Match Program: FC Cincinnati at North Carolina FC

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Graphic: CSDIV / Image: Joe Craven
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Graphic CSDIV / Image: Joe Craven

FC Cincinnati travels to Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Complex Saturday to face North Carolina FC for their second meeting of the season. After a come from behind win against at NYRBII last Saturday, the Orange & Blue regained first place in the Eastern Conference. They will look to add another three points to an already impressive 2018 away campaign this weekend.

North Carolina FC currently sits in 12th place in the East with 11 points after 10 matches played. Their most recent league match resulted in a 2-1 loss at home to an improving Bethlehem Steel squad. However, their two previous home matches were strong shutout wins; an impressive 4-0 rout against Atlanta United II and a convincing 3-0 blanking of Penn FC. NCFC’s attack is led by leading scorer Daniel Rios who has 5 goals on the season.

The last meeting between the two teams three weeks ago proved quite fruitful for FCC with a decisive 4-1 trouncing at Nippert. The Orange & Blue attack inflicted a heavy toll on the visitors. FC Cincinnati midfielder, and North Carolina native, Nazmi Albadawi made a statement of his own against his former club tallying two goals in spectacular fashion. That match also showcased the talents of Argentinian Emmanuel Ledesma and Danish striker Danni König, who combined for three assists and two goals. Expect to see this lethal combination attack early and often this weekend.

Both teams are coming off heartbreaking midweek penalty kick losses in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competition. While fatigue could play a roll this weekend, FCC should have an advantage with their recent player rotation and depth. As always, the starting XI and formation will be interesting to watch as they seek to continue their 5-1-1 road dominance. The manager and team’s focus now shifts to staying top of the table and winning the league championship.

Fast Facts

Here are four fast facts to get you ready for Saturday’s 7pm kickoff in Cary, North Carolina.

  • FC Cincinnati leads the Eastern Conference in goals scored with 22 but are fourth from the top in goals conceded at 16.
  • Despite where NCFC currently sits in the standings, they’ve still found a way to score at home netting nine goals in fives matches. In comparison, FCC has scored ten goals at home in the same amount of matches.
  • Canadian midfielder Kyle Bekker leads North Carolina FC in assists (4) and chances created (15).
  • FCC standout and Argentinian midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma leads the USL with 12 points (5 goals and 7 assists).

Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati at North Carolina FC on Saturday.

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