FC Cincinnati will return to action on Sunday, Aug. 20, when the team travels to Columbus to face off against arch-rival Columbus Crew SC in the Hell is Real Derby.
This will be FCC’s first game in over two weeks, 16 days specifically, since the team’s loss in the Leagues Cup to Nashville SC in penalties. Since then, the team has had time to get some of its players back to fitness. However, that doesn’t mean everyone will be involved in Sunday’s matchup.
Matt Miazga will, unfortunately, not feature due to yellow card accumulation from the team’s last MLS matchup against Nashville SC. There is also a real possibility it will miss Yerson Mosquera as well, as he has missed multiple training sessions leading up to the weekend. The team missing maybe two of its three most important players in a rivalry matchup doesn’t really inspire confidence.
But, if Lucho Acosta features, FCC will always have a chance to at least steal a point. Acosta seems to be at the height of his powers with the squad based on the team’s last few matches, and Brandon Vazquez turned it on in the Leagues Cup as well, bagging a hat trick in a single game and tallying a couple of others too. The offensive attack will probably be tasked with keeping the team in the game due to what it looks like they’ll be going up against.
Columbus Crew SC is currently sixth on the Eastern Conference table with 36 total points and a record of 10-6-7. The team has scored 45 goals and allowed 33, compared to FCC’s 39 goals on the season and 25 against.
Columbus’ calling card for the last bit of their season has been their staggering offensive output. Christian Ramirez and Cucho Hernandez have both started to play really well, and it looked like that was about to go down the drain with Lucas Zelarayan’s departure.
However, the team might have gotten better as they acquired former MLS star Diego Rossi to replace Zelarayan. Rossi also said late this week that he planned to factor in the matchup on Sunday, so FCC fans don’t even have that to hope for. Rossi and his interplay with Ramirez and Cucho will be the main aspect that FCC will need to handle. Obinna Nwobodo will need to have a Man of the Match performance if the team wants to hold Columbus to just a single goal.
According to WhoScored.com, Columbus’ strengths include finishing their scoring chances when they get them, attacking down the wings and creating individual scoring chances. The latter one looks to continue even with Zelarayan’s departure as that was a major strength of Rossi when he was with LAFC.
WhoScored.com also said that the team’s weaknesses include defending against skillful players, protecting the lead and avoiding individual errors.
The site also said that Columbus’ style of play includes playing possession football, controlling the game in the opponent’s half and playing non-aggressively.