Charlotte

OPINION: Get ready for the Queen City connection

Whenever people talk about FC Cincinnati’s first-ever home game in 2016, discussion centers on the unbelievable attendance at Nippert Stadium (14,658), Sean Okoli’s scissor-kick goal or Cincinnati native Austin Berry scoring the game-winner.

No one ever talks about the trophy.

When FCC beat the Charlotte Independence, 2-1, on April 6, 2016, the Orange and Blue claimed the “Queen City Cup” for the first time.

So, now that Charlotte was awarded an MLS expansion franchise on Tuesday and will join the league in 2021, here’s my first question: is the cup coming back?

Maybe the Queen City Cup Challenge is a rivalry that’ll be left in the past (FCC currently house the trophy), or maybe it’ll stay between the cities as a throwback to the USL days. (The Independence have a different ownership group from the new MLS team.)

Trophy or not, Cincinnati fans should be excited to welcome another team, one which will likely be in the Eastern Conference and one located in a great city to visit.

Just like every Cincinnatian talks about their high school, people love vacationing in the Carolinas. Now, FCC fits into the potential itinerary.

Depending on scheduling, Charlotte’s only a few hours to Charleston and a slight detour from the Outer Banks.

But beyond and potential vacation destinations, Charlotte’s entrance into the league paints a better picture for what the MLS map will ultimately resemble. The 30th franchise in the league, there’s a chance the “other” Queen City could be the last admitted to MLS – but probably not.

FC Cincinnati’s first MLS season was largely spent playing different teams for the first time. Now, there’s history with other cities that will only continue moving forward.

Based on the history between the two cities already, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t get excited for another Queen City vs. Queen City matchup in 2021– with or without silverware.

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