USWNT versus New Zealand.

IT’S INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY MATCHDAY! The United States Women’s National Team was playing their first match in Cincinnati since 2008 as they hosted New Zealand at Nippert Stadium. It also marks the first time the University of Cincinnati has ever hosted a national team match…

It seems like we’ve had our tickets for this match for months…

And the big day was finally here…

Here comes New Zealand…

And here comes the USWNT…

There’s Megan Rapinoe…

Tobin Heath…

And Cincinnati’s own Rose Lavelle…

They got the crowd going before the match with a chant of, “USA! USA! USA!”

The New Zealand National Anthem…

O say can you see…

Whoever made the tifo for the match deserves a high five, a handshake and pat on the back because it was pretty awesome…

Here we go…

GOAL USA! After relentless pressure right from the start of the match, the USWNT finally found the back of the net. New Zealand was doing a pretty good job of trying to weather the storm. But you had the feeling it was only a matter of time until the US finally opened the scoring…

And Mallory Pugh made it 2-0 before the half. But the highlight was the perfectly
weighted through ball. You can’t defend against that sort of precision…

At halftime, it was still 2-0 USWNT…

Rose Lavelle was subbed off near the end of the first half…

There was a cool FC Cincinnati promo during halftime…

GOAL USWNT! Alex Morgan came in at the half and was quickly on the scoresheet

At this point, it was becoming kind of ridiculous as the USWNT netted their fourth

We missed the goal but the USWNT added a fifth to make it 5-0. And it was an absolute stunner! Alex Morgan’s second goal of the night put the exclamation mark on an unforgettable evening!

The average attendance at a USWNT match is around 18,700…

With 30,596, tonight marked the 7th highest attendance for a standalone USWNT friendly. Cincinnati certainly shows out for its soccer…

Didn’t have a ticket? Didn’t matter. People still turned out to watch the match…

Mercifully, the full-time whistle was blown. 5-0 to the USWNT!

Not surprisingly, Alex Morgan was named Player of the Match after her brace tonight…

I wonder if Alex Morgan has a lot of fans?

What a night!

After the match, it sounded like the USWNT was definitely impressed with the atmosphere and support at Nippert Stadium

It was such incredible night. Terrific atmosphere. We wouldn’t have missed seeing our Women’s National Team play right in our backyard for anything in the world. What an amazing way to cap another incredible summer of soccer at Nippert Stadium! It was pretty unbelievable! 😀🇺🇸⚽️🇳🇿❤️

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! 😀⚽️🦇❤️

Gearing up for Valencia CF.

If you didn’t already know, FC Cincinnati has an international friendly just around the corner with Valencia CF of Spain’s La Liga. After work this evening, I walked down to the FC Cincinnati Team Store on Fourth Street

They had the model of FC Cincinnati’s proposed new soccer-only stadium on display right when you walked in the door…

But I was there for the special FC|C Valencia dual logo t-shirt that was just released…

And I picked up a couple of the special FC|C Valencia limited edition scarves

Only 500 scarves were created. We got scarves number 100 and 101…

We can’t wait for this season’s big international friendly! 😀⚽️❤️

We have our tickets!

We’ve already received our tickets in the mail for a couple of upcoming FC Cincinnati matches are going to be huge. HUGE! First up is the massive Fith Round US Open Cup match at Nippert Stadium against the Chicago Fire of MLS…

And we’ve also received our tickets for this season’s incredible international friendly when FC Cincinnati welcomes Valencia CF of Spain’s La Liga to Nippert Stadium…

And here are our tickets in all their spectacular soccer glory…

To say that we are just a little bit excited for these matches might be the biggest understatement of the season. 😀❤️⚽️

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY: FC Cincinnati versus Crystal Palace.

This afternoon we hopped on the Metro 17 bus over to University of Cincinnati for what we fully expected to be the single biggest soccer event the state of Ohio has ever seen. Our beloved FC Cincinnati were playing host to South London’s Crystal Palace of the English Premier League. Palace was founded all the way back in 1905, and just a few months ago played in the 2016 FA Cup Final, finishing as runners-up in competition to Manchester United…

We stopped at the St. Clair for pregame drinks, as usual. But it filled up much quicker than most Saturdays…

The St. Clair got too crowded so we joined the festivities out on U Square where there was quite the pregame party going on just outside the St. Clair…

And then we headed over to Nippert…

Here come the teams…

Such atmosphere…

Crystal Palace manager, Alan Pardew…

The Bailey revealed their tifo for the match…

FC Cincinnati manager, John Harkes on the left and Palace manager Alan Pardew on the right, and behind them it said “Dance Dance Dance Harkes vs. Pardew”

And eight minutes into the match, it was 1-0 Crystal Palace…

Genifer commented that she was surprised it took Palace that long to score.

We were really wondering coming in if the scoreline was going to get ugly…

But despite giving up the early goal, FC Cincinnati were really holding their own…

At the end of the first half, it was 1-0 to Crystal Palace…

SPRINKLES!

For the second half, I actually put my camera down and just enjoyed the match and the incredible atmosphere. You know… For the most part. 2-0 to Crystal Palace…

And then tonight’s attendance was revealed…

35,061! The largest crowd to ever see a soccer match in the state of Ohio. And FC Cincinnati’s first ever sell out! A snippet from FC Cincinnati’s President & General Manager, Jeff Berding’s weekly email stated:

“London’s The Telegraph noted that we posted the highest attendance for a soccer match in America over the weekend. The 35,061 was higher than every other Major League Soccer match with the next best nearly 10,000 shy. Of our major league efforts, they stated, “With each passing week, their credibility goes through the roof.”

Alan Pardew expressed his gratitude by saying, “The atmosphere was phenomenal. Hats off to everybody who turned up.” He even went so far as to call it a championship environment.

And that’s how the match would end, 2-0 to Crystal Palace…

It was a very respectable scoreline for FC Cincinnati…

Afterwards, we hopped back on the 17 and headed back to Northside…

We completely forgot about the post match fireworks, which from the photos I’ve seen looked pretty spectacular. Both the FC|C and Palace players stayed on the field to watch the show.

FC Cincinnati are currently in third place in the USL’s Eastern Conference. This week FC|C will host second place New York Red Bulls 2 at Nippert on Wednesday at 7pm. The match is also ESPN3’s USL Stream of the Week. And then on Saturday, they host first place Louisville City at 4pm in a match which will determine the winner of the first annual River Cities Cup.

On Saturday July 30th, FC|C will host fourth placed Charleston Battery at 7pm. These three matches will determine whether FC Cincinnati will get the opportunity to host postseason games at the friendly confines of Nippert Stadium.

FC|C is well on their way to hitting their goal for a crowd of 15,000 for Wednesday’s match and hoping for 25,000 for Saturday’s White Out against Louisville.

We hope to see you there! 🙂

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