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Preseason – FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire: 5 Things to Know

Where: Bradenton, FL – IMG Academy Stadium
When: Wednesday, February 22 at 4:00 p.m.

Fresh off of Sunday’s preseason debut, the Orange and Blue gear up to take on the Chicago Fire. The second contest under newly appointed head coach Alan Koch, Cincinnati looks to improve on the shortcoming against OKC Energy. Here are 5 things to know going into this midweek preseason clash.

5 Things to Know

Hot Start – MLS club Chicago Fire will be entering their fifth preseason contest on Wednesday afternoon. Starting their road trip in Fort Myers, the Fire defeated Florida Gulf Coast University 1-0. Heading north, the Fire faced off against the Philadelphia Union at IMG Academy defeating the MLS eastern conference foe 1-0 before travelling to Al Lang to face up against the Montreal Impact. Chicago picked up another victory against Montreal outscoring the Impact 4-1. The Fire then faced off against Miami FC on Sunday at IMG Academy defeating the NASL side 5-2. So far the Chicago Fire have outscored their preseason opponents 11-3. Will FC Cincinnati be able to extinguish this smoldering start to Chicago’s preseason campaign?

No Bull – No longer a Red Bull, Dax McCarty looks to build chemistry with his new club after being transferred from Red Bull New York to Chicago. The cornerstone midfielder will make his presence known although it is uncertain how limited the USMNT player’s minutes will be in this preseason match.

Photo cred MLS

Man the wall – After giving up three goals in our first match of the calendar year, will Koch fortify the backline with the likes of Harrison Delbridge, Austin Berry and Matt Bahner? Chicago will provide a great opportunity to build rapport among a defense that seemed a bit rusty on Sunday. Koch has made his attacking tendencies known, but will we see a defensive formation like a 4-2-3-1 against this MLS side or will we try to engage in an offensive battle using a 4-1-4-1?

Show up – The Queen City’s ambition for a MLS bid is no secret. Wednesday afternoon’s matchup will be the second time FC Cincinnati has faced a Major League Soccer squad. Look for Koch and club to come out swinging. Preseason matches will be an afterthought come March 25th but it sure would be nice to see FC Cincinnati’s record against MLS clubs push to 2-0-0 after defeating NYCFC during the club’s 2016 trip to IMG.

MIA – Keep an eye out for 2016 team MVP Corben Bone, and second year professional Derek Luke. With steady minutes last season, were the two unfit for Sunday’s match? Perhaps Koch was saving their fitness for the midweek matchup with Chicago?

Photo courtesy Chris Cowger – Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Viewing Parties

The supporters groups will be taking up residence at their favorite away match viewing locations. See the list below for more information.

Die Innenstadt: Rhinehaus OTR – 19 E 12th St, Cincinnati 45202
The Pride: Ladder 19 – 2701 Vine St, Cincinnati 45219

Viewing


LIVESTREAM:
 The match will be broadcast LIVE on the IMG Academy’s TV site: live.imgacademytv.com. You can purchase a 24 hour pass for $5.99 or a monthly pass for $14.99. As a note of caution, we did experience some technical glitches with the stream so be patient with the stream. They do allow access of replays within 24 hours.
*Sunday’s games were streamed FREE. Fee subject to change.

@GriBry for @CincySoccerTalk

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