FC Cincinnati returns home after another road victory. Can they keep the momentum alive vs. a team they historically struggle against and who has taken points off the Eastern Conference’s best teams? Check out our 5 things to know below for Wednesday’s match.
Where: Cincinnati OH – Nippert Stadium
When: Wednesday, June 13th at 7:30 p.m. EST
2018 Form: FC Cincinnati – 1st Place (8W-3L-2D, 26 pts.), Bethlehem Steel FC – 8th Place (5W-5L-3D, 17pts.)
YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE THIS WEEK – Ref Assignments:
REF: MARCOS DEOLIVEIRA, AR1: CORY RICHARDSON, AR2: BENJAMIN HALL-VOLPENHEIN, 4TH: JASON ULRICH
March to Matchday – FC Cincinnati vs. Bethlehem Steel FC
Join host Bryan Weigel @bryanweigel, as he previews FC Cincinnati’s upcoming midweek match as face Bethlehem Steel FC. Joining Bryan on this week’s show is guest Evan Villella (@villellaBSFC) of the USL Show (@theUSLshow) & SB Nation blog The Brotherly Game (@BrotherlyGame).
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!
Don’t forget you can now download and subscribe to Cincinnati Soccer Talk on iTunes today! The podcast can also be found on Stitcher Smart Radio now. We’re also available in the Google Play Store.
5 Things to Know
Turning Road Form Into Home Form: Last Saturday, FC Cincinnati picked up a valuable three points on the road vs. North Carolina FC. Cincinnati has been stellar on the road winning six games in USL play with only a single loss and draw. That single draw comes against Bethlehem Steel FC. To be fair, FCC has had a much easier start on the road vs. at home. The team has fallen into a rhythm, and it cannot be ignored. If the Orange and Blue want to take the league, they need to start consistently beating playoff teams at home. Beating Bethlehem is the best way for Cincinnati to start the winning at home trend. Players should take full advantage of the legions of fans who have their back and give the city a win…something that fans have not seen at home in nearly a month.
Youth vs Experience: Bethlehem Steel is a youthful squad with players fighting for a chance at the big time in MLS with the Phillidaphia Union. The team runs the same pressing system as its parent side and puts an emphasis on speed and agility. FC Cincinnati has struggled with high pressing teams this year which is a staple of the Union system. Fans can take encouragement from the recent win vs. New York Red Bulls II as FCC was able to adapt to that press. New York’s press is different than Steel’s, but the midfield formula is still the same. FCC players need to spread the field out and try to give trapped players several clean options. They need to work the ball forward tactically vs. a panicked or rushed backward pass.
Overcome the Ledesma Factor: Emmanuel Ledesma picked up his fifth yellow card in North Carolina for delaying the game, resulting in a one-match suspension. The magic created by the left foot of Ledesma has won or boosted FC Cincinnati in multiple matches this season. Without him, FCC players will need to be sharper, more accurate, and race to step up to fill the missing piece. We have seen Kenney Walker answer in big moments. Lance Laing was the answer vs. Nashville in the preseason. Whoever gets the start needs to head into the match thinking they will be the difference. Mental toughness is part of the game, who will answer the call?
Time for Goal From the Corner: When the offseason signings came rolling in, fans assumed set pieces would be a strength. They have been from the pitch; however, Cincinnati has yet to score from the corner flag in USL play. Between Welshman, Konig, Lasso, and Keinan the Boys in Blorange are due. In 2017, Forrest Lasso had already picked up his first header in match one vs. FCC. Is it bad luck or a lack of practice? Whatever the problem, it is one area that needs to be solved. If FC Cincinnati can once again become a danger from the ends of the pitch, it will give the opposition one more of many problems.
The Table is Tight: FC Cincinnati is holding onto first place by a mere three points. Louisville City is right on their heals with two matches in hand. Nashville is picking up steam after playing many of their tough matches early while Pittsburgh continues to stay close and has only lost a single match in USL play. FCC cannot afford to take their foot off the gas, especially during the next couple weeks vs. Bethlehem followed by bottom of the table teams. As soon as this “easier” stretch ends, the Orange and Blue will face Nashville SC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies away. Cincy has never won vs. Tampa and Nashville boast one of the top defenses in the league. It is essential that Cincinnati picks up expected points early.
Growler Cup – Round 14
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.
Supporter Groups Pregame Match Parties
We encourage all fans to get down to Clifton early and enjoy themselves at the area’s many restaurants and pubs. Many Supporter Groups hang out in the “Short Vine” area where you can join in the march to Nippert Stadium. Some of these locations can be rowdier than others, but families and opposing fans are encouraged to come out and join the various groups. The Supporters March Should begin at approx. 3:00 p.m.
Die Innenstadt: Mecklenburg Gardens – 302 E University Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Pride: Ladder 19 – 2701 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219 – Will move to Top Cats – 2820 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Pride Norden: Ladder 19 – 2701 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219 – Will move to Top Cats – 2820 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Queen City Firm: Mio’s Pizzeria Pub – 2634 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Queen City Mafia: Short Vine Bearcat Statue Lot – 2700 Block of Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Legion: Taste of Belgium Clifton – 2845 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Bailey Bastards: Hang Over Easy – 3 W Charlton St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
For more information and how to join the supporters march, check out our matchday guide!
TV: This contest is set for a 7:30 p.m. EST kickoff on Wednesday 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. Lindsay Patterson will be reporting from the sideline. The match will also be broadcast at FC Cincinnati’s pub partners or by Streaming internet on ESPN3 instead of ESPN+.
RADIO: ESPN 1530 AM
Stay tuned to our Twitter handle – @CincySoccerTalk, for updated information.