FC Cincinnati welcomes Ottawa Fury FC to Nippert Stadium after a disappointing midweek draw against Toronto FC 2. The Orange & Blue won the earlier meeting of the two team’s by a score of 3-0 when they visited the Canadian capital in April. Check out our 5 things to know below for Saturday’s match.
Where: Cincinnati, OH – Nippert Stadium
When: Saturday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m. EST
2018 Form: FC Cincinnati – 1st Place (9W-3L-4D, 31 pts.), Ottawa Fury FC – 12th Place (5W-6L-3D, 18 pts.)
YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE THIS WEEK – Ref Assignments:
REF: Daniel Gutierrez, AR1: Kyle Longville, AR2: Tom Felice, 4TH: Kevin Fikar
5 Things to Know
Hot June: Saturday’s match will bring an end to a month that has seen FC Cincinnati collect 11 points through 5 matches. This is exactly what the club needed launching them to the top of the USL Eastern Conference table. After Saturday’s match against Ottawa, FC Cincinnati’s schedule gets decidedly more difficult. July includes contests at home against Tampa Bay, Charlotte, and New York while going on the road next week to Nashville. All 4 teams are either in playoff spots or in Tampa’s case, one of the early season favorites to win the league crown. A win or draw Saturday would mean an undefeated June for FCC and help continue the momentum towards the 2nd half of the season.
Ryan Down: Richie Ryan left the match in the 65th minute due to an injury on Wednesday night. FC Cincinnati’s defense fell to pieces conceding late goals with the match ending in a 3-3 draw. With his removal, it was easy to see his value to the squad by losing the ability to clog up the midfield and stop opponent’s counter-attacks. It’s fair to assume that he will be unavailable on Saturday and will force Coach Koch to look at other options in the squad. Koch shouldn’t have to look much further than veteran Kenney Walker who lost his starting spot in midfield recently to Michael Lahoud. Walker had a great match earlier this season against Ottawa with a stunning volley for a goal. This is a chance, with Ryan’s absence, for Walker to step back up and show why he has been one of the most valuable players in club history.
Scoring Woes: Ottawa is having a hard time putting the ball in the net this season ranking 26th in the league with 15 goals in 14 matches. They have been shut out 6 times including FC Cincinnati’s 3-0 win in their earlier match-up this season. Even with their scoring woes, FC Cincinnati’s center-backs will have to pay attention to 6’4″ forward Steevan Dos Santos. Dos Santos scored 10 times last season in league play and had a nice run including a USL title with Rochester in 2015.
Home Form: Saturday is the start of 7 of 8 home matches for the Orange & Blue. Even though they have been able to make headway on the road the year (record: 6-1-2), their home form has been disappointing (3-2-2). What has been the achilles heel for FC Cincinnati at home has been their ability to keep opponents out of the net. They’ve conceded 10 goals in 7 matches at home which ranks 25th in the USL. In 4 of those matches, they’ve conceded twice which makes claiming 3 points even more challenging. We love when the squad scores 4 goals and ends up on SportsCenter at the end of the night but playing so open and attacking leads to chances for the opponent. Opponents always bring their A-game when playing in front of 25,000 people but the Orange & Blue need to clamp down on the defensive side of the ball to win at home.
MVP?: We are only through the first half of the season but Emmanual Ledesma is sure putting his name down as the leader for USL MVP. Ledesma leads the league in assists (8) and is tied for second in goals (8). It’s not only his stats that are impressive but the mark he puts on a game. Defenders need to pay extra attention to the Argentine and that has led to more opportunities for his teammates to put the ball in the back of the net (Konig-7, Albadawi- 6). You correlate the increase in chemistry between these 3 players to the rise of FC Cincinnati to the top of the conference standings.
March to Matchday
Join host Bryan Weigel @bryanweigel, as he recaps FC Cincinnati’s midweek draw to Toronto FC 2 with guest Boston Brazzell. Later on in the podcast, Bryan welcomes guest Théo Gauthier (@Mimglow) of the Ottawa Sports Network to preview Saturday’s match vs Ottawa Fury FC.
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
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. 6:30 p.m.
Die Innenstadt: Mecklenburg Gardens – 302 E University Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Pride: Ladder 19 – 2701 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
The Pride Norden: Ladder 19 – 2701 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 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. 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 ESPN+.
RADIO: ESPN 1530 AM
Stay tuned to our Twitter handle – @CincySoccerTalk, for updated information.