FC Cincinnati ties USL record, extends unbeaten streak to 22 consecutive matches
PITTSBURGH – FC Cincinnati recorded its 14th shutout of the USL regular season as the Orange and Blue played to a 0-0 draw against host Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in front of 3,205 fans at Highmark Stadium on Saturday night.
With the draw, FC Cincinnati (23-3-7, 76 pts.) extended its unbeaten streak to 22 matches (17-0-5) - matching the USL’s record unbeaten run by the 2012 Richmond Kickers - but saw its USL-record 10-game winning streak snapped.
Spencer Richey stopped all four shots on target for his fifth shutout of the season, while Pittsburgh’s (15-4-13, 58 pts.) Dan Lynd stopped all three FCC shots on target for his 12th clean sheet of the season.
FC Cincinnati will wrap up the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 13, when the team travels to Nashville to face Nashville SC at 8:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. CT). The match will be televised live on WSTR 64 and streamed live on ESPN+.
FCC will enter the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs as the tournament’s number one overall seed as the regular-season champion. The Orange and Blue will begin play when they host the Eastern Conference’s number eight seed at Nippert Stadium at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20. Tickets are on sale now.
For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. For more information about FC Cincinnati tickets - including 2018 USL Cup Playoffs tickets - call 513-977-KICK (5425) or visit fccincinnati.com/tickets.
FC Cincinnati 0, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 0
Highmark Stadium | Pittsburgh, Pa.
Saturday, October 6, 2018
FC Cincinnati: Spencer Richey, Justin Hoyte, Paddy Barrett ©, Forrest Lasso, Blake Smith, Fatai Alashe, Michael Lahoud (Tyler Gibson 72’), Emmanuel Ledesma, Corben Bone (Nazmi Albadawi 64’), Jimmy McLaughlin, Emery Welshman (Russell Cicerone 82’)
Bench: Evan Newton, Dekel Keinan, Matt Bahner, Kenney Walker
STATS: Shots 4, Shots on goal 3, Fouls 8, Offsides 5, Corner kicks 3, Saves 4, Possession 52.2%
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Dan Lynd, Joe Greenspan, Hugh Roberts, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Jordan Dover (Ray Lee 88’), Mouhamed Dabo, Ben Zemanski (Joe Holland 75’), Kenardo Forbes ©, Christiano Francois, Romeo Parkes, Neco Brett (Kay Banjo 75’)
Bench: Mike Kirk, Tobi Adewole, Todd Pratzner, Ben Fitzpatrick
STATS: Shots 18, Shots on goal 4, Fouls 13, Offsides 1, Corner kicks 7, Saves 3, Possession 47.8%
CIN -- Forrest Lasso (caution) 35’
Referee: Eric Tattersall
Weather: 74 degrees and clear
Man of the Match: Spencer Richey
HOW IT HAPPENED
- 13’ | On the game’s first corner kick, Pittsburgh’s Christian Francois served a low-driven service into the area and Romeo Parkes rose up to meet it at the far post, but headed his effort just high of Spencer Richey’s goal
- 13’ | Emmanuel Ledesma got on the end of a loose ball just inside the 18-yard line and laced a hard shot on target through traffic, but Dan Lynd made the two-handed save to push the effort aside
- 18’ | Pittsburgh’s Ben Zemanski sent a corner just outside the top of the six-yard box, the ball was cleared beyond the 18-yard box, but not past center back Hugh Roberts. Roberts corralled the loose ball, danced into space and ripped a right-footed strike from inside the 18-yard box, however, Spencer Richey was able to get both hands on the ball to record the save
- 19’ | Fatai Alashe dispossessed Zemanski to the left of the center circle and played a lateral pass to Emmanuel Ledesma. From the center circle, Ledesma passed over the top of Pittsburgh’s backline for a charging Emery Welshman. The forward appeared to be tripped in the 18-yard box, however there was no whistle, allowing play to continue with Lynd grabbing the loose ball.
- 26’ | Pittsburgh sprang a quick attack and Francois cut wide left before toward the edge of the area before sending a low through ball back toward goal. The pass made it through a pair of FCC defenders but was just ahead of Neco Brett in front of Richey and the ball rolled harmlessly out over the far end line.
- 34’ | Justin Hoyte stood for a throw-in in front of the FCC bench and sent his restart over the near defenders for Corben Bone in open space. He received the pass and spun toward the Pittsburgh goal, slipping a through ball back behind the Riverhounds’ backline as Fatai Alashe ran onto it for a one-on-one with Lynd. Alashe took a right-footed shot and tried to place it just inside the near post, but his effort was just wide right.
- 45’ | Jimmy McLaughlin broke down the right side and whipped the ball back across the field to Ledesma on the far edge of the 18. Ledesma drew the ball down and created some space for himself, ripping a left-footed shot on Lynd. The goalkeeper made the low save, but the ball popped out of his control with Welshman charging hard from a few feet away. Ultimately, however, Lynd re-claimed possession for the restart.
- 47’ | Brett got onto the ball near the upper left corner of the penalty area and sent a bouncing shot toward goal that forced Richey to dive to his left, but the shot was narrowly wide of the far post and the score remained 0-0
- 61’ | Forbes received a pass from Parkes at the upper-right corner of the penalty area. Pittsburgh’s captain faked a move to the inside of the 18-yard box and dribbled along the side of the area and played a low pass to an awaiting Brett just to the right of the penalty spot. As Forrest Lasso closed in on Brett, the Hounds’ striker attempted a left-footed shot, but he was unable to connect with the ball and Michael Lahoud was able to clear the ball outside of the area
- 62’ | After Richey goal kick, Ledesma flicked the ball back, and Pittsburgh center back Joe Greenspan tried to head the ball back to safety to Lynd, who had come way out off his line to the edge of the area. Welshman pressured the pass and caused a 50-50 chance against Lynd. Welshman gained possession but was affected as he rounded the keeper to get a shot off on the open net and fell to the ground, allowing Lynd to recover and grab the ball with Welshman still down.
- 81’ | From the middle third, Pittsburgh midfielder Jordan Dover lofted a pass behind the FC Cincinnati defense to the left edge of the 18-yard box to Thomas Vancaeyezeele. The defender chested the ball down and fired a left-footed strike just over the crossbar, giving the Orange and Blue a goal kick
- Saturday night’s draw pushed the Orange and Blue’s undefeated streak to 22 games (17-0-5), tying the USL record unbeaten streak (Richmond Kickers, 2012) … during this run, FCC is 10-0-2 at home and 7-0-3 on the road … FCC’s last loss came on May 26 - to Louisville City FC
- FC Cincinnati has now played two 0-0 draws this season … the other one came on July 7 at Nashville SC at Nissan Stadium … in that game, Evan Newton made three saves while Nashville SC out-shot the Orange and Blue, 20-1 overall
- The Orange and Blue remain undefeated through eight all-time matches between the two sides, posting a 4-0-4 record in USL play and 5-0-4 overall in all competitions … FC Cincinnati is now 2-0-2 in matches played at Highmark Stadium in USL competition … In addition, FC Cincinnati posted a mark of 1-0-2 in USL play this year and 2-0-2 overall this season, including a win at Highmark Stadium in the U.S. Open Cup third round
- FCC recorded the club’s 14th shutout of the USL regular-season in tonight’s match … that mark is three shy of Pittsburgh’s USL-leading 17 shutouts … Spencer Richey recorded his fifth shutout of the season after recording four saves
- Alan Koch made nine changes to the starting lineup that took the field last Saturday against Indy … Michael Lahoud and Jimmy McLaughlin were the only two players to remain in the starting 11
- Danni Konig was unavailable for Saturday’s game while serving a one-game yellow-card accumulation suspension
FCC Head Coach Alan Koch
On tonight’s performance…
“The performance was very up and down. There were some very good moments in the game and then some moments where we struggled a little bit. But, if you come play a team like Pittsburgh that are right at the top of the league, at their place, where they very rarely lose, you know it’s going to be challenging. We said to the guys all week long ‘These are the games we want to play now to prepare ourselves for the postseason.’ We don’t want to play easy games, we want to go to tough places and play tough teams. That's the best way to challenge ourselves to get ourselves ready for the postseason.”
On if he gets any enjoyment out of a tactical “chess match” against Pittsburgh head coach Bob Lilley…
“I do, actually. I’m satisfied tonight. I’m not happy or ecstatic with the result, but I’m satisfied with the performance, how we all managed the game, and how the players managed to get through it. Obviously, tonight, we tied a historic record, so that’s a nice accomplishment for the entire group.”
On what has made it difficult to break Pittsburgh down…
“They’re incredibly hardworking first off, they’re very, very organized. But, I like to think we’re both of those same things too. And then obviously, they have talent. We have talent too. If you have an organized hardworking team that has talent, they’re going to pose challenges and problems for every single team they play against. I feel like every game we’ve played against them this year, they’ve posed challenges for us. We pose many, many challenges for them too at the same time. I think we imposed some challenges tonight on the road against them, but we’ve had some great battles against Pittsburgh this year. Every single game has been exciting, every game has been a chess match, every game has had ebbs and flows through the course of the game. Hopefully, we both keep going, and hopefully we get to play against each other in the postseason.”
FCC Goalkeeper Spencer Richey
“They did some things that caused us some problems, especially out in wide areas. They were trying to overload us on sides, and we struggled a bit to manage that. They got in behind and they got some cutback opportunities. But, you know, at this time of the season it’s about bending and not breaking and we did that tonight, so we’ll take the shutout.”
On what FCC was able to take from the first two matches against Pittsburgh…
“They’re a tough team. They don’t give much up on the backend. We know the style that their coach likes. They didn’t concede much in Rochester, and they don’t concede much here. So, we know it’s going to be typically a low-scoring game against these guys and you’re going to have to come out and work because they’re definitely a gritty team. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw them down the line in the playoffs, and hopefully we can keep it going against them.”
On if he’s satisfied with the result at this stage of the season…
“Yeah, I mean, you want to win every game, of course, but we know coming in here that they’re a good team, they’re near the top of the table in the East. It’s a slick night on a tough field to play on. You come in wanting three points, but walking away in a tough place to play against a good team nill-nil, you’ll take that.”