FC Cincinnati came from behind last weekend to beat Toronto FC II 2-1 at Nippert Stadium. This week they get to head down I-71 to face Louisville City FC in the Rivers Cities Cup. LCFC holds the advantage after round 1 when they knocked off FCC 3-2 in Cincinnati.
LCFC had a nice week where they went to Rochester and beat the Rhinos 1-0. They followed that up with a midweek 4-1 dismantling of TFC2. It’s time now for our staff to offer up their thoughts in our Staff Predictions!
I have to admit that I am a little nervous for the second leg of the Dirty River Derby/River Cities Cup. Louisville is on a 13-game unbeaten streak in USL play. The LouCity back line has been known for getting higher up the pitch to contribute into the attack and I feel that will overwhelm our back four. I am picking a 2-1 defeat for hopefully the first and only time this season. City has given up some goals over their last 5 games, so I am not predicting a shutout. I really hope I am wrong, like all my other predictions and FCC will come back home with 3 points.
Loisville and FC Cincinnati have been on fire as of late, LCFC more so than FCC. Loisville have drawn points from every match they’ve played this year sans New York Red Bulls II in week 2. Chandler Hoffman garnered a hat trick against FCC in the first round of the Dirty River Derby, but I find it hard to believe that will happen again. FC Cincy has become much more solid as a team since their last meeting with Loisville. Austin Berry is in training so we may see him on the pitch after his lengthy absence. All things considered I think the match ends in a 2-2 draw and I think that’s a fine result for the FC Cincinnati Soccer Ball Kicking Good Guys, especially on the road.
FC Cincinnati has had a better start to the season than anyone could have imagined both on and off the field. Off the field in the supporter’s sections, I’m sure that Cincinnati’s fans will demonstrate on Saturday that we are clearly the best in the Eastern Conference. I don’t think we’re quite at LCFC’s level on the field though. Saturday’s match will be a real measuring stick for Harkes’ men. Their high powered offense will be hard to keep at bay at home against our defense which hasn’t always shined this season. I hope they prove me wrong, but I’m predicting a 3-1 loss that will provide valuable motivation for FCC to keep improving as we head into the second half of the USL season.
I’m excited to head down I-71 to watch the Orange & Blue take on conference leaders Louisville City FC for my first away game in my short tenure at CST. Early numbers show that LCFC is expecting their biggest crowd ever and FCC fans are coming down in droves.
Louisville is on an impressive run of 13 games unbeaten and demolished TFC2 on Tuesday, 4-1. In addition they snapped defending champion Rochester Rhinos streak of 24 games unbeaten at home with a 1-0 win last Saturday. Looking into my crystal ball (and maybe the LCFC schedule) LCFC tends to unexpectedly drop points at home every now and again, especially off a nice run of form. They drew at home to Wilmington & Pittsburgh earlier in the year and might be ripe for the taking by a focused FCC squad. I predict an up and down game with a lot of action leading to a 3-2 FCC win!
I’m not one to ever pick against my teams. The unbeaten streak for FC Cincinnati has to end at some point though. All week I’ve struggled with this prediction. I don’t think they’ll win in Louisville, but I also can’t pick them to lose. So I’m going for a 2-2 draw.
When we last played LCFC it was only our second home game. The team still had a lot to learn about each other. We had a record sized crowd at Nippert, a level of noise that the team was unaccustomed to and a lot of pressure. We didn’t give enough credit to LCFC and they punished us.
Things are different this time. We’re a stronger team and we have something to prove. Roles are reversed as they “purple us out” and expect a record crowd at Slugger Field. Their confidence is high. We know what we’re up against and the team they played in April has changed a lot. This time we go home with the W and defeat the purple kingdom 2-1.