Though it’s a shortened holiday week for most in Cincinnati, the same can’t be said for the men of FC Cincinnati. Instead, FCC get two matches in a week, both coming on the road.
The first of those matches is Wednesday — just our third match this season during the midweek — against the Rochester Rhinos in upstate New York. And as always, you can a peak ahead at the action in our latest match preview on the blog!
WHEN IS IT HAPPENING?
Wednesday, July 6th, 2016, at 7:05 PM
Formerly known as the “Raging Rhinos”, Rochester have one of the richest histories in lower league American soccer. Founded in 1996, the Rhinos dominated the early years of the USL’s forerunner leagues — winning 3 USL A-League titles (1998, 2000, 2001) and the lone USSF Division 2 Championship in 2010. The club are also one of only two current USL teams to have won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and are the only team outside the top-tier to do so during the MLS era. But their success hasn’t just been historical: the Rhinos are the current reigning USL regular season and playoffs champions.
FCC: Now unbeaten in eleven matches after Saturday’s 1-0 win at Nippert over, theOrange & Blue continue to keep pace with Eastern Conference leaders Louisville and gained two points on second place New York Red Bulls II following their draw on Saturday. The side also recorded their second straight Mike’s Car Wash Clean Sheet of the season, showing the defensive frailties of the first half of the season might be starting to strengthen. FC Cincinnati are now 3-0-2 in their last five, and have outscored their opponents 6-3 during that spell. And the boys are no slouches on the road either, with a record of 3-1-2 on their travels — the lone loss coming on the first day of the season in Charleston.
Rochester: Though the Rhinos are currently reigning champions, their recent form doesn’t quite suggest as much. Sitting three places behind FCC in the Eastern Conference Standings in sixth, Rochester haven’t quite been able to replicate the air tight defensive form that they rode to the trophy last season. They’re 2-2-1 over their last five, but the record alone is a little misleading — one of those losses coming to league leaders Louisville and the draw against 2nd place New York. And Rochester Rhino’s Stadium has been a stronghold for the team, posting a 4-1-2 record at home and holding a +4 goal differential at home.
It’s been a while since we’ve said this — the last time being before our 6/4 match against Richmond — but Wednesday’s match against Rochester will be the first time the two clubs have ever met.
WHO TO WATCH:
FCC: The FC Cincinnati defense starting to tighten up over the last few matches has been due to many factors, among them the improved play of right back Pat McMahon. The match will also likely hold special importance for the man loving referred to as “McManBun” by the FCC faithful, as it will be a homecoming for McMahon — he played the previous two seasons for Rochester and was a pivotal member of the back four that helped them to hoist the USL Championship in 2015.
Rochester: Rochester’s inconsistent recent form is likely the result of some of the most potent players hitting a barren patch of form as well. Last year’s top scorer Christian Volesky is once again leading the team in scoring with 5 goals in 14 matches, but he hasn’t found the back of the net in the Rhinos’ last 3 matches.
Rochester Rhinos Stadium — also known as Sahlen’s Stadium and previously as PAETEC Park and Marina Auto Stadium — will play host to FC Cincinnati this week. Built from 2004-2006, the 13,768-seater sits on the Western edge of downtown Rochester and is one of the premier lower league venues in the country. The venue also serves as home for the Western New York Flash of the women’s NWSL.
Directions to Rochester Rhinos Stadium.
As of the time of publication, Rochester are expecting pretty similar conditions to Cincinnati on Wednesday night. Temperatures around kickoff will be in the mid-80’s, with minimal chance of rain but humidity hovering in the 50% range.
HOW TO WATCH:
Unlike the match two Saturday’s ago in Louisville, this match will not be broadcast live on local television.
However, like all USL regular season matches, the Rochester-Cincinnati will be available as a livestream broadcast on YouTube and via the USL Match Center.
HOW TO LISTEN:
No local radio broadcast is available for FC Cincinnati away matches.