FC Cincinnati travels north on Saturday to face last-place Ottawa Fury FC at TD Place Stadium for an early 2pm kickoff. The Orange & Blue most recently earned a comeback draw last weekend against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in a back-and-forth affair at Nippert Stadium. That result leaves FCC in sixth place in the Eastern Conference coming into this contest.
They’ll face an Ottawa side that has had a dismal start to their 2018 campaign. Fury FC has collected just one point in four matches played. That point came in a draw they earned in their most recent match versus North Carolina FC. It’s worth noting the NCFC match was the only fixture they’ve played at home so far this season.
Ottawa has a new head coach this season. Last year’s manager, Julian de Guzman, moved into a GM role in the offseason, and Nikola Popovic is now the man in charge. The Serbian-born Popovic managed Swope Park Rangers in 2017 and took that club to a fourth-place finish in the West and a playoff run that carried the team to the USL Cup final.
The Orange & Blue are 1-1-0 all-time against Saturday’s opponent. They cruised to a comfortable 3-1 victory against Fury FC at Nippert last August. However, they got shellacked 4-0 at TD Place last October in a match that could have secured FCC’s playoff berth. Those that remain on the roster from last season (not many) will be looking for retribution for that unpleasant day in 2017.
Here are four fast facts to get you ready for FC Cincinnati’s first trip north of the border this season.
- It’s a homecoming of sorts for FC Cincinnati’s #16, Richie Ryan. Ryan played for Fury FC during the 2014 and 2015 NASL seasons. He made 41 appearances for Ottawa and was the Fury FC captain in 2015, leading them to the NASL Fall Championship.
- Ottawa’s 11 goals conceded is tied for second-worst in the USL, and they are worst in the USL in goals allowed per game (GAA) at 2.75. They did however only concede once in their home match against NCFC last week.
- Emmanuel Ledesma has produced consistent offense for FC Cincinnati. He leads the team in shots (8) and chances created (10). He has created twice as many chances as any other player on the FCC roster.
- Ottawa added some short-term reinforcements prior to this match. They signed center back Doniel Henry from Vancouver Whitecaps on a short-term loan deal. The Canadian international has played in MLS and the English Premier League, but he spent much of the past three years injured or loaned out.
This same week in 2016, FCC played their first ever match in Canada. It was a 2-1 victory over TFCII that sent the Orange & Blue on an extended unbeaten run.
Time Capsule: This same week in 2016, FCC traveled to Canada and picked up a 2-1 victory vs TFCII, starting an 11 game unbeaten run. @ocummings14 scored the winner and @mitchhilde earned #SCTop10 for a double save.
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— Orange & Blue Press (@orangebluepress) April 25, 2018
FC Cincinnati is undefeated on the road this season. Can they continue that streak and earn some style points against a struggling Fury FC side? Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for coverage leading up to Saturday’s contest.