After four straight matches at home, FC Cincinnati hit the road again for the first time since returning from St. Louis with a victory in early July. At hand, a midweek trip north of the border to face FC Montréal.
Get a taste of what to expect from Wednesday's match in Quebec with our latest match preview below.
FC Montréal are the official reserve squad for MLS side Montréal Impact, and the first "MLS 2" side we've faced since squaring up against New York Red Bulls II at Nippert Stadium nearly two weeks ago. Though technically in just their second season in the USL, FC Montréal's parent club was previously a member of the league themselves as recently as 2009. During that spell, the Impact lifted two USL championships, including their last year in the league.
FCC: Saying that the Orange & Blue had a pretty busy July, might be an understatement. In all, the club played seven matches including the friendly against Crystal Palace. Four of the other six league matches came against sides in the top 6 in the Eastern Conference. And though the team will obviously wish they'd come away with more points, a 3-2-1 record and 10 points during that spell is far from disappointing. Plus, thanks to results during the course of the month, 3rd-placed FC Cincinnati are now actually closer to the conference leaders than they were at the beginning of the month.
Montréal: While the Canadian side faced three less opponents in July than their visitors this weekend, it was hardly a month they could consider successful. FC Montréal went 0-4 during the month of July, being outscored along the way by a tally of 3-10. To make matters worse, the Montréal reserves have only registered two wins on the season and are currently sporting the worst record in the league at 2-16-1. And of the seven points they've managed thus far, none of those have been picked at their home base of Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard.
FCC and FC Montréal do have some history between them, having met once before. The two squared off at a steamy Nippert Stadium on June 11th in a match that Orange & Blue would come out 2-1 winners. That win came courtesy of a brace from Sean "Ugo" Okoli on either side of halftime, though the Canadians did grab a late consolation goal via Mastanabal Kacher.
WHO TO WATCH:
FCC: On the offensive front, it's only natural to see if Okoli will be able to add to his season goal tally against Montréal and extend his team-leading goals tally of nine. But it's at the back of the park where things might get a little more interesting for the Orange & Blue. Defensive rock Harrison Delbridge will be absent through suspension after picking up his 5th yellow card of the campaign. Further compounding the issue is that Paul Nicholson, who stood in for Austin Berry during his spell on the sidelines through injury, is facing a fitness test of his own ahead of Wednesday after missing the last two matches with a tricky hamstring. So watch to see if defender Evan Lee makes his first start of the season in central defense.
Opponent: As an MLS reserve side, figuring out who is going to feature for Montreal from match to match can be a bit of a guessing game. That issue could be enhanced with their mother ship side due to face Italians AS Roma just hours later -- with the Impact in the thick of an MLS playoff push and a league match looming at the weekend, a few of the players normally in the reserve ranks could get pulled up into the first team. Who we will likely see is midfield starlet and Canadian youth international Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla (#54), who has three goals for the season. Also worth of note is Anthony Jackson-Hamel, who is tied for the team lead in scoring with Tabla, but he's a strong candidate for a call up to the first team.
While their parent club typically plays at 20,801-seat Stade Saputo in Montréal, much like the other Canadian "MLS 2" side we've traveled to this season, FC Montréal don't typically play their matches at daddy's house. Instead, they call Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard five miles away in the northern reaches of the city. Originally built for the 1976 Olympic handball and water polo events, the facility now plays host to over 20 sports.
Slightly cooler temperatures should greet FC Cincinnati in Quebec, as the kickoff forecast at the time of publication is calling for 27°C -- or 81° in our fancy Fahrenheit scale. And though humidity is expected to be high, it looks like the chances for rain will be pretty slim.
HOW TO WATCH:
As has been the case for most of our away matches this season, there will be no local TV broadcast of Wednesday's game in Canada. However, just like with all other away matches this season, the match can be streamed live via the league YouTube channel and Match Center located here.
You can also watch at one of our now 24 pub partners around the Greater Cincinnati Area. That includes taking in the action at official match day pub, Taste of Belgium in Clifton. And be sure to check with your favorite supporters group to see where they are meeting to take in the match.
HOW TO LISTEN:
Unfortunately, away matches are not available to listen to live on any of the local radio stations.