It’s the final game of the regular season. FC Cincinnati has locked up 3rd place in the Eastern Conference. The questions many of us have at Cincinnati Soccer Talk is how much will the starters play Saturday night? Here’s how we think it plays out.
Congratulations to our Growler Cup Champion, Michael Walker. Michael won the cup this season with a game to spare.
Alright Coach Harkes, put everybody that means anything on the bench. I want to see a starting XI that includes Jamie Dell, Michael Millay, Dallas Jaye and others in case of a freak injury or red card. After Saturday night’s win there is nothing to play for other than pride. We saw how the city of Pittsburgh plays after Sunday, dirty! Leave nothing to chance. Get the boys home safe, sound, and ready to go for the playoffs. Maybe one of the gents might break through that we haven’t seen yet and earn a spot in the 18 for the playoffs. I’ll let Pittsburgh take the win 1-0 and move on. They can go home for the year, we have more important things to worry about.
How do you predict this game? It has no value in the stats at all. FCC has secured a 3rd place finish and Pittsburgh are out of the playoff race. There is nothing to play for…..
Does Pittsburgh hang their heads or go for a win to end the season on a high note? Does Harkes rest his starters and put in reserves to avoid injuries and fatigue or does he go all in and try to enter the playoffs with momentum behind the team?
And what about the Golden Boot? Sean Okoli is probably the one person who truly has a horse still in this race. He’ll be anxious to cement his top spot but will Harkes want him rested? You want your strikers hot but also not exhausted.
My guess is that we want find a middle ground but lean towards keeping momentum. I’ve not seen good results this season when the team has had a weekend off. We seem to lose the edge and need a game to shake off the rust. I’m looking for Harkes to bring out most of his starters but sub liberally and more early than normal.
That said, Pittsburgh has been a pain all season. They have sat in the bottom half of the table all year but our aggregate score against them is only 1-0. Something about playing Cincinnati seems to bring out the fire in Pittsburgh…..
I expect this to be a tough game but maybe not extremely physical since neither team will want to pick up a late injury. Ugo is going to fight like mad for a goal and will be rewarded with the game winner as he locks in his Golden Boot position. The defense will hold solid and FCC is going to grind out a 1-0 victory over the Hounds.
I can’t believe the regular season is about to end. It has been one heck of a ride. Let’s look to close on a high note. I am looking for a 2-1 win for FCC. Hopefully Ugo Okoli will get a run out and score a goal to win the golden boot outright. Onto the playoffs!!!
Pittsburgh again? This time we are very unsure of who we will see in the starting XI. Harkes may opt to rest his starters because the playoff picture has been set for FCC. With key players likely getting rest for the during the match, I predict a sluggish 1-0 victory to FC Cincinnati.
A 2-1 FC Cincinnati win has been my “go to” all season and it got me the Growler Cup! So why not stick with it this one last time. We’ll see a decent amount of rotation in this game but Harkes will still put a team on the field that he thinks can win and maintain momentum going into the playoffs. He mentioned that he will be assessing who needs rest on an individual basis and I predict he will fortify the spine of the team with starters, resting guys that clearly need it, and see how the game plays out. 2-1 to the Orange and Blue.
Pittsburgh has nothing to play for, and really neither does FC Cincinnati. With 3rd place sewn up, there’s not much incentive to play most of the regulars tonight. With that said, FC Cincinnati has struggled of late in front of goal. Last week in Pittsburgh they played to a 0-0 draw. Let’s hope it’s not another snoozefest. I’m predicting a 2 goal effort from Sean Okoli and the Orange and Blue win 2-0.
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