FC Cincinnati (9-3-4) travels west on Saturday to face Saint Louis FC (6-6-5) at World Wide Technology Soccer Park. This match follows the Orange & Blue’s midweek loss to the Rochester Rhinos. Cincinnati Soccer Talk offers 7 things to know to get you ready for this weekend’s contest.
Unbeaten Streak Broken – Harkes men will look to get back on track Saturday after being defeated for the first time since their loss to Louisville City on April 16th. The eleven game unbeaten streak featured seven wins and four draws and lasted almost 3 months. FCC remains in 3rd place after the loss, just 1 point clear of Charleston Battery and 7 points behind leaders Louisville City.
Western Conference Opposition – For the first time in the club’s history, FC Cincinnati will face a Western conference opponent. The St. Louis outfit is the MLS affiliate of the Chicago Fire and is the only Western conference opponent the Orange & Blue will face this year. There are two players on loan to Saint Louis FC from the Fire but they haven’t featured in recent matches. Saint Louis FC will play FCC in a return leg at Nippert on September 5th.
Short on Rest – Saint Louis FC also played on Wednesday night, so the two teams will both be short on rest and considering lineup changes to find fresh legs. Saint Louis FC played to a somewhat disappointing 1-1 draw with 14th place Seattle Sounders FC 2. A late Sam Fink goal rescued a point for STLFC after Seattle led for most of the match. Over the last 5 games, Saint Louis FC has 2 wins, 2 losses and a draw.
Home Cookin’ – Saint Louis FC has been good at home this season. They are undefeated in fact and can boast 3 wins and 4 draws over seven matches played at World Wide Technology Soccer Park. Their marquee victory was a 7-1 thumping of Western Conference cellar dwellers Tulsa Roughnecks.
Berry’s Back – Team Captain Austin Berry played 28 minutes for the Orange & Blue on Wednesday, entering a competitive match for the first time since he was injured in training on April 29th. FC Cincinnati could certainly use his leadership and one of his headed specials from a corner kick in this match. He’s most likely to feature off the bench again, especially given the short turn around, but all eyes will be on the starting lineup on Saturday to see where his name falls.
Danger Man – Saint Louis FC’s El Salvadorian striker Irvin Herrera is the USL’s 4th leading scorer with 9 goals and 2 assists in only 14 games this season. After attending college in the U.S., Herrera returned home to play for Santa Tecla in the Primera División of El Salvador, making 42 appearances and scoring 23 goals during league play. He was signed by STLFC in February of 2016.
Premier League on the Horizon – There’s a lot to look forward to after this match. Let’s hope Harkes’ men can stay focused on the task at hand and grabbing some valuable points on the road. The next match after this contest is the July 16th friendly against English Premier League side Crystal Palace. That match is followed by 3 critical showdowns at Nippert with the best in the East: NY Red Bulls II, LCFC and Charleston Battery.
Saturday’s match starts a little later than usual Eastern time at 8:30pm ET.
Supporters Groups Watch Parties
Die Innenstadt – Rhinehaus, OTR
The Pride – Molly Malones, Covington
Lowen Des Sudens – Barlycorns, Cold Spring, KY.
Queen City Firm – Lucky Turtle, Winton Rd.
Die Innenstadt Food Drive
Die Innenstadt is hosting a food drive Saturday night at Rhinehaus to benefit the Freestore Foodbank. Fans are encouraged to arrive at 6 p.m. as DI hopes to gather Canned meat, Canned Vegetables, Canned Fruit, Peanut butter, Canned soup, Macaroni and Cheese, Personal care items such as shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, and hygiene products. Donors will also be entered into a raffle to win tickets in the Bailey to the Crystal Palace and Louisville City matches.
Be sure to check out our recent announcement of the Cincinnati Soccer Talk FootGolf Classic and sign your team up TODAY! Stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk for staff predictions and more news and analysis leading up to this weekend’s FC Cincinnati match.