After playing through a jam-packed schedule during the summer months, it’s a little crazy that tomorrow’s match will be just the Orange & Blue’s second in the twenty days. But with the end of the season now just around the corner, and a tightly-contested playoff picture starting to take shape, this match represents a potentially vital three points in the standings.
Find out what to expect and look forward to in tomorrow’s away fixture in our full match preview below.
We’ll be heading to the capital of Pennsylvania tomorrow to face the Harrisburg City Islanders.
FCC: After a tough stretch in August that saw the team win just two of six in all competitions, the team is teetering on the edge of the playoff picture in 8th place. Luckily, FCC enter this weekend’s match looking like they’ve finally shaken their demons. The boys promisingly picked up four of the last six points, which included a 3-1 win over Ottawa and a come-from-behind 1-1 draw with Pittsburgh. But both of those matches came at home, and tomorrow’s match is the first of five away dates we’ll face in our final six matches. Unfortunately, away dates have proven very tricky for us in 2017. Thus far, we’ve gone just 2-7-2 on the road this year. So there’s no better time than now to reverse that trend.
HCI: Currently in 13th place and eight points behind us with 27, the Islanders aren’t yet out of the playoff race themselves. Having played a match more than us already, they’ll not only need to win tomorrow to keep their hopes alive, but they’ll also need some help along the way too. They too have reversed a recent slump, being fresh off a 2-1 road win over Saint Louis FC on Saturday. But prior to that, they went 8 matches without a victory with a 0-6-2 record. With just 16 points from 12 home matches this season though, they’re certainly a side that can be beaten at home.
FCC: We’ve seen the same front three of McLaughlin, Kӧnig, and Wiedeman trotted out for the last two matches, and they’ve made for an effective trio. Each has scored during their time together, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them lined up to start again on Tuesday. Interestingly, though, team leading-scorer Djiby’s last league goal came against the City Islanders way back in July – and I’m sure he and Coach Koch would love to see him end his goalless drought and finally add his 12th of the season tomorrow.
HCI: The Islanders have struggled for goals in much of 2017, and a look at their scoring stats quickly conveys that point. The team high for goals is just three on the season, with forward Pedro Ribeiro (#30), forward Ropapa Mensah (#25) and midfielder Paul Wilson (#10) equaling that tally. The first two in that list have added one of those goals in their last two fixtures, the Islanders’ first two matches with a goal after six straight shutouts.
Tuesday’s fixture will be our fourth all-time meeting with the City Islanders, and we enter the match holding an unbeaten 2-0-1 record in the three previous encounters. This season’s lone previous match came back in July, when we downed Harrisburg 3-0 thanks to goalscorers Djiby, Kӧnig and McLaughlin.
Though we’re expecting a drab and rainy Tuesday evening here in Cincinnati, we’re expecting a pretty nice day in Pennsylvania. Dry skies and minimal amounts of wind are expected throughout the match, with temperatures topping out around 73° F at kickoff and tailing into the upper 60’s by the final whistle.
Tomorrow’s midweek matchup will be broadcast live on CW Cincinnati. Most local providers’ station information can be found below:
Over the Air: Channel 12.2
Cincinnati Bell Fioptics: Channel 17 (SD) or 517 (HD)
Spectrum/TWC (OH): Channel 20/13 (SD) or 989 (HD)
Spectrum/TWC (KY): Channel 20 (SD) or 989 (HD)
DirecTV: Channel 25
DISH: Not Available
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.
Our 2017 road matches are not broadcast on local radio.