I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying this, but it was hard to get to sleep last night. The anticipation of this match is enormous, and all night my head was racing about thoughts of chants, the craft beers, and the free Murphy’s Pub hot dogs I’ll be devouring in a few hours. This is a date that has stood out to me, and I’m sure most of you, since the schedule was released. FC is back!!! We’re not only back but we get the chance to take down the team down south in the first home match of the season. It’s the eighth installment of the “Dirty River Rivalry,” Our fan base is pumped their fan base is still salty, and this should be an absolute dog fight!
Last week’s Victory
Before getting into today’s match, I wanted to give a quick shout out to the fans that took the trip over to Indiana, to watch us dismantle that loaded Indy Eleven team. You guys rock! You brought the noise, the ambiance, and literally no one in red and blue was expecting the mob of supporters we had in the stadium. Awesome job guys, and can’t wait to be a part of the action coming up next month.
As for our form, what can I say that was negative about it? We stifled their attack and won the match. Great saves all night from Evan Newton, and the lone goal was a beautiful ball from Emmanuel Ledesma headed into goal by Emery Welshman in the 26’. If we play all of our 90’s like that this season, watch out. We’ll be collecting 3 points from most of our opponents in the coming months.
I do have a few jabs to throw at our pals 90 minutes to the west of us. 1) Your pitch was worse than a division 3 high school football field. I was expecting Jacoby Brissett to airmail passes out the back of the end zone at halftime. Not to mention the end lines, in my opinion, yellow lines are for the snow only. 2) MLS vet Jack McInerney, you’re on my list. The Hit on Kenny Walker in the 4’ was an instant red card (oblivious to the official), and a Horrible play from a washed up, tier one striker. Jack, you’ll be hearing it from the bailey when we return on May 2nd.
Closing the book on Indy, it’s time to preview the Lou City “Saints” for tonight’s matchup at Nippert. We’re 2-0, they’re 2-0; it could be the first time since the inaugural season that these two rivals could find themselves in the top four of the table, come playoff time. Louisville is good, really good, which is why I’m able to look past their supporter’s awful views on Skyline Chili and streamers. They exhibit great form, coming off two impressive wins against Nashville SC (2-0) and the Tampa Bay Rowdies (1-0). Both FC Cincinnati and Lou City, have yet to allow a goal this year, so expect this evening to be another low scoring, possession heavy type of matchup.
Players to Watch
- Pat McMahon and Luke Spencer– Both are former FCC players, and on top of that, are performing at a very high level in the first two matches for Lou City. Although both spending a majority of their time shuffling on and off the bench in Cincinnati, they have both found a niche in Louisville’s starting rotation. Pat is a streaky defender with great touch on the ball. Luke is a golden toed striker, who can score from any spot inside or outside of the box (Especially against his old club). Expect both of these names to be mentioned numerous times if they find themselves in the starting XI.
- Cameron Lancaster– This is for all my Tottenham Hotspur fans, although you probably best remember Lancaster as a 3rd string reserve on FIFA 2012. The former Londoner has found a home in Kentucky. As a listed bench player in the second match of the season, Cameron hasn’t found the pitch yet in the early matches of 2018. Still, this poses a chance to see a former EPL alum take the pitch. He’s no slouch either for Louisville, tallying 17 goals in 49 appearances for the club.
- Ilija Ilić– The Serbian national, who previously played for the infamous Red Star Belgrade in his youth career is a consistent starter for the visitors. Featured here because of how crazy the Eternal Derby is over in Serbia. This match is played between Red Star and rivals FK Partizan in the Serbian Superliga. The match is routinely regarded as one of the most explosive matches of the football year. Literally explosive, they riot every year and the match hardly ever goes without being delayed at some point due to fireworks, or smoke bombs. Regardless of that, Ilija is still a strong forward presence for Lou City, netting 6 goals in his time with the club.
- Shaun Francis– The 31 year old defender has spent most of his time as an MLS journeyman. On top of that achievement, he has collected 11 caps and scored 3 goals for the Jamaican National team. His former clubs include: Columbus Crew, Chicago Fire, Montreal Impact, and the San Jose Earthquakes. Shaun is problem on defense, and definitely one to watch tonight, who will give our forwards and wingers a difficult time on the offensive third of the pitch.
I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! You won’t be hearing me chant that until a two goal lead in stoppage time, but I do believe we have the firepower and home support to take down Lou City for the first time in this 2018 campaign. The club will thrive off energy the fans bring in the stadium tonight, and this will be the difference maker. If we have another amazing performance from Evan Newton in goal, it’s hard to see us losing the control of this match. I’m calling for a 1-0 victory for the Dutch Lions, and we all go home happy.
FCC fans, get there early, be loud, and wear orange and blue! Let’s get Three points!