Timehopping.

Two years ago, I was recovering from my second hip replacement surgery…

Three years ago today, FC Cincinnati’s magical 2017 US Open Cup run continued as FC|C defeated Chicago Fire on penalties in the Round of 16. It was an amazing night that will forever be etched in Cincinnati sports lore…

Thinking about that night still gives me chills.

And four years ago, we officially moved into our house in Northside…

Unpacking is just the worst. I’m glad we’re all settled into our great big house now. And we said goodbye to our little apartment downtown…

Five years ago, Cincinnati was getting ready to host the MLB All-Star Game…

Thanks for all the wonderful memories, Timehop. 😀🦕🍕❤️

 

MLS is back!

While I’m working, I really like listening to sports on Pluto TV. I usually bounce back and forth between four main channels: Surf TV, Red Bull TV, Bein Sports Extra, and the MLS channel. This afternoon on the MLS channel, we stumbled across the selection show for the upcoming MLS IS BACK tournament which will be held in Orlando…

They drew the groups for the east first. FC Cincinnati drew Group E…

Hilariously, Columbus Crew drew Group E as well…

So there will be a matchup of the Hell is Real derby in Orlando…

In the west, my very favorite MLS club, Minnesota United drew Group D…

Also hilariously, Group F contains both teams from Los Angeles…

And the best part is all the matches will be televised…

The best summers are always the World Cup summers, followed closely by the Euro Championship summers. More than likely, this tournament won’t have the same talent level or probably the same drama as national team tournaments but it should still be a lot of fun to watch. Especially after four months without any sports at all.

And I can’t wait! Come on you Loons! 😀⚽️🏆❤️

Four years ago OR Why I’m over FC|C.

Four years ago, our first FC Cincinnati booklet of season tickets arrived in the mail…

We reserved our season tickets on forty-five minutes after it was announced that USL soccer was coming to Cincinnati.

To me, these were the FC|C glory days, back when they were in USL. They were just this little upstart second division club from Cincinnati that drew 25,000+ fans to their home games. They were competitive on the pitch. They had friendlies with major European squads like Crystal Palace, Valencia, and Espanyol. It was all so exciting and soooo much fun. During the 2016 and 2017 seasons, we didn’t miss one home match. Every friendly, every scrimmage, every single match, we were there. The 2018 season we missed three matches because of my hip surgeries and one match because of a family vacation. The 2019 MLS season started off well but by the end we skipped some of the  matches during the week because the team was so bad.

And before each season started, we would go out and each buy the new FC|C home jersey for the season and sweatshirts so we had new gear for each new season.

We were all in on FC Cincinnati. Until now.

Here comes the diatribe…

Fast forward four years, FC Cincinnati is the worst club in MLS. I mean, it’s not even close. in 2019, they earned just 24 points from 34 matches, and finished with a goal difference of -44. NEGATIVE FORTY-FOUR. They currently find themselves without a head coach. Again. Before the start of this season, they eliminated general admission tickets. And that drove the ticket prices up. Again. Every year it keeps getting more and more expensive just to watch a team that’s terrible. We decided at the end of last season that we were not going to be renewing our season tickets.

And we have YouTubeTV. On YouTubeTV, you can’t stream any of the FC|C matches…

We also subscribe to ESPN+. MLS enforces strict black-outs of even the on-demand replays of ALL FC Cincy matches…

The only way for us to watch any of the FC Cincinnati matches, home or away, is by using an over-air antenna.

And to top it off, I think their 2020 home kit is an absolute mess. But to be fair, their away kit is pretty sweet. Over the last four years, FC Cincinnati’s home kit has gone from horizontal blocks to hoops to stripes to halves. It’s ridiculous. I’ve watched a lot of soccer throughout the years and I can’t recall another side that has varied the overall design for their kit so dramatically. Usually just little details change.

With the rising ticket prices and the TV black-outs, what FC|C and MLS are telling me is this… we don’t care if you watch Cincinnati soccer matches. And I’m fine with that. I’ll wear the gear I have. But I’m not dropping another dime on this team.

I’ve really fallen in love with Minnesota United in MLS. They are a competitive side. I like their coach. Love their logo and kit. And I can watch all their matches on ESPN+. I’ve also begun really supporting Louisville City in USL. I can also watch all of their matches through ESPN+. As soon as the COVID-19 crisis is behind us, we’re planning weekend trips to both Minneapolis and Louisville to see their stadiums and watch matches. And to me, that seems like a much better use of my money.

I’m not saying I’m done with FC Cincinnati for ever. But I’m definitely over them for right now and into the foreseeable future. #AllForCincy 😐⚽️❤️

FC|C Warehouse sale.

And while they were queueing up for sneakers over on Fourth Street, I was queueing up inside the Westin Hotel for the annual FC Cincinnati warehouse sale…

Everything was pretty much half-off the original price…

I got us a whole bunch of new FC Cincinnati gear. I got Genifer the t-shirt and two tanks in the photo above. And I got an away jersey, t-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, and a hoodie. With that, I’m good on FC|C gear for a very, very long time to come. 😀⚽️❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Orlando City.

This afternoon was the final home game of FC Cincinnati’s inaugural MLS season…

FC|C was playing host to Orlando City. We’re really happy this soccer season is finally coming to an end. It’s been a ridiculously long season watching an epically bad team struggle mightily in a very mediocre league…

It was fan appreciation night at Nippert Stadium. Everyone in the stadium received a free scratcher card. On our scratchers, we both got $10 off at the FC Cincinnati team shop. We felt so appreciated…

FC Cincinnati took an early 1-0 lead…

But Orlando City came back to tie it up. And the match would end 1-1

Like I said earlier, it was a very long season of FC Cincinnati soccer, and we’re really happy it’s over. This was the fourth summer that we planned around FC Cincinnati. And at the end of each season, we’ve always looked forward to next season. Until the end of this season. I’ve really soured on FC Cincinnati over the course of the summer. I haven’t been able to pinpoint my exact problem or the main source of my frustration with the team. And I’ve thought about it. A LOT. I haven’t been able to put my finger on any single issue or event or happening that took me from a die-hard supporter to a very jaded observer. I still support the club. I’ll still sport FC|C gear on match days next season. But we’re done being season ticket holders. My heart just isn’t in this team anymore. A small part of it has to be that the quality of their play is just so ridiculously bad. It’s no fun watching a team lose over and over again, and not show any signs of getting better. And all the miscues by the leadership have something to do with it. The lack of appreciation for their season ticket holders played a part too. As well as the ongoing saga and bevy of issues surrounding their new soccer-specific stadium in the West End. And then there’s the Bailey and their redundant, tired, uninspired chants. It all just grates on me. But maybe it’s not you FC Cincinnati, maybe it’s just me.

I think my issue is with MLS as a whole. The arrogance of MLS thinking they can charge a premium price for such a terrible product. It’s a small step up from USL at best. The watered-down talent pool of players, the uninspired match play, the mediocrity of the referees, the ridiculous number of teams in the league, the structure of the playoffs, the lack of promotion and relegation. All of it is just so bad. USL had a certain campiness to it that I thought was fun. It was the minor league of professional soccer and with the minor league comes a certain understanding that there will be missed calls, errant passes and shots that go out for throw-ins and other mistakes. MLS takes it’s self so seriously. It presents itself that this is the pinnacle of soccer. And in reality, it’s just so bad. It’s really difficult for me to watch. Most of the time.

But then again over the course of this season, I’ve fallen in love with Minnesota United. So figure that out. Maybe it isn’t MLS. Maybe it is just you, FC Cincinnati. Who knows. But whatever the reason, I’m just glad this season is finally over. And next summer, we’re going back to more Reds games. 😀⚽️❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Toronto FC.

This evening our FC Cincinnati played host to Michael Bradley’s Toronto FC. But first, we stopped at Mac’s Pizza Pub for their special $5 matchday pizza…

And I wanted a grilled cheeses with some waffle fries…

And when we were done eating, we walked over to Nippert Stadium to watch our FC|C play those hosers from up north…

Jozy Altidore didn’t play in this match. I’m not even sure if he traveled with the team to Cincinnati. And that’s fine. I’ve always thought that he was really overrated. We saw him play against the Crew in Columbus. And he was just as underwhelming in person as he is with the national team.

But even terribly overrated players can scorch you when they’re left totally unmarked just outside of the 18. Like when FC|C was playing Toronto up in Canadia

Here we go…

There were fans at Nippert who booed every time Michael Bradley touched the ball. I found it to be incredibly disrespectful with all he’s done on the USMNT. I think he’s one of the better, more consistent players that our national team has had lately…

And FC Cincinnati lost 5-1. It’s just been painful.

We grabbed an Uber back to Northside Tavern for a drink…

And then we came home and walked the dogs…

It was a pretty fun evening if you take out the 5-1 loss. 😀🍕🥪⚽️🍺❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Columbus Crew.

So here we are. The inaugural MLS Hell is Real derby between our FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew. The two teams first met back in 2017 during FC|C’s magical US Open Cup run when Djiby headed Cincy to a 1-0 victory. The teams met for the first time in MLS play two weeks ago and played to a 2-2 draw. Fast forward to today and it’s the first MLS edition of the Hell is Real derby match at Nippert Stadium…

And here we go…

And FC Cincinnati was down 3-0 after just fifteen minutes…

Someone must have tried really hard to get drunk on some free samples of warm, non-alcoholic Heineken 0.0, or they just really liked the taste…

The final score was 3-1 to the Crew. Apparently, Ohio is black and gold. 😐⚽️❤️

FC Cincinnati versus NYCFC.

Today, our FC Cincinnati played host to New York City Football Club. Before the match, we stopped at Mac’s Pizza Pub for pizza and boneless chicken wings…

And then we headed over to Nippert Stadium for the match…

Back in the day, they had some really big-name, international superstar players like David Villa and Andrea Pirlo and I suppose to a lesser degree, Frank Lampard…

But to be honest with you, I couldn’t name one player from this current NYCFC squad…

FC Cincinnati jumped out to a 1-0 lead…

It should have been a 2-0 lead, but FC Cincinnati had a penalty saved. And then NYCFC rattled off 4 unanswered goals…

And NYCFC would go on to defeat FC|C 4-1

Thankfully, there are just five more home games in this very long inaugural MLS season of FC Cincinnati soccer. 😀⚽️❤️

Four years ago.

Four years ago today, it was announced that Cincinnati was getting it’s very own USL professional soccer team, and that team would be called FC Cincinnati

And then we got to meet US soccer legend, John Harkes

Happy birthday, FC Cincinnati! 😀⚽️🎂❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Vancouver Whitecaps.

Tonight, FC Cincinnati (last place in Eastern Conference) played host to Vancouver Whitecaps (second to last place in the Western Conference) at Nippert Stadium…

FC Cincinnati is getting pretty difficult to watch…

They are just really bad. And tonight, second to last place beat last place 2-1. 🙁⚽️❤️

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