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Preview: 8/12 vs Penn FC

By D.J. Switzer, 08/09/18, 4:45PM EDT

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First-place FC Cincinnati returns to Nippert Stadium on Sunday for the penultimate fixture in a seven-match homestand. Their opponents for the 6 p.m. kickoff: Penn FC.

Dubbed a "White Out," the Orange and Blue will don their white kits and supporters are also encouraged to help turn the stands into a sea of white by wearing white gear to the match. For supporters without white FCC gear, stop by the club's official downtown store which will be offering extended Sunday hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday's match will also mark the third anniversary of the club's founding in 2015. To celebrate, the first 5,000 through the gates will receive a free FC Cincinnati rally towel thanks to First Watch.

While another big crowd is expected, tickets for the match remain available online at fccincinnati.com and by phone at 513-977-KICK. Those unable to attend the match in person can still follow the action via broadcasts on CW Cincinnati, ESPN 1530 and streaming online on ESPN+.

A Little Background
 

While this is the first meeting of the season against Penn FC and the first-time ever taking on a team named so, it is not the Orange and Blue's first match against the club. Previously known as the Harrisburg City Islanders since their inception in 2005, the club re-branded last November following a takeover by Denver-based Rush Soccer.

Entering the match, FCC remains undefeated in four previous meetings against the club hailing from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with two wins and two draws. Both of those wins came at Nippert Stadium, and both by multiple goals.

Entering this Sunday's match, Penn FC currently finds itself in 13th place in the USL Eastern Conference (6-7-8, 26 pts). The team has won just once in its last five matches, posting a 1-3-1 record and have gone 1-2-2 in the prior five road games. The team has a 2-5-6 record overall record away from home.

Meanwhile, FC Cincinnati (13-3-6, 45 pts) remains at the summit of the Eastern Conference despite a late equalizer from Nashville last Saturday to force a draw. But that draw was enough to extend the Orange and Blue's undefeated run to 11 matches. If they're able to take a win or draw Sunday night, they'll match the club's previous record of 12 matches without a loss set during the 2016 season.

What To Expect
 

While Penn FC have struggled to get results of late, their record is deceptive. None of their last five losses have been by more than a single goal. They held the lead initially in several fixtures as well.

However, Penn hasn’t struggled with creating chances for themselves. One of those that is likely to be involved is 30-year-old forward Lucky Mkosana (#77). Hailing from Zimbabwe, the 5-foot-9 attacker has eight goals in 13 matches so far this season. And helping him to create those chances is string-puller Richard Mejivar (#14). The El Salvador international, originally from California, has four assists in 2018.

As for the home side, many will be watching to see if FCC's other newest signings -- midfielder Fatai Alashe and defender Pa Konate -- follow the lead of Fanendo Adi last weekend and make their debuts this weekend. As of this publication, Konate’s immigration and international certification were still not finalized.

Meanwhile, forward Danni König leads FCC – and is tied for sixth in the USL – with 10 goals this campaign and is just two off the pace of the league lead.

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