After a ten-day break – which felt like an eternity given the packed schedule the side has faced over the previous three months – FC Cincinnati returns to the pitch this weekend for a pivotal Eastern Conference match. With playoff prospects hanging in the balance, and a red-hot regional foe chasing our current spot, it’s sure to be an epic affair.
Read up on what to expect ahead of the action in our full match preview below.
The Riverhounds of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will make their way down the Ohio River to do battle this weekend.
There are two major promotions occurring at this week’s match:
FCC: After an August that saw the team win just once in their opening five fixtures – a 1-0 win on the road at Miami in the Open Cup quarterfinals – it was great to see FCC end the month by getting things back on track with a 3-1 win over Ottawa Fury. The result keeps the Orange & Blue in the playoff race, but only just. Currently in 8th by just a single point, the guys will need to turn that month-ending win into a string of 3-point pickups to secure their post-season standing.. And to do that, they’ll need to tighten up a leaky backline that gave up 2.5 goals per game in August.
PRFC: Pittsburgh meanwhile, enter this weekend’s match on hot streak. They’ve won three on the trot, the last of which was a 3-2 win over in-state rivals and fellow playoff race contenders Bethlehem Steel last weekend at home. Currently just behind us in 9th place, their motivation to leap over us into a playoff spot should be more than enough to have them ready and raring for Saturday. And with two straight wins away from Highmark Stadium and the fourth best road record in the East, they’re more than capable of causing a disturbance tomorrow.
"We look forward to hosting Pittsburgh in our match this weekend. They have been on an impressive roll recently and have been putting in some excellent performances. However, we feel that our team is heading in the right direction again and after a good week of training we are ready for this battle. Every game at this time of the season has major playoff implications and we will give it everything that we have to earn the three points in front of our faithful supporters."
- Head Coach Alan Koch
FCC: Making his first appearance against Ottawa after a long injury layoff, left back Tyler Polak certainly seized the opportunity. An assistand another sterling defensive performance earned him a spot in the USL Team of the Week alongside winger Jimmy McLaughlin, who also seems to be rounding into form. The question on most fans’ minds, however, is who will get the start up top. Forward Danni König made the most of his first start in the league since July 22nd with an industrious showing and a goal to boot. His supplanting team leading-scorer Djiby wasn’t that surprising, given the Senegalese striker hasn’t netted himself since that same match.
PRFC: Pittsburgh’s recent run of form has been spearheaded by the dynamic attacking trio of Corey Hertzog (#11), Chevaughn Walsh (#9) and Romeo Parkes (#38). They have 10, 5 and 3 goals this season respectively, and each have scored two goals in their last three matches. However, it’s the opposite end of the pitch where they are facing some adversity. The ‘Hounds have lost two goalkeepers to injury this season – Trey Mitchell and Keasel Broome – and will likely rely on the recently loaned Alex Kapp (#41) of MLS’ Minnesota United.
This will be our fifth all-time meeting with Pittsburgh, and thus far, it’s been a series that has favored Orange & Blue. We went 2-0-1 against them in 2016, including wins at Nippert and Highmark sandwiching the loan draw in Pittsburgh. As for 2017, we picked up our first win of the young campaign with a 1-0 score line in Pittsburgh after the hosts were forced to go play the final 48 minutes of the match down to ten men.
Despite the remnants of Hurricane Harvey currently pouring out over Cincinnati and further rain expected in tomorrow morning’s forecast, it’s looking likely that all of that rain should clear out before kickoff tomorrow! By kickoff, temperatures are expected to be in the mid-60’s under mostly cloudy skies. There’s high humidity throughout, but the chances for precipitation during the match are currently not expected to increase from 23% at kickoff.
This Saturday’s match will be shown live locally on Local 12 (WKRC)! Local providers’ station information can be found below:
Over the Air: Channel 12
Cincinnati Bell Fioptics: Channel 12 (SD) or 512 (HD)
Spectrum/TWC (OH): Channel 12 (SD) or 1012 (HD)
Spectrum/TWC (KY): Channel 3 (SD) or 912 (HD)
DirecTV: Channel 12
DISH: Channel 12
Not in the local viewing area? No problem! Every match in the USL is available to stream as well, and this match is available for free on YouTube.