Match Preview: Vancouver

Beginning Saturday night at Nippert Stadium, the Orange and Blue begin a stretch of matches that will see FC Cincinnati play three of their next four games at home.  

With essentially two months left in the regular season, now’s the time to start putting all the pieces together, earn results collect points … and try to claim bragging rights against the club’s biggest rival while playing postseason spoiler for more of the conference. And, maybe even inch into one of the final MLS Cup Playoffs berths if all the cards fall in FCC’s favor.

With one-third of the season remaining now, here are three things to watch ahead of Saturday night against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

The points are there for the taking.

As stated above, Cincinnati hosting three of its next four games at Nippert Stadium allows the club to utilize its home-field advantage to hopefully help add points and boost its position in the Eastern Conference standings. 

Vancouver sits 10th in the Western Conference and haven’t won since May, which – by appearances – should play in the home side’s favor. Additionally, FCC have never lost to a Canadian team at Nippert Stadium. Yes, all but one of those results came as a USL club, but the last time Cincinnati faced a team from the north, Yoann Damet led the team to a 2-1 win over Montreal in his managerial debut on May 11.

Following Saturday’s game, the expansion side plays at Columbus Crew SC on Aug. 10 in the first #HellIsReal derby meeting in MLS play. The last – and only official – time the teams met was in 2017 during the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. But the rivalry grew deep, and quickly, and is already one of the league’s premiere rivalry games before a true MLS meeting.

FCC will then host New York City FC and Columbus in the next two matches on Aug. 17 and 25, respectively. For the team, the opportunity to play three matches at home in August should result in positive results. For fans, this month should be exciting. While there are multiple chances to see Cincinnati at home, two matches this month are against the biggest rival.

Matches between Cincinnati and Columbus used to be the stuff of Ohio soccer fans’ daydreams. Now, it’s reality.

Whitecaps FC haven’t won a road match since May 3.

Obviously, this suggests the Cascadia club struggles on the road. To add to that, Vancouver enters Nippert Stadium winless in their last nine league matches.

Following the team’s recent 0-0 draw at Minnesota United FC, J.J. Adams of the Vancouver Sunwrote, “The bleeding has been stemmed, the wound has been clotted, but there’s still healing to be done.”

FC Cincinnati have to capitalize on this.

With almost 28,000 fans descending upon Nippert Stadium per game – the third-best average attendance in the league – they’ll need to be in full voice behind Cincinnati.

Oh, and FC Cincinnati and Vancouver Whitecaps FC have a considerable amount of connections.

Before becoming FC Cincinnati’s first MLS captain this season, Kendall Waston held the same role for Vancouver in 2018, where he played for five seasons.

Kekuta Manneh, who has three goals for Cincinnati, also spent five seasons there. As for Darren Mattocks, you guessed it, he played the same amount of seasons.

Spencer Richey, who’s been FCC’s starting goalkeeper for the majority of the season, was on loan from Vancouver last season after making only one MLS appearance for Whitecaps FC.

Additionally, assistant coach Pa Modou Kah played for the club before becoming a coach in Vancouver. Former head coach Alan Koch also coached Whitecaps 2 FC.

Simply put, Cincinnati has more connections to Vancouver than any other club. For the Orange and Blue players now playing in the Queen City, this match should hold a special meaning.

Match Info

What: FC Cincinnati host Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Kickoff: 8 p.m.

Where: Nippert Stadium

Weather Forecast: Sunny, 80 degrees

TV: WSTR Star64

Local Video Stream: FloFC

Out of Market Video Stream: ESPN+

Local Radio: WDJO (99.5 FM | 107.9 | 1480 AM)

Audio Stream: TuneIn App,

Tickets: Purchase your ticket here.

Player to Watch and his Health Carousel Player Resume

Match Preview: Vancouver -

Opponent’s Player to Watch: Forward Fredy Montero

Montero used to be a goal-scoring machine at Seattle Sounders FC and has continued that with Vancouver. He has six goals and two assists so far this season.

As for his career in MLS, he has 66 goals and 42 assists in 174 regular season games.

Club Connections:

  • Between 2014-18, Kendall Waston made 115 regular seasons appearances for Vancouver and was the club’s captain in 2018.
  • Kekuta Manneh played for the Whitecaps from 2013-17 and amassed 101 appearances.
  • Darren Mattocks appeared in 93 MLS regular season matches for the Cascadian club between 2012-15.
  • Spencer Richey was in the Whitecaps FC organization from 2015-18, but only made one MLS appearance.
  • Assistant Coach Pa Modou Kah played 30 matches for Vancouver in 2015 and 2016 before becoming a coach with the club until 2018.
  • Goalkeeper Coach Jack Stern coached Maxime Crépeau at the Montreal Impact between 2015-18.
  • Nick Hagglund and Doneil Henry played at Toronto FC together in 2014.
  • Jimmy McLaughlin and Zac MacMath were at the Philadelphia Union together from 2012-14. Corben Bone and Austin Berry joined in 2014.
  • Hassan Ndam and Felipe Martias were in the New York Red Bulls organization together in 2017.
  • Leo Bertone and Scott Sutter played for Young Boys together from 2011-17.