FC Cincinnati opens its USL playoff campaign this Sunday at Nippert Stadium against the Charleston Battery. They are the number three seed in the Eastern Conference and are hosting a Charleston team that beat them on opening day and drew them at Nippert in July.
The Orange & Blue are in better form coming into the match, having won four of their last five games. The defense has been sharp lately producing four clean sheets in a row. Nippert stadium has been a fortress for Harkes’ men this season. They have only lost two matches at home all season and those have been to the two best teams in the USL regular season, Louisville City FC and New York Red Bulls II. Aside from Omar Cummings long term injury, the team is healthy heading into Sunday’s contest.
Charleston have had an up and down season but can boast some very decent road results, including 6 away wins overall. They defeated New York Red Bulls II in New Jersey earlier in the season and just beat the playoff bound Richmond Kickers in Virginia in their last match away from home.
The USL playoffs opened with an early upset in the Western Conference on Friday, as the three seed Colorado Switchbacks fell at home to Vancouver Whitecaps FC II by a score of 2-1. That result will serve as a good reminder to the Orange & Blue that despite their good form and home field advantage, they will have to be at their best on Sunday to advance.
FC Cincinnati general manager Jeff Berding announced on Friday night that over 25 thousand tickets have already been sold for the match, which is a USL record attendance for a playoff game already. The game is a white out, so fans are encouraged to wear white in support of the club.
Stay tuned to Orange and Blue press for news leading up to Sunday’s big playoff game at Nippert.