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! 😀🇺🇸⚽️🇳🇿❤️

FC Cincinnati versus NY Red Bulls II.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCHDAY 16! And it’s the final home match of the regular season. Nippert Stadium played host to 22 FC Cincinnati matches total between the USL regular season, US Open Cup and the international friendly against Valencia CF. And we were there for every single one of them…

Djiby was starting again after seemingly falling out of favor for a while…

O say can you see…

Here we go…

GOAL FC CINCINNATI! Austin Berry scores the goal for FCC in the 5′!

Red Bulls pulled one back to tie the match at one all…

GOAL FC CINCINNATI!! Corben Bone became a dad earlier in the week and now he bags a goal on his birthday…

At halftime, it was still 2-1 FC Cincinnati…

And then they announced tonight’s attendance…

Tonight’s crowd of 30,417 set new USL attendance record for a regular season or playoff match. The old record attendance of 30,187 was set by FC Cincinnati last season during the playoff loss to Charleston on October 2nd. FC|C ends the season averaging just over 21,000 per game at home this season. The rest of the USL averaged just 4,300.  It still boggles my mind how many people show up for soccer in Cincinnati. And it doesn’t look like the crowds will be letting up anytime soon.

And then FC Cincinnati added a third! GOAL FC CINCINNATI!!! Harrison Delbridge scored what has to be a contender for goal of the season… A 25-yard rocket to the far post, upper 90. WOW! JUST WOW!

Red Bulls pulled another goal back. But FC|C added a fourth! GOAL FC CINCINNATI!!!! Kenney Walker with the free kick mastery! 

And that’s the way the match would end, 4-2 to FC Cincinnati

What a great win to close out the FC|C regular season at home…

FC Cincinnati still has four away games remaining on the schedule as they make their push toward the USL playoffs. Keep an eye out for watch parties around Cincinnati

Thank you for another wonderful season of FC Cincinnati soccer. Thank you for all the great memories from this season. We can’t wait to see you next season. 😀⚽️❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCHDAY 15! There was an odd 4 o’clock kickoff for today’s FC Cincinnati match as they were playing host to Pittsburgh Riverhounds…

And it was kind of a chilly, rainy afternoon…

But none of that mattered because we got new FC|C tall boy coozies…

We waited for the match to start and the drizzle to end under an overhang at the east end of Nippert Stadium by The Bailey…

O say can you see…

Here we go…

Pittsburgh scored in just the second minute…

I got up to go to the restroom and wouldn’t you know it… FC Cincinnati pulled level

And that’s the way it would stay at halftime

And the second half was about to get underway…

Djiby made an appearance…

Despite the rain and the odd start time, there was another great crowd…

And the match would end 1-1

After the match, we took an Uber back to Northside and stopped into Higher Gravity for a little taster flight before header home…

FC Cincinnati’s final home match of the regular season will take place on September 16th against New York Red Bulls 2. And we’ll see you there! 😀⚽️❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Ottawa Fury.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY FOURTEEN! FC Cincinnati was taking on Ottawa Fury for the very first time either home or away…

Bearcats football is starting soon. And now we have padded seat cushions and seat backs where we used to just have bleachers. It’s a nice perk for the final three home games of the FC|C season…

 

And speaking of new additions, look at that beautiful new digital scoreboard…

Here come the supporter’s groups marching into The Bailey…

The Bearcat was in the crowd in The Bailey…

I hope FC Cincinnati decides to build their new stadium in Ohio too…

Or if they just wanted to stay at Nippert Stadium that would be fine too…

O Canada…

O say can you see…

Here we go…

I spent the first few minutes of the match just watching the new videoboard…

That thing is really nice…

GOAL! FC CINCINNATI! Danni Konig put FC|C up 1-0

GOAL!! FC CINCINNATI! Jimmy McLaughlin was sent clear to put FC|C 2-0 up… 

FC|C had this incredible defensive sequence just before halftime that denied Ottawa what should have been a clear goal…

And at halftime, it was still FC|C 2 Ottawa Fury 0…

SPRINKLES!

And the second half is underway

GOAL!!! FC CINCINNATI! Sem deWit with his first goal of the season for FC|C

Ottawa Fury pulled a goal back…

There was another crowd of 20,000+ at tonight’s match…

The fourth official indicated a minimum of 5 additional minutes…

And there’s the full-time whistle with the final score 3-1 to FC Cincinnati

It was really good to see FC|C bounce back with a win after a string of difficult results. We’ll see you at FC Cincinnati’s second to last home match on September 2nd against Pittsburgh Riverhoundz. 😀⚽️❤️

USOC17: FC Cincinnati versus New York Red Bulls.

IT’S MATCH DAY! THE MATCH DAY! US Open Cup semi-finals between New York Red Bulls of MLS and our FC Cincinnati. Live from Nippert Stadium…

It was a match surrounded with such eager anticipation that my parents drove all the way down from Michigan for it. FC|C head coach Alan Koch said before the match that his upstart FC Cincinnati US Open Cup Cinderellas should be known as FC Disneyland.’ Speaking of Disneylands, Nippert was buzzing childlike excitement and wonder…

They’re in the process of installing a brand new huge video scoreboard at Nippert. It’s going to be the same size as the scoreboard out in left field at Great American Ballpark…

At the other end of Nippert was a little make-shift video screen…

At the New York Red Bulls end of Nippert, the US Open Cup semifinal banner down in the corner was pretty incredible…

There’s Red Bulls and sometimes USMNT star, Sacha Kljestan

And 99 is former Southampton and England striker, Bradley Wright-Phillips

Here come the supporters groups on their way to The Bailey…

O say can you see…

The Bailey’s tifo was pretty awesome…

Some of the other banners were pretty good too…

 

HERE WE GO…

GOAL! 1-0 FC CINCINNATI! Corben Bone fired FC|C to an early lead

And there’s the whistle for halftime with the score still 1-0 to FC Cincinnati!

SPRINKLES!

And here we go. The second half is underway…

2-0 FC CINCINNATI! AUSTIN BERRY! 

A sell-out crowd in the neighborhood of 36,000 was expected for tonight’s semifinal. Any number over 35,613 would have broken the current attendance record set in the 2011 US Open Cup final between the Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire. But we fell just short of that mark tonight, there were 33,250 at tonight’s match which is a new US Open Cup non-final attendance record. And I just missed getting a photo of the attendance when it was announced because they put it on the runner board, not the little video board…

Red Bulls pulled one back to make it 2-1…

And then they tied the game…

At the full-time whistle, it was still 2-2. This one’s going into extra time…

Red Bulls took the lead 3-2…

The final 15-minute extra time half…

There’s the final whistle and FC Cincinnati’s magical Cinderella story US Open Cup run has come to the end of its road. Red Bulls were just too much tonight and won 3-2

FC Cincinnati head coach, Alan Kock praised his team after the game

FC Cincinnati’s Jeff King said it best

Regardless of a score 2nite, remember this passion. Remember ur pride. Remember this amazing run. Remember this movement you helped build.

And what an amazing run it was! It’s one that will be long remembered and reminisced about for ages. 😀⚽️🏆❤️

 

 

FC Cincinnati versus Orlando City B.

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

36218720882_2d12a7a3cc_b

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! 😀⚽️❤️

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! 😀⚽️❤️

 

FC Cincinnati versus Richmond Kickers.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY TEN! FC Cincinnati was hosting Richmond Kickers…

We ended up talking to a couple that always sits at the table next to us at Mac’s Pizza Pub before the matches and as a result, we missed the teams walking out onto the pitch. And we missed Djiby scoring the opening goal for FC Cincinnati just three minutes into the match…

And at the half, it was 1-0 FC|C. SPRINKLES!

They announced the attendance of 21,769 but they never put it on the scoreboard…

PENALTY TO FC|C!

Aodhan Quinn buried the penalty, but the referee called it back after an FC|C player encroached the penalty box before the kick. He’d have to retake the penalty. And he buried the penalty again

At the full-time whistle, it was 2-0 to FC Cincinnati…

Walking to get our Uber, we noticed these crazy gargolyes sitting at ninety-degree angles off of one of the UC buildings…

AND… it was announced on Thursday that the US Women’s National Team will be visiting Nippert Stadium this fall to play the second match of a two game set of international friendlies against New Zealand!

How exciting is that? 😀❤️⚽️

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