The biggest match in club history awaits us tomorrow at Nippert Stadium. Once again, we’ll attempt to play David to an MLS side’s Goliath, all in pursuit of continuing our Cinderella run in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. A sellout was achieved a full week in advance of the match, and we’ll again be looking to break an attendance record..
What can you expect from the proceedings? Read on below to find out in our full match preview.
Tuesday, August 15th, at 8:00pm
NOTE: The match tomorrow is officially sold out, and as such no tickets will be available at the box office for day-of-game purchase as they are on normal match days. Additionally, with such a large crowd expected – and UC move-in day scheduled for earlier in the day, expect heavier-than-normal traffic. The club advises getting to the stadium as early as possible, and we’ll be opening gates at 6:30pm to accommodate.
The original MLS franchise from the New York/New Jersey area, the New York Red Bulls will be the visitors for tomorrow night’s fixture. And though the team has never managed to lift the MLS Cup or Open Cup trophies, they remain one of the elite sides in the league.
Tomorrow’s semifinal is officially a “Blue Out” at Nippert Stadium. So be sure to wear your blue FCC gear to the stadium so that way we can remind the Red Bulls what color our town is! Don’t have any blue FCC gear? Stop by our downtown store at 43 E. 4th Street between 10am and 6pm to pick up yours before the match!
Also, watch for the skydivers!
FCC: Unfortunately, the timing of this semifinal isn’t fantastic when it comes to form. The team will head into the match fresh off the club’s largest-ever defeat to rivals Louisville City in the league. Not only that, but the team has registered just two wins in its last five outings, going 2-2-1 in all competitions. But as we’ve seen in the tournament this year, league form goes out the window in the Cup. We’ve registered four straight wins in the competition, and haven’t conceded a goal in the competition at all to this point. That impressive defensive record becomes even more sparkling when you consider we’ve already topped two MLS sides in the process, as well as the highest scoring team in the NASL, too.
NYRB: The Red Bulls enter the match riding an opposite wave of form from our own. They’ve not only won four of their last five league matches dating back to their last Open Cup win, but they’ve done it in style too. They’ve piled on a staggering 17 goals in those five matches, showing off just how lethal their attack can be. However, they’ve not been quite as prolific in the Cup: they’ve only managed 2 goals in three matches, the third requiring penalties to advance.
"We look forward to welcoming the Red Bulls to Nippert Stadium. Not only is this a big game for our club, but a special occasion for the city of Cincinnati. This cup run has been nothing short of magical, and our team will give everything we can to keep it going. We know that this will probably be our toughest challenge yet, but the beauty of the Cup is that anything can happen in one match. Let’s go FCC!"
- Head Coach Alan Koch
FCC: That we’ve advanced this far is a huge testament to how well goalkeepers Mitch Hildebrandt – and Dallas Jaye, who held the clean sheet in our first match – and our defenders have played thus far in the tournament. But we’ve also only scored four goals in the five matches in the Cup we’ve played thus far, and all four were scored by club leading-scorer Djiby. Sadly, he’ll miss the semifinal through yellow card accumulation suspension. But worry not: we still managed to advance in the one match he didn’t play in prior to this one (Chicago), and the rest of the squad looks ready for another challenge.
NYRB: Though the previous three matches we’ve played in the Open Cup featured sides with lots of attacking prowess, the Red Bulls might just have more. Their attack is spearheaded by one Bradley Wright-Phillips (#99), a player whose 83 goals over the last three and half seasons is more than any other player in MLS during that time frame. He’s on sixteen so far this campaign, including one in two matches so far in the Cup. The Bulls also feature a standout in goal, as Luis Robles (#31) has long been considered one of the best in the business in the league.
Though we have faced a Red Bulls side twice already in our history, both of those outings came against the club’s reserve side – New York Red Bulls II – that play in our own league. As such, this will be the first time we’ve faced this rendition of the team in club history.
It’s going to be a typical Southwest Ohio summer evening tomorrow night: warm and muggy. Temperatures at our 8pm kickoff will be firmly in the mid-80’s that will tail off to the upper-70’s by the final whistle, and humidity will be in the 60% range. But silver linings: there doesn’t appear to be any rain in the forecast at all!
This Open Cup match will indeed be broadcast on local television, as Star 64 (WSTR) will carry the match live. Most local providers’ station information can be found below:
Over the Air: Channel 12.2
Cincinnati Bell Fioptics: Channel 17 (SD) or 517 (HD)
Spectrum/TWC (OH): Channel 20/13 (SD) or 989 (HD)
Spectrum/TWC (KY): Channel 20 (SD) or 989 (HD)
DirecTV: Channel 25
DISH: Not Available