The inaugural season of FC Cincinnati has been exciting, filled with wonderful moments, player achievements and awesome goals. To fully recap the 2016 season, Cincinnati Soccer Talk has invited some guests to weigh in alongside our staff.
Contributing on our 2016 Cincinnati Soccer Talk Yearly Awards along with our staff are Pat Brennan (Cincinnati Enquirer), Chad Hollingsworth (ScratchingThePitch.com), David Keim (SixthDaySoccer.com), Jeremy Lance (Wrong Side of the Pond Podcast), Laurel Pfahler (WCPO.com contributor) and Tana Weingartner (91.7 WVXU).
We asked our staff and guests to answer three questions for our inaugural season awards. Who is their FC Cincinnati Player of the Year? What was their favorite goal (preseason included)? What was their favorite moment of the season?
These three awards will go along with our 2016 Cincinnati Soccer Talk Fan Vote Player of the Year Award that was given to FCC center back Harrison Delbridge. Make sure to listen to this week’s PODCAST where we discuss the award and playoffs with the Australian defender.
In this article, we will cover our favorite Goal of the Year. Due to the nature of several spectacular goals in the pre season, we have opened this up to all 2016 goals. Each host and guest will give their input on why they believe their preferred nominee should win.
Nominees (in order by date)
Corben Bone Long Range Volley – February 21st – vs. KR Reykjavíc (Iceland)
Nominee One is the strike near stoppage time in FC Cincinnati’s first match down at the IMG Suncoast Classic. “Corben Bone’s goal versus KR Reykjavic. This was a stunner,” writes Pat Brennan from the Enquirer. “It was easily the best goal FC Cincinnati have scored in 2016.”
Chad Hollingsworth from ScratchingthePitch.com also enjoyed this goal. “Corben Bone rocketed a volley into the net from distance in the IMG Suncoast Classic. The goal was amazing not only in the way that it was scored, but it helped propel Cincy to the preseason tournament championship. I believe it provided a boost of confidence that the club carried into the regular season.”
Jeremy Lance, co host from the Wrong Side of the Pond podcast points out a unique aspect on the importance of the goal. “Not just the fact that it was worldly, the national buzz the club got off that goal was invaluable.” Staff member Yosief Tzeghai also echoed Lance’s sentiments. “Not only was it an awesome strike, it was one of the first moments FCC was put under a national spotlight.”
“The Bone goal was amazing,” said Brad Weigel. “It was viewed on ESPN, FoxSports and many other national platforms. It instantly brought credibility and buzz to the team. It really set the season in motion.”
Sean “Ugo” Okoli Bike/Scissor – April 9th – vs. Charlotte Independence
Laurel Pfahler from WCPO.com enjoyed the opening goal from FC Cincinnati’s first USL home game in Nippert Stadium. “FC Cincinnati had a lot of brilliant goals, but the one that stands out more than others to me was Sean Okoli’s scissor kick goal in the fifth minute of the home opener April 9. What a way to ignite the first crowd at Nippert Stadium, and it landed on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Day during a time when MLS, MLB, NHL and NBA all were in action.”
“Scoring goals is the hardest thing to do in soccer and he (Okoli) did that more than anyone else in the USL,” said staff writer Michael Walker. “He also led the league in points, shots and shots on target. Bravo.” Local soccer journalist David Keim from SixthDaySoccer.com remarked on what went into his choice of the Okoli goal. “Looking for a goal that was technically spectacular (scissor-kick) and meaningful (first goal at Nippert) and this could be the only winner.
Tana Weingartner of WVXU was emphatic on her goal of the year vote.” It has to go to Ugo’s (Okoli) volley from the home opener. Heck of a shot and an amazing opening moment for FCC at Nippert.” However, podcast host Nick Seuberling had mixed feelings on where to put his vote. “There’s really only two goals to choose from in my opinion. Corben Bone’s thunder strike from 35 yards out in a Florida preseason match. BUT, that’s a preseason goal. My nod goes to Sean Okoli’s scissor kick volley in the first home match against Charlotte. It was the first goal at Nippert Stadium as well. Hard to top that one.”
Eric Stevenson in “The Build Up” – June 18th – vs. Toronto FC II
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) June 19, 2016
Eric Stevenson’s goal on June 18th may not have been the most flashy of finishes, but the big build up, coupled with it being the deciding factor in the win, make this a great nominee.
“For me GOY of the year was easy…. Eric Stevenson’s goal on June 18th against Toronto which won him Man of the Match,” says Bill Wolf. “It wasn’t so much what Stevenson himself did but more what the team did and the build up to the goal. Multiple players, quick passes, dissecting the defense and leaving Eric all alone one on one with the keeper. The replay I found only focuses on the last couple of touches but there were 3-4 touches before that that set the whole goal up.”
— ɟɟᴉɹפ (@GriBry) June 20, 2016
“I agree,” says Bryan Weigel. “This goal displays one of the strengths of our squad during a great run in form. The emergence of Stevenson as a reliable option to go along with the great team build up make this a great team goal.”
So what is the “greater goal”? What shot did we feel may have been the most difficult to finish and what “bump” did the club receive from the strike?
Our Goal of the Year is the preseason GOLAZO from Corben Bone. Not only was it such a low percentage finish, it came from a guy who receives fewer chances than most to put an attempt on goal.
Also, just look at the responses on social media.
— Eric Gehrig (@eGehrig16) February 21, 2016
— Wake Men's Soccer (@WakeMSoccer) February 22, 2016
— Austin da Luz (@austindaluz) February 21, 2016
We hope you enjoyed this article. Check back on Thursday for Moment of the Year for FC Cincinnati. We will also be publishing our game preview (7 Things to Know) and our picks for Player of the Year.
Pat Brennan – Pat is the beat writer covering FC Cincinnati for the Enquirer and is a co host of the Enquirer’s FC Cincy Beat – @PBrennanENQ
Chad Hollingsworth – Chad can be found covering FCC & the USL on his website ScratchingthePitch.com and as co host of theUSLShow Podcast – @ChadHoll
David Keim – David covers a variety of leagues including EPL, MLS, the USL and more on his website SixthDaySoccer.com – @6thSoccer
Jeremy Lance – Jeremy appears on air covering regional soccer events on ESPN3.com, is the PR Director of the Dayton Dynamo and is a co host of the Wrong Side of the Pond Podcast which just began it’s 4th season. – @JeremyLance
Laurel Pfahler – Laurel covers FC Cincinnati for WCPO.com and covers other pro & college sports for various national media outlets. – @LaurelPfahler
Tana Weingartner – Tana is a reporter & Digital News Editor for WVXU/WMUB/NPR covering Greater Cincinnati news and FC Cincinnati. – @TanaWeingartner