Habañero Burrito Monday!

It’s been a while since we last did a Habañero Burrito Monday

We brought home two burritos and chips and salsa for just $11.75. You can’t beat that…

Habañero’s burritos are huge and oh so tasty. 😀🌯❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Orlando City B.

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

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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? 😀❤️⚽️

The Whole Bowl.

On the way home, I stopped at The Whole Bowl in Clifton Gaslight District to pick up a couple of bowls to bring home for dinner tonight…

The Whole Bowl is all this good stuff combined in a big bowl of deliciousness…

The bowls were so full I had to get a third bowl to put some of the overflow into so I could actually get the tops on the bowls…

And then I grabbed our bowls and bags of chips and got back on the bus home…

YUM! The Whole Bowl is really delicious stuff especially for being all vegetarian. 😀

Oh, and there are a couple of really cool window graphics in Clifton Gaslight as well…

😀

USOC17: FC Cincinnati versus Chicago Fire.

IT’S MATCH DAY! And if you thought there was a buzz around FC Cincinnati playing Columbus Crew at Nippert Stadium, prepare to get your mind blown. US Open Cup Round of 16. FC Cincinnati versus Chicago Fire. Live from Nippert Stadium. There was soooo much hype around this match…

Yesterday, US Soccer declared Cincinnati, Ohio: Soccer City USA. There was also a scheduling change. The match was pushed back from 7:30pm to 8pm to accommodate television schedules. FC Cincy matches are usually streamed on YouTube and broadcast locally. This match was first set to broadcast on ESPN2. But then it was moved to ESPN. This marked the first time a US Open Cup match outside of the semifinal or final had been televised on an ESPN network. And… FC Cincinnati was the first USL team to be featured on ESPN since the Rochester Rhinos lifted the cup in the 1999 Open Cup Final. Leading up to the match, not so subtle hints were dropped that ticket sales surpassed those of the Columbus Crew match, that all the tarps covering seats in Nippert Stadium had been removed to accommodate the crowd because this was going to be one of the BIG ones. Even SBNation‘s daily soccer email newsletter, Backheel Breakfast made note of tonight’s match at Nippert Stadium…

When I got home off the bus, I switched backpacks, grabbed our tickets, we hopped in our Uber and we were off to one of the most highly anticipated matches of this soccer season…

We got to Nippert super extra early just in case there were silly, massive crowds or ridiculously long lines…

But we got there so early that I think we beat most everyone to the stadium…

Up there was the ESPN MLS video truck…

A mere seventy minutes before kick-off. That was cutting it kinda close. 😜🙃

And it sounded like it was going to be a gorgeous night for soccer

We even beat FC|C to the pitch…

There’s Bastian Schweinsteiger. He’s the former captain of the German National Team and the fourth most-capped German player of all time. Before joining Chicago Fire at the beginning of the season, he used to play for Bayern Munich and then Manchester United. And now he’s at Nippert Stadium…

I didn’t know this until after the match but Chicago Fire has lifted the US Open Cup four times and been runners-up twice. The most of any MLS team.

Here comes the march of the supporters groups into The Bailey…

There were a fair number of Chicago Fire supporters who came out to the match…

That guy on the right held his two-sticks backward for most of the pregame…

O say can you see…

Cool tifo for today’s match…

Cincinnati, Here We Go!

Here we go…

Sooo many people…

Both teams had more than a few good chances but neither team could capitalize on their opportunities, and the score was 0-0 at the half. And we were pretty happy with that. Chicago Fire really came out on er… um, fire. They really took the game to FC|C in the beginning of the match but the orange and blue stood their ground. Eventually, FC Cincy got more of the ball and created some really good chances

SPRINKLES!

It was another beautiful night for a soccer match indeed…

Here we go. The second half is underway…

The second largest crowd to ever watch a US Open Cup matchThe largest crowd was 35,615 set by the Seattle Sounders in the 2011 US Open Cup final.

One unfortunate Chicago Fire fan was going to spend the night at Justice Center

Three minutes of time added on…

Chicago Fire’s goalkeeper made a couple of spectacular saves near the end of the ninety minutes of regulation…

This one’s going into overtime

Ninety minutes wasn’t enough time to decide this one, EXTRA SOCCER!
Two fifteen minute halves coming up…

Still scoreless after the first half of extra time…

GOAL! FC CINCINNATI!

But it was called back for offsides. Even though it wasn’t offsides.

FULL TIME! And still no goals. We’re going to a penalty kick shootout…

MITCH SAYS NO! MITCH SAYS NO! 

FC CINCINNATI WON THE SHOOTOUT 3-1!

Here’s the complete shootout as we saw it from our seats…

This match tops the Columbus Crew match but not by much. I put this night right next to being at GABP when Todd Frazier won the Home Run Derby. NUTS. Just nuts. A raw outpouring of emotion and pride for your city and your team. And there really aren’t words. After the match was over and after the smoke had cleared, Genifer and I were standing on our seats, looking around, mouths hanging open and all we could muster was, “WOW!” I didn’t want to leave because I was afraid I might wake up for this incredible dream I was having. Only it wasn’t a dream. This was really happening.
It was simply unbelievable. There really aren’t words.

Eventually, we managed to finally pull ourselves away and head for home…

4 wins, 2 wins vs rivals, 2 wins vs MLS clubs and about 80,000 fans in 4 US Open Cup home games. Orange and Blue Press had their Four Numbers That Mattered.
I found this one to be pretty incredible…

499 – Number of minutes since the last time FC Cincinnati conceded a goal in U.S. Open Cup play. Ever since the 11th minute in the loss at Tampa Bay June 1st of last year, the combination of Hildebrandt and backup Dallas Jaye have completely shut down the opposition over the four games this year (three 1-0 wins and the 0-0 result vs. Chicago). All of Hildebrandt’s 10 saves came in the second half and extra time, not including those stellar three blocks in PK time.

SBNation posted this article with the headline and subhead of…

FC Cincinnati shows there is no limit to what American soccer can become
On Wednesday night, over 32,000 people showed up to watch a minor-league team play in a scarcely covered secondary competition. It was incredible.

And there was this article by Forbes. I’m sure there were a million others, all making note of what is going on here and what took place tonight just like Taylor Twellman and Alexis Lalas. Not surprisingly, one of them was ESPN’s Sportscenter…

What a night! There is something special happening in Cincinnati. And we’re beyond thrilled to have a front row seat. 😀😂🤣⚽️🔥🏆❤️

UPDATE: Next up for FC Cincinnati in their amazing US Open Cup run…

FC Cincinnati versus Saint Louis FC.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY NINE! This evening FC Cincinnati played host to Saint Louis FC for the second time this season. The last time the two teams met at Nippert, Djiby put the ball in the back of the St. Louis net four times

We stopped at Mac’s Pizza Pub again before the match…

Such good stuff. Speaking of good stuff, they were giving away FC Cincinnati license plate frames before the match. We already have on one our car from last season…

But we got another one for as a backup…

And look who we saw walking to our seats…

O say can you see…

It was Pride Night as tonight’s FC Cincinnati match…

The closest thing I saw at tonight’s match was the rainbow corner flags but wouldn’t know I completely forgot to get a photo of them. By the way, did you happen to see the USMNT & USWNT pride jerseys? Those were pretty sweet. I wished FC|C would have done something special to their kit for tonight’s match to further celebrate pride…

Here we go…

GOAL! ANDREW WIEDEMAN! 1-0 FC CINCINNATI!

At the end of the first half, FC Cincinnati still had a 1-0 over Saint Louis FC…

SPRINKLES!

And the second half is underway…

Danni Konig came on for Djiby in the 64th minute…

And he scored almost immediately! DANNI KONIG! 2-0 FC CINCINNATI!

Four minutes of time added on…

 

AND THERE’S THE FULL-TIME WHISTLE! 2-0 FC CINCINNATI!

FC|C looked really good tonight. The best they’ve looked in quite some time…

WEDNESDAY…

It was just a perfect night for a soccer match. Absolutely beautiful night.

See you on Wednesday for the huge US Open Cup match against Chicago Fire. ESPN is going to be there. It’s going to be a soccer party in Cincy. And we’re all invited. We simply can’t wait! 😀⚽️❤️

FC Cincinnati versus Charleston Battery.

IT’S FC CINCINNATI MATCH DAY EIGHT! FC Cincinnati was taking on Charleston Battery. It was another big match for FC|C! Coming into today’s match, the Battery was sitting on top of the USL’s Eastern Conference…

We got into Nippert Stadium just ahead of the march of the supporters groups…

O say can you see…

FC Cincinnati head coach Alan Kock started both big forwards, Djiby and Danni König!

HERE WE GO!

GOAL! FC CINCINNATI! 1-0! Djiby stole that one from Harrison Delbridge…

At the half, it was still 1-0 FC Cincinnati…

And that means it’s time for SPRINKLES!

Charleston Battery found their equaliser, but it was another great crowd tonight…

And then the Battery took the took the lead…

But then FC Cincinnati’s Andrew Wiedeman scored the equaliser that would go on to make Sportscenter’s Top 10 later the next morning

Three minutes to be added on…

And the match ended 2-2

I thought it was a pretty good result for FC Cincinnati to be able to get a point against the first place team…

Next match for FC Cincinnati is next Saturday when they welcome St. Louis FC back to Nippert Stadium. If you remember back, St. Louis FC is the team that Djiby scored four against earlier in the season. It’ll be exciting to see if he can manage to repeat that amazing feat…

And of course, we’ll see you there! 😀❤️⚽️

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