In the second match of their two game road trip, FC Cincinnati swings by Al Lang Stadium to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Here are 5 Things to Know going into Thursday night’s match as well as the new March to Matchday Podcast.
Where: St. Petersburg, FL – Al Lang Stadium
When: Thursday, July 6th at 8:00 p.m. EST
Form: FC Cincinnati – 7th Place (5W-5L-6D, 21 pts.), Tampa Bay Rowdies – 4th Place ( 6W-5L-6D, 24 pts.)
March to Matchday: Tampa Bay Rowdies – Podcast
Join host Bryan Weigel @bryanweigel for the newest addition to Cincinnati Soccer Talk lineup. Bryan recaps Saturday’s draw in Orlando and the upcoming match against Tampa.
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
Rematch: Thursday will be the second time these teams have faced off in 2017. The first competition came April 19th at Nippert as FC Cincinnati drew Tampa 1-1. Marcel Schafer fired off a rocket for a goal in the 7th minute but Harrison Delbridge was able to equalize in the 35th. The Orange & Blue are still looking for their first win against Tampa in their second appearance at Al Lang after Tampa knocked FCC out of the 2016 Open Cup with a 1-0 win.
Road Woes: This past Saturday night, the Orange & Blue faithful traveled down to Orlando and helped support the club as they notched a point on the road. The club will need their support once again Thursday if they look to improve upon their away form. With 5 pts. in 7 away matches (1-4-2), Coach Koch will have to find the right recipe if this team will be able to push for a playoff spot. Look for more squad rotation as the team contends with their 2nd of 3-midweek games in a row.
Floundering on the Bay: After starting the season with 6 wins in their first 10 matches, Tampa has gone winless in their last 7 (0-3-4). Their drop in form also comes as they’ve experienced a drop in goals scored. With 16 goals in their first 10 matches, Tampa’s offense has started to sputter with 5 goals since. A little home cooking could be in order for them as they look to get back on track after 3 consecutive road matches.
Short Bench: Tampa Bay will be missing several key players due to suspension or international call-ups. Center Back Damion Lowe is on Gold Cup duty with Jamaica as they prepare to face Curaçao on Sunday. They will also be without defender Luke Boden who has 12 starts to his name. Boden picked up his 5th yellow card and will have his 1-match suspension imposed Thursday night. The club also lost Forward Deshorn Brown in late June when he was acquired by DC United.
Return of the VAR: This week marks the return of Video Assistant Referee (VAR). FC Cincinnati fans still have some sore feelings about VAR after bad experiences last season at NYRB2 and this preseason at the IMG Academy. For those of you unfamiliar, VAR can alert the head referee on the field to clear and obvious errors in four reviewable, game-changing scenarios – goals, penalty kicks, straight red cards and cases of mistaken identity. Recently VAR came under scrutiny at this summer’s FIFA Confederations Cup (Read more here). It looks like it won’t be going away anytime soon as MLS will debut the use of VAR league-wide after the all-star break.
Stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk for our Growler Cup Staff Predictions and more news and information leading up to the Tampa Bay match!
The supporters groups will be taking up residence at their favorite away match viewing locations. See the list below for more information.
Die Innenstadt: Rhinehaus OTR – 19 E 12th St, Cincinnati 45202
The Pride: Ladder 19 – 2701 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Queen City Firm: J Taps Sports Bar & Grill – 6441 Glenway Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45211
The Bailey Bastards: Bucketheads – 6507 Harrison Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45247
TV: This contest is set for a 8:00 p.m. EST kickoff on Thursday night. The match will be broadcast as USL’s National Game of the Week on ESPNU. It will not be broadcast on a local television network but can be seen at FC Cincinnati’s pub partners or by streaming internet on the WatchESPN App.