Updated 1:15 p.m.
Still here as the half winds down. It's been uneventful but FCC has controlled the attacking side of play. This group has been mostly dominant in all three games save for one goal conceded in the opener with Austin.
The primary issue has just been that final bit to create a real scoring chance. Stiven Jimenz, Malik Pinto, and Dado Valenzuela have all done really well to control play through the middle but in that final bit jus
Updated 12:57 p.m.
Unfortunately it appears Santos day is done. He was readying to come back on but was pulled back and Marco Angulo is coming on for him. Hard to read into anything as it's preseason and caution is paramount, but you hate to see any hint of problems at all.
Seems as though Gerardo "Dado" Valenzuela is taking over the striker duties but hard to tell from the formation thus far.
Updated 12:51 p.m.
Been a back and forth final 45 minutes thus far but very little in dangerous play thus far. The lone chance came from Stiven Jimenez rolling a through ball for an unmarked Sergio Santos but the striker couldn't beat the keeper as he deflects it off the post and back out.
On the play Santos was dragged down in a heap and needed medical attention. Due to the new MLS rules this means he will have to stay out for a period of time so FCC will be a man down.
Unfortunate but perhaps good training for how the new rule works.
Updated 12:33 p.m.
Start of the third period of play and FCC sends out a whole new group again. This third period to end the match will be 45 minutes so essentially they will play a half of soccer.
The following is the lineup FC Cincinnati will role with in alphabetical order:
Updated 12:24 p.m.
A red card for Philly makes it an interesting finish to the game. After a second yellow the Philly player is sent off in the 72 minute so Philly will play at least the next few minutes or so down a man.
Teams have typically done full group subs at some point at the breaks so when the second period ends I can't imagine the red card/man down will stick. It serves no purpose to have either side play a new group and play 11 on 10 for 45 minutes but we will see.
Updated 12:17 p.m.
His reign of terror over goalies continues! Aaron Boupendza finishes a pass from Yuya Kubo to make it 4-3 in the 65th minute. That's his fifth goal of preseason and his second brace. Boupendza has been class at finding space and finishing them and his teammates continue to find him!
That's Boupendza's fifth of the preseason, with two braces. He's almost equaled his 2023 total...in three games.
Updated 12:07 p.m.
We have a brief stoppage as the ref calls for the trainers to tend to a head injury. Pavel Bucha rifled an open look shot from left of center of the top of the box and a Philly defender just in time stepped in to block it with his face.
It looks like the player is ok and is staying in, but an important reminder that is is preseason so things like this happen and everyone understands that despite an opportunity perhaps being stopped, tending to an injury immediately is more important.
Updated 11:59 a.m.
And just like that we are level!
Corey Baird puts the body on the line to poke a 50/50 ball forward, he's awarded the 'play on' as the ball finds Luciano Acosta who dribbles past two men before harmless beating the goal keeper who tried to charge out at him.
He had two avenues to score, Boupendza was free as a runner to his left unmarked but Lucho gets his first goal of the preseason after assisting on all four on Boupendza's this preseason.
Updated 11:55 a.m.
Needed to relocate due to the heat of the sun once again baking my laptop, but Aaron Boupendza brings one back and makes it a 3-2 game after 45 minutes.
Boupendza earned his 4th goal of the preseason on a back heel flick past Andre Blake.
Intensity is running very high between these two clubs and there was some exception taken to either the goal or celebration. All is diffused though and the two sides finish the period and head off.
Appears the same group will start the second period, which will be 30 minutes
Updated 11:23 a.m.
The Orange and Blue get one back! Lucho wins a ball on the right side, intercepting a pass, and drives it forward before floating a cross to a streaking Corey Baird who leaps to get a foot on it and guides it in with one touch.
Baird spoke with me earlier this week about his desire to have goal contributions and he gets his first today. Lucho has assisted on all four preseason goals so far.
Edit, 11:29 am: Volley. Corey Baird volleyed it in. That's the word I was looking for.
Updated 11:17 a.m.
Not The Orange and Blue's best start. They're in the hole 2-0 after a seemingly harmless cross roles through to the top of the box and a Philly player puts a strike on from outside the box. Miles Robinson appeared to be on the block, and may have got a piece, but it beats Celentano as he dives to his left.
Moments later Philly tucks a through ball past the back line and leaves Philly all alone at the penalty spot. He shoots it high and makes it 3-0.
Not ideal. Still plenty of time though.
Updated 11:09 a.m.
Philly strike first. A difficult bouncing ball in the box lands on a Philly players foot after a cross and he puts a shot on net.
Roman Celentano makes one save, slaps away another, FCC tries to clear it but lands back with Philly and they tap it in to make it 1-0.
A tough situation and a tad unlucky. But Philly get on the board all the same.
Updated 11:04 a.m.
Kickoff in Clearwater! FC Cincinnati take the field in their River Kit Blues against Philly in their yellow and powder blues. FCC kicked off first in the first 45 minute period and are attacking in a left to right orientation from where the press box is oriented. Celentano is wearing purple in net and makes the first real play of the game coming off his line to collect a harmless long shot.
Reminder, it's like the good ole hockey game or an ellipsis today...three periods!
Update: 10:47 a.m. Lineups are in
The lineups are in ahead of the 11 a.m. kickoff with Philly. The newest member of The Orange and Blue, Pavel Bucha, makes his debut with the squad along with starting lineup mainstays like Luciano Acosta and Obinna Nwobodo.
The following is the FC Cincinnati opening lineup in alphabetical order:
Hey there! It's me, friendly neighborhood FC Cincinnati staff writer, Carter Chapley, reporting live to let you know that The Orange and Blue are back in action this morning!
This time, The Orange and Blue are staying local, heading just up the road to in Clearwater, Florida, to take on the Philadelphia Union at the Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex for another friendly match.
Similar to the last friendly, where FCC secured a solid 2-0 win over the New England Revolution, this match will also be played over 120 minutes. However, the twist this week is that the game will be divided into three periods instead of two. The first and last periods will be 45 minutes each, with a 30-minute session sandwiched in between.
We're currently at the Philadelphia Union's home training ground for preseason, which conveniently happens to be right across the street from the Philadelphia Phillies' spring training home. The weather here is a cool 63 degrees Fahrenheit, with a chance of reaching 75 degrees. The sky is crystal clear, and there's not a breath of wind in the air.
Be sure to check back here throughout the morning for updates on lineups, weather, and more before kickoff. I'll be here to keep you in the loop with all the excitement and highlights. Stay tuned!