The cameras and personalities of ESPN will grace Nippert Stadium next Wednesday night as FC Cincinnati and Chicago Fire meet in the Round of 16 in the 2017 US Open Cup. ESPN soccer broadcaster Taylor Twellman tweeted Thursday that the game could grace the national airways next week and a release from FC Cincinnati Friday morning confirmed his message.
Wednesday’s match will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2 and will also be available to stream on the WatchESPN app. To accommodate the national broadcast, the match start time has been pushed back to 8 p.m. EST.
What may come as an even bigger surprise is that the lead soccer broadcast team of Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman will make the trip to the Queen City and call the live action for the match with Julie Stewart-Binks slated to be on the sideline. Taylor Twellman hosted the MLS Town Hall this past November. Robert Sierra and Barak Fever will handle Spanish-language commentary on ESPN Deportes. This is a huge statement from ESPN about the significance of the match to show on both channels.
In years past, the US Open Cup semifinals and finals have been shown on the ESPN family of networks. This marks the earliest round of the competition to be shown nationwide, with much credit going to the supporters of FC Cincinnati who packed Nippert with over 30,000 fans for the 4th round match vs. Columbus Crew SC.
In the FC Cincinnati press release, FC Cincinnati GM Jeff Berding shared how much this meant to the team and to the city. “We are thrilled and it is a testament to our fans and this city that our match against Chicago Fire SC has been selected to be an ESPN broadcast. It certainly was an electric atmosphere against Columbus Crew and we have no doubt that our fans will represent the Queen City again by creating another phenomenal atmosphere at Nippert Stadium. We look forward to showing off our great city as the hottest new soccer market to the rest of country next Wednesday.”
What remains to be seen is if the Chicago Fire will run out their new designated player, Bastian Schweinsteiger. With Fire players Matt Polster and Dax McCarty possibly headed to the Gold Cup for the USMNT, Fire coach Veljko Paunović may have to run out the World Cup champion midfielder.
According to the release over 18,000 tickets have been purchased to date with FC Cincinnati looking to set another great attendance mark in the countries oldest soccer competition. The winner of the FC Cincinnati-Chicago Fire match will travel to face the winner of the match between Miami FC (NASL and Atlanta United (MLS).
FC Cincinnati will need their supporters to come out in force to pack Nippert and showcase our city to the national soccer community. FC Cincinnati continues to thrive on the MLS Expansion Center Stage and this event can go a long way in showing we are the premier expansion city for the top division league.
Cincinnati Soccer Talk partners with FC Cincinnati Supporters Groups with Live Show Tuesday Night!
Cincinnati Soccer Talk in partnership with the Pride Supporters Group will host a live in-person show Tuesday night. The show will begin at 8 p.m. at the American Sign Museum which is hosting a Supporters Tifo Night. Special thanks to Kevin Wallace and Chris White of the Pride who have helped CST bring this special event to the American Sign Museum. Look out for more details!
ICYMI: Check out our 5 Things to Know before Saturday’s match.