FC Cincinnati plays the first game of a three game league home stand on Saturday July 22nd against the Harrisburg City Islanders. The Orange and Blue should be rested and ready after vanquishing rival Louisville City 3-2 last weekend on a baseball field. It’s important to note that this home stand will be interrupted by two non-league matches. Alan Koch’s side will host a friendly against Valencia CF on July 24th, and travel for a US Open Cup quarterfinal match against Miami FC on August 2nd.
This will be the first time that FC Cincinnati has played Harrisburg in 2017. Last season, they beat the City Islanders 2-0 at Nippert. They also drew 1-1 with Bill Becher’s side in Pennsylvania.
Harrisburg currently sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference on 21 points. FC Cincinnati slots in two places above them in sixth, with both teams having played 19 games this season. Harrisburg has been in good form lately, winning three and drawing one in their last five played, including a recent 1-1 draw with the red hot Charlotte Independence. That draw halted Charlotte’s six game win streak.
The match against Charlotte was on Tuesday, and was Harrisburg’s fourth game in eleven days. FC Cincinnati should theoretically have fresher legs coming into this contest, despite also having a hectic schedule.
Alan Koch will be able to select from a healthy squad on Saturday, with one exception. Defender Tyler Polak suffered a foot sprain in the match against Louisville City. He was scheduled to be re-evaluated on Wednesday evening, and may miss out on Saturday’s contest.
Here are four fast facts to serve as a backdrop for Saturday’s contest:
- Matt Bahner and Jimmy McLaughlin are the providers in wide spaces for FC Cincinnati. With 52 and 47 crosses respectively, they each have at least 26 more crosses than any other player on the team. McLaughlin leads FC Cincinnati in crossing accuracy for players with more than 5 crosses at 32%. Service please.
- Saturday’s match will be one of two matches FC Cincinnati plays in 2017 that is a live test of Video Assistant Referee (VAR). “The VAR process consists of an additional referee positioned in a booth, and video technology is utilized through every available camera angle to advise the head referee of clear game-changing situations: goals, penalty decisions, direct red card incidents and cases of mistaken identity.” [USL]
- Harrisburg leads the USL in fouls conceded. With 305 fouls, they have 46 more fouls than any other team in the USL. Compare this to FC Cincinnati with 252 fouls conceded in the same number of games. Midfielder James Thomas is also second in the USL in yellow cards with 7. Physical Opponent.
- FC Cincinnati likes to attack from close range. With sixty percent of the 2017 USL season in the books, the Orange and Blue have scored 23 goals. All 23 have been scored from inside the box.
Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more coverage of Saturday’s contest.