Welcome to Dirty River Derby week!
If we needed any extra ammunition to this entertaining rivalry, FC Cincinnati and Louisville City FC come into Saturday’s contest at Nippert Stadium with identical perfect records, two wins and two clean sheets each. The “boys in purple” edge out FCC in the Eastern Conference standings by goals scored, three to two. The difference though is that the Orange and Blue have played both matches away. In contrast, LCFC hasn’t left their cozy baseball field yet.
Head-to-head in USL regular season play, the two teams are all square to date – 2 wins, 2 draws, and 2 losses (1-1-1 at home). Additionally, the Orange and Blue secured the 1-0 U.S. Open Cup victory over LCFC last May. FC Cincinnati will be looking to rebound from last August’s 0-5 drubbing at Slugger Field when Sam de Wit was sent off in the 36th minute.
LouCity will be arriving with extra swagger after winning the USL Cup in 2017 and defeating a strong Tampa Bay Rowdies squad 1-0 last Saturday. Expect to see Coach James O’Connor deploy his preferred 3-4-2-1 formation and attempt to control the midfield and run of play from box-to-box. Key Louisville City signings this offseason include Jamaican international/former Columbus Crew midfielder Shaun Francis and former FCC defender Pat McMahon (28 career appearances for the Orange & Blue).
A few tidbits to charge your inner fandom.
- FC Cincinnati currently sits last in the USL in shots taken with only 17 over their first two matches. However, their efficient scoring conversion rate of 18% places them in the league’s top ten in this more significant statistic.
- Kenney Walker is day-to-day after suffering a concussion against Indy. It’s likely you’ll see a different FCC starting XI for the first time this season. Will Seymore has proven his worth to earn a start alongside Richie Ryan. Look for Garret Halfhill to make his first appearance on the substitutes bench. All other FCC players (minus Tyler Gibson) should be available for selection.
- Former Orange and Blue, and local Cincinnati United Premier (CUP) product, Luke Spencer, looks to extend his hot play against FCC. He led the Louisville City attack last season with 11 goals and 5 assists in all competitions. As a true #9, Spencer tallied a goal and two assists the last time these two sides met.
- SHOTS FIRED – 70% of LCFC’s shots this season have come from inside the 18-yard box. FCC’s “Wall of Defense” will need to stand tall and continue to hold their opponent’s shots to less than 50% from this dangerous proximity.
- ATTENDANCE – Yes, when at home we’re always looking to break another USL attendance record. Look for the Orange and Blue faithful to surpass the season home opener mark of 23,144 set last April versus Saint Louis FC.
What is your attendance prediction for Saturday’s titanic match? Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more coverage leading up to Saturday’s Dirty River Derby.
Special thanks to CSDIV for the graphics and special edition cover for this match program. More on the inspiration for this design here.