For all the energy FC Cincinnati brought last Wednesday in the 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union, that’s what the Orange and Blue lacked on Sunday night in a 3-1 loss against Nashville SC at the IMG Academy Soccer Complex.
Here are the takeaways from the closed-door scrimmage…
The match ended a long week – mentally and physically
“Winning and losing, you will grow and you will learn,” center back Maikel van der Werff said. “Also, from this kind of match, but it’s clear and everyone can see the whole thing about the coach, it has a big influence in the team. You could see that today, for sure.”
Van der Werff’s comment – and the friendly – came following Friday afternoon’s news that head coach Ron Jans has stepped away from the team while an independent investigation takes place. With Jans absent, assistant coaches Yoann Damet and Ivar van Dinteren coached the club against Nashville.
While they led the group with the same tactics and approach, there was a different energy against Nashville than there was against Philadelphia.
“Maybe a little bit more energy,” Amaya said was missing in the loss. “We started out with a little less energy than the other game, but we started to pick it up in the second half.”
It's also worth noting that FCC just went through its toughest week physically this preseason.
Amaya scored his first preseason goal
Amaya provided the biggest highlight for the Orange and Blue when he scored a goal in the 61st minute.
The 19-year-old midfielder delivered a first-time strike toward the back post after a cross came from the end line.
While it wasn’t a goal that Amaya celebrated given the situation, it showed his shooting quality that came in glimpses throughout 2019.
What comes next
Cincinnati enter their final week of the 2020 preseason and are now less than two weeks away from the season opener on March 1 at Red Bull Arena.
Before that, though, the club has one friendly remaining. FCC host KR Reykjavík on Friday afternoon.
Earlier this preseason, Jans said he expected the starters against the New York Red Bulls in the season opener would play against the Icelandic side.