down the hatch

Down The Hatch – March 21

Welcome to “Down The Hatch,” a weekly mailbag about FC Cincinnati and their time in MLS. This is Charlie Hatch, the club’s Digital Host and Writer.

Questions can be submitted here or on Twitter by tweeting to @charliehatch_.

Here’s our fourth addition. Thank you for the questions and feel free to send more!


@TheVinnyD: With Adi being out (probably) and Mattocks away on international duty, how much does Koch’s formation change or does someone else fit into that striker role?

We’ve seen FCC use two different formations during the first three regular season games: a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-4-2. There’s a chance FC Cincinnati opt for one striker or potential move someone who is conventionally a winger and have him play as a second striker. That could be an option.

Of course, the team could always change its formation again. This is a unique situation so early in the season, but it creates opportunities for players to step up and prove themselves.


Rupesh: Who do you expect in the Starting XI this weekend with so many of the guys called up for their national teams?

This is a tough (and good) question because there could be so many changes. Sunday is the perfect storm of call-ups (Kendall Waston, Allan Cruz, Darren Mattocks, Alvas Powell, etc.) and players recovering from injuries or gaining fitness (Przemysław Tytoń, Greg Garza and Kenny Saief).

I’ll make this educated guess: Matheiu Deplagne, Victor Ulloa, Leo Bertone, Roland Lamah and Nick Hagglund should all start since they are not on international duty and they’ve played every game this season.  

After that, it leaves Head Coach Alan Koch a lot of options to craft a Starting XI.


Tim A: What’s the status of Lasso? He was getting minutes in preseason but has since disappeared. Injury? Depth chart?

Depth chart and formation change. When Lasso was playing during preseason, the team used a back three in six of the seven preseason games. FCC using a back four means one center back needed to be dropped.

In the case of not making the bench, it’s worth noting he was likely replaced by Caleb Stanko, who can play as a center midfielder or defender. That flexibility gives Koch two options with one player. As a center back, Lasso could only provide one.


Pam: I noticed that there was a parade of people going into the stadium. Where did it start and will this be done every home game? It looked like so much fun.

The Supporters’ March started before the first game in 2016 and has followed at every game inside Nippert Stadium since.

I’ve actually only watched/participated in the march once, and that was in May 2016 for a story. That march had 150 people. It’s gotten bigger and better since, and looks like an army from my perch in the press box.


Paul: Do FC Cincinnati have any stadium songs for the fans? Got my tickets lined up and wanted to be part of the experience. Will be my first visit but have been a long time fan. Crowd /fan chants and songs?

The supporter groups have created chants for the club, which can be found here. Most of these chants also have audio recordings as well, so you can practice singing along!


Tim B: Why did the team not take a lap to thank the fans on the east and south sides of the stadium after the home opener? That was the only sour note to a great experience as the first home MLS game.

I think that’s an example of new players not fully aware of the traditions we’ve seen from players since the club’s first game in 2016.

Only four USL players were part of FCC’s 18 against Portland, which means there were new faces in a new stadium.During a practice week, the players even practiced where to walk for the national anthem because most didn’t know previously. Sunday was an example of players not knowing rather than anything intentional.


Luke “Two Scoops” Sassano: Who is the best dressed person on the technical staff or coaching staff?

Great hearing from you, Luke! I love catching up with longtime readers.

My guess is you want me to say you, but I’ll go with Assistant Coach Yoann Damet. (Two Scoops is a close second.)