FC Cincinnati versus Penn FC.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY THIRTEEN!

Right off the bat, we didn’t go to the match tonight. We thought a match at 6pm on a Sunday was just a bit too late for us and we didn’t want to be dragging for the rest of the week. So we just stayed home and watched the match on TV. FC|C ended up winning the match 1-0 on a Manu Ledesma free-kick that took a wicked deflection off the wall…

The win extended FC Cincy’s unbeaten run to 12 in a row. And put them 5 points clear at the top of the standings in the USL’s Eastern Conference. And that’s cool and all, but I probably wouldn’t have even done a blog post about this match if it wasn’t for a really wonderful video that aired at halftime on TV. The segment had the three remaining original players from the first season talking about their experiences with the club over the last three years. It was awesome. And I don’t know if I would have ever seen it if we had actually gone to tonight’s match…

It was a really great video with the remaining OGs of FC|C soccer. 😀⚽️📺❤️

Happy birthday, FC Cincinnati!

Three years ago today, it was announced that FC Cincinnati was getting a USL soccer team. I remember being stunned and then incredibly excited by the news that there was going to be professional soccer in Cincinnati. And that it was going to be played right in our backyard at Nippert Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati…

We were so excited! We went to Rhinehaus in OtR to meet one soccer idols, John Harkes who was named head coach of the Queen City’s fledgling soccer team…

Happy birthday, FC Cincinnati! It’s been an amazing three years of USL soccer! 😀⚽️❤️

Fun stuff makes therapy better.

This morning Mack had a vet appointment to get updated on his vaccinations. And then later in the morning, I had physical therapy. We left a little bit early to stop for breakfast at Sleepy Bee in Oakley. It was so good. Genifer had The Worker Bee breakfast slam…

And I had The Broakley breakfast sammich…

Then it was on to physical therapy…

Later in the afternoon, we stopped at Taft’s Brewpourium for a beer while we watched the kickoff of the new season of English Premier League soccer between Leicester City (hooray!) and Manchester United (boo!)…

And we had some knots with beer cheese and a little pizza…

Unfortunately, Leicester lost 2-1. But Jamie Vardy scored so that’s something good.

Physical therapy hasn’t been bad. And I actually look forward to it because my hips feel much better afterward. But sandwiching it in between a couple of really fun activities makes it even better. 😀🍳🏥🍺🍕⚽️❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Nashville SC.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY TWELVE! We missed the Wednesday night win against the Charlotte Independence. Those Wednesday night matches make for a really long rest of the week. We also missed FC|C’s win against the New York Red Bulls II two Saturdays ago because of my hip revision surgery. But we made it to last Saturday’s international Friendly against RCD Espanyol. And tonight, FC Cincinnati was hosting the other soon-to-be-an-MLS-team, Nashville SC…

Before the match, we stopped at Chicago Gyros & Dogs in Clifton for lunch…

And a $5 bucket of the Champagne of Beers, Miller High Life…

This is the first time we’ve actually eaten at Chicago Gyros & Dogs. Chicago Gyros & Dogs has become our go-to place whenever we order food from UberEats. It’s so good. And they’re the only place I’ve found that will deliver me delicious corn dogs whenever I want. And I love corn dogs. When we were getting ready to head over to the Nippert Stadium, the sky looked like this…

Come to find out, the match was on a lightning delay. And kick-off was pushed back until 8:30pm so we went to Mac’s to have a beer and watch some of the Red’s baseball game. Eventually, we headed over to Nippert Stadium when game time finally rolled around…

We were walking into Nippert right as the match was kicking off…

And it was a dream start for FC Cincinnati! Danni Konig scored the fastest goal in FC|C history by finding the back of the net in the FIRST MINUTE of the match!

And a quick video snippet of the atmosphere at Nippert Stadium and me trying in vain to get JimmyMcLaughlin to wave at us as he warmed up…

At halftime, FC|C still had a 1-0 lead over Nashville…

SPRINKLES!

Midweek FC Cincinnati signed their first MLS Designated Player, Fanendo Adi. Adi hails from Lagos, Nigeria, and scored 54 goals in 126 games in four seasons with the Portland Timbers. From the FC Cincinnati website

Adi originally came to Portland in May 2014 as a Designated Player on loan from FC Copenhagen, scoring nine goals and adding four assists in 24 games in his debut MLS season. Portland later completed the transfer and he then scored back-to-back 16-goal seasons in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, he registered his third-straight season with double-digit goals with 10, despite being sidelined the final two months of the year with injury.

With Copenhagen, Adi drew UEFA Champions League experience with group-stage appearances against Juventus, Real Madrid and Galatasaray.

And tonight Fanendo Adi made his FC|C debut coming on as a sub in the 72nd minute for the goal-scorer, Danni Konig…

I just missed the attendance again. It was announced that there was a crowd of 27,426  were at tonight’s match…

And the match would end in a 1-1 draw

FC Cincinnati’s next home match is next Sunday, August 11th at 6pm against Penn FC. So we’ll probably end up skipping that one, and just watching the match on TV. If it was an early game on Sunday like 2pm or even 4pm, we’d probably go. But we need to get ready for our week and that’s just too late for us to be running around on a Sunday evening.

Looking at the calendar, I think we’re also going to miss the match on Saturday, August 18th against Charleston Battery because we’ll be in Michigan. We’ll be sure to take one of our Chromecast and a couple of tablets with us to Michigan so we can stream that match through ESPN+ as well.

But thankfully, there’s a home game almost every Saturday for the entire summer. So it looks like the next match we’ll be able to make it to will be on Saturday, September 1st against Pittsburgh Riverhounds. We’ll see you at Nippert! 😀⚽️❤️

The wait is almost over!

English Premier League soccer is back in just one week! And I’m so excited!

Check out NBC Sports season preview for my favorite club, Arsenal! 😀⚽️❤️

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY: FC Cincinnati versus RCD Espanyol.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY! But not just any match day, it’s international friendly match day. And just like last year, FC Cincinnati was playing host to another team from Spain’s top flight, La Liga. This year it happened to be RCD Espanyol all the way from Barcelona…

international-friendly.jpg

We stopped at Mac’s Pizza Pub before the match for some, er… pizza…

And then we headed over to Nippert to watch the friendly…

We were really liking Espanyol’s yellow kit…

HERE WE GO!

GOAL! FC CINCINNATI! FC|C grabbed the 1-0 lead in just the fifth minute…

It was a really pretty night for soccer…

My favorite FC|C Player, Justin Hoyte was warming up…

Espanyol leveled the match at one all…

At halftime, it was still 1-1. Instead of getting to see Sprinkles, FC|C put on some complete and total cheeseball “Cincinnati, Welcome to MLS” celebration at halftime…

It was pretty embarrassing. We stopped watching about halfway through…

And then mercifully, we were back to our regularly scheduled international friendly with RCD Espanyol…

There was a surprisingly small crowd of 16,135 at tonight’s match…

But to be fair, there was a music festival downtown that I hear drew over 90,000 people over the weekend. There was also Reds’ Votto giveaway followed by a free Walk the Moon concert at GABP, And there was Man United Versus Liverpool in Ann Arbor. It was one of those weekends where there was a ton of fun stuff going on.

GOAL!! FC CINCINNATI!! FC|C tied the game at two-all in the 76th minute. Manu Ledesma scored another incredible highlight reel goal

The match ended 3-2 to RCB Espanyol. It was a surprisingly good match with FC|C holding their own against the Spanish side…

After the match, we were surprised by just how many players were wearing sports bras under their jerseys…

Like I said, it was a good game and a pretty fun night. But the most fun international friendly was still the very first one against Crystal Palace just because we’ve seen them play a bunch on TV and knew a lot of the players. I wonder if there will be an international friendly next season when they are in MLS? And if so, will it be an even more notable team? I guess we’ll have to wait and see… 😀🇺🇸⚽️🇪🇸❤️

Two years ago…

Two years ago tonight, we went to watch our fledgeling new boys, FC Cincinnati play their very first international friendly against Premier League mainstay, Crystal Palace FC right in our backyard at Nippert Stadium…

There were so many highlights from that inaugural season of FC Cincinnati soccer. But the friendly against Crystal Palace at Nippert Stadium was definitely one of the top highlights of the inaugural season for me. Thanks again for reminding us of all the wonderful memories, Timehop.  😀⚽️🦕❤

FC Cincinnati versus Tampa Bay Rowdies.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY NINE! We missed the last home match against Ottawa Fury a couple of Saturday’s ago because it was the day after my second hip surgery. And I wasn’t going much of anywhere. We just watched the match on TV. FC|C beat Ottawa 2-0 on goals by Danni König and Nazmi Albadawi. We also missed post-match FC|C fireworks. Bummer. And Emmanuel Ledesma was named USL Player of the Month for June. Tonight, FC Cincinnati was playing host to Tampa Bay Rowdies. They’ve never beaten the Rowdies.  I was still a little bit sore but I was moving pretty well so we decided to give the match a try tonight…

HERE WE GO…

At halftime, it was still knotted 0-0. And that meant it was time for… SPRINKLES!

And the second half is underway…

GOAL! FC CINCINNATI! In the 54th minute, Emmanuel Ledesma gave FC|C a 1-0 lead!

GOAL!! FC CINCINNATI! Danni König doubled FC Cincinnati’s lead to 2-0 in the 85th minute to tack on an insurance goal late on!

It wasn’t announced at the match but tonight’s attendance was 25,416. The match would end 2-0 to FC Cincinnati. And for the first time FC|C defeated Tampa Bay!

With the win, FC Cincinnati remains on top of the USL Eastern Conference! 😀⚽️❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Richmond Kickers.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY SEVEN! Tonight, FC Cincinnati was playing host to struggling Richmond Kickers. Coming into tonight’s match FC|C was sitting atop the USL Eastern Conference and Richmond was hanging out in thirteenth place…

HERE WE GO…

GOAL! 1-0 FC CINCINNATIAnd Emmanuel Ledesma‘s goal turned out to also be the winner of Week 14 USL Goal of the Week!

GOAL! 2-0 FC CINCINNATI

At halftime, it was 2-0 FC Cincinnati!

SPRINKLES!

Sprinkles saved some little kids penalty and made him cry. Later, we saw Sprinkles walk by on the concourse…

GOAL! 3-0 FC CINCINNATI

We moved down to the end FC|C was attacking, and were instantly rewarded…

GOAL! 4-0 FC CINCINNATI! Manu Ledesma with his second of the game!

And that’s how the match ended, 4-0 to FC Cincinnati…

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.

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