The USL Eastern Conference leaders, the Charleston Battery come to town on the heels of FC Cincinnati’s “Cupset” of Crew SC Wednesday night. This is a rematch of the season opener where Charleston won 2-1. Here are 5 Things to Know going into Saturday night’s match as well as the new March to Matchday Podcast.
Where: Cincinnati, OH – Nippert Stadium
When: Saturday, June 17th at 7:00 p.m. EST
Form: FC Cincinnati – 8th Place (4W-5L-4D, 16 pts.) , Charleston Battery – 1st Place ( 8W-2L-3D, 27 pts.)
March to Matchday: Charleston Battery – Podcast
Join host Bryan Weigel for the newest show in the CST lineup. March to Matchday will provide an in-depth preview of the upcoming opponent as well as how FC Cincinnati can best defeat them. This show will hopefully fit in your drive time to work, to the pub on game day or lead you right up to game time. We hope you enjoy March to Matchday!
Don’t forget you can now download and subscribe to Cincinnati Soccer Talk on iTunes today! The podcast can also be found on Stitcher Smart Radio now. We’re also available in the Google Play Store.
5 Things to Know
Short Rest/Tired Legs: Both squads had competitive US Open Cup matches Wednesday night so fitness will come into play with temperatures expected to rise into the 90’s on Saturday. With the move to the 3-5-2 vs. Crew SC, Coach Koch was able to find some rest for several starters including Jimmy McLaughlin, Corben Bone, and Kadeem Daces. The squad that defeated the Black & Gold still had many key players going the full 90 in the win so it will be interesting to see who is in Saturday’s XI. I expect Koch to run out Pat McMahon at RB after Matt Bahner looked to have picked up a slight knock. Also look for Marco Dominguez to provide fresh legs in the center of the pitch. Charleston ran out a largely first rate squad in their 3-2 loss late vs Atlanta. Missing in that squad was their star striker Romario Williams who was on International duty with Jamaica. He came on in the 56th minute as the “Reggae Boys” fell 3-1 in Peru. Saturday’s match will be both teams 3rd game in 8 days so we’ll see how the coaches manage their squads to avoid the “red zone” for player fitness.
The Battery Have a Strong Arsenal: The Battery are leading the conference in goals scored (26) with 5 players scoring 3 or more goals. They are led by Romario Williams who is 2nd in the league with 10 goals. Those are great numbers considering they aren’t your typical offense that holds possession. The Battery are packed with firepower that likes to get vertical down the pitch on the counter to catch defenses too far up the field. It will be critical for FC Cincinnati’s midfield to keep their shape in the center of the pitch and not get too far out of position.
Return of the 3-5-2?: Coach Koch’s move to the 3-5-2 Wednesday was a stroke of genius in what has been a frustrating year tactically. The club has been working to find their best formation and most would like to see it rolled out again. At this point, however, I don’t think we have the depth up top to go with 2 forwards with the short turnaround. Look for the club to roll out the 4-3-3/4-1-4-1 and get Danni Konig some rest on the bench. Put Dacres & McLaughlin back out on the wings and see if Djiby can create some more magic in the box. I don’t like that FCC’s has scored 2 or more goals twice in 16 games but this formation and player rotation will be needed to deal with the grueling number of matches the club has faced over the last month and a half.
Living on the Edge: FC Cincinnati currently sits in 8th place in the East with more games played than most of their competitors. Saint Louis sits in 11th just 1 point back with 2 games in hand. 12th place Charlotte, who drew FCC last weekend, sits 3 points with 3 games in hand. The 3 clubs that sit ahead of the Orange & Blue in the standings have a mix between 1-3 additional matches to be played. We are already 40% way through this season so there is still some time left but Cincinnati can not continue to drop points at home, especially with 7 of their final 10 matches away from Nippert.
Basti Coming to Nippert?: FC Cincinnati drew another home match in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup and will face World Cup champion Bastian Schweinsteiger and the Chicago Fire. The match will constitute FCC’s 5th match in 19 days. Coach Koch will have his work ahead of him to continue to rotate the squad and keep them fresh. Fire Coach Veljko Paunović will face some challenges too as he could be missing USMNT’s midfielders, Dax McCarty and Matt Polster. Designated Player David Accam could be missing as well with Ghana’s friendly against the USMNT on July 1st. Check out CST’s early preview here.
Stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk for more news and information leading up to the Battery match!
Supporter Groups Pregame Match Parties
We encourage all fans to get down to Clifton early and enjoy themselves at the areas many restaurants and pubs. Many Supporter Groups hang out in the “Short Vine” area where you can join in the march to Nippert Stadium. Some of these locations can be rowdier than others, but families and opposing fans are encouraged to come out and join the various groups. The Supporters March Should begin at approx. 6 p.m.
Die Innenstadt: Mecklenburg Gardens – 302 E University Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Pride: Ladder 19 – 2701 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Queen City Firm: Mio’s Pizzeria Pub – 2634 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Queen City Mafia: Short Vine Bearcat Statue Lot – 2700 Block of Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Legion: Taste of Belgium Clifton – 2845 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Bailey Bastards: Hang Over Easy – 3 W Charlton St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
For more information and how to join the supporters march, check out our matchday guide!
TV: This contest is set for a 7 p.m. EST kickoff on Saturday night. Broadcasting partner Sinclair Broadcasting Group will now air all FC Cincinnati home & away matches. Saturday’s match will be live on Star64 (WSTR). The match will also be broadcast at FC Cincinnati’s pub partners or by Streaming internet on USL’s Youtube station. Tom Gelehrter will return as the play-by-play announcer for the team’s home matches along with Kevin McCloskey providing color analysis and Lindsay Patterson reporting from the sideline.