Matchday #6 – FC Cincinnati vs. Louisville City FC
This game was billed as a “blackout” by the FC Cincinnati front office to generate excitement and continue to build their fan base. The schedule didn’t help with 3 games in a week for fans to choose from and tired legs for game three. The weather didn’t help with rain threatening all week long. The club would have liked to have seen this game in the summer with a well-rested team where they could have pushed for another attendance record I’m sure. Despite the schedule and weather, the club hit its target of 20k tickets per game.
The game started slow with the Orange and Blue getting a lot of possession and a few looks at goal. 20 minutes in, LouCity came down the right side and Ownby managed to shake Quinn leaving him open in front of goal. He curled a shot into the left side of the goal and banked it off the upright and into the net. The stunner tipped the balance of play, bringing the visitors back into the game, and raising the tension on the pitch. A couple of yellows are handed out within 10 minutes of the goal. At the half, FCC was holding a bit more of the possession but both sides were getting chances.
The second half continued to see amplified physicality. The Orange and Blue, wanting to get control of the game and create chances, but LouCity dominating the play and getting the most possession and shots doubling their effort from the first half. Scrappy play led to 3 more yellow card cautions. FCC refused to quit. Coach Koch’s side battled hard and eventually got an opportunity in front of goal from a poor clearance in the 79th minute. Aodhan Quinn saw his chance and leveled the game.
With the game level, Cincinnati pressed for the go-ahead goal. Djiby Fall had been a handful for the defense all game long and had already earned the attention of the center ref. In the 87th minute, he made a harsh tackle and was shown red and ejected. FCC’s drive was deflated as they held on to tie the game.
Neither side walked away happy with the result, but both will be happy to walk away with at least a point in all 3 matches of the 8 day homestand.
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (4-3-3): Hildebrandt (GK); (R-L) Bahner, Berry, Delbridge, Polak (60′); K. Walker, Bone, Quinn; Mansaray (60′), Fall (87′ Red Card), McLaughlin (75′)
Subs: Jaye (GK), Craven (20′), Cummings, Fordyce (35′), McMahon, Nicholson, Wiedeman (35′)
Louisville City FC Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Dobrowolski (GK); (R-L) Smith, Totsch, Craig, Morad; Abend, Delpiccolo; Ownby (66′), McCabe, Davis IV (85′); Lancaster (64′)
Subs: Bledsoe(GK), Ballard (10′), Kaye (29′), Ilic, Jimenez, Spencer (31′), Williams
- 20′ – Louisville City FC – Brian Ownby
— Louisville City FC (@loucityfc) April 22, 2017
- 79′ – FC Cincinnati – Aodhan Quinn
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) April 23, 2017
Rate the performance of your favorite FC Cincinnati player. On Tuesday all ratings will be tabulated and official grades will be given.
Brutal Schedule – The USL couldn’t have been more brutal to FC Cincinnati this week than the schedule they created. Three of the top 4 teams in the east, all in a span of 8 days. Coach Koch described the team’s three-game stretch saying “last Saturday they showed they could play great, great football.” Wednesday they showed “character,” and tonight they showed they were “warriors”. With the team depth, Koch was able to rest some players for the midweek game. Despite this, several players on the pitch last night were obviously struggling, and the team struggled to get a good passing and possession rhythm.
Despite not getting the win at home, there are positives to look at from the results of this home stand. Last season, FC Cincinnati struggled when playing top teams. They did well enough against the bottom of the table to get a third place finish, but moving into the playoffs, they continued to struggle against the best teams, and we saw a quick exit. This week they played 3 top teams and didn’t lose a game. In fact, they played spoiler to all 3 teams. If any of the 3 teams had managed to defeat Cincinnati, they would have climbed to the top of the table.
Djiby Sees Red – The match was described by both sides as “chippy”. We saw over 30 fouls, 5 yellow cards and a straight red for Djiby Fall for a two footed studs up challenge.
According to the USL, red cards carry a minimum of a one game suspension. At the league’s discretion, that can be extended. Most concerning about Djiby’s red are accusations from LouCity Coach O’Conner that Djiby bit his player after the tackle. If this is verified, it will certainly mean that the FCC target striker will miss more than one game. Currently, FCC has come out in support of Djiby saying that the accusations are very serious and that there is no evidence to support the claim.
This makes the 3rd game this season that FC Cincinnati sees a straight red. It’s especially noteworthy when compared to last season when we never saw a single straight red at all. Last season, the squad played a technical, possession-based game. Teams would play us very physical to disrupt our game. This year, we’ve added some height and physicality to our lineup and are showing teams that we can match them physically, but we’re having a problem finding the line between physical and reckless.
Long Distance Strikes – As the team is learning to defend and work together, we are seeing teams struggle to break down the back line, but they are having success striking from distance. In the last two games, we’ve seen long distance strikes out of the midfield. Last Wednesday, a 40-yard burner into the right edge of the goal. Last night, from 25 yards out, off the left post and into the net. Both games we lined up in a 4-3-3 formation which is an attacking oriented formation. We seem to be struggling with the holding mid position when transitioning from attacking to defending, closing down space in the midfield to prevent players from getting a good look at goal.
Saturday 4/29 vs. Bethlehem Steel FC – 5 p.m. EST – Goodman Stadium, Bethlehem, PA.
The Orange and Blue return to Bethlehem for what is certainly going to be a revenge match. After losing Justin Hoyte to injury after 10 minutes and Paul Nicholson from a red card after 20 minutes, the boys will want to prove that their last performance isn’t reflective of what they are capable of.