The FC Cincinnati Academy are set to face Indy Gladiators SC in the Ohio Conference Semifinals of the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) playoffs on Saturday, October 28 at Mercy Health Training Center. The match kicks off the start of the fall season playoffs and leads to the UPSL 2023 Fall National Final set to take place in February.
The Young Garys won the Ohio Conference Championship, clinching the No. 1 seed, last Saturday afternoon against the Columbus Crew Academy where the FCC Academy defeated their in-state rivals 4-0 at Historic Crew Stadium in Columbus. Illia Tyrkus wasted no time getting the Orange and Blue out to an early lead, scoring his fifth of the season just one minute into the match.
Ryan Belal, who led the team with 11 goals this season, notched a brace in the win, picking up goals for the Young Garys in the 8th and 36th minute while Jio Mora scored the fourth of the afternoon in the 74th. Hunter Morse recorded a shutout as the Orange and Blue finished the regular season with a 9-1-0 record and 27 points.
2023 was an impressive first season of UPSL play for the FC Cincinnati Academy. The Young Garys scored 40 goals in 10 matches and their 27 points trailed only Bridge Sports Club of the DMV North Conference for the most points in the Premier Division. The Orange and Blue highlighted the season with a 9-0 win against Columbus Astray and allowed just three goals all season.
The Young Garys defeated their upcoming playoff opponent twice during the regular season in a 3-0 road win on September 6 and a 6-0 win at MHTC on October 8. Belal scored four goals in the home win and has found the back of the net six times against the Gladiators. The Orange and Blue kept clean sheets in both meetings.
Should the Orange and Blue defeat the Gladiators Saturday afternoon, they would advance to the Ohio Conference Final and face the winner of the Columbus Crew Academy and CD Granite Masters match on October 29. The winner of that match would qualify for the UPSL 2023 Fall Final playoffs beginning on November 11.
The fall season final will be held in Irvine, California on February 4 at the Championship Soccer Stadium. For up-to-date scores, schedules and standings, visit premier.upsl.com.