CINCINNATI, OH – FC Cincinnati welcomed Nashville SC to the University of Cincinnati campus Saturday evening for a 4:00 p.m. preseason friendly and the two clubs played to a 2-2 draw in front of a sold-out Gettler Stadium. FCC remains unbeaten through five preseason matches following Saturday’s tilt.
“I think it’s exactly what we needed it to be [today],” said FCC Head Coach Alan Koch postgame on his club’s performance. “To be completely honest I’m glad we didn’t win because if we would have left the pitch today winning I think some people, some players and some fans would have left today with a full sense of confidence. That’s exactly what a USL game will look like.”
In the first half, Nashville forward Michael Cox tried a shot in the 19th minute that soared over the reach of FCC goalkeeper Spencer Richey and hit the top crossbar, bouncing back onto the pitch. FCC defender Forrest Lasso cleared the ball to keep the match scoreless. Moments later, Nashville midfielder Lebo Moloto assisted on a goal by Matt LaGrassa to put the first point on the board for either club. LaGrassa’s shot came off his left foot in the 21st minute from outside the box.
Richey held the Nashville scoring at bay with a couple of strong saves late in the first half to keep the Orange and Blue within striking distance. In the 45th minute, midfielder Lance Laing pushed an equalizer through on an unassisted shot from the left side of the pitch that snuck inside the right goal post for a 1-1 score at the break.
Both clubs went scoreless for nearly 20 minutes to open the second half until FCC forward Emery Welshman gave the Orange and Blue a 2-1 advantage on a goal near the end line.
Welshman's score looked to be the game-winning goal in the 65th minute off of a throw-in. He pushed the score past Nashville keeper Matt Pickens from deep inside the box to give the Orange and Blue a 2-1 advantage.
Koch substituted nine players into the match in the 71st minute and the Orange and Blue held strong defensively before committing a late foul inside their own box to give Nashville a PK opportunity.
Nashville capitalized with an equalizer on the penalty kick by Alan Winn, who put it through to the far left side of the net past FCC keeper Spencer Richey.
FCC defender Matt Bahner tried for the winning goal in the 88th minute from the right side of the box, but Pickens saved Bahner’s shot with a diving stop.
Next up for FCC is another preseason friendly against the University of Cincinnati on Wednesday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. The match will be played at Gettler Stadium.
NASH: 21st – Matt LaGrassa (Lebo Moloto)
FCC: 45th – Lance Laing
FCC: 65th – Emery Welshman
NASH: Alan Winn (Penalty Kick)
FCC: Spencer Richey, Corben Bone, Justin Hoyte, Dekel Keinan, Lance Laing, Forrest Lasso, Emmanuel Ledesma, Richie Ryan, Will Seymore, Blake Smith, Emery Welshman
NASH: Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, London Woodberry, Liam Doyle, Justin Davis, Ryan James, Matt LaGrassa, Michael Reed, Lebo Moloto, Michael Cox, Josh Hughes