FC Cincinnati played Sacramento Republic FC to a 2-2 stalemate at Bonney Field in a preseason showdown between MLS expansion rivals. Aodhan Quinn gave the Orange & Blue the lead in the 21st minute from the penalty spot. The home side then scored two unanswered in the second half to take a lead into stoppage time. Just before the final whistle, former Republic FC defender Harrison Delbridge headed home a late equalizer.
For a full review of the match’s events, see MLS Expansion Hopefuls Rumble in California.
Delbo’s Return – Harrison Delbridge had quite an impact in his return to Bonney. The foul against him in the 20th minute set up FC Cincinnati’s penalty kick goal. He then salvaged the draw with his last minute header. The Australian has picked up where he left off last season when he earned USL All League First Team honors. Delbridge was part of Sacramento Republic FC’s USL Championship team in 2014. Orange & Blue Press visited Republic FC’s headquarters on Saturday and found this picture of Delbridge near the 2014 Championship trophy.
Berry Worry – Preseason is about gaining form, fitness, and figuring out who the first eleven will be. It’s also about getting to March 25th without injuries. Unfortunately, Austin Berry left the match in the 55th minute after a challenge on Republic FC forward Trevin Caesar. Caesar’s foot appeared to catch Berry in the head. Before he left the field, the medical staff also appeared to be examining him for a leg injury. Paul Nicholson and Matt Bahner can provide cover at center back, but this is an area where FC Cincinnati lacks depth.
UPDATE: Berry has an arm injury. No word yet on the severity or how long he’ll be out.
Starting Eleven – This was the last match of preseason where FC Cincinnati will face professional competition. The eleven that started and featured through 70 minutes (noting Berry’s departure) are likely very close to the eleven that will line up against the Charleston Battery in the season opener.
Defensive Troubles? – No clean sheets and nine goals conceded in four games. It’s preseason so you can’t read into the stats too much. Both goals yesterday could be categorized as defensive mistakes though. For the first, Aodhan Quinn was caught in possession deep in FC Cincinnati’s own half. For the second, Mitch Hildebrandt couldn’t retain Williams’ shot, although it was hard and from close range. The team showed good character to equalize, but the defense will need to tighten up before the USL kickoff.
Expansion Foes – Sacramento is one of 12 cities competing with Cincinnati for an MLS expansion slot. One strength of Sacramento’s bid is an approved stadium plan that will move forward if they are granted an expansion spot. It will be built at the Railyards site shown below. It’s a large undeveloped area on the north side of downtown Sacramento. The second of the two pictures is where the stadium would stand.
Third Kit Fever – FC Cincinnati unveiled a mostly black third kit with grey sleeves for the first time on Saturday. Here’s a couple of good shots of the new look in action.
What do you think about the new third kit? Is it a must have addition to a closet full of FC Cincinnati gear, or a fashion miss? Let us know in the comments section.
FC Cincinnati returns home for three weeks of practice before their opening match of the USL season on March 25th. During that time they will face both UC and Xavier for their final preseason tune-ups.
Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s preseason.