Saturday will be FC Cincinnati’s first local showing of the 2017 preseason. The match held at Gettler Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati will feature two squads that call Corry Blvd home. Although they have been neighbors for well over a year, the University of Cincinnati and Futbol Club Cincinnati will face off for the first time officially. Here are 5 things to know before the players take the pitch.
5 Things to Know
Familiar Faces- FC Cincinnati will face the Bearcats for the first time. For two in orange and blue, this friendly will spur many memories of their collegiate career. FCC’s Matt Bahner and Omar Cummings both took the field for head coach Hylton Dayes and the University of Cincinnati. Both players received Big East All-Conference honors while at UC, with Cummings ranking in the top 5 in all-time scoring after his two seasons on the Clifton campus.
Man down- We saw Austin Berry’s time cut short in Sacramento due to an apparent arm injury. It is not likely that we will see him take the pitch on Saturday against the Bearcats. Look for Paul Nicholson, trialist Mélé Temguia, or Matt Bahner to fill the void on the back line. FC Cincinnati has allowed two or more goals in three preseason matches so far and this will be an area Coach Koch will look to solidify before the season opener.
Formation change- With the loss of a key defender, look for Koch to experiment with different formations. The Orange and Blue have been lining up in a 4-1-4-1 this preseason, but it would not be surprising to see a 4-4-2 against the collegiate competitors. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 4-2-3-1 to allow for more defensive cover for the FC Cincinnati back line.
Next man up- It is very likely that we will see Koch distribute a lot of playing time to the rotational players over their next two preseason friendlies against NCAA opponents. This match is one of the last few opportunities for Coach to evaluate his bench talent. Expect Koch to experiment and analyze his defensive rotation to prepare for a possible stint without captain Austin Berry.
Home Sweet Home- While attending the match at Gettler Stadium, take a stroll across the street and peek at the renovation progress of Nippert Stadium. Widening the pitch at Nippert could allow for an advantage to FCC’s possession style of play. With the narrow width of 2016, teams could press the back four easier and the added space could be an advantage when trying to play out of the back. The change will also make the pitch FIFA regulation width, allowing Nippert the possibility of hosting national team matches and international friendlies.
The supporters groups will be taking up residence at their favorite pre-match locations before kickoff. See the list below for more information.
Die Innenstadt: Mecklenburg Gardens – 302 E University Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Pride: Ladder 19 – 2701 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
TV: NO STREAM WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR SATURDAY’S MATCH
Tickets to the match are $5 and are available online HERE. You can also purchase your tickets beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Gettler Stadium Ticket Booth.