FC Cincinnati played to a 2-2 stalemate with USL newcomers Nashville SC at Gettler Stadium on Saturday. The visitors from Tennessee opened the scoring in the 20th minute when midfielder Matt Lagrassa found space and fired a burner past Spencer Richey from just outside the box.
Nashville controlled the midfield for much of the first half, and Kenney Walker’s absence from the starting eleven was noticeable. Despite some struggles, Lance Laing got the Orange and Blue back on level terms just before halftime. He took a speculative shot from the left side that at first looked to be off-target, but found its way past Matt Pickens and into the goal to level the score at 1-1.
FC Cincinnati then grabbed the advantage in the 65th minute. A quick throw-in caught Nashville’s defense unaware. Emery Welshman broke through on goal and slotted his shot underneath Nashville’s netminder from a tight angle.
Alan Koch made wholesale changes to the team after 70 minutes, introducing almost an entirely new roster. The second team looked to have the game won until the 86th minute when Nashville SC was awarded a penalty kick. Forward Alan Winn, who had entered the game only minutes before, slotted the PK past Spencer Richey to his right side. The match ended deadlocked at 2-2 on a frigid night at Gettler.
All images courtesy of Ryan Meyer
More photos here:
20′ Goal Nashville SC – Matt Lagrassa
45′ Goal FC Cincinnati – Lance Laing
65′ Goal FC Cincinnati – Emery Welshman
87′ Goal Nashville SC – Alan Winn
Alan Koch said the following about his mindset heading into this late preseason friendly. “We’re going to approach this game as close as we can to a regular season game. We’re going to give everyone a chance to play, but we’re definitely going to increase the minutes for one group, and see how they fare.”
FC Cincinnati remains undefeated in preseason and has three wins two draws in five matches played. Saturday’s friendly was the third of five matches in what Alan Koch calls “Phase Three” of his preseason plan. That plan extends until the March 17th opener and focuses on increasing minutes for certain players, building match fitness, and progressing on the tactical game plan that was introduced in the Florida camp.
The starting eleven played for 70 minutes and led 2-1 when the second team rotated in.
Laing – Bone – Ledesma
Seymore – Ryan
Smith – Lasso – Keinan – Hoyte
McLaughlin – Cicerone – Haber
Halfhill – Seymore
Josu – De Wit – Barrett – Bahner
Kenney Walker, Nazmi Albadawi, Danni König, and Evan Newton were all key absentees for this match.
Another busy week of preseason is on tap for the Orange and Blue. They’ll be back at Gettler on Wednesday for a fixture against the University of Cincinnati Mens’ Soccer team, followed by a preseason friendly with Sacramento Republic FC next Saturday. Those are the final two dress rehearsals before their USL season opener in Charleston on March 17th.
Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more images from Saturday’s match and more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s 2018 preseason.