Down The Hatch

Down The Hatch: July 30

Welcome to another edition of my weekly mailbag. Now that the Orange and Blue have returned from the MLS is Back Tournament, questions are less about the team’s identity and more about games returning to the Queen City.

As always, thank you for your submissions. Here’s where you can submit a question for next week’s mailbag.

First, the question lots of people asked:

When will FCC play their next games?

MLS hasn’t announced when the regular season will resume, but has stated it wants to begin play following the MLS is Back Tournament. In that case, it can be as early as August.

MLB’s in-market games have shown the potential challenges that await any league trying to return to normalcy.

I think we’ll see the Orange and Blue at Nippert Stadium in the near future.

It’s safe to say everything in this country rests in a fluid situation.

Diego123thompson: Are there any big signings coming next season?

Having the top spot in the Allocation Order suggests one of two options:

1. FC Cincinnati intend to use that spot by signing a player when the transfer window opens next month. While we’ve only seen four games since the pandemic began in the U.S., general manager Gerard Nijkamp and head coach Jaap Stam have worked with the technical staff to strengthen the squad. There’s currently one senior roster spot open.

2. FCC trade the top spot in exchange for cash or a SuperDraft pick. The pick could be used to select a player, while the cash can buy down an existing contract – or be used to trade for a player at a later date.

Noah: How is preseason 3.0 going to look? Are the players going to get time off after Orlando?

The players are home now and have time to spend with their families after being a month away in Florida. They’ll have time to recover before training sessions resume at Mercy Health Training Center.

I imagine 3.0 would be similar to the final weeks of a preseason before the season opener – but from the comforts of being at home and not across the country. 

James: When will your first home game be at the new stadium?

Normally, the answer to this would be based off construction updates. (West End Stadium is on time.)

With the current circumstance and the potential of this season running farther along in the year, does the timeline for the next season get slightly shifted? In this case, does MLS intend to start the 2021 regular season next March? If so, then it’d likely be around then.

When FCC was in the USL, home openers were in April. The two MLS home openers were scheduled for mid-March. I’d expect the same next Spring.