INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY: FC Cincinnati versus Valencia CF.

IT’S INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY MATCH DAY! Tonight, FC Cincinnati was playing host to Valencia CF of Spain’s La Liga. Last season’s international friendly match against Crystal Palace was hands-down easily the biggest, most anticipated match of the season. To say that this season, I’m not so sure. We were definitely looking forward to this match. After the USOC win over Columbus Crew and the USOC win over Chicago Fire, both at Nippert, we had a feeling that this match was going to pale in comparison. Exposure to La Liga is pretty limited. La Liga matches are shown on BeIN Sports, only available through extra subscription sports packages with most televisions providers. And that makes it pretty hard to follow La Liga. Especially compared to the readily available, easily accessible English Premier League on NBCSports or Germany Bundesliga on FOXSports. I only know players on Barcelona and the two Madrid teams. And that’s because of the UEFA Champions League. To be honest, I couldn’t name one player on Valencia off the top of my head. But still, it’s always pretty exciting to get the opportunity to watch a big foreign side play in your backyard. I just wish I was more familiar with the side FC Cincinnati was welcoming into Nippert Stadium…

We got to Nippert soooo early…

Almost an hour before kickoff…

They played a really cool La Liga promotional video before the match…

I really wish I would have taken a video of it. Because I can’t find it anywhere. It was really cool, all the highlights and history will all the big name players of La Liga. Really cool. Also pretty cool? The march of the supporter’s groups to The Bailey…

The public address announcer told everyone to look up into the sky…

It was quite the dramatic entrance for the Stars & Stripes

The teams made their way onto the pitch…

Valencia CF…

Pat McMahon got a rare start!

O say can you see…

Monday Night Futbol. That’s clever…

Valencia CF…

And I missed the FC Cincinnati team shot…

And we’re underway. La Liga in Cincinnati…

Dallas Jaye entered the match for FC|C no. 1 Mitch Hildebrant in the 32nd minute…

At the half, the match was still 0-0…

And that means it’s time for SPRINKLES!

At halftime, there was a ceremony to honor Omar Cummings for a fantastic career… 

Omar Cummings is a native of Jamaica who played soccer for both Cincinnati State and University of Cincinnati before getting drafted as the number 31 overall pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft by Colorado Rapids. He went on to become an MLS All-Star and earn 35 caps with the Jamaican National Team. Last season, he became one of the original eleven FC Cincinnati players…

Omar Cummings would kick off the second half…

And the second half is underway…

FC Cincinnati was about to make wholesale substitutions…

Omar Cummings got subbed off the pitch for the final time as a professional to a huge standing ovation from an appreciative Nippert Stadium…

And then… Goal! 1-0 Valencia!

The goal looked more than a little offside to me but it’s not very often they get offsides right at Nippert Stadium…

Three more minutes of La Liga in Cincinnati…

FC Cincinnati was awarded a corner in the dying moments of the match…

Note FC Cincinnati’s third string keeper making his way into the penalty box to try to get his head on the corner. He didn’t manage to do that. Valencia was able to clear the ball, jail broke out of the box and sprinted down the field for an empty net goal. And with that, it was 2-0

On an interesting side note, it turns out the player who scored Valencia’s second goal was the Italian striker, Simone Zaza. In last summer’s European Championships, Zaza was inserted into the quarter-final match up against Germany just before for the penalty shoot-out. After a really bizarre run up to the ball, he had what is widely considered to be one of the worst misses from the penalty spot of all-time. Just saying. Zaza…

And at the full-time whistle, it was Valencia CF 2-0 over FC Cincinnati

It was a very good match. FC Cincinnati has some pretty good chances but the technical abilities of the Valencia players were the real treat. The passing and the control were just leaps and bounds those of FC|C. It was very entertaining to watch.

Watch all 94 minutes of last night’s FC Cincinnati international friendly against Valencia CF.

Next up, FC Cincinnati returns to Nippert Stadium this Saturday as they take the seventh place Rochester Rhinos. And we’ll see you there! 😀⚽️🦇❤️

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