FC Cincinnati has started out strong on the road in 2018. The club went into last week’s match with a perfect six points away and then fell 0-1 vs. rivals Louisville City FC. Regardless of the loss, FC Cincinnati can still cement this season as one of the best starts in its three year history. In order to do so, FCC will need to close out a team they struggled against last year. Bethlehem took two of three in very physical contests. A red card to Paul Nicholson and a Hildebrant penalty save were the highlights of the action that took place when both sides battled early last year. Check out our 5 Things to Know for FC Cincinnati’s match against Bethlehem Steel.
Where: Bethlehem, PA. – Goodman Stadium
When: Sunday, April 15th at 3:00 p.m. EST
2018 Form: FC Cincinnati – 6th Place (2W-1L-0D, 6 pts.), Bethlehem Steel – 10th Place (1W-2L-1D, 4pts)
YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE THIS WEEK – Ref Assignments:
REF: AMBER O’CONNOR AR1: GJOVALIN BORI AR2: BEN PILGRIM 4TH: MICHAEL GUZZETTA
March to Matchday Podcast – FC Cincinnati vs Bethlehem Steel FC:
Join host Bryan Weigel @bryanweigel, & guest Evan Villella (@villellaBSFC) of the USL Show (@theUSLshow) & SB Nation blog The Brotherly Game (@BrotherlyGame). Bryan and Evan break down this Sunday’s match in Pennsylvania. 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
Remember the Past: Bethlehem plays the same system year after year. Players and coaches may change, but the primary purpose of Steel’s existence does not. Steel FC is built to grow and feed talent into the Philadelphia Union. Therefore, Bethlehem players play a similar setup as the parent team. This allows for players to plug right in when going up to MLS. Despite the talent, they are somewhat predictable and Alan Koch has gone up against this foe thrice already. His track record was two losses and then finally a win. Koch needs to build his game plan around what worked last season. Danni Konig was the hero with a brace in the final match. It could be wise to run out the veteran again.
Play Tough but Smart: Card woes of previous years have not plagued the Orange and Blue yet this season. Cincy will need to play smart to keep that trend against the Pennsylvania bullies. Steel FC has already racked up one red this season and verbally and physically went at the Rowdies in Tampa Bay. Bethlehem will play this match hard, and the away team will need to keep level heads. FC Cincinnati players need to play calm but tough. Let Bethlehem make the angry mistakes and give up a penalty or free kicks. Veteran players dominate the roster for the Orange and Blue. Let the men be men and the kids be kids.
Did a Pin Drop?: Goodman stadium is not known for its loud and raucous environment. It will most likely be the smallest crowd FCC players have seen since training in Flordia. It will also be the first match without decent support in the stands. Will FC Cincinnati stay motivated? It was not a fictional problem last season. Alan Koch had a player admit to him that they struggled to hype themselves up for smaller away matches. Points are points no matter what the crowd size. Hopefully, the roster depth keeps a fire under starting players this season.
Lineup Changes: This is the match to make roster moves if Alan Koch wants to do so. After two consecutive wins, changing the lineup seemed like a poor idea. Dropping points at home have certainly changed the dynamics. Many fans are awaiting the debut of NASL best XI player, Nazmi Albadawi. Defender Paddy Barrett awaits a chance to get his shot. We expect Kenny Walker to miss the match as he continues working off a minor concussion. The midfield will need to step up in his absence and play better than they did vs Louisville City FC. FC Cincinnati has plenty of pieces, the puzzle just needs to be solved.
Stay at the Top: Expectations are high this season. They should be high based on the talent that was brought in this off-season. It is unreasonable to assume FC Cincinnati will win every match or even place 1st in the league. It is fair to expect better than last season’s sixth-place finish in USL play. A season is full of ups and downs, but if players and coaches want heat off their backs, they need to stay with toward the front of the Eastern pack. CST staff rarely agree on much but over 90% of us picked a win vs Bethlehem. 4 out of 5 people on The USL Show picked a Cincinnati win. This is a match that FC Cincinnati can use to prove that they are better than last year.
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.
The supporters groups will be taking up residence at their favorite away match viewing locations. See the list below for more information.
Die Innenstadt: Rhinehaus OTR – 19 E 12th St, Cincinnati 45202
The Pride: Buffalo Wings & Rings Oakley – 4615 Factory Colony Ln, Cincinnati, OH 45209
The Pride Norden: BC Bottle Lodge Montgomery – 8175 Hetz Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45242
Queen City Firm: Bucketheads – 6507 Harrison Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45247
The Bailey Bastards: Murphy’s Pub Clifton – 2329 W Clifton Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Legion: Taste of Belgium Clifton – 2845 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
To see other viewing party venues, check out FC Cincinnati’s list of Pub Partners.
TV: This contest is set for a 3:00 p.m. EST kickoff on Sunday afternoon. 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 ESPN+
ESPN+ is the new streaming partner for USL matches and replaces YouTube on matchday. The service is free for 30 days and then $5 a month thereafter. Learn more about ESPN+ here.
Stay tuned to our Twitter handle – @CincySoccerTalk, for updated information.
@BostonKeith for @CincySoccerTalk