down the hatch

Down The Hatch – May 24

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_.

Thank you for the questions and feel free to send more!


Adam: What do you think are the chances that FCC can still make it to the playoffs? Do we still have a shot?

To FCC having a shot: yes. As for an exact percentage, I think more likely than not – especially considering seven of the 12 Eastern Conference teams make the MLS Cup Playoffs.

The Orange and Blue still have 21 regular season games left and sit six points outside of a playoff position. When you put the current standings into context for the rest of the season, there’s plenty of time.

But what’s more important than the playoffs – at this point in the season – is to develop momentum, just like the stretch from the draw at Atlanta to the win in New England.


Joe: What is our identity/style of play? We seem to be averse to getting balls in the box since Adi’s absence, yet do not have the quality/chemistry to break teams down with possession...

So, the idea is fairly basic to understand, but difficult to execute.

If FC Cincinnati want to build out of the back, that means possession will start close to their own goal and ideally end at the other. By playing high-tempo passes, they can wear the opponent out, dictate the speed of the game and capitalize on an opponent’s mistakes.

Because the methodology relies on passing, the ball will likely be on the ground for most of the buildup – unless it’s a through ball. Thus, there are fewer crosses.

FCC didn’t do this previously. Instead they played more direct, with long balls that went from the backline (sometime as clearances) into the opponent’s half. From there, the speed carried the ball toward goal on a counter attack. Direct play literally implies bypassing the midfielders. As a result, the ball was in the air more often. Naturally, a team that plays that style would have more crosses.

The win against Montreal proved the quality is there to build from the back. The players understand the system. But if they can’t execute it – say there’s an individual mistake or injuries – that would clearly hinder a playing style that implies the players have peak fitness, on-ball vision and pinpoint execution.


Paul: When will they finalize and announce the new GM?

FC Cincinnati haven’t publicly confirmed anything about a new general manager, although there’s been much speculation in the media. If a move was announced, I’d guess two things:

  1. It happens before the next transfer window to sign/sell players.
  2. A general manager would be selected before a new head coach.

These aren’t statements, just my opinion.



I see good form...head down, not leaning back, a solid, driven shot...

(Don’t wear shoes with little traction to kick the ball. When can I redeem myself?)