FC Cincinnati played Orlando City B to a 1-1 stalemate at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday evening. Djiby provided the equalizer for the Orange and Blue in the 17th minute in response to a strike by OCB’s Jordan Schweitzer in the opening minutes of the match.
The goal for Alan Koch’s team originated when Corben Bone intercepted the ball deep in FC Cincinnati’s own half. He played it forward to Djiby, who quickly laid it off to the nearby Jimmy McLaughlin. The Pennsylvania native played a long diagonal ball to Andrew Wiedeman who was streaking down the right side. Wiedeman outpaced the left back and rolled the ball into the center for DJiby, who tapped it home.
FC Cincinnati had opportunities to take the lead after the 17th minute, creating many more chances than Orlando City B, but could not convert.
Orlando City B ended the game with ten men. Pierra Da Silva was sent to the lockers for violent conduct after kicking-out in a tackle against substitute Kadeem Dacres. There was little time for Alan Koch’s side to take advantage though, and the teams shared the points.
Djiby Recovers Quickly
The Senegalese forward sustained an ankle injury last Saturday in the 2-0 win against Saint Louis FC. That injury saw him miss Wednesday’s US Open Cup triumph against the Chicago Fire. Fortunately, his injury was short in duration and he went right back into action against Orlando City B, playing 73 minutes.
Djiby led the team in shots (5) and shot on target (3), and scored FCC’s only goal of the match with a simple tap in. That’s his eighth USL goal of the season and 11th overall. He will rue a missed first half opportunity to score the game winner. An errant pass by OCB goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. was put right into his path, but an bad touch saw the opportunity come and go.
Two of OCB’s leading goalscorers, Hadji Barry and Richie Laryea, were with the senior Orlando City MLS team on Friday for their game against Real Salt Lake. They therefore did not suit up against FC Cincinnati on Saturday. Barry and Laryea have each netted three times for the Anthony Pulis’ side this season.
Held at Arm’s Length
FC Cincinnati produced far more shots than Orlando City B in this match. They had a 14-2 shot advantage, excluding blocked shots. Many of those efforts were from long range though. In fact, the only on-target shot that FC Cincinnati took from inside the box was Djiby’s goal. The rest of their on-frame efforts were from distance. FC Cincinnati has not scored a goal from outside the 18-yard box this season.
Graphic from USL’s Match Center showing FC Cincinnati’s on-target shots, excluding the goal.
This result in isolation is not a bad one. A point on the road against a team that beat FC Cincinnati 2-0 at Nippert is decent. However, when you look at the team’s form away from home in the first half of the season, you might be concerned. FC Cincinnati has only one win in seven matches away from Nippert in 2017, collecting five of 21 possible points.
At the halfway point of the 2016 season, they had three wins and 11 total road points. They’ll look to quickly improve on their season totals when they visit the Tampa Bay Rowdies this Thursday.
Halftime on FC Cincinnati’s Season
With 16 matches played, Saturday’s result brings FC Cincinnati to the halfway point of their 2017 USL season. They are 5-5-6 with 21 points and sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. At the halfway point of the 2016 season, FC Cincinnati had a 9-2-4 record with 31 total points (last year’s season was 30 games rather than 32).
Alan Koch’s side is positioned right in the middle of a log jam of teams with fairly average results. Only five points separates Tampa Bay in third place from Pittsburgh in eleventh. The good news for FC Cincinnati is that a lot will be decided in the second half of the season. The first half of this season has been about figuring out how to configure a deep roster with a lot of new faces into a system that fits their talent.
Many fans are optimistic about the team’s form after recent changes to the formation. That form has provided monumental victories in the US Open Cup and a trip to the quarterfinals of that tournament. They’ll need to translate that cup form into league results in the second half of the season to ensure playoff qualification and a decent seed.
Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more news, analysis, and color commentary on FC Cincinnati. Next up is another road match in Florida against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Thursday, July 6th.