Something big could be on the horizon for soccer in Cincinnati in the very near future. According to sources affiliated with US Soccer, the US Women’s National will be playing a friendly at Nippert Stadium in the near future.
FC Cincinnati sent out a media release Thursday morning that the club on Friday morning will “make two major announcements surrounding women’s soccer and the youth development academy at 11:30 a.m. The press conference will be streamed on Facebook Live.”
Representatives at the press conference will include, FCC President and General Manager Jeff Berding, US Women’s National Team member and Boston Breaker star Rose Lavelle, Cincinnati United Technical Director Bobby Puppione and Cincinnati Development Academy coaches; David Robertson, Kim Scheper, Fred Oduyoye, Scott Rodgers, Kurt Fischer, Simon Wigley.
The inclusion of current US Women’s National Team & former CST podcast guest Rose Lavelle seems to point that these sources could be correct.
While all the details have not been confirmed by Cincinnati Soccer Talk, it was stated from one of our sources that US Soccer traditionally announces friendlies at least 1-2 months in advance. The US Women’s National team is scheduled to play in the 2017 Tournament of Nations from July 27th – August 3rd. Their only other announced games are vs. the Canadian Women’s National Team on November 9th (Vancouver) and on Sunday, November 12th (TBD). This announcement could be for an additional friendly in September or October, but Nov. could make sense. The later date does not have a location listed and could match up perfectly for Cincinnati as the UC Bearcat football team plays that Friday night at home. The Bengals are also away on November 12th.
The atmosphere shown by FC Cincinnati supporters could be a big reason why US Soccer could choose to put a friendly in Cincinnati. Over 30,000 fans packed Nippert for US Open Cup matches vs. Chicago and Columbus and it seems the Federation has taken notice. One of the questions surrounding the match could be whether FC Cincinnati decides to lay a temporary grass pitch over the turf at Nippert or if the USWNT will use the same surface as FC Cincinnati. I would have to think that due to the Friday date for UC, temporary grass will not be an option.
Over the winter and early spring, FC Cincinnati did enlarge the playing surface of Nippert to fit FIFA standards. It seems that the private investment by Carl Lindner III and the ownership group might have paid off in a big way.
US Soccer is no stranger to Cincinnati. Paul Brown Stadium did host a USWNT match on October 10, 2004. Almost 19,000 fans made it out to that match. I would also assume that number will be easily surpassed if current FCC crowds are any indication. You can read a recap of that day here.
It is also understood from CST that the other announcement may be in regards to US Soccer Girls Development Academy membership affiliation of the Cincinnati Development Academy.
We will continue to update you after Friday’s official announcement.
Additional US Soccer News – Gold Cup:
Information for US Men’s Soccer Match in Cleveland
Friday, July 14 – American Outlaws Night Before Party:
- 7pm to Midnight
- Pub Crawl throughout Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood
- 3 bars: The Old Angle (main pub, very well-known soccer pub), Nano Brew and ABC The Tavern
- Beer and Food Specials at each location
- Beer specials will be a Cleveland Pilsner Beer Tour, featuring 1-2 local pilsners at each location
- Each attendee will receive a wearable lanyard with info on the evening and media partners
Saturday, July 15 – American Outlaws Pre-Match Tailgate:
- 2pm to 6pm
- Location Downtown – will know more next week, however will be downtown in close proximity to First Energy Stadium
- Standard AO style tailgate, food, beer