FC Cincinnati continues a five game June home stand on Saturday with a critical matchup against Eastern Conference leaders the Charleston Battery. The Orange and Blue will be full of confidence, but short on rest, after dispatching Columbus Crew SC in the US Open Cup on Wednesday.
Charleston also played Wednesday, losing 3-2 to Atlanta United in the same US Open Cup tournament. Charleston is a bogey team for FC Cincinnati. The Orange and Blue are 0-3-1 against the Battery all-time, including a first round playoff defeat that ended their 2016 season. Charleston started 2017 in red-hot form, but have cooled down recently, going 2-1-2 over their last five matches played.
Alan Koch’s side has met Charleston already in 2017. In the season opener, the Battery downed FC Cincinnati by a 2-1 scoreline in South Carolina. Midfielder Justin Portillo scored the game winning goal from a penalty kick rebound to seal the victory.
Here are four fast facts to serve as a backdrop for Saturday’s contest.
- Charleston’s Maikel Chang and Justin Portillo are one of the most dynamic midfield duos in USL. Combined they have produced 50 chances created*, 6 goals, and 7 assists in 13 matches played.
- Left winger Jimmy McLaughlin leads FC Cincinnati in chances created (17) and is second only to Djiby Fall in total shots (12) and shots on target (8).
- Charleston leads the Eastern Conference in goals scored (26), total shots (175), and conversion rate** (20%). FC Cincinnati currently ranks 10th, 5th, and 11th in the same categories.
- It’s hard to beat FC Cincinnati at Nippert. In the past calendar year, they have only lost two regular season matches on home soil in 15 matches played. They lost to NY Red Bulls II last July, and to Orlando City B in May of this year. Aside from that, the only loss they have at Nippert is a playoff loss to the Charleston Battery side they will face on Saturday.
Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more coverage of this weekend’s match.
Statistics Definitions from Opta
*Chances Created – Assists plus key passes where a key pass is the final pass or pass-come-shot leading to the recipient of the ball having an attempt at goal without scoring.
**Conversion Rate – A calculation of goals scored divided by shots attempted (excluding blocked attempts)