TIFO

As FC Cincinnati celebrate their fifth anniversary since the club launched Aug. 12, 2015, here are some of the biggest moments in Orange and Blue history:


2015

  • Aug. 12 | FCC announced they’d begin play in 2016 as a United Soccer League club playing at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. At the time, USL was a third-division league, but team President and General Manager Jeff Berding said the club would be a major-league franchise.


2016

The FCC timeline: 8/12/2015 to now -
  • March 26 | The Orange and Blue played their first competitive match in club history when they played at the Charleston Battery. The match actually didn’t start on time because of a lightning delay. When the full-time whistle chirped, Cincinnati lost 1-0 after conceding in stoppage time.
  • April 9 | FC Cincinnati played their first home match in club history when they beat the Charlotte Independence, 2-1, at Nippert Stadium before 14,858 fans. Sean Okoli opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he scored with a scissor-kick shot, and Cincinnati native and club captain Austin Berry scored the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute.
The FCC timeline: 8/12/2015 to now -
  • July 16 | Cincinnati hosted Crystal Palace from the English Premier League in an international friendly that drew 35,061 fans – which was the largest crowd for a soccer match in Ohio history. FCC lost 2-0.
  • Nov. 29 | MLS Commissioner Don Garber visited Cincinnati for the first time. After arriving at Lunken Airport, he toured the city and ended the night at Woodward Theatre in Over-The-Rhine talking with supporters. The day was the start of FCC’s push to win an MLS expansion bid.


2017

  • June 14 | After beating Louisville City FC in the fourth round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in May, Cincinnati hosted and beat Columbus Crew SC, 1-0, in the first #HellisReal Derby and only meeting between the clubs before this past Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium.
The FCC timeline: 8/12/2015 to now -
  • June 28 | Following the U.S. Open Cup win against Columbus, Cincinnati played the Chicago Fire and advanced to the tournament’s quarterfinals after beating Chicago in a penalty shootout. Former goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt famously stopped three penalties on the nationally televised match on ESPN. Garber was in attendance and later said the game was the moment he knew FC Cincinnati would eventually become an MLS team.
The FCC timeline: 8/12/2015 to now -
  • Aug. 15 | Cincinnati hosted New York Red Bulls in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals and became the first non-MLS side to advance to the semis since 2011. The Orange and Blue took a 2-0 lead but eventually lost, 3-2, in extra time, ending the magical Cup run.


2018

  • May 29 | Perhaps the biggest day in FC Cincinnati history, the club was officially awarded an MLS expansion bid and became the league’s 26th franchise. It was also announced that FCC would begin MLS play in 2019 as the league’s 24th team to play in the nation’s first division.
  • Sept. 11 | After playing the first portion of the game days earlier, Cincinnati returned to Louisville City FC for the remainder of the match, which the Orange and Blue won, 1-0. This is mentioned simply for bragging rights – and a reminder Cincinnati won the last “Dirty River Derby” in USL history in Louisville.
The FCC timeline: 8/12/2015 to now -
  • Sept. 26 | FCC sealed the 2019 USL Supporters’ Shield with a 4-0 win at the Richmond Kickers. While the season still lasted well into October, the win sealed Cincinnati’s first major trophy.
The FCC timeline: 8/12/2015 to now -
  • Sept. 29 | Fresh off beating Richmond, FC Cincinnati beat Indy Eleven 3-0 in front of 31,478 fans. After the game, Cincinnati hoisted the supporters’ shield in a trophy ceremony in the last regular season home game at Nippert Stadium.


2019

  • March 2 | FC Cincinnati played their first match in MLS history at Seattle Sounders FC. After taking an early lead via a Leo Bertone volley, Cincinnati went on to lose, 4-1.
The FCC timeline: 8/12/2015 to now -
  • March 17 | The first MLS match at Nippert Stadium saw FCC beat the Portland Timbers, 3-0, before a sold-out crowd of 32,250. Captain Kendall Waston scored the first goal, while Allan Cruz and Mathieu Deplagne provide the second and third.
The FCC timeline: 8/12/2015 to now -
  • July 16 | The final renderings of the future West End Stadium were unveiled to the public. The team’s future home, which is currently under construction, will open for the 2021 season.
  • Aug. 10 | FCC and Columbus Crew SC play to a 2-2 draw at MAPFRE Stadium in the first #HellisReal Derby in MLS history.


2020

  • March 12 | MLS suspends league play two days before the Cincinnati home opener because of the global pandemic. FCC had only played two regular season matches to that point. 
The FCC timeline: 8/12/2015 to now -
  • May 21 | Jaap Stam is named the fourth full-time head coach in team history. Stam is the second Dutch head coach for FCC and also arrived with assistant coach Said Bakkati.
  • July 11 | Cincinnati began the MLS is Back Tournament with a derby loss to Columbus in Orlando, Fla. The Orange and Blue then won their next two group-stage matches and advanced to the knockout stage of the newly-created competition.
  • Aug. 21 | FCC will host D.C. United at Nippert Stadium to celebrate play resuming in home markets.