Following the most successful week in FC Cincinnati’s USL history—3 wins, 9 points, 10 goals, and first place in the Eastern Conference—the squad is back on the road again to visit the other Queen City on Saturday. The Orange & Blue take their unbeaten 4-0-1 away record to face the Charlotte Independence at the Sportsplex at Matthews.
Charlotte started the season red-hot, winning their first two games at home against the Canadian sides. Since then, they have only garnered two points in their last five matches. The Jacks, as their loyal fan base affectionately refers to them, come into the match in 12th place. Their record stands at 2-3-2.
While the ageless Colombian, Jorge Herrera, leads them in attack with four of their eight tallies this season, the team will be without some help. Defender Henry Kalungi is suspended following his yellow-card brace at Charleston last weekend. Equally concerning for Charlotte’s defense, captain Bilal Duckett was subbed off with a hamstring injury in the 50th minute. Expect to see recent signee, MLS veteran and Jamaican international Je-Vaughn Watson, play a predominant defending role vs FCC.
As highlighted following last Saturday’s victory, FCC is starting to flex their depth and finishing prowess. What will be fascinating to watch going forward, is when and where Alan Koch will deploy the various tactical line-ups. This is becoming a nightmare for opposing teams and coaches to game-plan against. Which line-up and formation will the Orange & Blue open-up with on Saturday?
Here are five fast facts that you can revel in while preparing for Saturday’s showdown.
- FC Cincinnati is tied for second in the league with fifteen goals. Interestingly, none of those tallies have come from set pieces (corner or free kicks). Kenney Walker converted the lone penalty kick opportunity in Indy.
- FCC will be going for a club record fourth consecutive USL regular-season win on Saturday. With a victory, they will have accumulated sixteen points away from home this season. That’s the same as their away point total for the entire 2017 season.
- The Orange & Blue lead the “Queen City Cup” series over the Independence 2-1-1 and have won the rivalry in both 2016 and 2017.
- The Jacks have just four official shots on target and zero goals over their previous four matches. They last scored at home on March 31st, six weeks ago.
- Charlotte, through their affiliation agreement with the Colorado Rapids, have four players on loan from the MLS side—goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, midfielder Ricardo Perez, forward Caleb Calvert, and defender Sam Vines.
Shout out to Ben Goshorn of Soccer ‘n’ Sweet Tea and the Talkin’ Jacks podcast for his valuable insight and time this week. Thank you. Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s match away to the Charlotte Independence.