Another week and another home win! Was there any doubt? Not a chance!
But FCC has a quick turnaround as the side hosts NYCFC in an Open Cup game in the midweek, so let’s find out what happened over the weekend!
At Bat: May 10th v. New York City FC; 15 pts, 5th in the East (US Open Cup)
NYCFC fell 3-2 to Charlotte over the weekend, marking back-to-back weeks where the Pigeons have lost against a team outside of playoff position. However, manager Nick Cushing may push back on detractors as squad rotation was involved in this second loss. Neither Star winger Talles Magno nor defender Maxime Chanot got a start this week after a mid-game blow-up with each other, and forced James Sands, the team’s midfield conductor, to be pushed back into defense.
While there was some squad rotation, and an NYCFC II side that was not heavily rotated, it may not necessarily signal a tougher game for FCC in the midweek, as NYCFC has a matchup against the New York Red Bulls to look forward to the weekend.
On Deck: May 17th v. Montreal Impact; 12 pts, 11th in the East
After an early season away stretch, Montreal is beginning to enjoy the benefits of home cooking, as they won their fourth consecutive game. This has allowed their attack to begin to gel, having scored multiple times in each of their league games. Montreal has also seen its defense gain some confidence with shutouts in each of those wins. However, it all may just be a mirage, because these matchups were against the bottom of each conference, a semi-professional side in the Canadian Cup, and an Orlando side that has been sliding since early season projections.
In the Hole: May 20th Hell is Real; 14 pts, 6th in the East
The team from the capital city didn’t play this week, and were left to ruminate over its defeat to Inter Miami the week prior. As such, there is no news, and we can only root for Loudon United to beat them in a midweek US Open Cup match.
Checking in on the West
The Portland Timbers were knocked down late thanks to an old Cascadian villain, Will Bruin, who equalized in second-half stoppage time. Portland will feel disappointed finishing the night with a 2-2 draw, but after suffering another long-term injury to midfielder David Ayala, they have to feel good as they continue to pick up points, after the cold start to the season.
For LAFC, however, they have not had to deal with the struggles of a cold start, due to the side coming into the weekend having not lost in any competition. But that is no more thanks to the San Jose Earthquakes who invited the defending champs up to Levi Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, and beat them 2-1. While a surprise on paper, the Quakes have been one of the best teams on the field this season and the win represents its intentions of being a contender after a summer rebuild.
LAFC wasn’t the only team breaking a streak this weekend. Sporting KC finally won a game! After an abysmal start this season, they went up to the Sounders and thoroughly beat them 2-1. Maybe it was Johnny Russell’s comments about the team from last weekend, but this was a performance from a team that has not shown up thus far this year.
Best of the Weekend
One of the best traditions of the Kentucky Derby is the party in the infield, where average horse bettors get to enjoy the biggest weekend in horse racing. But if you know anything about it, it’s rarely the immaculate pomp and circumstance that exists in the main grandstand and is often a muddy sloppy mess. So it begs the obvious question, which FCC player would best handle the Kentucky Derby infield, to which we at CST have the answers for you.
But it’s not just vibes that allow someone to thrive in the infield, there are a specific set of standards that one must possess: a Willingness to Party, the Desire for Design, an Acceptance of Dirt, and an Indifference of Horses. We have ranked each player according to this formula, and will give you our Top 5 participants:
5. Roman Celentano
Willingness to Party: 10 | Desire for Design: 7 | Acceptance of Dirt: 1 | Indifference to Horses: 18
Roman falls to the classic blunder that people in the infield don’t actually care about the horse racing. And while he has good marks in being a resilient infield participant, there are questions about if his desire to be a Horse Whisperer will be a bit of a killjoy to the main event.
4. Ray Gaddis
Willingness to Party: 14 | Desire for Design: 3 | Acceptance of Dirt: 9 | Indifference to Horses: 14
This was the player we kept moving up in our rankings merely for the aspect that every infield party needs the responsible one. And that is Ray Gaddis. He’s the one talking guys out of making that bet based on a suspect horse trainer’s opinion. He’s switching people’s Mint Juleps out for water. And most importantly, he is the drunk jockey, making sure he is steering the partiers in the right direction and making sure no one is joining the Kentucky Derby as a last-minute runner.
3. Lucho Acosta
Willingness to Party: 16 | Desire for Design: 3 | Acceptance of Dirt: 6 | Indifference to Horses: 4
While the party is in the infield, that’s one of the two events that happens there, the other being the betting. And while everyone wants the inside scoop on how a horse is running, you need someone who knows how to extract that from the right sources. So you need someone dedicated to always asking how they know what they know, where they got it from and making sure you leave no stone unturned.
2. Sergio Santos
Willingness to Party: 5 | Desire for Design: 1 | Acceptance of Dirt: 9 | Indifference to Horses: 14
The man dresses to the 9s every day. He’s out there hyping the outfits, the cars and the lifestyle of a soccer player. So a chance to be at the scene is where Sergio will be. There are some concerns about the fit getting dirty and it being a big turndown, but it was felt that Sergio is the type of person who can get their ‘grams done early, turn up when the time is right, and was most likely to schmooze the group’s way into the Winner’s Circle.
1 Nick Hagglund
Willingness to Party: 3 | Desire for Design: 10 | Acceptance of Dirt: 3 | Indifference to Horses: 5
It could just be a belief that Nick would understand the importance of the Kentucky Derby that he would be the best choice to be a party leader in the infield, but he also has the right vibes. He is the first to celebrate a goal. He is the first to pump up the fans. And he would be FCC’s top infield partier.