Down The Hatch

Down The Hatch: April 2

Hello and welcome to week three without FC Cincinnati playing games. As we continue through this uncharted territory, that means even more questions about what’s next for the Orange and Blue. I try to answer some of those questions below. 

As always, you can send me questions here or on Twitter. Thank you!

SCDGS: Given a possible compressed schedule with additional midweek games, would MLS consider allowing for more substitutions? Or is this a FIFA decision? It could help to restrict injuries.

It’d be virtually impossible to rewrite the league’s substitution rules when the season is already underway – even if it doesn’t really feel like it. Back in February, the FCC players and coaches had a meeting with MLS official Mark Geiger, where he went over all the new rules. You’d have to go through that process with all 26 teams again.

In theory, a condensed schedule could allow coaches to get creative. If you have a game every Saturday or Sunday, then Tuesday or Wednesday, why not literally use two squads and have the “weekend XI” and the “midweek XI?”

I think adding subs – like when FCC had five per match in 2016 – is a good idea, but too difficult to implement at this point. My bet: league offices are more concerned with rescheduling than altering on-field rules.

Nholschuh23: What’s happening with Locadia’s loan? Is it extended due to the season extension?

Great question(!), and nothing’s changed publicly regarding his July 5 loan deadline day. Other than FC Cincinnati finalizing its head coach hire, I would say this is the second-biggest question for general manager Gerard Nijkamp.

The loan was already complicated to begin with – Jürgen Locadia’s loan with Hoffenheim was cancelled for him to agree to another loan to FC Cincinnati. At this point, I’m told there is communication on-going with Nijkamp and Brighton & Hove Albion about the situation.  

It’s an important question, but at this point, with no set dates when MLS or the English Premier League resume their respective seasons, it’s one of the issues that a tad less pressing than others.

Jwahoff8: How is the team taking quarantine/how are they continuing to train?

Players are continuing to work out remotely, which Andrew Gutman highlighted in this video. Gary Walker, the club’s director of sports performance, has created workouts for each player to keep them fit and healthy for when the league returns.

Matthew: What inspired the colors for FCC?

This is a good question I actually didn’t know the answer to, so I called team president Jeff Berding to find out. Here’s the backstory:

When the club was launching, Gary De Jesus was the team’s marketing leader. De Jesus previously worked at Procter & Gamble as a brand manager, and he helped lead the club’s decision on blue and orange.

Berding said the two talked about the psychology of colors, and blue was associated with trust, while orange is a warm color and is seen as evoking positive energy.

The duo also saw that blue and orange would stand out in both USL and MLS, so that further strengthened their decision. After looking at sales from other teams with those colors (the Florida Gators, Auburn Tigers and Denver Broncos), they were set.

When FCC rebranded for MLS, the color scheme was slightly changed, with navy added to play a bigger role and both the orange and blue brightened.

Jedd: When is the next playback games being player on TV?

Stay tuned! The club is working behind the scenes to re-broadcast previous matches from 2019 and the USL days. We’ll have more info on when there’s another scheduled broadcast. 

Jpmitsch_24: Does FCC have an official anthem like Nashville?

No, FC Cincinnati doesn’t have an official anthem, but the club had one previously. “Welcome Home” by Over-The-Rhine was the club’s official anthem back in 2018.

Krehbrew: Why can’t I watch away games on ESPN+?

If you live within FloFC’s broadcast range, you’ll have to subscribe to the streaming service to watch FC Cincinnati matches. If you live outside the zone, then you can watch on ESPN+. Here’s a guide to help.

William: When will Bobby Edwards play?

It’s tough to say. One, the season needs to resume, and two, Edwards is the third-string goalkeeper behind Spencer Richey and Przemysław Tytoń. That being said, Jimmy Hague was in the same spot last season and made a matchday squad 19 out of the team’s 34 games because of injuries. He never made an appearance, however.