Preseason Draw, Mattocks, and Red-Hot Transfers

The Result

Results don’t matter in preseason, especially in the first game, but a draw in the first outing should give the team a little confidence if nothing else. Many of these players just met each other for the first time less than 10 days ago. So a 1-1 draw against an established MLS club, combined with no apparent injuries and our first goal makes for a decent first outing.

Koch gave us a list of desired outcomes pre-match, which included no injuries, gaining match fitness, developing relationships, seeing some players exceed expectations, and making mistakes. You can check most if not all of those boxes.

Darren Mattocks

It took Darren Mattocks less than 5 minutes of play in an FC Cincinnati jersey (or training top rather) to score a goal, and maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise. Rooney’s arrival last season made him expendable at D.C. United, but Mattocks scored 10 goals in 25 appearances last year, 11 of which were as a substitute. His 2018 strike rate was 0.71 goals per 90 minutes, the best of his career.

Koch sang a familiar hymn post-match, that he’ll take goals any way he can get them. While it’s nice to play the beautiful game, that’s not realistic at this point. “If it’s a long ball and Darren uses his speed and ability to score a goal, it’s just as important as a goal with 25 passes. It takes a lot of cohesiveness and chemistry to score goals like that.” Koch said. Also, Forrest Lasso delivered a great ball for the assist, it must be said.

OK, that’s that. . .we weren’t in Bradenton, so there’s only so much to say about a match most people didn’t actually see. Next up, the Colorado Rapids face FC Cincinnati at 10:30 am on Saturday, February 2.

Hot Late-January Transfer Market

As the month of January comes to a close, the MLS transfer market is red hot. Plenty of moves involving big players and marquee clubs are unfolding. FC Cincinnati is entering the American first division at a time when the stakes are as high as they’ve ever been in terms of talent coming and going.

The sale of Miguel Almiron to Newcastle United for a fee believed to be $27M is today’s headline-maker.

Sebastian Giovinco, who is 32 and was approaching the end of his contract with Toronto, heads to Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia. In another move that is close but not done, D.C. United’s Luciano Acosta appears to be on his way to Paris Saint-Germain for a sum near $10M. The New England Revolution signed Carles Gil, a Spanish attacker once valued at over $7M. Out West, the Whitecaps land South Korean In-beom Hwang after a standout performance at the Asian Cup, in a transfer near the $2M mark. FC Cincinnati’s transfer business looks to be complete until the next transfer window, but could there be one more surprise left in Sassano’s bag of tricks?

Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s preseason.

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