A Respectful Derby: FC Cincinnati at Indy XI

We don’t know what to call it yet, but we know Saturday’s “Derby To Be Named Later” should be an exciting affair. Both clubs come into the season with high expectations, but this game seems more about the fans.

The usual hatred shown from our traditional rivals (Elysie FC) is missing. In its place is an unlikely trait, hospitality. Indy Eleven went out of their way early on to work with the FC Cincinnati ticket office in providing an easy avenue for FC Cincinnati fans to attend the match. The response has been enormous on both sides with Cincinnati fans purchasing over 1,100 seats in the visitor’s section and a reported 13,000+ tickets already pre-sold by Indy. Their fans have also taken a positive outlook on the derby encouraging more Cincinnati fans to come.

Unlike Streamer Gate, the Circle City based club has communicated well to Cincy supporters outlining what is and is not accepted well in advance of game day. I know this seems like a small detail, but that is how quality clubs should work together. Of course, FC Cincinnati fans do have a bit of a reputation and Indy has added a buffer between the family-friendly South End and our visitors section. But, it all boils down to a respect shown between both clubs and supporters groups.

Cincinnati and Indy fans really do seem to be excited to attend with one another. While there will be more passion shown during the 90 minutes of play, both supporters have openly stated how much they are looking forward to attending the match and having a good SG to chant “against”. While no smoke will be lit (Thanks Colts), there should be some fun tifos, two-poles, and chants between the clubs.

On Wednesday night, Indy XI owner looked to generate more excitement for the match and responded to our CST Roundtable. He encouraged creating a name for the derby and offered two suite tickets at Lucas Oil to any future home game for anyone who comes up with an original idea that both supporters group agree to. That’s pretty cool by Mr. Ozdemir.

Many names were offered such as the Corn Belt Clash, Hoosier-Nati Cup, the Pothole Showdown, the Flyover Cities Cup, the KOI Cup (with LCFC), the Crossroads Cup, the 115 Mile War, the War for 74, the William Henry Harrison Cup, and my favorite the Heartland Hootenanny. Both sides have thrown out many more unique combinations and I am excited to see what sticks.

Now we all know what could happen in the upcoming months. Commissioner Don Garber and Major League Soccer could come calling and this could be one of the few times we actually get to play Indy in a league match.

Due to the potential of a short run of this derby, I really encourage you to travel and experience this. If we do move to MLS, short day trips will be a thing of the past, so this I-74 Cup could really be a special event. Let’s respect our new Hoosier friends this weekend, but let’s also hope we can put 3 points up on them. I am glad to have this derby for 2018 and hope we may find a way to keep it going.

Bring an extra scarf, exchange it with a member of the Brickyard Battalion and cheer on your favorite club. I’m not saying you need to be a perfect angel this weekend, but if you feel like you want to be a little more rambunctious, just remember who we have next weekend.

@bryanweigel of @CincySoccerTalk

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