Here are the top five home games Cincinnati fans should be excited about, from the home opener to the final match at Nippert Stadium.
FCC vs. D.C. United
When: March 14, 5:30 p.m.
Who could forget the home opener last season, when the Orange and Blue pummeled the Portland Timbers, 3-0, in the first-ever MLS match in the Queen City?
The 2020 home opener won’t be any less exciting. This isn’t the first MLS match at Nippert Stadium, but it’s the first chance to see an improved squad playing at home in 2020.
You should probably expect a sellout – and some serious home-field advantage.
In 2019, FC Cincinnati finished third in MLS in average attendance (27,336). Can that number grow even higher in 2020? There’s a good chance a good performance in this match will help raise the average.
Plus, there’s already some considerable history between these two clubs. When they met in the regular-season finale in October, nine-man FCC kept a clean sheet against D.C. United at Audi Field, sinking their hopes of hosting a postseason match. D.C surely hasn’t forgotten that. And Cincinnati fans haven’t, either.
FCC vs. Nashville SC
When: May 30, 7:30 p.m.
This is the first time the clubs meet in MLS play after three previous matchups in the USL. The last time Nashville played at Nippert Stadium, the Orange and Blue won in a postseason penalty-kick shootout.
The players might be different two years later, but both sets of supporters will carry those memories into 2020.
Plus, this will be a nice regional rivalry in the years ahead, and the first MLS meeting should be special – and end-to-end.
FCC vs. NYCFC
When: June 20, 7:30 p.m.
The reigning Eastern Conference champions visit Nippert Stadium for the second time in a matchup that will include high-profile international talent.
The teams scored a combined 10 goals against one another in 2019 – more than any other matchup for Cincinnati – so expect more goals in 2020.
FCC vs. Columbus Crew SC
When: July 19, 8 p.m.
The final #HellisReal derby at Nippert Stadium.
The rivalry began in 2017 when Djiby Fall’s double header gave Cincinnati a 1-0 win in the U.S. Open Cup. When Columbus returned in 2019, the Crew came out on top, 3-1.
This will be the first matchup since, and the first chance for FC Cincinnati to earn payback from last year’s heavy loss.
The Hell is Real Derby instantly became one of MLS’ top rivalries, and this Sunday-night matchup on national TV (FS1) will be another reminder.
“Being saved offers no salvation.”
FCC vs. Minnesota United FC
When: Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.
This match will be one of the most emotional in FC Cincinnati history.
Not only is it the last home game of 2020, but also the last time the Orange and Blue play at Nippert Stadium – where they’ve resided for five years and made the meteoric journey from a third-division club to an MLS one.
While West End Stadium’s opening in 2021 is exciting, it’s impossible to appreciate FCC’s growth without acknowledging how important Nippert Stadium was in the process.
Plus, Minnesota United FC enter this match knowing exactly how FCC feel. After all, Minnesota played its first two MLS seasons in a college football stadium before moving into Allianz Field. Following this match, Cincinnati will follow suit into their new home in the West End.
There have been so many special nights at Nippert Stadium.While there is hope that the Orange and Blue earn a home game in the MLS Cup Playoffs, this could be the very last one.