FC Cincinnati defeated the Harrisburg City Islanders (no relation to the similarly named Flint Tropics) 2-0 in front of a crowd of just over 16 thousand at Nippert Stadium Saturday. The result takes the Orange and Blue to 6-2-2 on the season and lands them in 3rd place in USL’s Eastern Conference.
Mitch Hildebrandt had 5 total saves and 3 crucial saves to preserve FC Cincinnati’s clean sheet. Without a stout net-minding performance from Mitch, Harrisburg could have easily netted two goals in the contest.
Andrew Wiedeman had a highlight-reel goal in the 19th minute that featured some great offensive interplay between Bone, Wiedeman and Pat McMahon in the build-up. He almost found the back of the net again in the 48th when he tried to loop the ball over Broom from close range.
Antoine Hoppenot had a stirring impact off the bench and created the second goal, which iced the game. It seemed that early in the season the coaching staff might have had a starting spot earmarked for Hoppenot. He had a hard time making his mark and therefore has only featured off the bench in the first third of the season. He still has time to make a big impact and this performance will likely help him secure more time on the field, especially with more mid-week games upcoming. Full credit to Ugo Okoli for dispatching the penalty.
The crowd was stellar. Some doubt crept into our collective minds before this match, and rightfully so. Harrisburg’s small market. They’re not a rival. It’s Memorial Day weekend. Will people show up? They did, in force. It was a great atmosphere. Kudos Cincinnati.
It was a little silly how much talk there was about FCC being rusty after having one weekend off. It seems the rest was welcome and the team looked sharp on Saturday. That rest should continue to pay dividends as they head into two matches over the 7 days that follow the Harrisburg clash.
Harrisburg forward Aaron Wheeler behaved like an ass over the 52 minutes he was on the field. If the cheek-busting challenge on Delbridge and subsequent red card wasn’t enough, check out this bit of nastiness that happened just before half-time. Hopefully the USL deals with his conduct to good effect.
Harrisburg surprisingly did not try to heavily exploit FC Cincinnati’s wide areas. Paul Wilson and José Barril tried to play through the middle more often than not which I think played into the strength of FC Cincinnati’s formation and the solid midfield core of Tomaselli and Walker.
Much has been made of Andrew Wiedeman’s fantastic hair, and rightly so. It’s amazing both on and off the field. I think that it has to be mentioned at this point that Ross Tomaselli is a dark horse for best hair performance of the season. He’s a little more J. Crew to Wiedeman’s GQ, but stylish nonetheless. This is something we’ll have to pay attention to as the season progresses.
Match recaps are good and if you want play-by-play details of Saturday’s happenings check out these worthy sources:
Cincinnati Soccer Talk (full disclosure, I am a contributor and am totally biased)
This segment needs a better name than Match Notes. Sorry, I was low on creativity by the time I got to the title. Drop a note if you have a better name at orange and blue press.