World Cup fever.

It’s official. We have World Cup fever. Today, we made our way to Second Place to watch the second half of the France versus Uruguay quarterfinal match…

We wanted France to win. But more than that, we wanted Second Place cheeseburgers….

I don’t know how widespread the knowledge is, but it’s an established fact that Second Place has some of the best cheeseburgers in Northside if not all of Cincinnati….

After France advanced 2-0, we pulled the Change of venue card and made our way to Higher Gravity for today’s other quarterfinal match, Brasil versus Belgium…

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Genifer was cheering for Belgium and they won 2-1. She was very happy…

After the soccer was finished, we came home to hang out in our backyard with Mack…

And my very pretty wife…

It’s very sad that the World Cup in winding down. But it was a really, really great Friday. 😀⚽️🏆🍔🍻❤️

Moving just a little bit slow.

I’m able to get up and move around the house without a lot of problems or discomfort. It just takes me a little while to get anywhere…

Mack was waiting for me to finally make it all the way upstairs so we could watch the soccer matches together. All things considered, I’m not doing too bad. 😀🐾📺⚽️❤️

The World Cup at Second Place.

We walked down to Second Place to watch the third and final World Cup match of the day: Germany versus Sweden

The ending of the match was crazy. Everyone in the stadium knew exactly what they were going to try to do. But then to actually be able to go out and actually execute it, that’s the truly amazing part to me. It was a really good game. And another really good time at Second Place. 😀🏆❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Richmond Kickers.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY SEVEN! Tonight, FC Cincinnati was playing host to struggling Richmond Kickers. Coming into tonight’s match FC|C was sitting atop the USL Eastern Conference and Richmond was hanging out in thirteenth place…

HERE WE GO…

GOAL! 1-0 FC CINCINNATIAnd Emmanuel Ledesma‘s goal turned out to also be the winner of Week 14 USL Goal of the Week!

GOAL! 2-0 FC CINCINNATI

At halftime, it was 2-0 FC Cincinnati!

SPRINKLES!

Sprinkles saved some little kids penalty and made him cry. Later, we saw Sprinkles walk by on the concourse…

GOAL! 3-0 FC CINCINNATI

We moved down to the end FC|C was attacking, and were instantly rewarded…

GOAL! 4-0 FC CINCINNATI! Manu Ledesma with his second of the game!

And that’s how the match ended, 4-0 to FC Cincinnati…

We missed our first home FC|C match.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY SIX! FC Cincinnati was playing host to Bethlehem Steel FC. And tonight, it finally happened. We missed our first home FC Cincinnati match…

Before tonight, we had been to each and every FC|C home game at Nippert Stadium. The weeknight games are hard. It’s a lot of hustling around to try to make it to the match on time. We decided to go ahead and skip tonight’s match because last Wednesday’s extra time US Open Cup match wrecked the rest of our week. We were so tired on Thursday and Friday. So we just watched tonight’s match on TV.

The match with Bethlehem Steel ended in a 2-2 draw. 😀⚽️📺❤️

USOC18: FC Cincinnati versus Minnesota United FC.

IT’S US OPEN CUP MATCH DAY ROUND 4! But first a little diatribe…

With much fanfare and back-patting, it was announced last Tuesday that FC Cincinnati is officially MLS expansion bound. They will finish the rest of this season in USL. And next season, FC|C will make their highly anticipated jump to the “big league.”

Let it be known, I’m not a fan of MLS. Not one bit. I think it’s a mediocre product with too many teams. It all has a very corporate, manufactured feel. Yet it’s next to impossible to find an MLS match on TV, making it really difficult to follow any team. So I’m not super excited about this FC|C to MLS news at all. I remember when it was first announced that Cincinnati was getting a USL soccer team. I was beyond excited. I loved the fact that they were in USL even though I didn’t know much about what the USL was, how many teams there were or really much of anything. I knew it was the second or third division and that was awesome. I was excited. For me, the fact that they were a lower division team sweetened the pot. There’s something about cheering for the little guy. And then we went to the first FC Cincinnati match at Nippert Stadium and they had me, hook, line, and sinker. It was all so magical. Not far into the inaugural season, talk of jumping to MLS kept getting louder and louder. Talks of soccer-specific stadiums. And I could feel my enthusiasm starting to waver little by little. In my opinion, it would be really hard to improve on any great number of things in regards to the club. I think it would be pretty easy for the experience to take a nose-dive. FC|C had a really good thing going in USL. They’re the big fish in a relatively small pond. More than likely by moving to MLS, they’ll just be another midmarket team in a vast ocean of competitiveness. Their impressive USL attendance numbers will put them near the bottom of the top ten in MLS. It’s doubtful they’ll even rank in the top ten once they move into their new 21,000 seat soccer-specific-stadium in the West End neighborhood of Cincinnati.

To me, the only good news that came out of MLS expansion announcement was that the team will play its first two seasons of MLS soccer at Nippert Stadium while their new soccer-specific stadium is being built. My biggest concern is right off the bat with the move to MLS is ticket prices. Are we still going to be able to afford our season tickets next year?  USL Season ticket prices are relatively affordable. Are MLS season ticket prices going to affordable as well? Probably not with the seats we’ve had the last three seasons. But perhaps if we moved to cheaper seats. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Tonight, we paid $30 a seat to watch a US Open Cup match that was one the most lackluster soccer games I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Remember last season’s US Open Cup run when FC|C played Columbus Crew and there was so much excitement? Or when they played Chicago Fire and the ecstasy of winning that shootout? I still get goosebumps thinking about the electricity that crackled through Nippert Stadium leading up to the match against New York Red Bulls. There was none of that tonight. Just a future MLS expansion team against a former MLS expansion team who currently sit in ninth place out of twelve teams in their conference. All I could think the whole match was, is this a precursor to what we have to look forward to next season?

At the half, it was nil-nil…

Sprinkles didn’t even bother coming to this match. Second half…

And at the end of 90 minutes, it was still 0-0…

At the end of the first 15 minute extra time, you guessed it 0-0…

And at the end of the second 15 extra time, still 0-0…

On to the penalty kick shootout…

I recorded the entire shootout in case something awesome happened…

And it did not. FC Cincinnati lost the shootout 3-1. I hope I’m wrong about MLS2Cincy. But this is what I imagine all the matches to be like next season when FC Cincinnati jump to MLS. Boooooooring. Maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised. All I know is that I’m going to enjoy the final season of USL soccer in Cincinnati and deal with MLS and all the nonsense it brings with it later. 😐⚽️❤️

UPDATE: I just discovered that for $5/month you can watch all the USL and MLS matches live through ESPN+ on the ESPN app. Done and done.

US Open tacos.

Tonight, we ate delicious tacos for dinner while we streamed FC Cincinnati’s US Open Cup third round match away to Pittsburgh Riverhounds…

And FC Cincinnati defeated Pittsburgh 3-1 to advance on to the fourth round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup…

Next up for FC Cincinnati in US Open Cup play, FC|C will host Minnesota United of MLS at Nippert Stadium on Wednesday, June 6th. We’ll see you there! 😀⚽️🌮❤️

FC Cincinnati versus North Carolina FC.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY FOUR!

Midweek FC Cincinnati defeated Detroit City FC 4-1 in the second round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Tonight, FC|C was playing host to North Carolina FC. Just like Atlanta United 2 two weeks ago, NCFC are also USL new boys. NCFC were formerly the Carolina RailHawks of the NASL before making the switch to USL. It turned out to be a pretty night for soccer…

HERE WE GO!

1-0 FC CINCINNATI!

At the half, it was 2-0 FC Cincinnati! Both goals were scored by Nazmi Albadawi, who just happened to be featured on tonight’s season tickets

Here’s Nazmi’s second goal again in slow-motion. And speaking of slow-motion…

SPRINKLES!

PENALTY TO FC CINCINNATI! 3-0

Tonight’s announced match attendence was 22, 884 um… hmmm…

Hello friends…

We spotted this guy in the crowd wearing a Kalamazoo College t-shirt…

FC Cincinnati’s Danni Konig added a fourth for FC|C before being subbed…

FINAL WHISTLE! The match ended in a 4-1 win for FC Cincinnati.

What a night! Great game. Great 3 points! FC Cincinnati stays atop the USL Eastern Conference. Next, FC Cincinnati will travel to Pittsburgh for a tough midweek US Open Cup match against the Riverhounds. And then they’re back home at Nippert Stadium next Saturday for another huge clash against rivals Louisville City in a first place versus second place showdown. We’ll see you next Saturday at Nippert! 😀⚽️❤️

Three years ago today…

We were at the Reds game when one of the Reds PNC PowerStacks actually caught on fire during the game…

I had forgotten about being at this game. Thankfully, Timehop never forgets. 😀🔥🦕❤

FC Cincinnati versus Atlanta FC 2.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY THREE! FC Cincinnati was playing host to USL new boys Atlanta FC 2. We arrived at Nippert about 15 minutes into the start of FC|C’s match against AFC2 due to watching the running of the Kentucky Derby at Mac’s Pizza Pub…

But that’s okay, it had been raining all day anyway. But by the time we headed over to Nippert Stadium, the rain had just about stopped…

It was still 0-0 when we got to Nippert. So we really didn’t miss much of anything…

We had just reached our seats when FC Cincinnati opened the scoring

2-0 FC CINCINNATI

And FC|C restored their two-goal lead, 3-1

At halftime, the score was 3-1 FC Cincinnati! That means it’s time for SPRINKLES!

Here we go…

FC Cincinnati added a fourth! 4-2!

And the match would end with victorious on the night with a massive 4-2 win

What a great end to Cinco de Derby day! 😀⚽️❤️

UPDATE: With tonight’s win, FC Cincinnati leapfrogged Louisville City to sit all alone atop the USL Eastern Conference in first place. And ICYMI, Kenney Walker’s superb long-range effort midweek against Ottawa Fury finished number one on SportsCenter’s Top 10.

His goal also finished with the USL Goal of the Week honors for USL Week 7…

As if there was ever any doubt.

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