FC Cincinnati drew 1-1 with D.C. United in the third and final game of the Bradenton portion of preseason programming. Now it’s time to play the broken record . . . don’t read too much into preseason results. FCC wasn’t at full strength. D.C. United wasn’t at full strength. There were a lot of substitutions and playing-time was given to players on the fringes of each team’s starting eleven. That being said, the team can take confidence from another positive result against the best team they’ve faced so far.
Thursday’s contest was a tale of two halves. D.C. dominated early when both team’s higher-priced players featured. United probably should have scored more than one goal but Przemysław Tytoń put in an inspired performance. That’s a good sign, becuase the Polish keeper will likely be called upon to keep FCC in the game more than once this season. The Orange & Blue controlled proceedings later in the match with a lineup that featured several USL carryovers and 2019 draftees. Nazmi Albadawi grabbed the 81st-minute equalizer to reward that group’s efforts. That man Manu Ledesma had the assist. It was another good preseason exercise, and that’s all.
Alan Koch had the following to say after the match.
“In the first 45 minutes tonight, if that was a league game, we could’ve been 3-0 down. So, it’s a great reality check to have that with a few weeks to go in our preparation. I said ‘you played three teams in the league, those three teams have been together for a long time, and we didn’t lose to any of them.’ Results don’t mean anything, but that shows a group that’s willing to come together and fight for each other, so we’ve gained a lot from this trip.”
Bradenton’s Been Good to the Orange & Blue
Geoff Tebbetts managed to glean a nice statistic out of yesterday’s contest, even without visuals or any real match data. The Boys in Orange & Blue end their IMG stint with 5 points (1-0-2). While it may only be preseason, FCC has 4 wins and 5 draws in 11 games at IMG over the last four preseasons.
No Major Injuries
Alan Koch starts almost every preseason interview talking about the importance of staying healthy during preseason. The FCC staff has an important challenge ahead to get the group match-ready in a short time-period but also to manage the health of the players. How well they do that will go a long way toward determining whether they can get any points out of three very difficult matches to open the MLS season.
There are still some minor injuries though. Greg Garza and Darren Mattocks did not play Thursday due to injury. Per our direct communications with FC Cincinnati today, Kendall Waston, Emery Welshman, and Leo Bertone were rested yesterday and didn’t miss the match because of injury. It’s worth noting that Pat Brennan is reporting some minor niggles with a few players in Friday’s training session..
In more positive news, Spencer Richey played his first live-action game minutes of the preseason, entering at halftime and finishing the game with a clean sheet for his portion of the contest.
Lundt to LCFC, Dally Seizing the Opportunity
FCC confirmed Thursday that Ben Lundt is officially headed to Louisville City FC on loan. This loan move was first reported on Tuesday by Kristian Dyer.
A loan has been anticipated since FC Cincinnati drafted two keepers back in January. Teams rarely keep more than three keepers on the roster, and Lundt is an international player. Louisville should be a suitable place for the German to continue his development, even if it will be difficult to see any FCC player in purple.
Another name that demands attention this preseason is Rashawn Dally. The Connecticut native must be doing something right this preseason. He signed an MLS contract with FC Cincinnati earlier this week and started alongside Fanendo Adi on Thursday. Dally has accumulated more playing time (80 minutes) than any other draftee so far.
Dally still might be loaned out, but as the only player FCC drafted in the third or fourth rounds of the 2019 SuperDraft, he’s making the most of his opportunity. If this team is light in any position, it’s on the forward line, so he may have a chance to remain with the MLS team.
The Orange and Blue return from Florida on Saturday and play their next friendly against Indy Eleven in the Indianapolis ‘burbs on Tuesday. Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s preseason.