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MATCH PREVIEW: 5/14 VS PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS

By DJ SWITZER, 05/13/16, 8:00PM EDT

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Officially dubbed an Orange Out, the excitement building ahead of Saturday’s 4pm tilt against the visiting Pittsburgh Riverhounds has created a true buzz in the Queen City.

It started with our owner challenging the city and its fans to break the league attendance record for the second time this season. Then the team announced it would be wearing limited edition third kits that are primarily orange. After that, hundreds of fans started picking up their orange jerseys and gear at the official FC Cincinnati shop and in retailers around the city. A few “football” stars in town decided they would be wearing orange at Nippert Saturday as honorary captains soon after. And as for tickets — well, they’re moving fast.

So with the eyes of the city anxiously waiting to turn their gaze on Saturday’s match, make sure you’re prepared by reading up on our latest match preview to get all of the information you’ll need ahead of kickoff.

WHEN IS IT HAPPENING:

Saturday, May 14th, 2016, at 4:00pm.
Get tickets here.

THE OPPOSITION:

Initially founded as the Pittsburgh “Riverdogs” all the way back in 1998 as a member of the USL A-League, the Riverhounds have been a long time staple in the American lower league scene. The club has a beautiful soccer specific stadium right on the banks of the Monongahela River just across from downtown Pittsburgh, and have a solid local following — lead by the supporters group, The Steel Army. Traditionally, the club wear a predominantly yellow kit — but with FCC donning a mostly orange strip on Saturday, don’t be surprised if the visitors wear their black change kit.

RECENT RESULTS:

FCC: FCC enter the match on the back of a four-match streak without a loss. Three of those games came in a seven day stretch spanning last week, starting with a 1-1 draw with Wiln last time out at Nippert, and followed by a two match road trip that included a 3-1 win over Orlando City B and a 1-1 draw at Harrisburg. That leaves the Orange & Blue sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings, on 14 points.

Pittsburgh: It’s been a tumultuous start to 2016 for the Riverhounds. They’ve taken just three points from a possible eighteen in their opening six fixtures, and have yet to log their first win of the campaign. Last time out saw the team not only lose 1-3 at home to New York Red Bulls II, but the match also was regrettably marred by an act of violence. Jamaican international forward Romeo Parkes reacted horrendously to an altercation with Baby Bull Karl Ouimette, kicking the player in the back. The player has since been suspended by the league and subsequently let go by the team.

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

For the ninth match running, FC Cincinnati will be facing an opponent for the first time.

WHO TO WATCH:

FCC: Though he recently picked up league Goal of the Month honors and leads the team in scoring with three goals, forward Ugo Okoli will be desperate to add to his tally against a Pittsburgh side that’s given up 1.83 goals per match in 2016. At the other end of the pitch, goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt will be equally desperate to see his defense hold their first clean sheet of the season, and his penchant for big time saves will certainly be of benefit this Saturday at Nippert.

Pittsburgh: Prior to last week’s disaster against New York, Romeo Parkes em>would have been the player to watch for the Riverhounds — the forward having just made the 40-man shortlist for Jamaica’s Copa America team and leading the team in scoring with five goals. Without him, Pittsburgh will be looking to see who will step up and fill that sizable void. Former MLS man Corey Hertzog (#11) looks the most likely candidate, as one of only two other Pittsburgh players to have scored this season besides Parkes.

THE VENUE:

After two straight matches on the road, FCC return to what will hopefully be a completely orange Nippert Stadium.
Directions to Nippert.

FORECAST:

Though the forecast earlier this week had called for rain all day on Saturday, the prognosis for Saturday is looking much better as of the time of writing. We’re currently expecting morning rains to end around 10am and a dry outlook from that point on, with the temperature at kickoff roughly around 53° F.

HOW TO WATCH:

For the first time this season, the match against Pittsburgh will be broadcast live on Local 12 (WKRC). Most local providers’ station information can be found below

Over the Air: Channel 12
Cincinnati Bell Fioptics: Channel 12 (SD) or 512 (HD)
Time Warner Cable (OH): Channel 12 (SD) or 1012 (HD)
Time Warner Cable (KY): Channel 12 (SD) or 912 (HD)
DirecTV: Channel 12
DISH: Not Available

All regular season USL games are broadcast live on the league YouTube channel, and that’s no different on Saturday. Here’s the FCC vs Pittsburgh specific link for Saturday’s game, as well as the USL Match Center too.

HOW TO LISTEN:

All FC Cincinnati home matches are broadcast live on local radio on ESPN 1530, which can be streamed through their iHeartRadio feed.

SOCIAL:

We’ll be tracking the action live on Twitter at @fccincinnati using the hashtag #CINvPGH. For live looks during and after the game, follow us on Snapchat “fccincinnati”, and on Instagram too. Halftime and full time updates will also be available on Facebook, too.