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.

US Open tacos.

Tonight, we ate delicious tacos for dinner while we streamed FC Cincinnati’s US Open Cup third round match away to Pittsburgh Riverhounds…

And FC Cincinnati defeated Pittsburgh 3-1 to advance on to the fourth round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup…

Next up for FC Cincinnati in US Open Cup play, FC|C will host Minnesota United of MLS at Nippert Stadium on Wednesday, June 6th. We’ll see you there! 😀⚽️🌮❤️

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. 😀⚽️🏆❤️

 

 

We have our tickets!

It’s going to be the NEW biggest match of the season! Heck. It’s going to be the biggest match in the short but remarkable history of FC Cincinnati…

Our tickets for the huge US Open Cup semi-final match between FC Cincinnati and New York Red Bulls of MLS tarrived in the mail last night…

And it’s a good thing we’re season ticket holders with the first opportunity to buy our tickets to the match almost immediately after the US Open Cup quarter-final win over Miami FC because it was just announced this morning that CINvNY is officially…

Tickets went on sale to the general public yesterday at 1 pm and this morning it was just announced that FC Cincy’s US Open Cup semi-finalmatch at Nippert Stadium is officially SOLD OUT! FC|C President and General Manager Jeff Berding said the sales team sold 16,000 tickets in roughly seven hours. WOW. Just wow.

“The atmosphere at Nippert Stadium is going to be spectacular.” And I cannot wait! 
😀⚽️🏆❤️

Graphics courtesy of FC Cincinnati’s Twitter

USOC17: THE CUP RUN WILL CONTINUE!

FC CINCINNATI’S EPIC US OPEN CUP RUN WILL CONTINUE! 🏆

FC Cincinnati defeated Miami FC of the NASL 1-0 on the road in Miami with a goal by Djiby, his fourth of this incredibly magical US Open Cup run. And with that, FC|C has made it to the semi-finals of the 2017 US Open Cup!

20482324_1987888614828425_8039790818011119616_n.jpg

Per Orange & Blue Press, Djiby is the first player in the Modern Era to score four game-winning goals in the same US Open Cup tournament. At the end of the pitch, FC|C’s star goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt hasn’t allowed a goal in 469 minutes of US Open Cup play. Starting from the 11th minute of the 2016 USOC loss to Tampa Bay, Hildebrandt has not conceded a single goal, leaving him just 4 minutes shy of the modern-day record, held by Jon Conway. Conway had a 473 consecutive minutes streak for San Jose between 2000 and 2001. And if you string Mitch’s streak together with Dallas Jaye’s 120 minutes of clean-sheet play versus AFC Cleveland in the second round, FC Cincy hasn’t allowed a goal in a staggering 589 minutes of US Open Cup play, also a Modern Era record. Zero goals conceded in 589 minutes of play. WOW!

There are now just four teams left in the 2017 US Open Cup: San Jose Earthquakes, Sporting Kansas City, New York Red Bulls and our FC Cincinnati…

In the 2017 USOC semi-final, FC|C will face New York Red Bulls. AT NIPPERT STADIUM. 

FC|C will host the Red Bulls after wins against AFC Cleveland, Louisville City FC, Columbus Crew, Chicago Fire and now Miami FC. With their win over Miami, FC Cincinnati became the first non-MLS side to reach the US Open Cup semi-finals since Richmond Kickers in 2011. And while a USL team has not made the USOC semi-finals since 2011, a USL squad has not hosted a semi-final draw since 2008, back when Charleston hosted and beat the then-USL Seattle Sounders.

Regardless of what happens against Red Bulls, it’s been such an epic US Open Cup run. It’s been like the Energizer bunny, it just keeps going and going and going. Hopefully, they can keep it going again. We’ll see you at the 2017 US Open Cup semi-finals!
😀🏆⚽️❤️

Photos courtesy of FC Cincinnati’s Twitter & Instagram and US Open Cup’s Twitter

UPDATE: Djiby will miss the semi-final match for an accumulation of yellow cards. 😬

USOC17: FC Cincinnati watch parties.

This evening FC Cincinnati played away to Miami FC in the quarter-finals of the 2017 US Open Cup. And there were numerous watch parties around the city and Northside was no exception. We headed down to Second Place to meet up with our friend JJ and one of her friends. We arrived about a half hour before the match and Second Place was already packed. There weren’t any open seats at the bar, in fact, there weren’t any open seats to be found in the whole place. It was standing room only…

And as the match got underway, it kept getting more and more crowded…

36373578575_b0969a8fb1_b

With the match still 0-0 at halftime, we decided to break camp and watch the second half just up the block at Higher Gravity. We made it just before it started pouring…

We managed to actually find a seat at Higher Gravity, and watch FC|C knock Miami FC out of the US Open Cup by the final score of 1-0…

Can you believe it? Our FC Cincinnati is moving on to the 2017 US Open Cup semi-finals! What an incredible night! 😀⚽️🏆❤️

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…

We have our tickets!

We’ve already received our tickets in the mail for a couple of upcoming FC Cincinnati matches are going to be huge. HUGE! First up is the massive Fith Round US Open Cup match at Nippert Stadium against the Chicago Fire of MLS…

And we’ve also received our tickets for this season’s incredible international friendly when FC Cincinnati welcomes Valencia CF of Spain’s La Liga to Nippert Stadium…

And here are our tickets in all their spectacular soccer glory…

To say that we are just a little bit excited for these matches might be the biggest understatement of the season. 😀❤️⚽️

USOC17: FC Cincinnati versus Louisville City FC.

IT’S MATCH DAY! And it’s the Dirty River Derby US Open Cup edition. Our beloved FC Cincinnati were taking on heated rival Louisville City FC at Nippert in the third round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup 2017. And if just knocking Louisville out of the Cup wasn’t motivation enough, the winner of this match gets to host Columbus Crew in the fourth round of the USOC…

Kind of a sparse crowd in attendance tonight for such a big match…

Digging the guy in the full FC Cincinnati goalkeeper kit…

The last time these two teams met at Nippert, Djiby got red carded and then suspended for an additional five matches for supposedly biting as Louisville player…

So you know he has some revenge on his mind.

O say can you see…

HERE WE GO! Cmon boys!

A nice handful of LCFC fans made the drive up from Louisville for the match…

And at halftime, the match was still knotted at 0-0…

SPRINKLES!!!

Here we go! The second half is underway…

GOAL! DJIBY! 1-0 FC CINCINNATI! 

I think this was the smallest crowd ever at Nippert for an FC Cincinnati match…

For comparison, Louisville City FC averaged 7,218 at their home matches in 2016.

AND THERE’S THE FULL-TIME WHISTLE! 1-0 FC Cincinnati

Next match for FC Cincinnati at Nippert will be on June 10th…

When they host Charlotte Indepence…

And…

ON JUNE 14th at 7pm…

#MLS2Cincy…

It’s so exciting! The inaugural HELL IS REAL derby! What a great night! Both on and off the pitch…

SEE YOU ON THE 10th AND THE 14TH! And yes, we already have our tickets for this…

😀 ⚽️ ❤️

USOC17: FC Cincinnati versus AFC Cleveland.

Tonight, FC Cincinnati was playing host to the 2016 NPSL National Champions and neighbors to north, AFC Cleveland. Tonight’s match at Nippert Stadium was a second round match up in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup…

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

Sprinkles was standing right next to us…

HERE WE GO!

FC Cincinnati had some good chances in the first half but at the half, it was still 0-0…

SPRINKLES!

Here we go. the second half is under way…

At the end of regulation, it was still 0-0…

And finally in the 115th minute, Djiby headed home to give FC|C a 1-0 lead…

After 120 minutes of regulation, there were two additional minutes to be added on…

And it was finally over! 1-0 to FC Cincinnati…

FC Cincinnati advances to the third round of the 2017 US Open Cup. FC|C will play Louisville City FC at Nippert Stadium, and… the winner of that third round match will host Columbus Crew of the MLS

FC Cincinnati’s next match at Nippert Stadium is on Saturday, May 20th at 7pm against Bethlehem Steel. See you there! ❤️ ⚽️ 😀

  • Thadd+Genifer

  • T+G Calendar of posts

    June 2018
    M T W T F S S
    « May    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    252627282930  
  • T+G by Category

  • T+G by Month

  • Flickr Photos

  • Thadd's Instagram

  • FOLLOW THADD

  • Genifer's Instagram

  • FOLLOW GENIFER

  • Oscar's Instagram

  • T+G Home

    A Tumblr of photos from our home.

  • Thadd+Friends

    Our old blog

  • Music stuck in my head

  • Dealspotr

  • Statcounter

  • Follow T+G on WordPress.com