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.

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! 😀⚽️❤️

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.

FC Cincinnati versus Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY TWO! FC|C was hosting Pittsburgh Riverhounds…

The match ended in a 2-2 draw in front of a crowd of 24,505. It was a good game. Back and forth with FC|C coming back to tie the match twice. I took a bunch more photos at tonight’s match. Click to see all the photos I took at FC Cincinnati versus Pittsburgh Riverhounds. 😀⚽️❤️

Second Place Sunday.

This afternoon we walked down to Second Place to watch the FC Cincinnati match…

They were playing away to Bethlehem Steel…

And FC|C tied Bethlehem Steel 1-1 in what turned out to be a pretty boring match. But the bourbon slushes were great as always. And once again, it’s really great to finally be able to walk places again. 😀2⃣🏆⚽️🍹❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Louisville City FC.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY ONE! Today was the FC Cincinnati 2018 home opener!

FC|C was playing defending USL Champs and heated rivals, Louisville City FC…

Turns out one our favorite former FC|C players, Pat McMahon now plays for LCFC…

He’s fourth from the left with the beard. The Bailey’s Streamergate tifo…

It was pretty cold at tonight’s match. FC|C lost 1-0 on a goal scored in the 13th minute. Other than that, all you could really do was focus on how cold you were. We left around the 90th-minute mark. I took a bunch of photos at the match. Click here to see all the photos I took at FC Cincy Match Day ONE! 😀⚽️❄️❤️

 

Join the March.

Our 2018 FC Cincinnati season ticket booklet showed up in the mail today…

All the tickets have different players on them like Kenney Walker…

Jimmy McLaughlin…

And ex-Arsenal man, Justin Hoyte…

Along with our tickets were two of these terrific 2018 season ticket member flags…

FC Cincinnati’s 2018 campaign is off to a very good start with two 1-0 away wins at both Charleston Battery and Indy Eleven. FC|C’s first home match is Saturday, April 7th at 7pm against rival Louisville City FC. We’re really excited for another season of FC Cincinnati soccer. #JoinTheMarch 😀⚽️🎟️❤️

Preseason FC Cincinnati soccer.

FC Cincinnati finally returned to Nippert Stadium this afternoon in preseason form. FC Cincy was playing host to the USL’s Sacramento Republic FC. Did I mention it was at Nippert Stadium? Last Saturday, FC|C played host to Nashville SC at University of Cincinnati’s Gettler Stadium. Gettler Stadium is the home for both the UC men’s and women’s soccer teams, as well as the men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams. We had tickets to last week’s friendly but skipped it and adopted a dog instead. With today’s friendly being played in the friendly confines of beautiful Nippert Stadium, how could we stay away? FC Cincinnati soccer is back at Nippert! Let’s go!

In what has become a prematch tradition dating back to the beginning of last season, we stopped at Mac’s Pizza Pub in Clifton before the match to get some lunch and watch UC’s basketball game against Memphis in the semi-finals of the American Athletic Conference tournament. Mac’s was packed full of Bearcat fans cheering on their basketball team. I don’t really care for the Bearcats basketball program much at all but the atmosphere was pretty infectious, the food was just great as always and the draft beers were only $1 during the Bearcats basketball game…

Just look at that monster of a burger…

After the Bearcat’s punched their ticket to the championship game, we walked over to Nippert Stadium for FC|C preseason soccer…

We spent the first half standing in the sun behind The Bailey. It felt really nice when you were in the sun…

We spent the second half of the match watching from behind our season ticket seats. And it was pretty darn chilly when you weren’t in the sun. FC CINCINNATI GOAL!!!

Both Genifer and I missed FC Cincy’s goal. And there wasn’t any video so no replay…

Bummer. Did I mention it was pretty chilly when you weren’t in the sun?

And the match ended 2-1 to Sacramento

It was really great to be back at Nippert watching some FC Cincinnati soccer again.The team looked pretty good. With FC|C signing 17 new players in the offseason and with only 9 returning players, I imagine there are still so kinks to be worked out trying to get the team to gel. We can’t wait for FC Cincinnati’s home opener on April 7th at 7pm against Lousiville City FC. Hopefully, it’ll be a little bit warmer in a few weeks. But I’m not going to hold my breath. 😀⚽️🔶🔷❤️

Northside Sunday.

This afternoon we walked down Hamilton Avenue to go check out the FC Cincinnati Fan Appreciation Tour which was making a stop at Second Place…

We thought there would be a representative on-hand promoting or representing the club. Maybe trying to sign people up for season tickets, answering questions about FC Cincy’s possible promotion to MLS or the latest on FC|C’s plans for a soccer-specific stadium or even just shaking some hands. Maybe if we were really lucky, there’d be a player or two on-hand. But nothing. The FC Cincinnati Far Appreciation Tour meant you could get a Moerlein FC Cincinnati Blood Orange IPA just $3 from 11am to 2pm. That’s it. Boy, do I feel appreciated. 😶 It was also the Manchester Derby: City versus United so Second Place was pretty crowded what with it being the Cincinnati hub of all things City and all…

We’ve watched a couple of big Manchester City matches at Second Place. There’s this one guy who’s a City supporter who is very vocal and very loud and his voice is so annoying that it makes it really difficult for me to watch City matches at Second Place. I’m just happy Second Place isn’t an Arsenal supporters hang out. Because that guy… whoa. Don’t get me wrong, I really love Second Place just not during Manchester City matches. But that’s just me.

We stayed until just before halftime and then broke camp to watch the second half at Higher Gravity. And in walking the block from Second Place to Higher Gravity, we missed two goals. The first forty-plus minutes, nothing. The last three minutes of the half, two goals. It figures. We watched City knock off United 2-1. Higher Gravity still had Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout on tap…

That beer was pretty amazing. We hung out and watched the Bengals get thumped by the Bears and then just came home. It was yet another really fun afternoon in Northside. 😀⚽️🍺🏈❤️

Happy North London Derby Day!

COME ON YOU GUNNERS! #AFCvsTHS #Arsenal #COYG 😀⚽️🔫❤️

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