The Staff of Cincinnati Soccer Talk is bringing back our End of Season Awards for the 2017 FC Cincinnati season. On Monday we released our 2017 Fan-Vote Player of the Year Harrison Delbridge who made a guest appearance on Tuesday night’s show. Today we will release our 2017 Goal of the Year followed by the 2017 Moment of the Year on Thursday and 2017 Staff-Voted Player of the Year on Friday. Stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk as we look back on our favorite points of the 2017 FC Cincinnati season.
Check out our nominees for the 2017 FC Cincinnati Goal of the Year:
1.) Djiby Fall vs. Columbus Crew SC (US Open Cup)
Brad – I think most fans would admit that they didn’t think there was a realistic chance that the Orange & Blue could defeat our neighbor to the north. As the game progressed, Nippert kept getting louder and louder as hope and confidence built. When Djiby’s header hung in the air you could feel every emotion run through your body culminating in the eruption from the crowd as it crossed into the back of the net. Sitting in the Bailey made it even more special as all my friends were there to enjoy the moment and will be one that I will never forget.
Bill – There are moments in a club’s history that stand out and for me, one of those moments was Djiby’s goal against the Columbus Crew. The goal itself wasn’t particularly beautiful but it was notable because Djiby wasn’t willing to give up on it and had to try a second time to get it on target. What makes it the goal of the year for me was its significance. It was the first time FCC had played an MLS team. The city had turned out and was showing the MLS what Cincinnati would look like if we received a franchise. Supporters from both sides had been talking smack since Cincinnati arrived on the scene a year earlier but the dialog had amped up in the weeks prior to the game. Columbus turned out in force and the optics of the Hell is Real derby were visible for all to see.The city had done its part. We had shown the MLS board what we would bring to the table and had proven there was a real rivalry between the cities that would generate excitement. But there was one piece missing….. the Crew supporters were patting FCC supporters on the head and saying “calm down little boys.” When Djiby’s ball tucked into the upper corner past their keeper, the roar was deafening but the silence from Columbus was louder. Cincinnati was sitting at the big boy table now….
2.) Harrison Delbridge vs. New York Red Bulls II (USL)
Rob – It’s tempting to pick Djiby’s header against the Crew as the Goal of the Year because of its significance in lifting FCC to victory in its first match against an MLS side — and in the first Hell is Real Derby, no less. But for me, Harrison Delbridge’s screamer in the 67th minute of the home finale against New York was brilliant. Delbridge is known for his tackles and clearances on defense. And because of his height, he’s always a threat on corner kicks. So to see him take the pass from Kenney Walker, take three touches and let fly in the upper right corner where Red Bulls II keeper Rafael Diaz had no chance was a thing of beauty.
Ben – I mean, wow! This goal was just a beautiful effort by a CB! The way he beat a defender 30 yards out, made space and blasted it with his left with a strikers confidence, was just perfect. Also, being in front of the home crowd, in front of the Bailey made it that much more magical.
Seubs – What an absolute screamer in the top corner, even the best goalkeepers in the world aren’t getting to that shot.
Yosief – Harrison Delbridge had taken some shots from distance this year, but he finally connected to the upper 90 to lock up an important match. It was a magnificent strike to see from anyone let alone our center back.
Ken – At the moment it was a must-win game, last home game, and New York had created some dangerous chances to tie the game. Delbridge’s goal was not only a beauty because of the distance, but also from the aspect he was defender pushed forward and it took the wind out of New York’s sails.
Close second: Djiby Goal against Columbus Crew
3.) Djiby Fall vs. AFC Cleveland (US Open Cup)
FC Cincinnati found themselves drawn against the 2016 NPSL National Champions AFC Cleveland in the Second Round of the 2017 US Open Cup. The pesky Royals side stuck around through the first 90 minutes, withstanding an onslaught of FC Cincinnati attackers. Finally, Djiby Fall (suspended from USL action at the time) sent in the decisive goal near the end of the 2nd extra time period to send the hosts into the Third Round of the US Open Cup.
Griffin – The goal of the year has to go to Djiby against AFC Cleveland in the USOC. The goal came in the 117th minute, and would eventually lead to some unbelievable memories in the 2017 US Open Cup. That goal set the stage for the future goals and moments of the competition.
4.) Djiby Fall vs. Louisville City FC (US Open Cup)
Djiby Fall would poke home a 48th-minute goal to send FC Cincinnati through to the Fourth Round of the US Open Cup vs. Columbus Crew SC. Djiby, still on suspension for allegedly biting LCFC midfielder Niall McCabe, got revenge against FC Cincinnati’s heated rivals. His goal and subsequent celebration will go down as one of the highlights of the 2017 season.
Bryan – Djiby Fall validated the fans in the Bailey who showed up with fake vampire teeth in support of the striker. This match was one of the first times FC Cincinnati had truly dominated the strong Louisville club. Fittingly the suspended Forward got the goal he had fought so hard for in the first half and the hosts were able to see out the win. I really loved Djiby’s “tiger-bite” celebration after the goal. While not his most “pretty” of goals in 2017, the toe poke came with a sweet prize: hosting the Columbus Crew, at Nippert Stadium. You could really tell how much the goal meant to Djiby by the relief he showed. If he can bring that same mentality in the playoffs we could go far.
5.) Jimmy McLaughlin vs. Harrisburg City (USL)
Boston – I define Goal of the Year a bit differently than most would. To me, this award shouldn’t necessarily go the pretty shot or fancy footwork. It should be a goal that jump-started the team or meant more to the fans than just a point on a scoreboard. The Open Cup goals come to mind but my co-hosts will most likely speak to the special moments those goals brought. I want to speak of the goal that I feel finally freed Jimmy McLaughlin. Jimmy has been an amazing player in 2017. He plays with passion when the team is down and he loves the FC Cincinnati fans and they love him. That love may be why he never gives up. Jimmy came out of the gate playing well this year. Which is why it was surprising that he could not find the net. He created chances for himself out of nothing and then denied over and over by miraculous saves. The monkey grew and grew on McLaughlin’s back and the fans wanted more than ever to finally celebrate with him. I was in the Bailey on July 22nd when that goal finally came. Only 2,000 fans were left in the stadium after multiple rain delays. Yosief and I celebrated like we had just won the US Open Cup. That goal broke the streak of bad luck and Jimmy has since added four and created much more for others.
Winner: Harrison Delbridge Goal vs. New York Red Bulls II