After a short offseason, FC Cincinnati are ready to mount their defense of the 2023 MLS Supporters’ Shield and make the 2024 season another storied year in the history of the club.
With a jam-packed MLS schedule, including three cup tournaments mixed in and a historic summer of international soccer in the United States, there will be plenty to focus on once The Orange and Blue kickoff at TQL Stadium on February 25 against Toronto FC.
But until then, let’s look at the important dates to circle on the calendar as FCC prepare for the year:
Reporting to Camp
FC Cincinnati players will report to Mercy Health Training Center for training on January 16. While some have utilized FCC’s world class training facilities in Milford, Ohio, throughout the break, it will be the first time the full group (for the most part) will train together since the MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Final last December.
Heading to the Sunshine State
After a week of training in the Cincinnati cold (where temperatures are expected to drop as low as -7 and reach as high as a balmy 30), FCC will pack their bags and head to Clearwater, Florida, for 28 days of intense training in the Sunshine State.
While in Florida, FCC will play four preseason friendlies that will be closed to public viewing. The Orange and Blue will travel to Al Lang Stadium in Tampa Bay to take on Austin FC on January 26, followed by friendlies against New England Revolution on February 1 at IMG Academy in Bradenton and Philadelphia Union on February 9 at Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex in Clearwater. FCC will cap off the preseason with their lone “home match,” a rematch against the Revolution on February 15 at Walter Campbell Sports Park.
While streaming options are not available, there will be coverage of all four matches on FCCincinnati.com and FC Cincinnati social media channels.
Orange and Blue with the Red, White and Blue
Three FC Cincinnati players will not be making the scheduled report date to Mercy Heath Training Center after being called up by the U.S. Men’s National Team for their annual January Camp ahead of a friendly with Slovenia on January 20 at Toyota Field in San Antonio.
Goalkeeper Roman Celentano, defender Ian Murphy and newly signed member of FCC Miles Robinson were all called into camp and will be training with the national team from January 8-16 in Orlando. No MLS club had more players called up than the three FCC had for the 25-man camp.
The match, which all three FCC players are eligible for selection, will be available on TNT, Telemundo, Universo, MAX and Peacock, with coverage beginning at 3 p.m. EST for a 7 p.m. kickoff in San Antonio. Live Spanish-language audio for the match will be available on Fútbol de Primera radio.
Another wrinkle to the 2024 calendar is FC Cincinnati’s participation in the Concacaf Champions Cup for the first time in club history.
In the opening round of the Champions Cup, which pits the best teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean against each other for continental supremacy, The Orange and Blue will travel from their Clearwater training camp to Kingston, Jamaica, for a match with Cavalier FC of the Jamaican Premier League. Kick-off is set for 9 p.m. ET on February 22.
FC Cincinnati will then fly back to the Queen City for a short turnaround to prepare for their MLS home opener against Toronto FC on February 25 before playing the return match in the Champions Cup aggregate series at TQL Stadium against the Jamaican side on February 28.
Fans stateside will be able to watch all the matches in the Champions Cup through Concacaf’s TV partner networks FOX Sports, TUDN, Tubi (English) and ViX (Spanish)
It is just the beginning of what is shaping up to be an amazing year, and there is plenty to be excited for between now and when FCC take the field for opening day of the 2024 MLS regular season!