It’s Pittsburgh week and before the Bengals face the Steelers on Sunday, the Blue & Orange take on the Riverhounds in Pittsburgh Wednesday night. Even though Bill, Brad, and Bryan are eliminated from the Growler Cup title, Seubs and Yosief have an outside shot to catch Michael before the season wraps up. Here is how our team thinks it will go down Wednesday night.
The Orange & Blue travel to the headwaters of the Ohio River Wednesday night to play the dumpster fire otherwise known as the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The Hounds might have gotten a couple results of late against the other teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference but were thrashed 4-0 by Charlotte on Saturday. They have yet to win a game this season against any team in the top 7, losing 12 of 14. In their last 5 games against top 7 teams they’ve conceded 14 goals while scoring once. Columbus Crew loanee Zack Steffen may be a future USMNT keeper for the Hounds but he is bereft of defensive talent in front of him.
If there is a threat to watch it may be in the form of new arrival Chevaughn Walsh. The tall Jamacian gives the Hounds a threat similar to the Romeo Parkes before he was dismissed from the club. Walsh ended the 2016 PDL season with 14 goals for the Ocean City Nor’easters claiming the PDL MVP & Golden Boot awards. In 2 starts for Pittsburgh this season he’s netted once but taken 8 shots including several dangerous chances.
As long as they avoid the pre-game pastrami sandwiches at Primanti Bros. I think we’ll be fine. My prediction is a 3-0 FCC win as Sean Okoli increases his Golden Boot lead. We could also use a Charlotte draw against Richmond that will lock up a first round home playoff game for the Orange & Blue. That will give the FCC a 3 point lead for the 3rd spot and keeps open the chance to host the USL Final if we could get there.
Cincinnati are coming off a 2-0 win while Pittsburgh must follow a 0-4 loss that dropped them to last place in the Eastern Conference. Their record against teams in the top half of the table is pretty miserable. Cincinnati is feeling energized now. They’ve scored 2 goals in the last 3 games. They are playing for the home playoff game. Pittsburgh, while not eliminated from the playoffs,would be a dark horse to be kind. This is a game Cincinnati is expected to win. I expect they’ll score 2 again this game and keep the streak alive. Another clean sheet for the Orange and Blue with a 2-0 victory.
Look for the Orange & Blue to dictate play like they did over the weekend and with some help lock up a home playoff game. It will be interesting to see if Casey Townsend makes his way into the starting XI or the game day 18. With Ripoll playing well but still not 100% fit, there could be a shot to see the new man. Hopefully FC Cincinnati fans will be breathing a bit easier on Thursday morning. I’m looking for a 2-1 win to FCC
Here we go Boys in Blurange! FCC hasn’t seen the Riverhounds since the 14th of May this past spring. On this match day FCC can officially clinch a home playoff match with a W and I anticipate them doing just that. The only thing standing in their way is young Pittsburgh keeper Zack Steffen who has frequented the US national roster on the U18, U20, U23 squad. Despite the talented opposing keeper, I still FC Cincinnati winning by a final tally of 2-1.
Like most end of a season games, this one is an important one for FC Cincinnati. They’ll want to take advantage of the opportunity to secure a home playoff match against the last place team in the Eastern conference. They of course need a little help elsewhere too. You’d like to think FC Cincinnati will win this game by multiple goals, and they should, but things haven’t always been so easy away from home this season. Pittsburgh will be playing for pride and they were able to keep the game tight at Nippert earlier in the season. I’m predicting a 2-1 FC Cincinnati victory.
Let me start off by saying this. I absolutely hate Pittsburgh. I hate all of their sports teams. I just really can’t hide my disdain for that region. 3 points are an absolute must tonight. Let the goals flow like the salmon of Capistrano. 3-0 FC Cincinnati wins tonight.
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