FC Cincinnati’s 1-0 win over Bethlehem Steel takes the Orange and Blue to the halfway point in their season. This segment focuses on numbers that help explain this contest and the teams’ performance to date.
Fifteen games have been played in the league and fifteen remain on the schedule.
The results over the first half of the season have been impressive for the first year outfit and good enough position them in 3rd place in the Eastern conference, within touching distance of league leaders Louisville City.
The team enters the second half of the season with 9 wins, 2 losses and 4 draws.
It was great to see Jimmy McLaughlin get a goal against his old organization. McLaughlin spent almost 3 years with the Philadelphia Union and Harrisburg, their USL affiliate. It clearly meant something to him as well. Following the match he commented, “When you’re playing against a team you used to play for, you want to make a good impression and do the best you possibly can.”
McLaughlin’s goal, assisted by Bone and Cummings, underlines the wealth of attacking options that FCC has at their disposal.
10 different players have scored goals.
10 different players (a different but overlapping set) have provided assists.
14 different players overall have had a goal or an assist this season.
FC Cincinnati’s 14 shots in Saturday’s contest were spread across 8 different players.
Corben Bone’s assist on the game’s lone goal takes him to 5 total on the season, tied for 1st place in the league.
Mitch Hildebrandt had less than usual to do against Bethlehem’s statistically weak offense, but he was still needed for 2 vital saves. What a key Mitch Hildebrandt has been to FC Cincinnati’s success in the first half of the season. Hildebrandt ranks 4th in the USL in saves, 5th in goals against average and is tied for 1st in minutes played. Harkes specifically mentioned him as a “leader in the back” during the press conference on Saturday.
Jimmy McLaughlin – Busy offensively throughout the 90 minutes, led the team in shots and scored the game winner against his old club. What’s not to like?
Tyler Polak – Great performance after a challenging outing last week against Kadeem Dacres and Louisville City’s potent offense. He may be the most versatile player on the team given his ability to defend, join the attack down the left, and deliver quality set pieces.
Omar Cummings – This guy knows where to be in the offensive third. Harkes specifically highlighted how Bethlehem’s defense dropped off after the Cummings substitution, giving respect to his pace. He also applauded all of the substitutes in his post match comments stating that “all of the guys off the bench contributed.” Cummings has tallied a goal and 2 assists in 187 minutes of league play this season.
FC Cincinnati remains in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference, a spot they’ve occupied for a few weeks, behind leaders Louisville City and New York Red Bulls II.
Fourth place Charleston defeated the Richmond Kickers to keep pace, but Charlotte, New York Red Bulls II and Rochester all drew this weekend. Louisville city plays Monday evening at home against last place FC Montréal and will be heavy favorites to win. If they do, they will be 6 points clear at the top, but having played 2 more matches than FCC.
The Orange and Blue are eleven unbeaten now. What’s perhaps most impressive about that achievement is that 7 of those 11, almost two-thirds of the results, have been wins. There’s a real chance that undefeated streak could be broken as the team goes away for two on the road. Let’s take these couple of days to savor how good a team we are being treated to in its first months of existence.