Bethlehem Steel FC 1 – FC Cincinnati 0: Three Numbers

FC Cincinnati played Bethlehem Steel FC for the second time in twenty-one days, and again came out on the losing side of the contest.

Photo courtesy of Bethlehem Steel FC
FC Cincinnati dropped three points and earned another red card on Saturday when they fell to Bethlehem Steel FC at Goodman stadium in Pennsylvania. The Orange and Blue piled-up opportunities in this contest, and dominated the second half, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Substitute Andy Craven’s 95th minute red card is the team’s third in as many matches, and their fourth of the season.

Three Numbers

5 – The total number of shots produced by Steel FC in the match. Compare this to 21 total shots by FC Cincinnati. In the second half, the only shots on target for either team were the 2 produced by Bethlehem. One of the two was Hugh Roberts’ game winning headed goal that came from a looping cross in the 87th minute.

2 – The number of FC Cincinnati shots that hit the goal frame in the second half. Alan Koch’s team created quality chances and came agonizingly close to scoring the opening goal of the match. In the 75th minute, Corben Bone pulled a clever pass back to Andy Craven whose close range effort hit the crossbar. In the 82nd minute, Aodhan Quinn’s free kick ricocheted off the post.

The following graphic from the USL site courtesy of Opta shows FC Cincinnati’s 10 second half shots, all off-target. Shots that hit the goal frame are shots off-target.

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 5.37.41 AM

8 – FC Cincinnati’s point total after seven matches played, putting them in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Compare this to the 13 total points FC Cincinnati earned after seven matches of their 2016 season. The Charleston Battery currently lead the Eastern Conference on that same total of 13 points. The down side of having a great inaugural season is that it set expectations very high for the current campaign, and will continue to be a point of comparison.

While the finishing and the red card were disappointing, this is a result where FC Cincinnati fans can feel a bit unlucky. The team was dominant for good portions of the match. They created enough chances to win. Had one of those two shots off the post gone in, today’s conversation would likely sound very different.

FC Cincinnati continues their travels next week. They will face the Richmond Kickers at City Stadium in Virginia next Saturday. Richmond currently sits in 12th place after a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rowdies.


FC Cincinnati Bolsters Squad at Forward, Midfielder, and Hair

FC Cincinnati announced three new additions to its 2017 squad on Friday, forward Andy Craven and midfielders Aaron Walker and Marco Dominguez.

Photo Credit: Seattle Sounders 2

On Friday, FC Cincinnati announced the signing of three new players for the 2017 season, forward Andy Craven and midfielders Aaron Walker and Marco Dominguez.

Aaron Walker made FC Cincinnati’s roster via the December open tryouts and will add depth in midfield. Recall that Omar Mohamed made the 2016 roster via the same route and saw a respectable amount of playing time. Let’s hope Walker, a Woodstock, GA native, can make a similar contribution this season. Walker has a personal highlight reel published on Youtube so you can see him in action. The highlights are taken from his 2015 spell with BÍ/Bolungarvik in the Icelandic 1st Division.

It’s interesting to note that FC Cincinnati now has two players with the surname Walker on their roster, which is more Walkers than any other USL club. This is a good move. It could be the first step in a strategy of stockpiling Walkers that sees the second year club accumulate as many as five by 2020.

Marco Dominguez is also a central midfielder and comes to Cincinnati from USL’s recently dissolved FC MontrĂŠal. He is a product of the MontrĂŠal Impact academy and has represented Canada at the U17 and U20 level. He’s has a physical presence and based on this 2015 academy video, has the ability to strike from range.

The 20 year old Quebec native started half of FC MontrĂŠal’s 2016 matches and contributed two assists. FC Cincinnati needed to reinforce their defensive midfield with a player that can deal with USL’s physicality, but still play the team’s passing and possession based style. Dominguez appears to fit the bill.

The race for the best hair on the 2017 FC Cincinnati roster is clearly heating up.

Andy Craven joins FC Cincinnati from USL’s OKC Energy, after spending time in the Seattle Sounders organization. In 2015, Craven made history in a two different ways. Craven has the distinction of being the first ever goal scorer in Seattle Sounders 2 history.

Craven also became the first ever player to be added to the Seattle Sounders’ MLS roster from USL’s Seattle Sounders 2. He split time between the Sounders 2 and OKC in 2016, scored three times, and brings flowing locks that can balance out Pat McMahon’s man bun on the back line. Andrew Wiedeman will be difficult to knock off his lofty perch at the top the FCC hair pyramid, but he’ll have fend off more long-haired competition this year to retain his crown.

Will any of these three will break into FC Cincinnati’s first eleven, or the will they simply provide depth to the squad. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Who remembers FC Cincinnati’s first ever goalscorer? Comment with the right answer and follow this blog. One person who does will be randomly selected to win a FC Cincinnati winter cap.