The last time FC Cincinnati faced off against the Richmond Kickers, the Orange and Blue held a late lead but gave up a late goal in a 1-1 draw at Nippert Stadium. Now the teams face off Saturday night in Richmond. We each reveal how we feel things will go down in our Staff Predictions.
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It’s going to be a hot one in Richmond on Saturday night. The kickers have been playing tremendous soccer in the last couple weeks and stand to be a tough test against the orange and blue. I look for Harkes boys to get going early and assert themselves in the game. FCC will need to be physical and force the Kickers off the ball. With Delbridge returning, they stand to improve on the back line. I predict a 2-0 win for FC Cincinnati.
Richmond is playing at home and is coming in on a fiery hot 5 match winning (not unbeaten, winning) streak. I simply think that the Kickers are due for a loss. FC Cincinnati is as fresh as they’ve been since the season began. The back line has been reunited and Austin Berry has had over a week to continue healing, he hasn’t looked the same since coming back from the quad injury that cost him most of his season thus far. The various formations beyond the back line have reignited the offense and Omar Cummings has brought a new dimension to the attack. All things considered I’m predicting a 2-1 victory to the Cincinnati Soccer Ball Kicking Good Guys.
Richmond will want to keep gaining on the USL Eastern Conference leaders. The Kickers defense has been stellar, but their offense has clicked into a new level. FC Cincinnati should be as fit as possible with a long layoff and I see them continuing to create chances. The test will be how Berry & Delbridge communicate on switches with a clever attacking Richmond squad. I predict a low scoring 1-0 win for FC Cincinnati.
It’s always a little concerning to play a team on a hot streak and Richmond certainly are. They have won their last 6 games. Games that included Rochester and New York and not just lower table teams. Their hot streak has carried them up to 4th place and they sit only 3 points south of the Orange and Blue (though we have a game in hand). FCC has held their position in third place but their results have been a little mixed lately. They tallied 3-2-1 results in their last 6 games though arguably, they had a much tougher schedule consecutively playing second, first and fourth place teams. This while dealing with a series of injuries from Nicholson, Walker, McMahon, Tomaselli and yellow card accumulation from Delbridge. It’s not clear who will be back on the pitch but the extra rest between games this cycle should mean that some of the little knocks that players have been carrying should have more time to mend and hopefully a few of the players on the bubble will return to form. This is going to be a tough game against a tough team, but I think the defense is going to shore up with some returning players. We may have to dust a little rust off from the break, but I think we’ll pull this one off. I’m predicting a clean sheet and a victory for the boys. The score will be 1-0.
The question for FC Cincinnati will be how rusty did they get in this extended layoff? Even more so for Harrison Delbridge who hasn’t played a match in 2 weeks. Richmond are THE hottest team in the league right now but have gotten results against less than stellar competition. Both sides need points to keep pace with the Eastern Conference leaders. I’m predicting a 1-1 draw for FC Cincinnati.
Richmond has been in fine form lately, winning 6 in a row, but 4 of those wins have come against teams in the lower half of the Eastern Conference table. They have had good wins against NY Red Bulls II and Rochester recently but needed a last minute goal to get a win against last place Montréal. So I’m a little unsure about how good this Kickers team really is.
I am sure that FC Cincinnati is not going to get as many chances as they are used to against a solid Richmond defense on their home field. All of this leads me to predict a draw, 1-1 sounds about right.
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Stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk for staff analysis on Saturday night’s match.