It’s always good to be at home, and FC Cincinnati will certainly be looking forward to making a return to the friendly confines of Nippert Stadium for this weekend’s match. Get a look ahead at what you can expect when the team kicks off a 3-match home stand with a slightly earlier-than-normal kickoff this Saturday by reading the full preview below!
Lining up across from us at Nippert on Saturday will be the second team from Florida we’ve faced this season: Orlando City B. The reserve side for MLS outfit Orlando City SC is entering its second season in the USL following a respectable 8th-place finish in the East last year.
FCC: If you had to describe the Orange & Blue’s recent form in one word, that word would be “inconsistent”. Over their last five matches, the guys have gone a 1-1-3, and the performances during that stretch spanned the spectrum. An impressive home win kicked off the run, and was followed by two draws that showed signs of promise against top sides in the East. That was followed by a statistically dominant showing in Bethlehem where the team did everything but score, resulting in a loss instead. And then last weekend in Richmond, the guys showed great resolve after a slow start to come back and steal a point. The question for Koch’s men this week: can they get all of the pieces clicking this weekend?
OCB: Sitting just a spot behind us in the table in 8th, Orlando are at least keeping on pace with how they performed last year. They sport an identical record to FCC over the last five matches, though the results came in a different order. And they’ve currently gone three matches without a loss. However, since they weren’t in action last weekend, will Orlando be able to get up and going again after two weeks off?
"We are excited to be back at home and play in front of our own fans. OCB will be a tough challenge and they play and exciting brand of soccer. They have several MLS players listed as potential players in the game, so we know we will need to put together a 90 minute performance to earn a positive result."
- Head Coach Alan Koch
FCC: There was further squad shake-up in the lead up to the match on Saturday, as Andy Craven was traded back to OKC Energy FC in exchange for former front-line partner Danni König. Though he’s not scored in four appearances so far this year, König’s scoring pedigree is worthy of note. He broke the USL single season scoring mark in 2015 with 21 goals, and chipped in a further four last year. Whether Koch will look to revive his scoring abilities this weekend or not, we’ll have to wait and see.
OCB: As with all MLS reserve sides, knowing what you’re going to get with Orlando game in and game out isn’t quite as predictable as it is with some of your independents. Coach Anthony Pulis – son of Stoke City manager Tony Pulis – has already used 29 players so far this season. Former Akron Zip and Orlando City loanee Richie Laryea (#6) and nineteen year old Cameroonian forward Albert Dikwa (#90) are tied for the team lead in scoring with two goals apiece.
In both the meetings thus far between FCC and Orlando the Orange & Blue have come out on top. The first of those was a heavily rain-delayed 2-1 in Melbourne, Florida, where goals from Andrew Wiedeman and Eric Stevenson overturned an early Orlando goal. The second victory came in our regular season finale at Nippert when a late Casey Townsend goal sealed the victory in front of a USL record crowd of 24,376.
An excellent Saturday evening of soccer at Nippert Stadium awaits us this weekend, as temperatures are expected to be around 70° F at kickoff, with nothing but light winds and partly cloudy skies expected.
This weekend’s match will be broadcast live on Star 64 (WSTR). Most local providers’ station information can be found below:
Over the Air: Channel 64
Cincinnati Bell Fioptics: Channel 11 (SD) or 511 (HD)
Spectrum/TWC (OH): Channel 11 (SD) or 1011 (HD)
Spectrum/TWC (KY): Channel 11 (SD) or 915 (HD)
DirecTV: Channel 64
DISH: Channel 8354
Not in the local viewing area? No problem! Every match in the USL is available to stream as well, and this match is available for free on YouTube.