Academy Update: March 4

In their first outing at the Mercy Health Training Center in 2020, the FC Cincinnati Academy swept the Michigan Wolves this past Sunday, jumpstarting their homefield advantage this year.

Both the Under-15 and Under-17 teams rallied from early deficits to win their first home matches of the new decade.

For the Under-15 side, they’re implementing new tactical philosophies and earned a solid result.

“The boys performed pretty well overall and it’s a good win,” U-15 head coach Joshua Neff said. “The result was good, and we’re in a pretty good position now for the playoffs.

March is undoubtably the biggest month so far for the team, with six games and a playoff spot on the line. FCC sit fourth – and in the final postseason spot – in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s U-15 Mid-America Division standings.

“This month is the deciding month for us,” Neff said. “We only have one game in April in the league and then a couple in May. If we can put ourselves in a really high position throughout this month, we can separate ourselves from the second group that’s trying to get into the playoffs and we can feel really comfortable.”

As for the Under-17 squad, beating Wolves is the perfect way to begin the Spring slate of games.

“It’s good for us to start the second part of the season with a win,” U-17 head coach Ricardo Páez said. “Now we have another game at home and we need to keep working hard. We’re playing a lot better soccer than when we started this year. Hopefully we continue with this.”

Both team host Internationals on Saturday afternoon at the Mercy Health Training Center. The matches are open to the general public.

After that, FCC replay the Michigan Wolves, before beginning a four-game stretch away from MHTC.

“We may have a chance to make it to the playoffs, but we just need to go game after game,” Páez said.