This coming Friday, FC Cincinnati returns to preseason action in Cincinnati for the second time in a week. And for it, we’ll be trading the familiar campus of UC to head crosstown for the final preparatory match before the 2017 regular season kicks off on March 25th.
With the sports calendar already quite packed with madness, make sure you read our full preview below so you don’t get any of the important details mixed up with everything else that’s going on.
Squaring up across the pitch from the Orange & Blue in the final preseason match of 2017 will be the Musketeers of Xavier University. The NCAA Division I side ply their trade in the Big East, which has been one of the premier conferences in college soccer since its reorganization two seasons ago.
FCC: The boys enter this final preseason test on the back of a win over the University of Cincinnati’s men’s soccer team last Saturday at UC’s Gettler Stadium. Due in part to the cold and blustery conditions, head coach Alan Koch split his team in two for the game versus UC. But regardless of which side was out there, FCC were utterly dominant throughout the match.
XU: Much like UC before them, the Musketeer’s abbreviated spring schedule has just now gotten under way. And also like their crosstown rivals, they’re dealing with a roster depleted of last year’s seniors. So determining their current form isn’t an exact science. Not helping that is the lack of information available about Xavier’s sole match so far this spring, a 3-1 loss to national power Indiana. Looking back at last season, XU finished 8-8-3 and 5th in a 10-team Big East that ended the season with three teams ranked in the top 25 in the country. Xavier themselves were ranked as high as 24th in the nation at one point during the campaign.
"We are excited to play another game against a quality college opponent in Xavier. These games are essential to our preseason preparations, but also a nice way to bring the Cincinnati soccer community together. We look forward to the game being a useful exercise where we can continue to take another step forward as a group."
- Head Coach Alan Koch
FCC: Back on the scoresheet for the third time this spring against UC, new signing, Djiby, continues to make an impression at the apex of the Orange & Blue’s attack. Signs of a burgeoning partnership between the Senegalese forward and Northern Irishman Daryl Fordyce were also on display at Gettler. At the other end of the pitch, news broke this week that Austin Berry will be out 2-3 weeks with an elbow sprain that he picked up at the exhibition match in Sacramento. Might that mean we’ll see more of Paul Nicholson or the mysterious “trialists” in the center of defense at Xavier?
XU: Spring seasons are tricky for college sides with squads being depleted by the departure of seniors and non-returners, and that’s no different for Xavier. One such player they’ll be missing is forward Jalen Brown, who has landed with USL foes Rochester Rhinos. Instead, they’ll lean more heavily on rising senior Matt Vasquenza (#20). The speedy attacker led the Muskies in points in 2016, contributing five goals and six assists in 24 appearances. Coming out of the back, watch for centerback Cory Brown (#5) who was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year last season.
XU and FCC have met just one time previously, and it was exactly a year ago Tuesday during our inaugural preseason. The match ended in a 2-0 win for FC Cincinnati, with a 24th minute strike from Jimmy McLaughlin and a second from Sean “Ugo” Okoli in the 50th.
The more than 1,000 fans who made it out to UC’s Gettler Stadium last Saturday were treated to freezing temperatures and gusting winds. And from the sounds of it, more Ohio spring weather awaits us on Friday. As of the time of this post, kickoff temperatures should be around 43° F – though that’s expected to rise to around 48° by the final whistle. But more concerning is that there’s precipitation in the forecast, too.
As this is preseason, none of our matches prior to the start of the regular season campaign will be on television. And unfortunately, there won’t be any streams to watch either. So your only way to watch is to join us at XU on Saturday night or to follow the FCC social media channels below.
None of FC Cincinnati's 2017 preseason matches will be available over the radio or via streaming radio.
Just as was the case in 2016, you can follow along with the action during all of our 2017 matches live on our Twitter feed at @fccincinnati. Halftime and full time updates will also be available on Facebook. To get live looks from the match, follow us on Instagram and Snapchat at 'fccincinnati', too.