Down The Hatch

Down The Hatch: Aug. 6

Welcome to another week of my mailbag, where we’re a week closer to the Orange and Blue playing again. (No, nothing’s official yet.)

As always, thank you for your questions and feel free to send more here.

Hannah_soccer_account: Are you guys going to play again this season?

Yes. The exact details aren’t finalized, but MLS Commissioner Don Garber said the league will announce the next slate of games soon. Unlike the MLS is Back Tournament, these games would be played in market.

One thing to note: Whenever FC Cincinnati play again, that will be their sixth regular season match after two games in March and three last month in MLS is Back Tournament group stage play.

Mrdangeruss: How does the team feel about the idea of a yearly MLS is Back Tournament?

What about the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament?

There’s already a mid-season tournament, and maybe we’ll see teams place more importance on the U.S. Open Cup. Everyone around FC Cincinnati knows how special a cup run can be. I’d like to see teams treat it as a big-time affair – which would be an improvement from the tournament’s recent past.

Maybe there’s a preseason tournament, but I think a lot of teams like training across the country and against non-MLS opponents. For example, FCC’s 2020 preseason opponents included three MLS sides, two USL Championship teams and an Icelandic one.

Smyth_snaps: On a scale of 1-0, how antsy are the players and coaches to compete?

I can’t speak for them, but I know head coach Jaap Stam has got to be close to a 10. While he hasn’t been here long, we’ve seen tremendous growth and improvement. Let’s see how that carries over beyond the bubble and in a more “normal” regular season setting.

Jenjshel: What’s the timeline for the new stadium?

The opening date is still scheduled for Spring 2021. Amid all the uncertainty these days, that’s been a constant.

Ninohale: Will The Bailey still be called The Bailey @ West End Stadium?

Gotta say, I had never heard of some fans wanting The Bailey to be renamed inside West End Stadium until Wednesday’s event with supporters. Apparently “The Incline” is a thing?

There’s plenty of time for people to think about new names, ideas and more. But until otherwise, The Bailey is still The Bailey.

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