FC Cincinnati heads to Indianapolis to take on the Indy Eleven in their first home USL Regular Season match after spending the last 4 seasons in the NASL. The match will also serve as Indy’s first in Lucas Oil Stadium after moving from Carroll Stadium on IUPUI’s campus. With 111 miles separating these two clubs, who will come out ahead in the first match of this new Derby? Check out our 5 Things to Know for FC Cincinnati’s match against Indy.
Where: Indianapolis, IN. – Lucas Oil Stadium
When: Saturday, March 31st at 7:00 p.m. EST
2018 Form: FC Cincinnati (USL-East) – 7th Place (1W-0L-0D, 3 pts.), Indy XI – 6th Place (1W-0L-0D, 3pts)
YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE THIS WEEK – Ref Assignments:
REF: MALIK BADAWI AR1: ANDREW BIGELOW AR2: KEVIN LOCK 4TH: JOSHUA KELLEY
March to Matchday Podcast – FC Cincinnati vs Indy XI:
Join host Bryan Weigel (@bryanweigel), as he previews FC Cincinnati’s first official match vs. the Indy XI. Joining Bryan on this week’s show is guest Nipun Chopra of Soc Takes (@SocTakes) a blog/podcast covering Indy. This show will hopefully fit in your drive time to work, to the pub on game day or lead you right up to game time. We hope you enjoy!
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5 Things to Know
New Derby: With 100 miles separating the two cities, Saturday’s match will be the first of a budding rivalry between the two clubs. Though it might not have the amount of vitriol like a Louisville City match, this one is still just as highly anticipated. It has been asked if the lack of banter between the two clubs a bad thing? Our own Bryan Weigel explored the topic this week. Check out his thoughts on the “Derby to be Named Later”.
Jack Mac: Indy coach Martin Rennie made waves with his player signings and one of the notable additions to the club is former USMNT forward Jack McInerney. “Jack Mac’ has developed quite a cult following after being taken 7th in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by the Philadephia Union straight out of high school. The 25 year old already is in his 9th professional season as he looks to rebound from a disappointing 2017 campaign that included just 8 appearances for the LA Galaxy. FC Cincinnati will have to keep their eyes on the talented forward as he looks to recapture the form that convinced former USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann to add him to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup roster.
Bailey North?: Traveling FC Cincinnati supporters have already purchased 1,200+ tickets to Lucas Oil Stadium for Saturday’s match which should create quite the environment. With Indy’s closest rival in the NASL over 600 miles away, this should be the first time a rival fanbase has invaded the Circle City. Indy had to open the entire lower bowl to Lucas Oil and Justin Hoyte had this to say about the expected crowd “I feel playing in front of the big crowds that I’ve seen in the past and playing in front of the crowds we saw last season with FC Cincinnati will help me deal with the big crowd expected and the pressure which comes with it.” It will be incumbent upon the “Traveling Bailey” to be loud to combat a packed stadium and help the Orange & Blue bring home 3 points.
Coming Together: Much has been made of the turnover on FC Cincinnati’s roster but the Indy XI return just 3 players from their 2017 NASL squad (Ben Speas, Justin Braun, and original member Brad Ring). That team won just 7 of its 32 matches and finished last in the NASL Fall Season. Indy brought in Coach Martin Rennie and added some serious talent in McInerney, right-back Kevin Venegas (Minnesota Utd.), midfielder Zach Steinberger (Jacksonville Armada), and forward Eugene Starikov (NY Cosmos). Though talented, they are still coming together much like FC Cincinnati. Saturday’s match could come down to which manager can better organize their squad on the field. Look out for the performances of Corben Bone & Steinberger. Chances are, the one of those two who has the better match will see their team collect 3 points on the day.
Midfield Questions: When Coach Alan Koch rolled out his starting XI in Charleston, two players noticeably missing were Nazmi Albadawi & Jimmy McLaughlin. Most Indy fans will recognize Albadawi from his time with North Carolina FC. He was thought to be the big offseason signing for FCC to anchor the #10 role. McLaughlin who has been a mainstay the last two seasons was out with a shoulder injury but has been seen at practice this week. Will Coach Koch make adjustments to his squad that won 1-0 in Charleston but struggled to possess the ball the last 60 minutes? Koch has been adamant that every spot is up for grabs in the starting XI each week. A lot of fans have been anxious to see Albadawi in action but at this time it seems Koch trusts Corben Bone to lead his squad early this season.
Week 1: FC Cincinnati 1, Charleston Battery 0
Returning for 2018 is our Growler Cup! If you contribute $5/ month or more as a supporter of the site, you are entered into the Growler Cup prediction contest. Supporters of the show along with our hosts will predict the score and result for the upcoming week’s match. We have changed the rules for 2018. You get 3 pts for picking the correct result, 1 pt for correct FCC goals and 1pt for correct opponent goals. There will be many opportunities to win as well in 2018. Along with the overall champion (2017 – Chris Dimeo), fans can get on our show to chat with the staff or partake in a trivia contest by scoring the most amount of points in a given month. You will see the predictions of our staff below. Please consider supporting the site at CincinnatiSoccerTalk.com/Support.
With a large expected traveling crowd, the supporters groups will not hold their traditional viewing parties this weekend. Instead, they will meet at Basey’s Downtown Grill on the west side of Lucas Oil Stadium starting at 3:00 pm. They will begin the march into the stadium around 6:00 pm.
If you can’t make it to Indy, check out FC Cincinnati’s list of Pub Partners.
TV: This contest is set for a 7:00 p.m. EST kickoff on Saturday night. Broadcasting partner Sinclair Broadcasting Group will now air all FC Cincinnati home & away matches. The broadcast duo of Tom Gelehrter and Kevin McCloskey will provide the play-by-play and color analysis to FCC fans live on WSTR Star 64. The match will also be broadcast at FC Cincinnati’s pub partners or by Streaming internet on USL’s Youtube station.
Stay tuned to our Twitter handle – @CincySoccerTalk, for updated information.
LIVE SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT: Join us on April 16, 7:00 pm at the Buffalo Wings & Rings- Oakley Station