With the win on Wednesday, FC Cincinnati clinched the USL Regular Season Championship. With not much to play for, can the Orange & Blue pull out a USL record 10th win in a row? Check out our 5 Things to Know.
Where: Cincinnati, OH. – Nippert Stadium
When: Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. EDT
2018 Form: FC Cincinnati – 1st Place (22W-3L-6D, 72 pts.), Indy Eleven – 5th Place (13W-9L-9D, 48 pts.)
YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE THIS WEEK – Ref Assignments:
REF: Tim Ford AR1: Tom Felice AR2: Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein 4TH: William Gaither III
5 Things to Know
MORE History: With FC Cincinnati’s defeat of Richmond on Wednesday night, it set USL modern-era single-season records for wins (22) and points (72) and tied the league’s modern-era record for consecutive victories (9). A win Saturday night would allow the Orange & Blue to set a new consecutive victories record, but the record hunt still isn’t over for the club. Coach Alan Koch has his club on a run of 20 matches unbeaten. If they can pick up a point against Indy, next Saturday’s match at Pittsburgh would set up a showdown where FC Cincinnati could tie the 2013 Richmond Kickers for the record of 22 matches unbeaten.
Campeones: FC Cincinnati will be holding a trophy presentation to celebrate winning the USL Regular Season Championship following Saturday night’s match. Alan Koch mentioned how excited he was for the celebration and mentioned he might even kiss the trophy. “I’ve only been in Cincinnati for a few years, but I’ve heard the stories of the challenges our different sports teams have all had, and for us to receive a trophy on our own pitch on Saturday night, is going to be a very, very special night,” Koch said. “I look forward to sharing that night, not only with FCC but with the entire city of Cincinnati. It’s going to be a very, very fun night.”
3 for 3: Saturday’s match will be the last of three regular-season matches between the two clubs, but the first held since May 2. In the first match-up of the season, Emery Welshman scored and Evan Newton saved Jack McInerney’s 38th-minute penalty kick. This was after “Jack Mac” had a rough collision with Kenney Walker that saw the FC Cincinnati midfield leave the match injured in the 17th minute and McInerney ended up with a one-match suspension. The second match was a high scoring midweek contest that ended 3-2 in Cincinnati’s favor with Corben Bone’s 54th-minute goal proving to be the difference maker.
It Takes a Village: With FC Cincinnati’s midweek win and post-match celebration, Coach Koch mentioned that we might see some players this weekend that have not had much of a chance to play this season. “Well, you could probably see some of the social media feeds, so there are probably going to be a few people — players, staff — that might not be feeling 100 percent healthy when they wake up tomorrow morning. So, we’re going to have to take stock of everybody tomorrow. We travel back tomorrow, we train on Friday, we’ll see who’s all good to go for the game on Saturday. We’ve got three games to fine tune things to get ourselves ready for the postseason. There are a lot of players on our team that have sacrificed a lot, [and have] worked incredibly hard to be part of this group. I’d like to reward everybody through the final few games.” A lot of fans would like to see third-string goalkeeper Mark Village get a runout at home on Saturday. You could also see players Sem de Wit, Tomi Ameobi, and Russell Cicerone get the nod before the end of the season.
Indy’s Playoff Chances: With little on the line for the Orange & Blue, the 5th place Indy Eleven are fighting tooth and nail to clinch a playoff spot. Wednesday night’s 2-0 victory over Tampa Bay gave them a 6 point cushion over 9th but Indy has a tough road in with matches at Cincinnati, home to 6th place Bethlehem, and at 3rd place Lousiville City to close the season. Heading into Saturday, their magical points total to guarantee them a spot is 7 but a win would go a long way towards securing their spot as teams below battle it out for positions.
March to Matchday – FC Cincinnati vs. Penn FC
Join host Bryan Weigel (@bryanweigel), as he welcomes guest, Nipun Chopra (@NipunChopra7) of The Brotherly Game (@SocTakes) to preview Saturday’s match vs. Indy Eleven. 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!
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. Results are available at cincinnatisoccertalk.com/growlercup. 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
TV: This contest is set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday. Broadcasting partner Sinclair Broadcasting Group will 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 STAR 64. FCC’s match will also be broadcast at FC Cincinnati’s pub partners or by Streaming internet on ESPN+.
RADIO: ESPN 1530
Stay tuned to our Twitter handle – @CincySoccerTalk, for updated information.
@bradleysweigel for @CincySoccerTalk