Fresh off of two-straight wins, FC Cincinnati play their first of two games in four days on Thursday night when they host D.C. United at Nippert Stadium.
In truth, it’s a match that’s grown bigger and bigger by the day.
Consider where the Orange and Blue were a few weeks ago to where they’re positioned now. Although still last in the Eastern Conference, they’re tied on points with their biggest rival and have won consecutive matches for the first time since March.
As D.C. enters Cincinnati, the question is if FCC can keep that momentum going against the second team in the conference – and on primetime national television.
“It is a big-time match for us,” Interim Head Coach Yoann Damet said. “Again, we want to confirm what we’ve done the past two games. I think it’s important for the group and a good challenge.
“We knew it would be a turning point if we got the win against Houston (Dynamo) two weeks ago. Now, playing the second-place team in the East, it a big challenge for us and we want to prove to ourselves that we can get a result against a good team.”
The game isn’t just important on the field, however.
Before kickoff, the club will host free tailgate-style “Party on the Pitch” at Sheakley Lawn, which begins at 5:30 p.m.
Then at halftime, Cincinnati native and World Cup champion Rose Lavelle will be on the field for fans to celebrate the U.S. Women’s National Team winning the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France. Lavelle scored the game-deciding goal in the final against the Netherlands.
FC Cincinnati vs. D.C. United
Kickoff: 8 p.m.
Where: Nippert Stadium
Weather Forecast: Partly Cloudy, 88 degrees
Video Stream: WatchESPN
Local Radio: WDJO (99.5 FM | 107.9 FM | 1480 AM)
Audio Stream: TuneIn App, fccincinnati.com
Player to Watch and his Health Carousel Player Resume
Opponent’s Player to Watch: Forward Wayne Rooney
Who else? The former Manchester United and England legend is one of the biggest names in MLS – and is having a season that reiterates that.
So far in 2019, Rooney has 10 goals and six assists through 20 league appearances. In his 40 MLS matches since joining D.C. last summer, he’s scored 22 goals and provided 13 assists.
- Darren Mattocks played for D.C. United in 2018 before FC Cincinnati selected him with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft. Mattocks played 25 games and scored 10 goals for the club.
- Corben Bone and Quincy Amarikwa played together at the Chicago Fire in 2013. Amarikwa and Fatai Alashe also played together between 2015-18, but for the San Jose Earthquakes.
- Greg Garza and Paul Arriola played for Tijuana together in 2013, 2014 and 2017.
- Garza also played with Chris McCann, but for Atlanta United FC in 2017-18.
- Victor Ulloa and Roland Lamah played with Marquinhos Pedroso at FC Dallas in 2018.
- Ulloa also played with Chris Seitz in Dallas from 2011-17, while Lamah joined for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
- Assistant Coach/Director of Sports Performance Gary Walker was at Manchester United with Wayne Rooney from 2008-17.