FC Cincinnati defeated USL newcomers Indy Eleven by a 2-1 scoreline at Grand Park Sports Complex on Thursday. ‘Manu Ledesma opened the scoring in the 50th minute of play from the penalty spot. Forrest Lasso set up the Argentine’s opportunity when he was pulled down in the box in the aftermath of a corner kick.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) February 22, 2018
Indy Eleven equalized 14 minutes later with a penalty kick of their own. Shiny new striker Soony Saad, a 25-year-old forward who was most recently with Sporting KC, slid his penalty kick confidently past FCC goalkeeper Spencer Richey. Indy’s goal came after the 60-minute mark, when FC Cincinnati changed the majority of their lineup.
Not to be outdone, FC Cincinnati’s second squad grabbed the winning goal three minutes later. After some nice build-up play down the right-hand side, Matt Bahner served up a tasty cross for left-winger Daniel Haber, who headed home from close range. Both sides created chances and could have scored more goals as the match drew to a close, but it ended 2-1 to FC Cincinnati.
50′ Goal – Emmanuel Ledesma, FC Cincinnati (PK)
64′ Goal – Soony Saad, Indy Eleven (PK)
67′ Goal – Daniel Haber, FC Cincinnati
FC Cincinnati now has two wins and a draw in three preseason matches played. Thursday’s friendly was the first of five matches in what Alan Koch is calling “Phase Three” of his preseason plan. That plan extends from now until the March 17th opener and focuses on increasing minutes for certain players, building up to match fitness, and progressing on the tactical game plan that was introduced in Florida.
The starting eleven played for 60 minutes and led 1-0 when the second team rotated in.
McLaughlin – Bone – Ledesma
Walker – Ryan
Laing – Lasso – Barrett – Hoyte
Richie Ryan, who joined the team this week, was substituted out at the 30-minute mark for Will Seymore. Seymore and Barrett stayed in the lineup for the final 30 minutes.
Haber – Albadawi – Cicerone
Halfhill – Seymore
Smith – De Wit – Barrett – Bahner
Dekel Keinan missed the game with the flu, and Josu is still not playing while he recovers from off-season knee surgery. There also were no Tomi Ameobi sightings in Indianapolis.
The long wait for a local preseason match comes to an end next Tuesday. FC Cincinnati is set to take on the Northern Kentucky Men’s Soccer team on February 27th at 7pm. All of their remaining four preseason games will be played locally and will feature two USL sides and two college squads. They also have a friendly match with the University of Dayton scheduled for March 24th, a week after the regular season begins. Tuesday’s NKU match won’t be streamed either, so make sure you get out to NKU and take in the action live.
Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more analysis of this friendly tomorrow and continued coverage of FC Cincinnati’s 2018 preseason.