FC Cincinnati x Higher Gravity.

We walked down to Higher Gravity this evening to watch FC Cincinnati play away to rival, Louisville City FC. And where the beers were great, the match was not…

FC Cincinnati lost 5-0 to Louisville City FC. I’d like to think that FC|C was caught looking ahead to Tuesday’s HUGE US Open Cup semi-final match against New York Red Bulls at Nippert Stadium, and just took their eye off the ball during this match. Hopefully, the USOC match on Tuesday will be much, much more competitive. 😬⚽️❤️

FC Cincinnati x Cincy Shirts.

I’ll be the first to admit it. I love rally towels. Like, really love rally towels. I don’t know how or where it all started, probably with the Reds NLDS game 3 back in 2010 and then it got cemented with the Reds NLDS game 3 in 2012. I started carrying one of those Reds rally towels with me everywhere I went. And now I just really love rally towels. I seek them out. And track them down. No matter where I go, I always seem to have at least one, stuffed in a pocket. More than likely, there’s another one stuffed in my bag. I have at least one for almost every major sports team I support. But I didn’t have an FC Cincinnati rally towel. So imagine how excited I was to see this post from Cincy Shirts this morning…

Thankfully, I had Summer Hours this afternoon. When Genifer picked me up from work, we beat feet up Main Street into Over-the-Rhine to Cincy Shirts OtR location…

But it turns out somehow the FC|C rally towels were only at the Cincy Shirts Hyde Park location. So much to Genifer’s chagrin, we were back in the car heading to Hyde Park. Long story very short, we both got a new FC Cincinnati t-shirt from Cincy Shirts

And now we finally have FC|C rally towels…

Once again, all is good in the world. 😀⚽️❤️

We have our tickets!

It’s going to be the NEW biggest match of the season! Heck. It’s going to be the biggest match in the short but remarkable history of FC Cincinnati…

Our tickets for the huge US Open Cup semi-final match between FC Cincinnati and New York Red Bulls of MLS tarrived in the mail last night…

And it’s a good thing we’re season ticket holders with the first opportunity to buy our tickets to the match almost immediately after the US Open Cup quarter-final win over Miami FC because it was just announced this morning that CINvNY is officially…

Tickets went on sale to the general public yesterday at 1 pm and this morning it was just announced that FC Cincy’s US Open Cup semi-finalmatch at Nippert Stadium is officially SOLD OUT! FC|C President and General Manager Jeff Berding said the sales team sold 16,000 tickets in roughly seven hours. WOW. Just wow.

“The atmosphere at Nippert Stadium is going to be spectacular.” And I cannot wait! 
😀⚽️🏆❤️

Graphics courtesy of FC Cincinnati’s Twitter

FC Cincinnati versus Orlando City B.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY THIRTEEN! FC Cincinnati was taking Orlando City B…

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We were walking into Nippert right as all the supporters groups were marching in…

O say can you see…

That is some pretty serious hair going on right there…

And here we go…

GOAL FC CINCINNATI! Kyle Greig put FC|C up 1-0 in the sixth minute

 

FC Cincinnati was awarded a penalty kick. Aodhan Quinn stepped up to take the penalty and put it toward the bottom left corner…

But Orlando’s keeper made a huge save. And then just minutes later, Orlando equalized to make it 1-1…

At the half, it was still 1-1…

SPRINKLES!

Orlando City took the lead 2-1…

Tonight, FC Cincinnati surpassed their own USL regular season attendance record of 24,376 set against Orlando City B back in 2016 to set a new USL regular season single game attendance record

And… FC Cincinnati outdrew the attendance of every MLS game this evening. The funniest part was Orlando City B played in front of more people than the Orlando City MLS squad by almost 5,000 people. We hung around and watched the match for a bit. But then we decided to head for home a bit early to try to beat the traffic before the Uber prices shot through the roof…

On the way out, we got two of these incredible posters commemorating the US Open Cup win over the Chicago Fire. Come to find out when we got home, wouldn’t you know it? FC|C’s Danni Konig scored in the 92nd minute to salvage a point from the 2-2 draw. I guess that’s what we get for leaving early. Oh well. We’ve already claimed our US Open Cup semi-final tickets for the huge match on August 15th against NY Red Bulls. And we’ll see you there! 😀⚽️❤️

USOC17: THE CUP RUN WILL CONTINUE!

FC CINCINNATI’S EPIC US OPEN CUP RUN WILL CONTINUE! 🏆

FC Cincinnati defeated Miami FC of the NASL 1-0 on the road in Miami with a goal by Djiby, his fourth of this incredibly magical US Open Cup run. And with that, FC|C has made it to the semi-finals of the 2017 US Open Cup!

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Per Orange & Blue Press, Djiby is the first player in the Modern Era to score four game-winning goals in the same US Open Cup tournament. At the end of the pitch, FC|C’s star goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt hasn’t allowed a goal in 469 minutes of US Open Cup play. Starting from the 11th minute of the 2016 USOC loss to Tampa Bay, Hildebrandt has not conceded a single goal, leaving him just 4 minutes shy of the modern-day record, held by Jon Conway. Conway had a 473 consecutive minutes streak for San Jose between 2000 and 2001. And if you string Mitch’s streak together with Dallas Jaye’s 120 minutes of clean-sheet play versus AFC Cleveland in the second round, FC Cincy hasn’t allowed a goal in a staggering 589 minutes of US Open Cup play, also a Modern Era record. Zero goals conceded in 589 minutes of play. WOW!

There are now just four teams left in the 2017 US Open Cup: San Jose Earthquakes, Sporting Kansas City, New York Red Bulls and our FC Cincinnati…

In the 2017 USOC semi-final, FC|C will face New York Red Bulls. AT NIPPERT STADIUM. 

FC|C will host the Red Bulls after wins against AFC Cleveland, Louisville City FC, Columbus Crew, Chicago Fire and now Miami FC. With their win over Miami, FC Cincinnati became the first non-MLS side to reach the US Open Cup semi-finals since Richmond Kickers in 2011. And while a USL team has not made the USOC semi-finals since 2011, a USL squad has not hosted a semi-final draw since 2008, back when Charleston hosted and beat the then-USL Seattle Sounders.

Regardless of what happens against Red Bulls, it’s been such an epic US Open Cup run. It’s been like the Energizer bunny, it just keeps going and going and going. Hopefully, they can keep it going again. We’ll see you at the 2017 US Open Cup semi-finals!
😀🏆⚽️❤️

Photos courtesy of FC Cincinnati’s Twitter & Instagram and US Open Cup’s Twitter

UPDATE: Djiby will miss the semi-final match for an accumulation of yellow cards. 😬

USOC17: FC Cincinnati watch parties.

This evening FC Cincinnati played away to Miami FC in the quarter-finals of the 2017 US Open Cup. And there were numerous watch parties around the city and Northside was no exception. We headed down to Second Place to meet up with our friend JJ and one of her friends. We arrived about a half hour before the match and Second Place was already packed. There weren’t any open seats at the bar, in fact, there weren’t any open seats to be found in the whole place. It was standing room only…

And as the match got underway, it kept getting more and more crowded…

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With the match still 0-0 at halftime, we decided to break camp and watch the second half just up the block at Higher Gravity. We made it just before it started pouring…

We managed to actually find a seat at Higher Gravity, and watch FC|C knock Miami FC out of the US Open Cup by the final score of 1-0…

Can you believe it? Our FC Cincinnati is moving on to the 2017 US Open Cup semi-finals! What an incredible night! 😀⚽️🏆❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Rochester Rhinos.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY TWELVE! FC Cincinnati hosting Rochester Rhinos…

I was flying solo today. Genifer’s sister was getting thrown a surprise birthday party. I promised to leave at halftime. Or as soon as today’s match attendance was announced…

O say can you see…

And we’re underway…

In the twelfth minute, Rochester Rhinos took an early against the run of play.

GOAL FC CINCINNATI! Jimmy McLaughlin! Tie game 1-1!

And that’s where the wheels came off the wagon, and the rest of the match went all downhill. The ref for this evening’s match was one Guido Gonzales Jr. And he was the second worst referee I’ve seen in my entire life. The worst being Calin Radosav from FC|C’s match against Orlando City B back in May. Gonzales gave Djiby a second yellow after two seemingly innocuous soft fouls. The first was a supposed elbow that the referee didn’t even see or blow his whistle on until the linesman alerted Gonzales as to what he missed. Boom. Yellow card. No stern talking to. No warning. Straight yellow. And the second yellow was seventeen minutes later on a 50/50 ball. Djiby was challenging Rochester’s Wal Fall for a ball just outside Rochester’s penalty area. Djiby stretched his leg across Fall to block the clearance. The Rochester defender kicked the ball and then caught Djiby’s out-stretched foot on the follow through. Rochester’s Fall collapsed like he’d just broken his leg in three places. The way he was rolling around, you’d have thought he’d be lucky to ever walk again. And Djiby gets sent off…

A minute after coming back onto the pitch, Wal Fall goes down in a heap again after an extremely soft tackle. And he draws another yellow, this time on FC Cincinnati’s, Josu. It was really pretty ridiculous. And everytime Fall touched the ball for the rest of the game the entire stadium erupted in boos…

And at the half, it was 1-1.

You should have seen FC|C’s head coach, Alan Koch staring down Gonzales Jr…

And The Bailey expressed their opinion with a certain hand gesture…

SPRINKLES!

Rochester’s head coach looks like the real head coach got sick, and one of the player’s dads had to step in as head coach…

And we’re all set for the second half. It couldn’t possibly be as bad as the first, right?

With that, FC|C has become the first USL team to average over 20,000 fans per match. And according to Bailey Banter, FC Cincinnati has a better average attendance than 69 other professional sports teams. And that’s pretty darn cool.

 

As I was heading out, Rochester was awarded a penalty. Wal Fall was judged to have been fouled in the box. Not surprisingly, the replay showed he got away with taking yet another dive. Pretty sad really that the referee could see the forest through the trees. Fall made the penalty and gets booked for a prolonged celebration that mocked the FC|C supporters relentless boos…

After I left, Rochester was awarded ANOTHER penalty for what the Gonzales Jr called a handball. But you be the judge, was this a hand ball? Here’s another view. So Wal Fall coverts that one too. 3-1 Rochester. FC Cincy was awarded a penalty of their own near the end of the match but not before Gonzales Jr sends off two players from Cincinnati’s bench. Danni Konig converts the penalty for FC|C and that’s how the match would end, 3-2 Rochester.  Five yellow cards, 3 red cards and three penalty kicks. Ridiculous. Bailey Banter has a more in-depth account of the match. At least the sunset was pretty when I was walking back to our car…

Hopefully, FC Cincinnati will have better luck against Miami FC in the quarter-finals of the US Open Cup on Wednesday, and at home on Saturday against Orlando City B. And of course, we’ll see you at Nippert next Saturday. 😀⚽️❤️

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! 😀⚽️🦇❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Harrisburg City Islanders.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY ELEVEN! This evening FC Cincinnati was taking on the Harrisburg City Islanders at Nippert Stadium…

We met Cory and Amy at Mac’s Pizza Pub. We got to talking, didn’t realize the time and missed the kick-off which was fine because it was so hot and humid to day. Temperatures were well over 100º. When we got over to Nippert, we were happy to see we didn’t miss anything and the score was still 0-0…

As soon as we got over to our seats, the match went into a weather delay for approaching lightning in the area…

After an hour and nine-minute lightning delay, play was finally back under way. And it didn’t take very long for FC Cincinnati to take a 1-0 lead. Djiby tallied his 11th goal of the season

The sky started to get pretty crazy looking…

At the end of the first half, it was still 1-0 to FC Cincinnati. SPRINKLES!

GOAL FC CINCINNATI! Danni Konig made it 2-0 FC|C

Uh-oh…

And there’s the second lightning delay of the match…

At this point, we called it a match and headed for home. As it turns out, the second lightning delay only lasted for thirty-five minutes. When play once again resumed, Jimmy McLaughlin made it 3-0 FC Cincinnati! And that’s how the match would end,
3-0 FC Cincinnati. The win is FC|C’s third straight in USL games and moves them into fourth place in the USL East!

We got home just in time to watch the second half of the Gold Cup semifinal match between USMNT v. Costa Rica. And the USA won 2-0 to advance to Wednesday’s Gold Cup final against Jamaica!

Monday is FC Cincinnati’s big international friendly against Valencia CF of Spain’s
La Liga. To say we’re a little excited, might just be the understatement of the season.
The match will also be on ESPN3/Watch ESPN. But we’ll see you there! 😀⚽️❤️

 

Super Sports Saturday.

There were a bunch of really good sports on this evening. We sat out on our back patio and watched the Reds lose to the Nats, the United States Men’s National Team thump Nicaragua 3-0 in their final group stage match of the Gold Cup and… we watched our FC Cincinnati down geographic rival Louisville City FC 3-2… in Louisville…

It was a bunch of sports. Maybe too much for some of us…

Thank goodness for having a bunch of devices. 😀⚾️⚽️⚽️❤️

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