FC Cincinnati and the Richmond Kickers drew 1-1 on a rainy night at Nippert Stadium. After a 58 minute delay, an early goal by forward Sean Okoli kicked off what looked like a FC Cincinnati win. In the third minute of stoppage time, Richmond defender Hugh Roberts connected on a laser from Jason Yaisley to seal a point for each of the teams.
Coach John Harkes made one player change from his usual starting XI, inserting midfielder Eric Stevenson for Ross Tomaselli. This allowed Kenney Walker to play in a deeper role from what he has previously been playing higher up the field.
The Starting XI was as follows: GK- Hildebrandt; Def (L-R)- Polak (Luke 86′), Delbridge, Nicholson (Lee 55′), McMahon; Mid- Bone (Hoppenot 79′), Walker, McLaughlin, Stevenson (Tomaselli 66′), Wiedeman (Mohomed 73′); Fwd- Okoli
Richmond outshot FC Cincinnati 17-14 in the game, but made more of an impact in the second half with a 10-6 differential. One thing to note was the physicality of the Richmond play. The Kickers lived up to their name by committing 11 fouls to Cincinnati’s 5. The ratio could have been significantly greater if the match official had been consistent in some of his judgements.
Here is our individual player rating from Saturday night’s game.
Hildebrandt: 7.5 – Mitch stood on his head at times throughout the match. The Cincinnati keeper posted 6 saves including denying the header below. Mitch continues to position himself well in the box and is not afraid to come off his line if warranted. Cincy fans have seen a quality keeper grow before their eyes. Not much Hildebrandt could do on the final goal.
Mitch Says No! @mitchhilde with a stop in the 71st minute vs Richmond Kickers. #FCCincy pic.twitter.com/8UgBc8yIdu
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) June 5, 2016
Polak: 6 – Polak turned in a better performance than last week. He cut off several opportunities in the second half, but looked a little gassed as the clock kept running. Had on rough looking service, but did work with McLaughlin better than on Wednesday.
Delbridge: 6.5 – Delbo continues to impress on the back line. The one negative play he had was that he was marking the crosser at the end to make up for Luke being out of position on the counter. I am not saying it was his fault. That was a laser. Tough to have to work with 2 different center backs and left backs every game.
Nicholson: 6 – Looks like the knock Nicholson picked up during the midweek may have been re-aggravated. I liked his work rate on the night and he knows when to step up on a ball. Hopefully he will get some chance to rest as we play Montreal next week.
McMahon: 6 – I get confused sometimes with watching the #McManbun. He will make a great run down the right, but then is not aware of his positioning on some aerial defensive plays. The confusion in the 71st minute almost allowed the equalizer. Still a better performance than midweek.
Bone: 6 – Bone was able to focus more on distribution this game. Legs looked a little tired again, but he turned in a professional performance. Not much to say as he only recorded 1 shot and allowed Stevenson to operate ahead of him.
Walker: 6.5 – The Captain executes when called upon in different roles. Coach Harkes wanted Walker to play in a more defensive position and he did that well. Was physical and snuffed out several plays. Could have dictated possession a little better, but I thought he did well.
McLaughlin: 6 – The flash that we sometimes know Jimmy by was not there on Saturday. He tried to work on one-touch passing more with Polak and that allowed FCC to maintain a little more possession. Did well in the 2nd half to work back on defense.
Stevenson: 7 – I might be the outlier on this, but I thought Stevenson played well in his shift. The midfielder took 3 shots on the evening and did give Richmond some trouble. The only problem I saw was that he and Okoli were not always on the same page. He will need to connect with Okoli on some vertical runs if he hopes to stay on the field.
Wiedeman: 6.5 – Like McLaughlin, it looked like the wingers were trying to connect passes with the overlapping fullbacks. I don’t recall Wiedeman making too many mistakes on that front. He continues to take on defenders off the dribble.
Okoli: 7 – It is tough to give Okoli anything less due to his goal, but I thought again that he didn’t have his full stuff. The forward did record 3 shots, but two of those were at the opportunity below. He did not benefit from much service, but that was a product of the lack of deadly runs. 3 games in 8 days is a lot. Especially going 90′ in all 3.
Sean Okoli finds the back of the net and puts FCC up 1-0. pic.twitter.com/zPDK9UTADF
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) June 5, 2016
Lee (55′): 6 – Lee did have some confusion on the 71st minute opportunity. As a center back, normally you are only called upon as an early sub if an injury is present and this was his 2nd game in reserve. I like what I see on the physical side of the ball. FCC could do a lot worse with their 4th CB role.
Tomaselli (66′): 5.5 – Came on to slow down the Richmond attack and I am not sure he added much. Most of his passes were back to the center backs and not threatening. We needed someone as a stopper here, but I’m not sure that is Ross’s game.
Mohomed (73′): 5.5 – How long are we going to wait on the youngster to make a difference. Didn’t make too many threatening runs and is also a defensive liability.
Hoppenot (79′): 6 – I continue to like what I see from this super sub. Does move the ball around quite a bit and is creative.
Luke (86′): N/R – I need to watch the game again to see how the final goal took shape further up the field, but Luke was certainly not out wide below. With second left in a match, you would think staying home on the defensive side would be a priority.
It ain't over till it's over! @RichmondKickers tie it up in the last play of the game 👀🙀 #CINvRIC #USLhttps://t.co/vmUZHw2vrz
— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) June 5, 2016
FC Montreal – Things should only get better as FC Cincinnati will face last-place FC Montreal next Saturday, June 11th in Nippert Stadium. Montreal sits on 3 points (1-9-0) after this weekends round of games. The MLS2 side has found goals hard to come by scoring 5 goals in their first 10 matches. The one bright spot for FC Montreal has been the play of young keeper Maxime Crepeau. The Canadian keeper is coming off his CanMNT senior debut this past February and should provide a test to FC Cincinnati.
bryanweigel for @cincysoccertalk