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March to the Match: at Cincinnati


Cincinnati, 2 – 2 – 1, 7 points, 5th place Eastern Conference


Louisville City’s 5th USL game


Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. EDT


Nippert Stadium, 2700 Bearcat Way, Cincinnati, OH 45221. Wikipedia says it’s the fourth-oldest playing site and fifth-oldest stadium in college football, and one journalist has even called it a “baby Death Valley”! So cute!


We really do hope you jumped at Molly Malone’s bus trip, which will be awesome. We hope even more that the soccer-player-inclined among you caught up with Alex Miner to play in the fan friendly at 1 PM on game day, the Plastic Cup. We hope that even more of you will be making the trip up I-71 to watch the game, as the first away match up there last year was a ton of fun!

BUT: we’ve seen the forecast. 100% chance of rain. We get it. So if you can’t make it up to the game or just have a real disaffectation for all things blue and orange, you can watch the game on WDRB-41, listen on 790 WKRD, or catch it on the old-fashioned internets by using this link aqui mismo. Also, the club’s official watch party for this match is at Boombozz in St. Matthews, and you can bet the game will be on at Against the Grain, Saints, and Great Flood Brewing, too. It’s out there.


Our good frenemies, the Knifey Soccer Lion Kings! Apparently their fans like that moniker enough to make a t-shirt out of it.

I liked this game a lot better about a week ago when Cincy was 1 – 2 – 0 and hadn’t blown the doors off of St. Louis and done a pretty good job against that Tampa team we’re so proud of having beaten. But, having watch parts of both matches, my confidence is a little less secure. Y’all have probably been reading me for long enough now to know that’s par for my course. Feel free to ignore my premonitions, as they’re usually wrong.

Taylor Hamblin wrote up a pretty nice summary of the keys to the match yesterday; check it out. Long story short, Cincinnati’s emerging strengths are Djiby Fall and its defense. Kadeem Dacres and Victor Mansaray are used on the wings to open up space in the middle and stretch a defense, and Fall is a super physical center forward who likes to boss centerbacks around. Lucky for us, Kadeem got a red card in Cincy’s midweek match against Tampa.

Statistically, Cincy looks a lot like us. They’re a fairly decent passing team, like to attack and possess the ball, and like to shoot a lot.

Differences, though, are there. Five of their seven goals have come off headers, which means our guys in the back line had better be ready to do their best Van Halen impression and jump. They run their offense almost entirely through Djiby and Aodhan Quinn. Yay, that doesn’t hurt at all! They also cross the ball more than we do, and like to take guys on the dribble.

Also, their defense, at least at the start, was pretty leaky. Cincy’s given up five goals and 20 shots on target this season. For sake of comparison, City’s only given up two, one of which was an own goal, and have only faced eight (EIGHT!) shots on goal through four games. Furthermore, that blurange D may be a little road worn, as the match on Saturday night will be their third in eight days. What I mean to say is that scoring opportunities may be there.

These FCC games are always tense, competitive affairs, and I don’t think this one will be any exception. That said, signs point to Louisville City being the best team in the East this year, so forget everything else and COME ON, CITY!