FC Cincinnati plays host to Bethlehem Steel FC on Saturday night at Nippert Stadium fresh off a scoreless draw with Eastern Conference leaders Louisville. Will the scoring boots come back for the FC Cincinnati Soccer Ball Kickers? We do our best to predict the outcome here in Staff Predictions!
Bethlehem Steel FC currently sits 9th in the Eastern Conference two points behind the Richmond Kickers for the final playoff spot in the east. They too are coming off a scoreless draw when they faced Richmond on Saturday night.
I still do not know how Bethlehem is going to score vs. the FC Cincinnati defense. Bethlehem may struggle without Derrick Jones to begin the attack and link play from the back. Possession for Steel FC could be difficult as well, especially if Harkes continues to employ three central midfielders. I would like coach Harkes to use this game an opportunity to also experiment with depth options. With two road trips this week vs. quality teams, there could be a chance of seeing Cummings, Hoppenot, Luke or Mohomed. I predict a 3-0 victory for the orange & blue.
Last time around FC Cincinnati found their way to a 2-1 victory over Bethlehem Steel at Goodman Stadium and I don’t expect much to change. Since the last time the two teams met Steel seem to have steadied the ship, but they have yet to take three points from a top-level team this season. Will we see Austin Berry? Only those in the locker room really know so the assumption will be we won’t see him on the pitch. That said, the defense has played well for the most part during his absence. After a tough draw against Louisville I believe FC Cincy will bounce back this weekend. 2-0 with a victory going the FC Cincinnati Soccer Ball Kicking Good Guys.
Bethlehem have had some decent results of late with a win at Charlotte and draws away to Richmond and Wilmington. Recently they have been keeping games tight allowing only 2 goals in their last 4 games. Given that I’m expecting a tight one at Nippert on Saturday. Harkes’ men will get the job done though, supported by another great Mitch performance in goal. FCC 1 – Bethlehem Steel 0.
FCC collected their first win in USL history against Bethlehem Steel FC and I expect them to pick up three more points 4th of July weekend. Eric Ayuk returns from international duty with Cameroon but I’m not sure that’s enough for Bethlehem to win. The Orange & Blue need to watch out as his speed he could cause some trouble on the wings. I think FCC will control the ball most of the game but need to stay alert against the counter. In the end FCC will win 2-1!
I mentioned it on the podcast this week but I think FC Cincinnati gets back to winning ways. It wouldn’t surprise me if this offense exploded for 3 or more goals in a match. They’re kind of due right? BUT my gut is leaning towards another 2-1 win for the orange and blue.
Steel has only scored 2 goals in the last 4 games and has amassed a 1-1-2 record during that time. They have the second lowest goals scored in the league, only one better than last place Montreal. This is not a team with a lot of firepower, but they do have a good defense and have only given up 2 goals in those last 4 games. They have earned 5 shutouts for the season, two 1-0 wins and three 0-0 ties.
That said, FCC is going to be more than capable of breaking them down especially at home in Nippert. With their low fire power, I predict another clean sheet for Mitch and the back line. Oi Oi Oi!
Our attack is going to be hungry after last week’s titanic battle against LCFC and will be able to press forward more. I expect to see a couple of goals giving the good guys a 2-0 win at home and continuing their undefeated streak.