After earning a big point on the road last weekend, FC Cincinnati will look to grab all three points at Nippert Stadium on Saturday when they face Bethlehem Steel FC for the second time this season. And with a crowd of over 10,000 already guaranteed, the Orange & Blue will be have a strong 12th man to lean on.
And as always, you can get the full lowdown on what to expect from the match — weather, how to watch, where to get tickets, who to keep an eye on, and much more — in the latest match preview below.
WHEN IS IT HAPPENING:
Saturday, July 2nd, 2016, at 6:00 PM
A fellow first year club, Bethlehem Steel is the official reserve squad for Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union. And just as was the case when facing Montreal, Orlando or Toronto, as a “MLS 2” team, projecting the actual side that FCC will face this weekend can be a bit difficult given their parent club’s ability to loan players down in the short term and the pulling up of academy players to give them a runout. Based out of Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, expect Steel FC to sport their white away kits at Nippert on Saturday.
FCC: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, FCC are a fine run of form at the moment. The 0-0 draw last Saturday night in Louisville was the Orange & Blue‘s tenth straight match without a loss, going 6-0-4 and outscoring their opponents 15-7. Looking more specifically at the team’s last 5 matches, they’ve tallied 3 wins and two draws. The streak has kept Cincinnati within touching distance of conference leaders Louisville and New York Red Bulls II — both of whom visit Nippert in July — as FCC remain in third place.
Bethlehem: Currently lagging six places behind FCC in the table, Steel FC have quite the penchant for draws. Their record of 4-4-6 sports the second highest number of draws in the league, and underlines what looks to be a team that’s almost-but-not-quite there. In their last five matches, they’ve gone 1-1-3 — not bad — but have only scored four goals. In fact, they’re tied for scoring the second least amount of goals in the league so far this season with 13 in 14 outings. Also, factor in this will be Bethlehem’s third match of a five match road trip.
The only time the two teams have met was back on April 3rd in both team’s second matches of the season. FCC came away from Bethlehem’s Goodman Stadium with a 2-1 win on the back of goals from Andrew Wiedeman and Sean Okoli.
WHO TO WATCH:
FCC: After securing their third shutout of the season last week in Louisville with a 0-0 draw, getting back in the goals will be high on the priority list this weekend against BSFC. And while many will surely keep an eye fixed on leading scorer Sean “Ugo” Okoli to add to his tally of seven goals, devote the other to paying attention to wide men Jimmy McLaughlin and Andrew Wiedeman. The former hasn’t scored in the league since mid-May, while the later hasn’t since the end of May… though both have found the net against teams from the Keystone State.
Bethlehem: While goals have been hard to come by this year for Steel FC, they are spreading around the love: seven different players have scored, though none have more than two goals to their name. And their leading point earner, midfielder Derrick Jones, is suspended this weekend due to yellow card accumulation. So instead, watch for Jamaican forward Cory Burke. He was one of the leading scorers in Jamaica’s Red Stripe Premier League last campaign, and he scored in just his second start for the club against Charlotte two weeks ago.
After a week away from home, FCC returns to the friendly confines of Nippert Stadium this weekend.
Directions to Nippert Stadium.
Though the weather forecast earlier this week was calling for the possibility of scattered thunderstorms, the latest forecast at the time of publication indicates that the rain won’t arrive until Sunday! Instead, you can expect temperatures in the high 70’s and partly cloudy skies.
HOW TO WATCH:
This weekend’s match will be broadcast live on Local 12 (WKRC) for the second time this season. Most local providers’ station information can be found below
All regular season USL games are broadcast live on the league YouTube channel —the FCC vs BSFC specific stream can be found here. Additionally, you can stream the game live, track stats and keep up with the online conversation in the USL Match Center.
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.
You can follow along with the action on our Twitter feed at @fccincinnati. For live looks during and after the game, follow us on Snapchat “fccincinnati”, and onInstagram too. Halftime and full time updates will also be available on Facebook.