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5 Things to Know: FC Cincinnati at Atlanta United II

After an impressive homestand, FC Cincinnati returns to the road Wednesday against Atlanta United 2.

Where: Gwinnett, Georgia – Coolray Field
When: Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 7:00 p.m. ET
2018 Form: FC Cincinnati – 1st Place (15W-3L-6D, 51 pts.), Atlanta United II– 15th Place (3W-12L-7D, 16 pts.)

YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE THIS WEEK – Ref Assignments:
REF: JJ Bilinski, AR1: Matthew Osterhouse, AR2: Joe Zawistowski, 4TH: Zachary McWhorter


5 Things to Know

Short Turn-Around: FC Cincinnati coach Alan Koch has spoken about managing situations not only on the pitch but off the pitch as well. Koch will have to manage the lineup considering FCC has another road match against Tampa Bay on Saturday. The team has been a little dinged up lately. Richie Ryan remains out, and Tyler Gibson, Dekel Keinan and Danni König are listed as questionable on the injury report. The team will also be without their key playmaker Emmanuel Ledesma, suspended due to card accumulation. Many players have been warriors accumulating minutes and may need a rest as well. Corben Bone, Blake Smith, Justin Hoyte and Forrest Lasso fit into that area. All these items need to be taken into consideration when the manager formulates his lineup and tactics for Atlanta.

Mitch: Why beat around the bush? This will be the first time FC Cincinnati has an opportunity to face Mitch Hildebrandt, the keeper that manned the nets for FCC during last year’s historic U.S. Open Cup run. Hildebrandt made the jump to Atlanta after being offered an MLS contract, but the transition has not been so smooth. The netminder was injured early in the season and unable to find his way on the pitch until recently. On the pitch he has struggled as well, giving up 10 goals in four games and only managing to save 52 percent of the shots he has faced.

Pa-Pa Patch: New signee Pa Konate has participated in the most recent training sessions. Is this Atlanta game an opportune time to provide him some playing time? Koch will have to manage players’ health, and this may be an opportunity to give Smith some rest. Konate comes on loan from Italian Serie A side SPAL, but he was not receiving many minutes. The fact that he was practicing with a top league team should provide some confidence he can hold his own while acquiring some valuable time to learn his teammates’ tendencies. I would not expect a full runout, but saving Smith’s legs for Tampa Bay may be the smart move while providing Konate some playing time.

Remember Tworonto: The recent homestand was nothing short of spectacular results-wise. FC Cincinnati took 16 of 18 possible points during the homestand. Road results are typically more difficult to come by, but with Atlanta having the 27th ranked offense and 30th ranked defense compared to Cincinnati’s third ranked offense and fifth ranked defense this game should favor FC Cincinnati. These were the same sentiments that many had when the Orange and Blue traveled north to Face Toronto FC II. FCC walked away with a disappointing 3-3 draw in that game. That cannot happen again.

Opportunities missed: The team has had an outstanding homestead, but there are still some areas that could be improved upon. The biggest is generating opportunities. The boys started the recent homestand on fire, generating 19 and 16 shots with expected goals (xG) average above 2.0 in both games. The remaining four games were a struggle offensively, with only eight shots averaged and an xG average of less than 0.9 xG. The team is winning, but this can be a sign of a team struggling to create opportunities.


Expected Goals:


Growler Cup – Round 25

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

Growler Cup - Round 25


Viewing

TV: This contest is set for a 7:00 p.m. EST kickoff on Wednesday night. The broadcast duo of Tom Gelehrter and Kevin McCloskey will provide the play-by-play and color analysis to FCC fans live on Star 64.  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.


@khoetker for @CincySoccerTalk

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