On Saturday night a raucous Orange & Blue faithful welcomed 8th Place Orlando City B to the Regular Season finale at Nippert Stadium. With a first round home playoff game on the line, FC Cincinnati defeated OCB 1-0 as they clinched their 9th clean sheet in front of a new USL record crowd of 24,376.
Starters (4-2-3-1): GK: Hildebrandt; (R-L)McMahon, Berry, Delbridge, Polak (75′); Walker (65′), Nicholson (45′); McLaughlin, Bone, Wiedeman; Okoli (87′)
Subs: Jaye (GK), Lee (3′), Luke (15′), Ripoll, Stevenson (45′), Townsend (25′), Tomaselli
After changing up the starting XI dramatically in a disappointing 0-0 draw in Pittsburgh, Coach John Harkes went back to the familiar squad that has yielded a lot of success this season. Golden Boot leader Sean Okoli (15 goals) led the squad up front with support by Andrew Wiedeman and Jimmy McLaughlin.
Off the bat it was a back and forth affair with both teams set out to strike early. In the 14th minute Wiedeman sent in a dangerous ball that earned a corner. Unfortunately nothing came from it as Wieda ripped a shot that went just wide. In the 18th minute #MitchSaidNo on a point blank chance by Orlando as they nearly pulled ahead. FC Cincinnati was in charge the rest of the way as they out shot OCB 10-3 in the first half.
Eric Stevenson came on at half as FCC started to find their front foot even more. After a couple near misses, Coach Harkes inserted Casey Townsend for Kenney Walker in the 65th minute to add just a little more firepower. There were several chances on goal when Eric Stevenson sent in a cross in the 81st minute that proved to be the difference maker. It found the head of the newly acquired Townsend as he provided his first goal for the club in his second appearance.
81′ – Casey Townsend puts the header in the back of the net which gives FCC a 1-0 lead! #CINvORL pic.twitter.com/8JnbMWHQSa
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) September 18, 2016
Both teams set out to get one more goal but none could be had. With the win tonight, FC Cincinnati kept their spot in 3rd in the eastern conference with their final match next Saturday in Pittsburgh. Their closest competition for that spot, Charlotte, hosted Rochester and lost 0-1. With that result FC Cincinnati clinched the 3rd spot in the playoffs. As it stands FC Cincinnati will face Rochester, the defending USL Champion in the first round on October 2nd.
Don’t forget to join Grand Marshals FC Cincinnati at the Main Stage at Second and Elm for the World’s Largest Chicken Dance! Team President & General Manager Jeff Berding along with players and Staff will lead the city in the most notable tradition of the festival. Don’t miss out on the Vogeltanz (Chicken Dance)
FC Cincinnati has determined the process in which supporters can reserve tickets to the playoff match on October 2md at 4 P.M. 2016 Season Ticket Holders will have the first chance to reserve and purchase extra tickets followed by 2017 Season Ticket Depositors. Once these two groups have had the chance to purchase tickets, the remainder will be opened to the General Public.
Current season ticket holders will be able to purchase tickets beginning at 9 A.M. on Monday 9/19. They can purchase their current seats plus additional tickets by logging into their Ticket Account of the FC Cincinnati site or calling 513-977-KICK.
New 2017 season ticket depositors will be able to purchase available tickets starting at 9 A.M. Wednesday 9/21. They can call in as well or lookout for a email from the club with more details on how to purchase tickets. The remainder of seats available will go on sale to the general public at 9 A.M. Thursday 9/22.
Prices will be as follows for the first 2 rounds of the playoffs:
Make sure to stay tuned to your email and the FC Cincinnati 2016 Playoff Ticket Page for more details.
CST Player of the Year Award
CincinnatiSoccerTalk.com is having our first-ever CST Player of the Year Award. CST readers will get to vote on the nominees put forward by our staff. You can vote by clicking on the poll below or research the top contenders here first. Voting ends after the final regular season game.
@bryanjweigel for @cincysoccertalk