FC Cincinnati: Meet the Team.

After work tonight, we went to a special FC Cincinnati Season Ticket holder Meet the Team event at Taft’s Brewpourium. And it was awesome. Doors opened at 5:00pm. I think we got to the Brewpourium at 5:02…

We got a selfie with FC|C President Jeff Berding…

There was some sharp looking merch…

New got new FC Cincinnati MLS scarves. But I didn’t think to take a photo of them. There were a bunch of different tables set-up for autographs…

And there was this impressive sculpture work-in-progress of the Cincinnati boxing legend, the Cincinnati Cobra Ezzard Charles, When it’s completed, this larger than life statue will live outside of FC Cincinnati’s new soccer-specific stadium in Cincinnati’s West End on the street named after the boxer…

 

I couldn’t help but notice there are a fair number of players from Michigan on FC|C’s MLS squad including Eric Alexander, who is from Portage right next to Kalamazoo…

And there are a bunch of new guys who are not from anywhere near Michigan…

We saw FC|C’s very first MLS designated player, Fanendo Adi…

There are a bunch of new faces to learn…

And there was one of my favorite FC|C players ex-Arsenal defender Justin Hoyte…

And contrary to #HoyteIsOpen from last season, he wasn’t open for very long tonight…

He was definitely one of the more popular players at this event.

And then it was about time for the main event…

After Jeff Berding’s opening comments, every player came up on stage to be introduced and say a few words to all of us fans. There were a lot of new faces to learn…

And Manu Ledesma…

And Polish goalkeeper Przemysław “Titi” Tytoń…

That’s Eric Alexander from Portage, Michigan. He went to Portage Central High School…

Emery Welshman was one of my favorite players from last season…

After this event was over, he got sent out on loan to Canadian Premier League side, Forge FC for the season. Also, there’s a Canadian Premier League? Asking for a friend. Next was one of our favorites, the aforementioned Fanendo Adi…

And Corben Bone who lives in Northside and who we met at Higher Gravity…

And Justin Hoyte, who was still not open despite his hashtag claiming otherwise…

After USMNT midfielder Kenny Saief who just joined FC|C in the last couple of days from Belgian giants Anderlecht…

And there was defender Forest Lasso…

And there were a bunch of other guys but the above photos were the best photos. A lot of them were kind of fuzzy or blurry. I probably should have used a camera other than my Samsung Galaxy Note9 with my Moment 60mm lens…

But oh well. Then the entire team came back up on stage for a group photo…

Can you hear me in the back?

It was a pretty neat event. It was much more intimate than I thought it was going to be…

And there was a roundtable discussion with Jeff Berding, Coach Koch and the guy in charge of international recruiting…

There were autograph sessions and then all the players got pizza slices…

It was a pretty awesome night with FC Cincinnati. Click to see all the photos I took at the FC Cincinnati Meet the Team season ticket holder event. 😀⚽️❤️

FC Cincinnati’s first MLS match.

This evening was FC Cincinnati’s very first match in MLS. They were playing away at Seattle Sounders on FS1. Definitely not the easiest introduction to their new league…

I was so excited and so nervous for this match all day. And it was finally here…

And just 13 minutes into the match, FC Cincinnati had their first goal and first lead in MLS! Just 13 minutes! Leonardo Bertone made history for FC|C with a wonder strike from outside of the box

The goal was the third-fastest ever scored by an MLS expansion club. It was definitely a moment to remember. But that was pretty much the only the highlight of the match for FC|C. It all kind of went south from there. FC Cincinnati lost their first match 4-1 to Seattle Sounders.

Welcome to MLS. 😀⚽️❤️

Ignite & Unite.

Our 2019 FC Cincinnati season tickets arrived in the mail today…

It’s pretty neat stuff. Really well done. I do miss getting the special season ticket holder commemorative scarf though. 😀📨⚽️🎟️❤️

Seen and noted.

Our FC Cincinnati was playing in a four-team preseason tournament in Charleston. All the matches were available to stream through the Charleston Battery’s website, which was less than ideal. This afternoon FC|C played its final match of the Carolina Challenge Cup against Columbus Crew. And someone could have used a hand in their spelling of Clombus Columbus…

No matter how you spell it, Crew thumped Cincinnati 3-0. 🤪⚽️❤️

We’re beyond excited about this…

It will be FC Cincinnati’s very first home game of the MLS era. It’s going to be another one of those, “I was there moments” in Cincinnati sports. We have our season tickets all renewed and we’re super excited. 😀⚽️❤️

Three years ago.

We’ve loved every minute of it. And we’re still going strong! Bring on MLS! 😀🦕⚽️❤️

USL Cup 2018: FC Cincinnati versus NY Red Bulls II.

USL EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMI-FINALS! Our number one seeded FC Cincinnati was playing host to the fifth seed baby Bulls of New York…

HERE WE GO!

At halftime, it was 1-0 New York Red Bulls II…

And after a very frustrating second half with very few chances created, the match would end 1-0 to NY Red Bulls…

With today’s loss, FC Cincinnati saw its 2018 season come to an end. It was a great season for FC Cincinnati. They went on an unbelievable undefeated run that spanned FC|C’s last 23 games of the regular season, and last 25-games overall. The undefeated streak began all the way back on June 2 and also included draws in the club’s US Open Cup fourth-round match against MLS’ Minnesota United (0-0, 4-1 loss in PKs) and last week’s Eastern Conference Quarterfinal against Nashville SC (0-0, 6-5 win in PKs). FC Cincy posted a regular-season record of 23-3-8 with 77 points. They set USL records for regular-season wins, longest undefeated streak and most points. And they were crowned USL regular season champions. It was a pretty amazing season.

But all good things have to come to an end. I would much rather have them get knocked out in the conference semi-finals by Red Bulls than rival Louisville City in the conference finals. Or for them to make it to the USL Cup final only to lose that match. Hopefully, they’ll keep getting better and better players and will be competitive next season in MLS. We’ll just have to wait and see. 😀⚽️🏆❤️

One year ago today.

On October 10, 2017, USMNT lost 2-1 away to Trinidad & Tobago and as a result, they failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986…

Today on the one year anniversary of the darkest day in U.S. Soccer history, the US Soccer Federation released this statement… 

“Today we look forward. With the march towards 2022 underway and the 2026 FIFA World Cup in North America as our guidepost, the U.S. Men’s National Team has embarked on a new journey. The hallmarks of the culture remain, with perseverance, grit and dogged determination fueled by the pride to represent the United States and each and every one of you. We take nothing for granted. The path ahead will be paved with successes and informed by setbacks. We will build strength through commitment and character, accepting challenges and rising every time we fall. We will be aggressive and play without fear, for history demonstrates that fortune favors the bold.

“Like any grand project, ours is a work in progress. We cannot do it alone. Pioneering a new path forward takes the will of a generation full of optimism and hope, bound by the belief that there is nothing we cannot achieve if we are united in the cause. This is the American spirit, from which is born the American dream. It is time to take our destiny in our own hands and turn that dream into a reality. And do it together. The future is US.”

Blah. Blah. Blah. The National Team has a whole bunch of bright talented youngsters that are starting to emerge from the ranks. But they still haven’t even hired a new coach for the National Team. I hope things start to get better soon for our team, and they can get thing s back to where they were and then start figuring out how to take things to the next level. But they sure are taking their sweet time. 😀🇺🇸⚽️❤️

USL rebrands and it’s wonderful.

We were watching our FC Cincinnati play away to Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The match ended in a very uneventful 0-0 draw. But at halftime, USL unveiled their new future rebranding, and it was pretty slick…

 

As a designer who loves soccer, this would have been a dream project to work on. And it’s really well done. It’s a very nice rebranding for USL Soccer. The entire effort, everything about it feels very Premier League to me. The animations, the graphics, the fonts, the whole thing is wonderful. Well done, USL! I love how they tiered their leagues. It makes me sad that Cincinnati isn’t going to be a part of it. Because I think it’s great. I think the USL has a lot more vision than MLS. MLS has always just seemed like a huge cash grab to me. Less about the soccer, certainly less about the fans, definitely about snatching every last dollar possible. Sorry, I’m just not a fan of MLS. At all.

Here are the “highlights” from a pretty boring 0-0 draw…

 

 

But with this draw, FC Cincinnati tied a USL record by extending their undefeated streak to 22 matches. They can break the record next weekend at Nashville in the game of the regular season. 😀⚽️🏆❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Indy Eleven.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY SEVENTEEN! Tonight was the final USL regular-season home game for our FC Cincinnati. Their next home match will be the opening round of USL Cup 2018. And after that, they’ll move on to MLS.

FC|C can tie the current USL record for consecutive matches undefeated with a win or a draw tonight. With our soon to be collector’s item tickets in hand, we headed out to Nippert Stadium to watch our FC Cincy take on Indy Eleven…

I just missed the team photo…

HERE WE GO…

It was 1-0 FC|C at the half, and that means… SPRINKLES!

Sprinkles had a new friend but I didn’t catch what his name was…

AND THERE’S THE FULL-TIME WHISTLE! 3-0 to FC|C!

And FC Cincinnati tied the USL record for most consecutive matches without a defeat at 22 in a row! The players celebrated while a small stage was set up for an onfield post-match ceremony with the presentation of some silverware for our USL regular season champions…

WHAT A NIGHT! FC Cincinnati plays away to Nashville SC next Saturday in the final match of the regular season. As regular season champions, FC Cincinnati gets home-field advantage throughout USL Cup 2018. Their first playoff match will be on Saturday, October 20th right here at Nippert Stadium. 😀⚽️🏆❤️