Matchday #15 FC Cincinnati vs. Saint Louis FC
Nippert Stadium – Attendance: 20,125
In a match in which both teams badly needed a result, the hometown Orange and Blue put in a dominating performance to get a 2-0 win. 20,125 fans watched Coach Koch run out a flexible 3-4-3/3-5-2 formation that allowed FCC to absorb pressure and spring some great offensive chances.
FC Cincinnati jumped out early in the match as Andrew Wiedeman was played in on goal from a great ball from Corben Bone. Wiedeman unleashed a shot that was slightly deflected by the STLFC keeper Grinwis and was sent into the back of the net as an own goal by defender A.J. Cochran.
The Orange and Blue continued to generate chances in the first half creating 9 shots, 6 of which were on frame. Jimmy McLaughlin nearly had a chance in the 44′ as the “Penn Messi” found some room on the left and rang a shot that clanged off the far right post.
FCC didn’t let up as Djiby and Kenney Walker had decent chances on goal early in the 2nd half. Substitute Danni König made an immediate impact scoring on a cross from Jimmy McLaughlin in the 66′. The newcomer would get on the end of a far post effort from McLaughlin that would see the new forward get mobbed by all his teammates 2 minutes after he entered the match.
The flexibility of the new formation allowed FC Cincinnati to retreat deeper into their defensive third to see out a Widmer’s Cleaners Clean Sheet. Veteran midfielder Kenney Walker celebrated the performance of the evening. “This is the best this team has played since I’ve been there. The system the staff has put into place fits best with the players that we have on the team and they’re setting us up for our best performance. We’re playing very well, but there’s always little things we can improve on.”
FC Cincinnati will receive little rest as they face MLS foe Chicago Fire midweek. The Fire is in 2nd place in the entire MLS table on points and are coming off a 4-0 thrashing of Orlando City on Saturday evening. Midfielder David Accam scored a hat trick with MLS scoring leader Nemanja Nikolic scoring his 14th of the season.
3 Things to Know
Even More Formation Shifting: After a difficult start to the 2017 season, Coach Alan Koch has tweaked the squad’s formation with success. Saturday night Koch moved Wiedeman and McLauglin forward on the pitch to sometimes just underneath or equal to Djiby. The combination of the 3 forwards generated many chances early and caused STLFC coach Preki to make 2 halftime subs. Corben Bone, Kenney Walker and the 3 CB’s would not allow Saint Louis to get deep into their defensive shape and kept them harmless for most of the night. It will be interesting to see if they maintain this shape going into Wednesday or run out a 3-5-2 similar to Columbus.
Is FC Cincinnati Beginning an Upward Trend: FC Cincinnati is 6-1-2 over their past 9 matches across all competitions. The squad seems to be rounding into good shape going into a tough US Open Cup match and a 2-match Florida road swing. They will need to get some points while on the road but are looking more formidable in their current arrangement. The Orange & Blue have also put together back-to-back matches with 2 goals scored. They will need to keep that pace up to have a shot over these next 3 matches.
2016 Players Beginning to Shine: Several of the 2017 signings took a lot of the excitement early into the season, but some of the holdovers from 2016 are really contributing to the team’s success. Corben Bone, Kenney Walker, Jimmy McLaughlin, Andrew Wiedeman and Tyler Polak have really factored into the recent jump in form. The back three of Delbridge, Berry and Nicholson has been strong and has kept 2 clean sheets in the past 3 games. Look for these guys to play on the road as experience could count going forward.
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (3-4-3): Hildebrandt (GK), Nicholson, Berry, Delbridge; Bahner (78′), Polak; Walker, Bone; McLaughlin (89′), Djiby (64′), Wiedeman
Subs: Jaye (GK), König (64’+), Dacres (89’+) Halfhill, Hoyte (78’+), Josu, Quinn
Saint Louis FC Starting XI (3-5-2): Ron Weasley (GK), Charpie, Cochran, Cabalceta; Guzman (45′), Bjurman, Alihodzic (45′), Dalgaard (74′), Stojkov; Volesky, Angulo
Subs: Gorrick (GK), Ledbetter, Plewa, Howe, Sheldon (45’+), David (45’+), Ahmetovic (74’+)
4′: FC Cincinnati – OG, Cochran – Initially credited to Andrew Wiedeman
64′: FC Cincinnati – Danni König (Jimmy McLaughlin)
Wednesday 6/28 – vs. Chicago Fire (MLS) – 8 p.m. EST – Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH.