FC Cincinnati vs NYRBII – Match Notes

FC Cincinnati lost 2-1 to New York Red Bull II at Nippert Stadium on Wednesday. The Orange and Blue conceded two goals after the 80th minute to lose grasp of a lead earned by Jimmy McLaughlin earlier in the second half. For play-by-play details of the games’ events, see the articles featured in the recap roundup.

The conclusion of this match was brutal. I felt like a husky kid who did all his chores, saved up enough money to buy a whole load of candy, and just as I was starting to unwrap the first piece, some muscle-bound guy from New Jersey (think the Situation) kicked me in pants and stole every last treat…then I was immediately run over by a scooter while the driver mumbled ciao out of the side of his mouth…then it started raining as I lay there in disbelief, …acid rain. You get the idea. Tough loss. Let’s keep this brief as there are better days and important matches ahead.

Photos

Match Notes

FC Cincinnati were put under heavy pressure in the first half and were fortunate not to concede a goal. Credit is due to the team for keeping the game scoreless and adapting to the 13th minute injury to Kenney Walker, a critical component of the FCC midfield. Walker suffered a turf related injury to the arch of his foot that affected his ability to plant and push off, forcing the substitution.

Injuries are mounting in central midfield for the Orange and Blue. Corben Bone started Wednesday but was just returning after missing the Crystal Palace friendly. Ross Tomaselli was injured in that same friendly and unavailable for this match. Paul Nicholson is a defensive midfielder by trade and can cover if Walker can’t go Saturday. That would mean Austin Berry likely needs to start and play the bulk of 2 full matches over 4 days though. Let’s hope Walker’s injury is minor.

This was a physical contest with 28 fouls called and 6 yellow cards issued between the two teams. It was also a game littered with refereeing controversies. One critical decision went against FCC in the 52nd minute, when a high boot to the face of Austin Berry didn’t result in a second booking for NY forward Junior Flemmings.

The foul given at the top of the box against Harrison Delbridge in the 81st minute, which precipitated the first goal, was also very questionable.

Team captain Austin Berry, who is just returning from injury, was substituted off in the 80th minute due to fatigue. The two goals were conceded in the 6 minutes that followed. His departure was not the reason the goals were conceded. Berry commented himself that he was basically out of gas and the substitution was warranted. It does underline that his leadership and continued return to health are critical for FCC’s defense going forward.

Although disappointed, John Harkes’ was surprisingly upbeat in his post match comments. I think this in part speaks to the quality of the NY Red Bulls II side. There is certainly no shame in losing to that squad. When looking at the game as a whole, the opposition probably deserved at least a point based on the way they played and based on the number of opportunities they created. The late manner in which the match was lost and the questionable calls certainly leave a very bitter taste though.

Despite losing the match, the club set the USL single season attendance record on Wednesday. The match brought their regular season attendance total to 164,109 with 5 home matches still remaining. The record was previously held by Sacramento Republic FC (158,516). Congratulations to this city and to the FC Cincinnati organization, the records keep tumbling.

Match Stat

Sean Okoli and Omar Cummings together had only 3 total shots in the match with 0 shots on target. This stat shouldn’t necessarily be read as an indictment of the strikers though. New York sustained good possession throughout and their defense did a good job of shutting down service to FCC’s front men. NY Red Bulls II more than doubled FCC’s shot total with 16 total shots to FCC’s 7.

Standout Players

Jimmy McLaughlin – He scored the lone goal for FCC and followed it with a peach of a celebration. Statistically, Jimmy Mac sits 2nd in goals, points, shots, and shots on target behind Okoli, making him clearly the Orange and Blue’s 2nd most proficient offensive player.

Harrison Delbridge – Delbridge started on the bench for this match, but entered after Walker left with the injury. The Sydney, Australia native has an unbelievable work rate and is committed in every challenge. He was also needed for some last gasp defending when the Baby Bulls got behind the back line on a couple of occasions. He’s a crowd favorite and shouts of “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi” echoed out all evening from the Bailey.

Quotable

“We’re too good of a team to really get our heads down low and let this affect us in a negative way.” — John Harkes

Regarding the attendance record: “Our fans are really second to none. They are certainly the best in the U.S. and rival even some abroad”.  –Mitch Hildebrandt

Competition

Louisville City FC and Charlotte were not active last night. Fifth place Rochester did play and drew 1-1 with Toronto FC II in Canada, a favorable result for the Orange and Blue. FCC stay in 3rd place despite Wednesday’s loss, but are now 7 points behind NY Red Bulls II and 8 behind Louisville City. In a conference where 8 of the 15 teams will make the playoffs, you can’t call Saturday’s game against Louisville City a must win. However, if the Orange and Blue have any notions to getting to the top of the Eastern Conference, they must start closing the gap this weekend in the 3rd and deciding game of the Dirty River Derby.

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