The Orange and Blue continue their home stand on Saturday when they face the Eastern Conference’s last place team, FC Montréal (1-9-0), at Nippert Stadium. FC Cincinnati (6-2-3) comes into the contest in 3rd place, after drawing 1-1 with the Richmond Kickers last weekend. Cincinnati Soccer Talk offers 7 things to know to get you ready for this weekend’s contest.
Canada Comes to Town – Over the next two weekends, the Orange and Blue will face the Eastern Conference’s two Canadian sides, FC Montréal and Toronto FC II at Nippert. Both sides have been struggling recently and sit 14th and 12th in the table respectively. Given that, Harkes’ men will be targeting 6 points before heading to Louisville for round 2 of the River Cities Cup on June 25th.
Loans? – FC Montréal are the MLS 2 side of Impact de Montréal, who are enjoying a break from MLS action during the group stage of the Copa America. Because of this break, Montréal’s MLS side could opt to loan additional players to FC Montréal for Saturday’s match. This is complicated by the fact that the Impact played Toronto FC to a draw in the Canadian Championship yesterday. The most likely loanee from the MLS side will be netminder Maxime Crépeau, who has spent considerable time in goal for FC Montreal already this season. Centerville, OH native Cameron Porter is also an Impact player that’s seen action recently with Montréal’s USL side.
Competition Making Ground – FC Cincinnati remained level in the Eastern Conference standings in 3rd place despite last weekend’s disappointing draw to Richmond. The result was not without consequences though, as FCC’s close competitors made ground. LCFC, New York Red Bulls II, Charleston and Rochester all earned victories last week improving their position in the table relative to the Orange and Blue.
Mitch Says Thanks! Although seeing too many heroic performances from Mr. Hildebrandt is probably not a good sign for FC Cincinnati defensively, it’s nice to see his work get recognized by the USL. Mitch received another honorable mention in this week’s USL team of the week to add to his previous two honorable mentions for performances against TFC II and Harrisburg City Islanders.
Shooting Slump? – FC Cincinnati averages 15 shots on goal per home game with approximately 8 of those 15 on target. In their last two matches, FCC’s shooting totals have been below average for both total shots and shots on target. While the numbers haven’t dipped dramatically, let’s hope the Orange and blue can reverse the trend in the two upcoming matches.
Danger Man – The Québec side has not displayed a lot of offensive firepower this season, accumulating only 5 goals to FC Cincinnati’s 17. FC Montréal’s 17-year old midfielder Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla leads the way with 2 goals. He also netted the game winner against Richmond two weeks ago for the team’s only win. Tabla is one of the Canada’s most highly touted young prospects and is drawing interest from several European suitors. He even has his own website.
Hot on the Field – It’s not supposed to be cold or rainy on Saturday. Great news, right!? Well, as is wont to happen in this city, it’s gone straight from unpredictable rainy spring weather to summer swelter. It’s supposed to be 95 degrees on Saturday, hopefully cooling into the 80’s by kickoff. Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and load up on water (and beer, alternating) for this weekend’s match.
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Stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk for staff predictions on Friday and more news and analysis leading up to this weekend’s match.