Coming off a 2-0 victory in Montréal, FC Cincinnati (12-4-5) will head to the Commonwealth of Virginia to take on the Richmond Kickers (11-6-5) Saturday evening.. The Kickers have been riding high as of late winning their last consecutive matches moving from 8th place to their current position of 4th in the USL Eastern Conference. Check out our 7 Things to Know to prepare yourself for this weekends contest.
WHEN: Saturday August 13th – 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: City Stadium – Richmond, VA
7 Things to Know
Why the Change in Form: The last time these two teams met, Richmond was lurking among the last spots to qualify in the playoffs, but now are a serious contender to win the east. The biggest change Richmond has experienced is a marked improvement in offense. Leigh Cowlishaw’s squad has scored 13 goals in their past 6 matches and have given up only 2. It took the Kickers 13 matches to arrive at the 13 goal marker to begin the season. Richmond has seen some squad changes including a change to a lone forward up top which has allowed more midfielders and an increase in possession.
Changes up top: Through 5 of their last 6 matches (FC Montréal), the Kickers have relied on Jamaican striker Anthony Grant to work as a solo forward. Grant has worked well with midfielders Sunny Jane and Yudai Imura on linking play forward. At only 5’10”, 160 lbs Grant is one of the smaller forwards FC Cincinnati will face, but his passing and speed of attack could make things difficult for expected starters Austin Berry & Harrison Delbridge.
Scoring Machine: Yudai Imura has logged 6 goals in his last 5 matches and recorded 2 assists during their 6 game win streak. The designated penalty-taker for Richmond has done damage from the spot and from the run of play. Imura scored the game winner in the 88th minute over the weekend in Montréal. The Tokyo, Japan native picked up a knock early in the season, but has returned to a deep-lying play-maker role as of late to help Richmond climb up the table.
Rivalry Born: Following the last-minute equalizer by Hugh Roberts in the first meeting, Richmond players and Cowlishaw had some inappropriate gestures and words for FC Cincinnati and the at Nippert Stadium. The game was a physical battle featuring 5 yellow cards and was chippy towards the end. Some may say the Richmond reactions were just from the treatment they received from the raucous Bailey and Legion during that match. These games breed new and natural rivalries outside the normal geographic boundaries of the league. The River City Red Army in Section “O” of City Stadium will have heard of this and from all accounts will be returning the favor on Saturday. If this match lives up to the first, many FC Cincinnati fans could have something to look forward to next season or in the playoffs.
Fitness: The long layoff for FC Cincinnati could be beneficial or a detriment in this match. Midfielder Kenney Walker has been out due to injury, but looks to have returned to practice in some capacity. The additional time off may have provided other players on Cincinnati an opportunity to heal such as defender/midfielder Paul Nicholson. The break could have also added a layer of “rust” that will need to be worked off coming into such a difficult road match.
Finishing: FC Cincinnati had 17 shots last week vs. FC Montréal which lead to 2 goals. They will need to be more clinical vs. Richmond and make every chance count if they are hoping to pick up 3 points on the road. Midfielders Jimmy McLaughlin and Andrew Wiedeman are hovering around a 10% in goals to shots average, while “Ugo” Okoli has finished well, at just short of 20%. If you took the top 15 scorers in the EPL last season, they averaged at a 15% clip, so FCC isn’t doing bad. FC Cincinnati will look to Okoli again to get on the board, but fellow forward/winger Omar Cummings could make a huge impact in comparison to the clubs last match up.
One Year Anniversary: Friday August 12th marks the 1 year anniversary of the announcement of FC Cincinnati. It has been an amazing 12 months for our city and we hope we have an even better 2nd year. The club is throwing “birthday parties” at their 23 pub-partners, with special supporters events at Molly Malones and Rhinehaus. Just to rekindle some of the original excitement, we have included the announcement trailer below.
Scratching the Pitch
For additional content on this match check out CincinnatiSoccerTalk.com’s collaboration with RVAisRed at ScratchingthePitch.com.
“Birthday” Viewing Parties
Die Innenstadt – Rhinehaus OTR – 119 E 12th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
The Pride – Molly Malones – 112 E 4th St, Covington, KY 41011
TWITTER: Make sure to follow our @CincySoccerLive Twitter account for live twitter updates during Saturday’s match.
Post-Match Call in Show: We are very excited to announce that this Saturday night immediately following FC Cincinnati’s match against the Richmond Kickers, Cincinnati Soccer Talk will be hosting the very first live postgame call-in show where YOU the fan can have your say about the match. The show will be hosted by Nick Seuberling. The show will be streamed live via our Facebook page which you can like by clicking here
The show will feature a phone line for fans to call in, that number is 513-399-KICK. You can always get in touch with us during the shows through our social media channels as well as by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOOTGOLF: Be sure to check out our recent announcement of the Cincinnati Soccer Talk FootGolf Classic and sign your team up TODAY! Only 3 teams spots remain so lock in your place now.