Orange and Blue Press offers a few match notes as we look back on Saturday’s goalless draw against Louisville City.
Fan Support – While congratulations are in order for LCFC on their record setting attendance, it was a little surprising that they reached their highest total during this match at just over 10K people. The supporters that they have are fantastic (although I don’t get all the purple superhero crap) but a team as good as theirs deserves more support. Let’s hope this match can serve as an impetus for Louisville to get behind their team in greater numbers. The FCC support was, as always, phenomenal and this match underlines how special what’s going on with FC Cincinnati really is.
First Half – Harkes said this at halftime and everyone that watched will agree that the performance was likely the worst half of football that FCC has played this season. Louisville City completely dominated possession, created a litany of chances, and could have easily scored 2-3 goals. FCC barely had a sniff at goal and quite simply couldn’t retain possession. It was often pass-pass, long ball, with possession then turning right back over to the home side. Credit is due to LCFC. They are a better team than FCC right now. But we didn’t perform to our potential. I bet John Harkes can give a good hairdryer treatment and I suspect that’s what happened in the dressing room at halftime on Saturday night.
Second Half – After being thoroughly outplayed in the first half, the players and coaching staff did make adjustments and play a more competitively in the second. Credit is due for holding onto the draw and getting a very hard earned point, although it did take some luck to get that result.
The stat that jumps off the page from this match is shots. LCFC’s domination of possession led to very few chances for FC Cincinnati. FCC had 7 total shots on goal with 2 shots on target, both season lows for the Orange and Blue. This is also the first time that FCC has failed to score in a contest since the season opener against Charleston.
This was not a vintage performance by FC Cincinnati by any measure. I think the players and the coaching staff would tell you the same.
Mitch Hildebrandt – Mitch had 4 saves over the course of the match. Although most were saves you would expect him to make, there was one particular save in 14th minute that was outstanding and preserved the clean sheet.
Harrison Delbridge – Although the entire defense, including Delbridge, struggled against LCFC’s first half blitz, Delbridge was the center piece of FCC’s effort to hold onto the goalless draw.
Andrew Wiedeman – Wiedeman seemed like one of the few players in the FCC squad that had the composure and technical ability to retain possession against LCFC’s pressing defense. Although he couldn’t make a great impact offensively, he was one of few that stood out as having a positive impact throughout the match.
Harkes’ men remain in 3rd position after this weekend’s draw on 28 points. Louisville City is 7 points clear on top but have played 2 more matches. Unfortunately, most of FCC’s close competition gained ground. New York Red Bulls II, Charleston, Charlotte, and Rochester all won this weekend. Despite this fact, getting a point away at Louisville is still a great result, even if the performance demonstrates that there’s work to do to get to their level. The Orange and Blue now turn their attention to 9th place Bethlehem Steel for a July 2nd matchup at Nippert Stadium.
Cover image and fan photo courtesy of FC Cincinnati