’s easy to look at this game and think it will be a walkover for the Orange and Blue. But there haven’t been any easy games so far this season for FC Cincinnati. This game will be no different. FC Cincinnati will have to work for it, but will win the game late by a 2-1 scoreline and send an epic crowd home happy.
It’s Pittsburgh Week! That phrase carries a special meaning to most Cincinnatians and with it feelings of joy, pain, and anxiety. Most people are wondering if this is a “manufactured rivalry”, and if it forced on us by the front offices or the league? I say NO because like most fans of our area teams, I hate to see anything from that city succeed. From Ben “Worthlisberger” to Andrew “Crybaby” McCutchen and Mario Lemieux, I hate Pittsburgh! Now we are put into a league with another unfortunate Pittsburgh franchise and the rivalry just makes sense. John Harkes and his team are well rested after a busy 8 day span and are looking to add to the Pittsburgh/Cincinnati lore. Add to that Pittsburgh booting their leading scorer and this match could add up to a blowout. Until I see the Orange and Blue post a shutout, I’m not going to predict it so I’m going with a 3-1 win for the good guys!
After getting some much needed rest this week, I think the orange and blue of FC Cincinnati are going to come out strong against Pittsburgh. This town hates anything from Pittsburgh, this is no different. Plus the fact that Nippert will be absolutely rocking with over 25,000 fans there. There’s no reason they shouldn’t see a winner. Pittsburgh just lost their best goal scorer. Hopefully our goal scorers will be in form Saturday night. I’m predicting a 2-1 win for FC Cincinnati!
For me, Michael Walker’s “7 Things to Know” article pretty much sums it up. Item 3, cripples their offense. Romeo Parkes has scored 5 of the 6 goals Pittsburgh has tallied so far this season. Item 4, shows they don’t have an answer to fill that void. Hertzog has been productive up top but can’t seem to get the ball into the net. Item 5, is a warning of more possible turbulence in the Pittsburgh line up. The two midfielders on loan from Columbus were both returned last Wednesday for an international friendly. Will they be back and will they be match fit if they are? Add in that Columbus just released Kei Kamara to New England and I wouldn’t think Columbus is in the mood to loan out a lot of talent right now. Top off all of the change taking place with a team that has yet to actually win a single game this season and I think this game is going to go favorably for the Orange and Blue. I think with the lack of attacking power, Mitch is finally going to get that clean sheet. The Orange Out is going to be an insane environment and the boys are going to be super wired. Look for them to score early and then press for more. The end tally with be 3-0 in front of a crowd of a little more than 26k fans.