FC Cincinnati starts a 3 game home stand Wednesday night when they take on the New York Red Bulls II. The Cincinnati Soccer Talk staff has made their predictions. Who do you think will win?
I mentioned on this week’s podcast that FC Cincinnati would only get four points out of this week’s matches. Tonight they are facing arguably the toughest opponent in the Eastern conference. With Louisville looming on Saturday night I think tonight’s match ends in a scoreless 0-0 draw.
I have a better feeling about this match than I do for the upcoming Louisville game on Saturday but that does not mean I’m not worried. There is a ton of talent in the Baby Bulls system with Derrick Etienne, Junior Flemmings and Tyler Adams but we might be catching them on the right night. Etienne was on the MLS roster Sunday so we may not catch him tonight along with suspended CB Aaron Long who collected a red card from the bench at the end of their 2-1 win Saturday. Add to that the improving form of FC Cincy’s Defense and the Sean Okoli & Omar Cummings partnership where I think tonight’s match culminates in a 2-0 win for FC Cincinnati.
The first of two very important matches this week goes down today. The Baby Bulls will be without a couple of their starters, which may give FCC the advantage they will need to top NYRB II. Austin Berry and Harrison Delbridge have been reunited at the center back position, with Nicholson (starting center back in Berry’s absence) possibly at CDM that could lock down the defensive third of the pitch. A victory will pull FCC within one point of the Baby Bulls. I’m calling a 2-1 win to the Cincinnati Soccer Ball Kicking Good Guys.
If the Crystal Palace match did anything positive, it showed our team that we need to play & think faster to succeed on a higher level. NYRB II’s best trait is their pace. MLS-ready Devon Williams, Dan Metzger, and Tyler Adams can all attack with speed and will provide the FCC back four all they can handle. Forward Brandon Allen will also put pressure on the Cincy center backs. The biggest blessing is that NYRB II will be without center back Aaron Long so Okoli and Cummings might be able to exploit their defensive tandem. I am calling for a 2-2 draw in the match. Their defense has stellar this season and New York is on quite a run of form. This game will be a midfield battle and hopefully the more seasoned FCC squad can at least get a point from the Baby Bulls.
The Baby Bulls have the stingiest defense in the league but tonight they are without defender Aaron Long who picked up a red card in their previous match vs Charlotte. Meanwhile, Cincinnati is riding high off a massive event with Crystal Palace. They played against competition that exceeds any team in the league and gave all of the potential starters some rest. Coach Harkes continues to find depth on his bench and has many options for his starting 11. This will make it difficult for New York to plan for how to counter us. I predict, we’ll come out aggressive and try to take advantage of the change in the Baby Bull back line. Meanwhile, Allen and Flemmings are concerns for us, but they certainly aren’t Townsend or Zaha. After Saturday, we’re ready. Final score will be 1-0 with a victory for the soccer kicking good guys.
I have a bad feeling about this one. I’m worried about the timing of this game and a hangover from the exhilaration of the Crystal Palace friendly. Red Bulls II are very good team and superior to FCC in many of the most important statistical categories. I’m predicting a 2-1 loss heaping pressure on getting a result Saturday against Louisville. With any luck, I’ll be wrong.
Stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk for more news and analysis leading up to this weekend’s match.