Both FC Cincinnati and Orlando City B will come into Saturday’s contest on short rest. Orlando City B drew Harrisburg 0-0 at home Wednesday while FC Cincinnati continued their winning ways in the 2017 US Open Cup with a win down in Miami. Orlando enters the match on a 6 match unbeaten streak with 5 of their matches ending in a draw. These two squads have battled twice before this season with OCB taking the first match 2-0 and both clubs drawing 1-1 down in Florida. FC Cincinnati has already announced a presale of over 20,000 tickets, so a raucous crowd will look to help the Orange & Blue onto victory Saturday night. Check out our 5 Things to Know going into the match!
Where: Cincinnati, OH – Nippert Stadium
When: Saturday, August 5th at 7:00 p.m. EST
Form: FC Cincinnati – 6th Place- USL (8W-7L-6D, 30 pts.), Orlando City B – 11th Place- USL (5W-6L-9D, 24 pts.)
YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE THIS WEEK – Ref Assignments:
REF: BARDHYL PASHAJ, AR1: Jeffrey Swartzel, AR2: Matthew Fotia, 4TH: Kevin Fikar
US Open Cup Victory Reaction Show
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5 Things to Know
No Djiby, No Problem: It was confirmed on Wednesday that star Striker Djiby Fall will be suspended for Saturday’s match vs. Orlando City B. The Senegalese international picked up 2 debatable yellows in last week’s contest and must serve his league mandated one-match suspension. This would have seemed a larger task to overcome merely weeks ago, but the arrival of Forward Kyle Greig coupled with the improvement in form of key attacking players such as Danni König, Jimmy McLaughlin and Andrew Wiedeman should be enough to contend for 3 points vs. the capable MLS 2 side.
Final 4: Saturday’s match marks the first of 4 home USL matches remaining in the 2017 USL Regular Season. Dropped points vs. Rochester last week increases the importance of earning 3 points in each of the final 4 home contests. FC Cincinnati will need to get as close to 50 points on the table to have a realistic chance of hosting a first round playoff match. If FCC can win out at home, that would put them on 42 points with Koch’s side needing to pick up 3 road wins to have a shot at getting any sort of advantage at Nippert Stadium in the playoffs.
In Koch We Tru$t: On Thursday morning, FC Cincinnati announced that Head Coach Alan Koch and Assistant Yoann Damet were signed to multi-year contract extensions. This should put rest any doubt that the South African would be leaving the Queen City in the offseason. In my opinion, Coach Koch has done an amazing job tactically on the field and has made key player additions to ensure a successful season. Koch worked to identify Djiby Fall, Danni König, Josu, Kevin Schindler and Justin Hoyte, all of whom have contributed to key moments in 2017. Our gaffer has also ingratiated himself into the community and has been a wonderful representative of the Orange & Blue. Congrats to our 2 leading men!
Rest & Player Rotation: These are terms that FC Cincinnati fans have become more familiar with in 2017. Both FC Cincinnati and Orlando City B will likely feature different squads than fans saw in their midweek matches. OCB did run out a fairly strong squad in their 0-0 draw Wednesday night vs. Harrisburg with key players Pierre Da Silva, Albert Dikwa, Zach Carroll all going 90’. Starting CB Seb Hines did not feature and Tony Rocha, Conor Donovan, and Hadji Berry saw limited action. All three have been key contributors in 2017. FC Cincinnati saw the majority of a choice squad log considerable minutes with key contributors Matt Bahner and Andrew Wiedeman coming off the bench. One key omission from Wednesday was the absence of left back Josu. FC Cincinnati could fare quite well if he is able to go on Saturday. Several other key squad members were rested such as Kadeem Dacres, Jimmy McLaughlin, Kyle Greig (ineligible), and Paul Nicholson.
Third Times the Charm: FC Cincinnati has been no stranger to ref controversy in matches this season. Outside of last weeks sham, the Orange & Blue felt hard done by in the first matchup vs. OCB at Nippert, losing 2-0. They rebounded in their second match vs. the Little Lions notching a point in the 1-1 draw. As the saying goes, “the third times the charm”. Hopefully, this will ring true for FC Cincinnati. I would assume that Orlando will bring a fairly strong squad up on Saturday so this will not be a pushover. Show up to Nippert Saturday and cheer on the boys!
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. 6:00 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. The match will be live on Star64 (WSTR). It 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.
RADIO: Simulcast of the TV stream on ESPN 1530AM