The game was not well publicized. I’m not sure FC Cincinnati publicized it at all, but the Dayton Dynamo invited everyone out to Nippert Stadium tonight for a scrimmage with the Orange and Blue reserves.
We take on @fccincinnati res. in a scrimmage tomorrow night at Nippert. Kickoff 6:30pm. Match is free and open to public.
— Dayton Dynamo FC (@DaytonDynamo) July 25, 2016
The crowd was small and cozy and quite a few fans came down from Dayton to cheer on their team. You couldn’t buy merchandise or concessions, but the weather was beautiful and parking was a breeze. It was a bit strange to listen to all of the players shouting out warnings and encouragement to their teammates. During a regular match at Nippert, all of the chatter is drowned out by the crowd and the thud of the drums from the Bailey and the Legion.
FCC entered the field wearing their grey training shirts. I will apologize in advance for any mistake I make in personnel. The only player numbers visible were extremely tiny ones on their shorts. I think, in some cases, the number was removed. Even worse, the Dynamo were in uniforms with clearly visible jersey numbers, but the roster on their website does not list jersey numbers with the players because the numbers change game to game. Fortunately, with the help of Jeremy Lance, I believe I’ve got them all identified.
Starting 11 / Formation
It appeared the FC Cincinnati lined up in a 4-1-3-2.
Dell – Millay – Lee – Luke
Mohamed – Tomaselli – Hoppenot
Spencer – Ripoll
There was some fluidity to the line up and at times it looked like a 4-2-3-1.
Dell – Millay – Lee – Luke
Tomaselli – Narbon
Mohamed – Ripoll – Hoppenot
There was some question whether Coach Harkes would be there with the Joan Harkes Show taking place at 6pm at Moerlein Lager House, but Coach Harkes was on the sideline demonstrating his interest in these players and this scrimmage.
The Orange and Blue struck quickly. About 2 minutes in, Ripoll placed the ball in the back of the net and put FCC on the board. Figuratively, because the scoreboard wasn’t on for this match. Three minutes later in the 5th minute, Ripoll gathered a ball lobbed over the top and again beat Pignatiello. Just like that, FCC was up 2-0, and Ripoll had earned himself a brace. There was a lot of contention over this goal. I assume that Dayton was looking for an offside call. The Dynamo Head Coach, Dan Griest, had words with the AR and finally had to be warned off by the center ref. Who calls these matches friendlies?
The game amped up quite a bit at this point. Lots of young players on the field. The game was fast and physical. In the 15th minute, Dayton’s Dan Dwyer aggressively tackled Ripoll and was sent off the pitch by the center ref. No card was shown, maybe because this was a scrimmage, but the ref indicated to the Dynamo bench to make a substitution.
FCC wasn’t done yet. In the 24th minute, Luke crossed a ball into Spencer who nodded it into the goal and put the home team up 3-0.
The visitors were determined to come back, and they battled hard. Ripoll continued to challenge the Dynamo and cause them trouble as he sought a third goal to earn a hat trick. In the 26th minute, another strong tackle against Ripoll stopped play and restarted with him on the sidelines. He was able to rejoin the game again shortly.
As the half progressed, FCC pressed a bit less and settled in, but the Orange and Blue soon learned that the Dynamo were not to be ignored. In the 36th minute, Eric Kissinger beat Luke and bolted down the right side of the field. He crossed the ball to the back post where Marc Hansson was loosely marked by Dell. A lovely header from Hansson and suddenly the visitors were on the board.
What happened next is a bit of a mystery. Typically after scoring, teams are happy, but something happened between Dynamo Coach Griest and the center ref. When it was over, Coach Griest was sent off the field, and Goalkeeper Coach Catherine Gordon had to manage the team for the remainder of the game. The game seemed to calm down a bit at this point. FCC managed to keep most of the possession and spent most of the time in the Dynamo half.
Cincinnati again came out strong in the second half. In the 48th minute, Ripoll took a nice shot on goal that just skimmed right of the post. A few minutes later, Ripoll was subbed off the pitch. His hat trick was not to be tonight. The Cincinnati player who came on for Ripoll, was one of two players on trial at this scrimmage. Will (sorry don’t have a last name) grew up in the Liverpool Academy. He settled a little deeper than Ripoll, leaving Spencer more alone up top.
Ten minutes later, in the 58th minute, Tomaselli challenged a Dynamo defender and forced a poor pass in front of goal. Spencer pounced on the ball, beat the Dayton’s second half keeper, Whisenhunt, and slotted the ball home for his second goal of the match.
In the 59th minute, FCC used its second (and last) sub. Mohamed was pulled from the pitch and was replaced with another player who is not on the FCC roster. Terence Carter of London, England, just finished his last season at the University of Cincinnati.
Terence got into the game very quickly. In the 60th minute, he cut in from the right and fired a canon of a shot at the Dynamo keeper. Whisenhunt came up big and managed to stop the shot, but could not hold onto the ball. Spencer pounced on the rebound and fired a laser at the goal but the ball bounced off the upright. Spencer followed his shot, and 3rd times a charm, finally slotted the ball into the back of the net. Cincinnati was now ahead 5-1, and Spencer had earned a hat trick.
Two minutes later, Terrence burst down the right side and placed a perfect cross to Hoppenot. Whisenhunt came out to challenge Hoppenot, only to have the ball chipped neatly over his head and into the goal.
After that, Cincinnati settled back again for the last bit of the game and play between the teams was much more even. Tomaselli dropped in deeper with Narbon and the Orange and Blue absorbed some pressure from Dayton. With a bit of role reversal, Dayton took on more possession and FCC waited and countered. As the final seconds of the game ticked away, Cincinnati made one last counter and almost tallied a late goal, but Spencer only managed to ring the cross bar. As the echo of the impact faded, the center ref blew his whistle 3 times to end the match. 6-1 for Cincinnati.
So what was the point? Dayton is at the end of their season. Cincinnati played reserves. None of this counted for anything.
For Dayton, they get to challenge themselves against a team a tier above them. This is similar to an Open Cup game. You want to play tough teams to see where you stack up and to see more clearly where you need to work to improve.
For Cincinnati, we have players who are not getting much, regular, or in some cases, any playing time. We need opportunities to keep them match ready. These are the players that we expect to mature and grow, and in the coming seasons, to contribute more and more to the squad. This was a great opportunity to see some of these players and learn a bit about them and what they are bringing to the club down the road.
I hope we’re able to maintain this relationship with Dayton and continue to use events like this to further both programs. For the fans, this was a unique opportunity to see their team in a relaxed atmosphere. For me personally,I had a great time.
and look for our new podcast each week!