FC Cincinnati host NPSL Semi-finalist Detroit City FC for their first Lamar Hunt US Open Cup match of 2018. Squad rotation, match congestion, and availability will all factor into Wednesday night’s match for FC Cincinnati. Check out our 5 Things to Know for Wednesday night’s match.
Where: Cincinnati, OH – Gettler Stadium – SOLD OUT
When: Wednesday, May 16th at 7:30 p.m. EST
2018 Form: FC Cincinnati – 1st Place (5W-2L-2D, 17 pts. USL), Detroit City FC – (1W-1L-3D various contests)
Last Round: FC Cincinnati – Enters in 2nd Round, Detroit City – Defeated Michigan Bucks in Penalties
5 Things to Know
Longshots: A late goal in extra time by forward Djiby Fall saw FCC defeat the AFC Cleveland in the 2017 version of the US Open Cup, allowing for many of the great moments from last season. Stats show that it has been very difficult for amateur sides to travel and upset their hosts. Over the past three competitions, a hosting professional side has advanced 86% of the time. That number expands to 90% if you throw out the 2015 tournament, where 3 USL sides lost to amateur foes. The stats look better for amateurs if they can host. Pro sides have still won 74% of the time on the road, but a 1 in 4 chance is much better than a 1 in 10 chance for amateurs playing on the road. The winner will travel to the winner of the match between the Pittsburgh Riverhounds & the Erie Commodores.
Rotation: FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch and Detroit City FC skipper Ben “Caesar” Pirmann will have to manage their squads appropriately if they hope to advance to the Third Round of the US Open Cup. DCFC has played three matches over nine days including a 1-0 league defeat to AFC Ann Arbor on Sunday. FC Cincinnati is no stranger to midweek matches as they in Indy two weeks ago and had a closed-door friendly last Tuesday vs. Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC of the PDL. These matches should allow FCC sufficient preparation of their roster congestion should they advance. As for who we might see? Look for Pirmann to play as strong of a line up vs FCC to advance while Koch may have to get creative with his unit. Due to tournament rules, clubs can only field five foreign players in their 18 on USOC matchdays. Look for FCC to weigh who is a priority for Saturday’s match vs. NCFC and which domestic players should go midweek.
Personnel: One of the biggest changes going into Wednesday could be the midfield. This is an opportunity for Koch to run out several players who have not featured much in league play mixed with key players. I expect to see some combination of Will Seymore, Jimmy McLaughlin, Daniel Haber, Russell Cicerone and perhaps Corben Bone, Nazmi Albadawi or Kenney Walker. How they line up could depend on how Koch wants to play. If Koch chooses to play wide, look for the 4-2-3-1 from earlier in the season that could see Tomi Ameobi start up top. His size and scoring history could put the Detroit defense at a disadvantage. Should FCC decide to maintain their 4-4-2 diamond, will Koch elect to start two foreign-born players up top, or could he run out Cicerone who is our lone domestic forward? I still expect to see Lahoud and Walker on the bench as both could be called upon if the match isn’t progressing how FCC would like through the first 60 minutes.
Off The Field Impressions: Fans of each club have taken to social media to declare their displeasure with one another. Unfortunately for DCFC, Cincinnati fans savor every chance to see their squad and purchased all available tickets for Wednesday’s match. While Detroit may not be able to have as many fans as they hope to for normal matches, it will still be a chance to see two of the nations lower tier supporters to oppose each other for 90 minutes. If you have tickets, show up and be loud.
To Gatt or Not To Gatt: Detroit released their 2018 roster last week with one huge surprise. Former US Men’s National Team member Josh Gatt was a part of the 37-man group for their upcoming NPSL campaign. Gatt featured 20 times for the Colorado Rapids of MLS in 2017 scoring twice. Prior to his time in MLS Gatt featured for SC Rheindorf Altach (Austria) and Molde (Norway). The speedy right winger experienced knee injuries in 2013 and 2015 while at Molde and moved back to the states to reboot his career. After Colorado declined his option for this season, Gatt moved back to Michigan to focus on his wife Melissa’s cancer treatment. Recently Melissa has been undergoing treatment at the University of Michigan and has experienced some positive reactions to chemo. As you may know, many NPSL players do not get paid and a donation to Josh and Melissa could go a long way. Now, there are several questions to if Gatt can even play on Wednesday, but regardless, please consider helping Melissa and Josh during this tough time in their life. DONATE: gofundme.com/loveformelissa
TV: This contest is set for a 7:30 p.m. EST kickoff on Wednesday night. USSoccer.com should offer a stream of the match around game time.
Stay tuned to our Twitter handle – @CincySoccerTalk, for updated information.