Academy Update: Oct. 24

After four straight away games, the FC Cincinnati Academy return home this weekend and will play four consecutive home games to end 2019.

On Saturday, the Under-15 and Under-17 Teams host the Minnesota United FC Academy at the Mercy Health Training Center. These matches aren’t available to the public.

For the U-15’s, they beat Sockers FC, 2-1, last weekend and want to keep momentum going entering the four-game homestand.

“To be home this weekend is really nice,” coach Joshua Neff said. “I hope we don’t have a let up because we feel relaxed being here. But at the same time, it’ll be nice being in our own beds, showing up in our own locker room and being on our own fields. The kids love playing on the grass field here.

“It’ll be nice to host some more teams here, have some more games here and have their parents be able to watch them play,” he added.

Both Academy teams played in Chicago last weekend. Before that, they played three matches in four days in Toronto. Those matches were regional qualifiers for the Generation adidas Cup. Neff joked it has almost felt more normal being on a bus than not.

As for the U-17’s, they lost, 3-1, and coach Ricardo Páez said he’s hoping for improvement after a tough stretch of matches. The team’s last win was Sept. 7, ironically, against Minnesota.

“It helps being home, but at the end, it’s a state of mind that they need to bring to the game,” Páez said. “They need to be decisive to bring the victory and play the way we want to play and the way we play in training and not panic during official games. In training, they seem very good, but then here comes the official games and they need to adjust better to the competition at the (Development Academy) level.”