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Match Preview: 7/22 vs Harrisburg City Islanders

By D.J. Switzer, 07/21/17, 4:30PM EDT


In a match originally scheduled for the middle of next week, FC Cincinnati makes a return to Nippert Stadium tomorrow after a triumphant match down the road last weekend. But with a handful of matches at home soon to follow, there are lot of variables at play in this weekend’s critical league match up.

Read on to take an in-depth look at what this weekend’s match has in store.


Saturday, July 22nd, at 7:00pm

As a reminder, this Saturday’s match was originally scheduled to be played next Wednesday, July 26th. However, after gaining approval from the league and Harrisburg, the match was moved to this weekend instead. Season ticket holders should still use their tickets marked Match 11 despite having an incorrect date.


Tomorrow night is our second annual Ladies Night, sponsored by the Patty Brisben Foundation! Things get started on Sheakley Lawn at 5:30pm, where the first 100 ladies in attendance will get a swag bag courtesy of Pure Romance. Liberty Center will be on hand with swag bags and giveaways of their own, Cycle Bar will have bikes and gifts, listen to music from Q102’s live DJ, browse women’s FCC gear, meet players and grab a drink at wine and beer stands. And if we can’t convince you, maybe let Dallas Jaye and Jimmy McLaughlin?


Despite officially being over the halfway point of the 2017 campaign, we’ll be facing the Harrisburg City Islanders for the first time this year at Nippert Stadium this Saturday.


Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio


FCC: Despite an uptick in the match schedule over the last two months, the form department has been on an upswing for the Orange & Blue. After starting the season 2-4-4 with a 1.0 point-per-game average, FCC have gone 5-2-3 in USL play since and nearly doubled their PPG to 1.8. Throwing in the Open Cup run, their form is even hotter with the record ballooning to an even more impressive 8-2-3. While the team isn’t necessarily scoring that much more during this upturn in form (a .04 goals/game increase to be specific), a definite improvement has come at the other end of the pitch. After the opening nine matches saw us conceded 1.11 goals per game, that’s dropped off to 0.67 in this crazy spell of matches.

HCI: The Islanders have also seen an improvement in their recent form, posting a 3-1-1 record over the last five games after going 1-4-0 in the five previous to that. But while we’ve seen our own form improve on the back of defensive improvements, Harrisburg have seen theirs come in the form of goals. Though they’ve scored just 10 in their last 10, they’ve bagged 8 of those in the last five matches. That said, they’re still giving up more a goal per game.


"We are excited to meet Harrisburg for the first time this season. They have been on a great run of form recently, and we know this match will be a tough challenge. Our guys have been working very hard to head in the right direction and we are very happy with this progression over the last few months. It is also going to be nice to be able to mix in our recent signings this weekend as we push towards making the USL playoffs."
- Head Coach Alan Koch


FCC: After missing several matches through injury, Harrison Delbridge’s return to the FCC backline against Louisville was pivotal. The big Australian defender provided several key defensive stops on top of adding his second goal of the season. Fellow defender Josu also stood out in Kentucky last weekend, contributing heavily after coming off the bench early due to an injury to Tyler Polak that’s expected to keep him out for a few weeks. The other player topic most will be eager to hear about ahead of this weekend’s match: will we be seeing any of our three new signings on the pitch at Nippert. With so many matches in the next week – don’t be surprised.

HCI: Though they’ve seen an increase in their recent strike rate, the Islanders have struggled to find the back of the net this season with just 15 goals in 19 matches. Jamaican midfielder Paul Wilson (#10) leads the team in scoring with just 3 goals on the year. That said, their remaining 12 goals have been scored by 9 other players – so at least they’re spreading the love.


Though just our first meeting of the season, this weekend’s match will represent the third overall meeting between FCC and the Islanders. The two sides met twice at in 2016, with FCC coming from behind to draw 1-1 at Harrisburg in May followed by a 2-0 win at Nippert just a few weeks later.


Let’s not beat around the bush: it’s going to be hot tomorrow. Early morning scattered thunderstorms will clear out well before the 7:30pm kickoff, but they’ll leave behind a wicked layer of humidity that will make the expected 87°F kickoff temperature feel around 5-10° hotter than it actually is. As such fans are reminded that they are allowed to bring one unopened bottle of water through the gates tomorrow to help stay hydrated.


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 12.2
Cincinnati Bell Fioptics: Channel 17 (SD) or 517 (HD)
Time Warner Cable (OH): Channel 20/13 (SD) or 989 (HD)
Time Warner Cable (KY): Channel 20 (SD) or 989 (HD)
DirecTV: Channel 25
DISH: Not Available

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


All FC Cincinnati home matches are broadcast live on local radio on ESPN 1530, which can be streamed for free through their iHeartRadio feed.


As is the case every match, you can follow along with the action on our Twitter feed at @fccincinnati. For live looks from before, during and after the match, follow us on Instagram and Snapchat by following 'fccincinnati', too. Halftime and full time updates will also be available on Facebook.

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