FC Cincinnati was dominant against Richmond at home last time out. The first place team in USL’s Eastern Conference now travels to face the last place team, with Toronto FC II sitting on just two points. Check out our 5 things to know below for Wednesday’s match.
Where: Toronto – Lamport Stadium
When: Wednesday, June 27 at 7 p.m. EST
2018 Form: FC Cincinnati – 1st Place (9W-3L-3D, 30 pts.), Toronto FC II – 16th Place (0W-12L-2D, 2 pts.)
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5 Things to Know
Well-rested: FC Cincinnati comes off its longest stretch between matches since the first two of the season back in March. With the 11-day break, the Orange and Blue should have plenty of rest and should be near full health. Only Tyler Gibson and Lance Laing were on the injury report last time out against Richmond, and Gibson has been progressing towards match fitness. The question is if he’s ready enough to make the trip to Toronto.
Crowded midfield: Once Gibson and Laing can hit the pitch, where do they fit in? FCC coach Alan Koch has the luxury of many midfielders to choose from. Nazmi Albadawi and Corben Bone have been mainstays in Koch’s 4-4-2 diamond formation. Michael Lahoud and Richie Ryan have each seen time at the bottom of the diamond and have sometimes been paired together. And Russell Cicerone has had a breakthrough June. Where does Gibson fit in the diamond? And will Laing be at left wing or left back?
Best vs. worst: After Louisville’s draw with North Carolina during the weekend, FCC’s first place lead is five points. The Orange and Blue confidently flexed their muscles last time out with a 4-0 dismantling of Richmond. FCC faithful will expect that type of performance to carry over to Wednesday’s match against a winless Toronto FC II team. FCC’s road success has been well-documented this season, and that should continue with the Eastern Conference’s top team traveling to meet the bottom team. The goal difference between the two squads is 32.
Continue clean sheet: FCC’s defense has kept clean sheets in two of its last three matches, in large part because the back line has minimized Evan Newton’s worries. Despite its struggles, TFC II does score at least one goal more often than not — especially recently with 10 goals in its last six matches, including a 5-4 goalfest loss to Atlanta United 2 on May 16.
About Toronto: To say Toronto has struggled this season would be an understatement. TFC II has just two points, collected on home 0-0 draws against North Carolina and New York Red Bulls II way back in April. Most recently, TFC II fell 3-1 to Indy Eleven in a match played in Rochester, N.Y., with leading scorer US Youth International, Ayo Akinola ripping one into the corner from outside the box.
Growler Cup – Round 15
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.
TV: This contest is set for a 7 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 CW Cincinnati. The match will also be broadcast at FC Cincinnati’s pub partners or by Streaming internet on ESPN+.
Stay tuned to our Twitter handle – @CincySoccerTalk, for updated information.
@rspeirce for @CincySoccerTalk