For the second consecutive season, FC Cincinnati is heading to the playoffs! The Orange & Blue secured their place in the 2017 post-season thanks to Orlando City B’s home loss to Tampa Bay Rowdies on Thursday night. What remains to be seen, however, is what[DS1] seed FCC will be in the playoffs. If we’re able to lock up three points Saturday – and some other results go our way – we could end up as high sixth, and potentially improve our first round draw. One thing is certain, though: we'll be playing that first round match away from the friendly confines of Nippert Stadium.
So get yourself acquainted with this weekend's match, what to expect, and how you can follow the action in the full preview below.
Our last game of the regular season will be at and against Toronto FC II, the reserve side for Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC.
FCC: Though last weekend’s foray into Canada didn’t go to plan, it was just the Orange & Blue’s first defeat since August 19th. The team has gone on to pick up 10 points from seven matches with a 3-1-3 record. That uptick in form has kept us in the playoff places, and as mentioned above, our post-season participation is now already assured before we even kick a ball on Saturday thanks to Orlando’s loss last night to Tampa Bay. A positive result for us in Toronto can both improve our seeding and give us a platform to build from heading into the playoffs that are likely largely to take place on the road.
TFCII: Currently propping up the Eastern Conference table, Toronto enter the match sitting in fifteenth place, were eliminated from the playoffs weeks ago, and have also taken just four points from their last six matches. So, while it might be tempting to write this one off as a victory for FCC, doing so would be far too premature. Want proof? The lone win they’ve posted since the end of August came at home against table-topping Louisville City. And with the ability to drop MLS-caliber players down for some minutes, the potential is definitely there for “Two-ronto” to send us off to the post-season with a less than ideal result.
FCC: The return of Kenney Walker, who was out of action due to suspension last weekend, will be welcomed by Koch and his charges. The protection he offers the back line was missed in Ottawa, as was his ability to link play in midfield. We’ll also look to see who finishes top of the FCC scoring charts in 2017, as Djiby still leads Danni König with 11 and 10 goals respectively.
TFCII: While Toronto might have struggled for a majority of the 2017 season, there are still threats in their squad of which we’ll want to be wary. One of those threats is 18-year-old forward Shaan Hundal (#64), a Canadian youth international who leads the team in scoring with 6 goals in 21 appearances – equaling his tally from 2016 in less games. Forward Jordan Hamilton (#22) also has youth and first team international experience with Canada, and has contributed 5 goals and 2 assists in just nine showings.
Saturday’s match will be our fourth all-time meeting with Toronto FC II, and second of the 2017 campaign. And to this point, FCC has won all three previous matchups. The last time we faced them came way back at the end of May, when a 18th-minute Danni König goal was enough to give the Orange & Blue the victory at Nippert Stadium. We also managed to win both games against them in 2016 as well, both by a 2-1 scoreline.
As might be expected when heading to Canada, cooler weather awaits FC Cincinnati in suburban Toronto on Saturday. We’ll be at or around the expected high of 63° F – or 17° C if you prefer the local vernacular -- at kickoff and throughout the match. And if you’re crossing the border to watch in person, you might want to bring an umbrella or poncho as light rains are being called for at this time.
There are two excellent ways to take in the final regular season match of the season on Saturday evening. Toronto FC II vs FC Cincinnati will be shown live on local television on Star 64 (WSTR), with station info on most providers available 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.
FCC away matches aren’t being aired on local radio in 2017.