The second match in our four-game road trip is upon us on our first and only Friday match of the 2017 season. It also represents the second and final match in our Queen City Cup rivalry, of which we won the inaugural edition in 2016.
How do our odds look at retaining that title? Read on to find out.
Tomorrow we travel to a city that claims to be the “Queen City” to face the Charlotte Independence.
FCC: The Orange & Blue’s form has continued its upward trajectory during the month of September. We enter Friday’s match riding a five-match unbeaten streak – also our first of the 2017 season, and the second longest in our club’s short history – having gone 2-0-3 since our last loss back on August 19th. However, if there’s a concern within that positive run of form, it’s that we’ve not been able to keep goals out of our own net. Though we’re +4 on goal differential during the unbeaten run, we’ve also given up seven goals in those five matches. And given that we’re facing a side that has tallied the fourth most goals in the league in 2017, we’ll need to tighten things up on Friday if we want that run to continue.
CI: While currently sitting in second in the Eastern Conference table, things haven’t been going that well for Charlotte recently. During our unbeaten run, they’ve gone 1-3-2 and given up nine goals to their own seven. Admittedly, only one of those 3 losses came at home though, and their 7-2-5 record in Charlotte shows we won’t be facing a pushover tomorrow.
FCC: As the team’s form has improved, a number of individual players’ forms have followed suit. Wide-man Jimmy McLaughlin has been quite influential in recent weeks, adding crucial goals during the unbeaten run, setting up teammates and even earning the last-gasp penalty that forced the draw last weekend in St. Louis. Defensively, defender Sem de Wit has also grown in confidence since his midseason move from Vancouver, and has shown some excellent technical ability on the ball when the team is building from the back.
CI: Lying in wait for us this weekend is a double-headed monster in the Charlotte attack. Attacking midfielder Enzo Martinez (#19) now sits second on the USL scoring charts with 16 goals on the season. Complimenting him is Colombian Jorge Herrera (#10) who has added 12 goals of his own. Each also has five assists on the season, showing they’re more than capable of setting up, too.
This will be our fourth meeting all-time with the Independence in the rivalry dubbed the Queen City Cup. We took the crown in 2016 on goal differential after winning 2-1 in Cincinnati and dropping a thrilling result 2-3 in Charlotte. This season, we enter the deciding fixture having drawn 1-1 at home back in June. A win or a draw involving more two or more goals will be enough to see us retain the trophy for 2017.
The cooler weather descending on Cincinnati today will also be cooling things off in Charlotte tomorrow. Temperatures are expected to be around 75° F at kickoff, and will likely fall off into the upper-60’s by the final whistle. And while last season’s match in Charlotte had to be postponed due to rain, there’s almost no chance of rain in the forecast tomorrow.
Originally scheduled to air on CW Cincinnati, tomorrow’s match has been bumped up to Star64 – which should mean a high definition broadcast for everyone in Cincinnati!
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.
FC Cincinnati's 2017 away matches are not broadcast on local radio.