Where: Nashville, Tenn. – First Tennessee Park
When: Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8:30 p.m. EDT
2018 Form: FC Cincinnati – 1st Place (23W-3L-7D, 76 pts.), Nashville SC –7th Place (12W-9L-12D, 48 pts.)
YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE THIS WEEK – Ref Assignments:
REF: Marcos DeOliveira AR1: Walter Heatherly AR2: Adrienne McDonald 4TH: TBD
5 Things to Know
Chasing history: If FC Cincinnati wins or draws at Nashville on Saturday, the club will set a new record for consecutive matches unbeaten with 23. The Richmond Kickers began the 2013 season with 22 straight unbeaten. The Orange and Blue matched Richmond’s record with last week’s draw at Pittsburgh. Their last loss came at home on May 26 at the hands of Louisville.
Playoff mindset: FC Cincinnati celebrated the USL Regular Season Championship after beating Indy Eleven 3-0 in the last regular-season USL home match. Following the celebration, FCC coach Alan Koch said he was looking forward to using the last two road fixtures — both against playoff-caliber clubs — as exercises. “We want to squeeze everything we can out of this group,” Koch said after the Indy Eleven match. “I don’t think we’ve peaked yet. As good as we have been, I think we’re still capable of more.”
Earning some time: Who will play on Saturday? This week’s training sessions counted as exercises as well. Whoever made the biggest impression in training will earn time against Nashville and potentially in the playoffs, Koch said after Monday’s training session. “We’ve had several chats with individual players saying, ‘Show us what you can do in training right now,’” Koch said. “That dictates how Saturday will go. It dictates how the playoffs will go. And obviously it dictates the future too. We’re under no illusions — in this business you’re playing for your job every single day.”
Ryan in, Welshman out: According to a report from the Enquirer’s Charlie Hatch, Koch expects Richie Ryan to log some minutes against Nashville. Ryan has been out of action since suffering a lower leg injury against Toronto FC II on June 27. Ryan was the only FC Cincinnati player on the club’s injury report last week against Pittsburgh, so assuming no more injuries, the Orange and Blue’s roster will be at full strength in terms of health. Emery Welshman will miss the Nashville match after being called up to Guyana’s national team roster for a CONCACAF Nations League Qualifier on Saturday, according to a club announcement. Welshman has six prior caps for Guyana, which will face Turks and Caicos Islands. Welshman is expected to be available for selection for the USL Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Oct. 20, according to the announcement.
The waiting is the hardest part: FC Cincinnati will see Nashville again in the regular season but not until 2020, when it’s expected Nashville will begin play as an MLS expansion side. MLS selected Nashville before FCC back in December. FCC makes the jump next year. The geographic rivals have been competitive in USL play this season with both previous matches ending in draws — 0-0 in Nashville on July 7 and 1-1 at Nippert Stadium on Aug. 4. In the match at Nippert, Danni Konig scored the fastest goal in club history 28 seconds in. But Tucker Hume, one of FCC fans’ favorite villains, equalized in the 85th minute to take points from the Orange and Blue.
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 8:30 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.