FC Cincinnati 2 – 2 Charleston Battery: Wiedeman Golazo Rescues Draw

Read about the moment that changed the match in FC Cincinnati’s 2-2 draw with the Charleston Battery at Nippert Stadium. Plus, match photos.

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Andrew Wiedeman scores in the 81st minute to level score at 2-2. All images courtesy of Ryan Meyer Photography

FC Cincinnati played the Charleston Battery to a 2-2 stalemate at Nippert Stadium on Saturday. Andrew Wiedeman rescued a point for the Orange and Blue in the 81st minute with a thunderous left-footed finish after entering the match only 12 minutes prior.

Djiby Fall had given Alan Koch’s team an early lead with a headed goal. They took that lead into half time, but Charleston came from behind, grabbing two second half goals in the space of 9 minutes to take command of the game. Wiedeman’s goal leveled the contest in a match that started well, and finished well, for FC Cincinnati.

Match Changing Moment

Harrison Delbridge made a surging run into Charleston’s half, drawing a defender before laying the ball off to Kadeem Dacres. Dacres moved the ball quickly to Josu who was making a overlapping run near the left touch line. Josu delivered curling cross into the box that was just behind Andrew Wiedeman.

The San Ramon, CA native checked his run, turned his back to goal and knocked the ball down with an outstretched right foot. He proceeded to tap the bouncing ball up to himself to avoid the tackle of Neveal Hacksaw. With his third touch he cushioned the ball off his head to set up a left-footed strike, which he smashed past Charleston keeper Odisnel Cooper at the far post.

It was the goal of the season to date for FC Cincinnati, and clearly one of the top individual efforts in the team’s short history. It also rescued a valuable point for the Orange and Blue against league leading Charleston, who dominated the middle portion of Saturday’s contest.

Andrew Wiedeman said the following about the goal:
“Once the ball popped up I thought the defender was going to come on. I guess he was worried about me looking to draw contact or something, so he stayed off. I was able to get a head to it I think, and I closed my eyes and hit it as hard as I could.”

While a draw is a decent result against Eastern Conference leaders Charleston, it’s the fourth draw at Nippert in league play this season. The inability to regularly get maximum points at home combined with poor road results leaves Alan Koch’s side in seventh place after 14 matches played.

Koch said the following after the game.

“We’ve got a good group and we know that. We had some big time players step up in big time moments this week. We still know we’re capable of more with our group…We play in a league where it’s about getting into the playoffs and peaking at the right time.”

Charleston remains in first place in the Eastern Conference, three points clear at the top. Rival Louisville City FC moves into second place after a convincing 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Louisville City also has two games in hand on Charleston, and look poised to challenge for the top spot. The two teams meet at MUSC Health Stadium in three weeks time.

Match Photos via Ryan Meyer

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Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more news, analysis, and color commentary on FC Cincinnati. Next up is another home match against Saint Louis FC on Saturday, June 24th.

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Cheat Sheet: FC Cincinnati vs Charleston Battery

An information graphic provides the vital details for Saturday’s match between FC Cincinnati and the Charleston Battery. Plus, four fast facts.

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Image for header and information graphic courtesy JES Photography/Joe Schmuck

FC Cincinnati continues a five game June home stand on Saturday with a critical matchup against Eastern Conference leaders the Charleston Battery. The Orange and Blue will be full of confidence, but short on rest, after dispatching Columbus Crew SC in the US Open Cup on Wednesday.

Charleston also played Wednesday, losing 3-2 to Atlanta United in the same US Open Cup tournament. Charleston is a bogey team for FC Cincinnati. The Orange and Blue are 0-3-1 against the Battery all-time, including a first round playoff defeat that ended their 2016 season. Charleston started 2017 in red-hot form, but have cooled down recently, going 2-1-2 over their last five matches played.

Alan Koch’s side has met Charleston already in 2017. In the season opener, the Battery downed FC Cincinnati by a 2-1 scoreline in South Carolina. Midfielder Justin Portillo scored the game winning goal from a penalty kick rebound to seal the victory.

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Here are four fast facts to serve as a backdrop for Saturday’s contest.

  • Charleston’s Maikel Chang and Justin Portillo are one of the most dynamic midfield duos in USL. Combined they have produced 50 chances created*, 6 goals, and 7 assists in 13 matches played.
  • Left winger Jimmy McLaughlin leads FC Cincinnati in chances created (17) and is second only to Djiby Fall in total shots (12) and shots on target (8).
  • Charleston leads the Eastern Conference in goals scored (26), total shots (175), and conversion rate** (20%). FC Cincinnati currently ranks 10th, 5th, and 11th in the same categories.
  • It’s hard to beat FC Cincinnati at Nippert. In the past calendar year, they have only lost two regular season matches on home soil in 15 matches played. They lost to NY Red Bulls II last July, and to Orlando City B in May of this year. Aside from that, the only loss they have at Nippert is a playoff loss to the Charleston Battery side they will face on Saturday.

Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more coverage of this weekend’s match.

Love ? O&B Press is looking for contributors in writing and design for the 2017 season. Contact us at orangeandbluepress@gmail.com for more information.

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Statistics Definitions from Opta 

*Chances Created – Assists plus key passes where a key pass is the final pass or pass-come-shot leading to the recipient of the ball having an attempt at goal without scoring.

**Conversion Rate – A calculation of goals scored divided by shots attempted (excluding blocked attempts)

Match Photos: FC Cincinnati at Charleston Battery

81 photos from FC Cincinnati’s 2-1 defeat against the Charleston Battery on Saturday March 25th.

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Local photographer Ross Almers captured 81 images of Saturday’s match in Charleston, you can find them at the gallery linked below.

Charleston Battery vs FC Cincinnati March 25 2017

FC Cincinnati travels to face the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for their next match on Saturday April 1st.

Charleston Battery 2 – FC Cincinnati 1: Match Changing Moment and Key Stats

Learn more about the moment that changed the match in FC Cincinnati’s opening day loss to the Charleston Battery. Plus, key stats from Opta.

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Photo Credit: Zach Bland / Charleston Battery
FC Cincinnati lost their opening game of the season to the Charleston Battery by a score of 2-1 on Saturday. Djiby Fall scored the only goal for FC Cincinnati in the 59th minute, equalizing the score at 1-1 after Charleston took the lead in the first half.

Match Changing Moment

The critical moment of the match occurred in the 70th minute. Charleston fullback Quinton Griffith attacked down the left side of FC Cincinnati’s defense. He played a ball to Ataullah Guerra at the top of the box. Guerra escaped tackles from Bahner and Kenney Walker and eked a pass into the box for Charleston striker Romario Williams. Austin Berry was behind Williams trying to recover on the play. Williams put his body in front of Berry as the pass from Guerra came through, and Berry clattered into him.

It was a clear penalty and Justin Portillo stepped in to take the kick. He struck a poor drive to Mitch Hildebrandt’s right. Mitch saved it comfortably but a rebound fell to Portillo, who was able to slide a second attempt into goal and give the Battery a decisive 2-1 lead.

Key Stats

FC Cincinnati was dominant in the first 30 minutes of play, but couldn’t turn that possession into a goal. They out-possessed Charleston 60% to 40% in the match, and at one point in the first half (18th minute) had almost 70% possession. When Charleston defender Forrest Lasso gave the Battery the lead with a 38th minute header, the complexion of the match changed.

Charleston created better opportunities than FC Cincinnati over the 90 minutes. They outshot FC Cincinnati 17-14, but more importantly, 8 of those shots were on target, and 14 of their 17 shots came from inside the box (82%). Comparatively, only 50% of FC Cincinnati’s shots were from inside the box.

USL’s new partnership with Opta Stats is pretty sweet and if you’re into numbers, check out the new Match Center section of the USL site.

One thing that Opta Stats can’t tell you about is defensive lapses. Mitch Hildebrandt came off his line to punch the corner kick on the first goal that FC Cincinnati conceded, but didn’t get to the ball. Lasso jumped behind Delbridge to nod home a header. Austin Berry’s tackle from behind on Guerra to concede the penalty was described by Nicholas Murray as “rash.” Berry had just returned from injury, and FC Cincinnati fans may wonder how close to 100% he was for this contest. Credit is due to Charleston as well, who are a quality team and especially good at home.

Two More Road Games Ahead

FC Cincinnati travels to Pennsylvania to take on two teams over the course of the next two weeks. Pittsburgh is up first. The Orange and Blue will take on the Riverhounds on Saturday, April 1st at 7pm. They then travel to the Lehigh Valley for a matchup with Bethlehem Steel the following Sunday. FC Cincinnati returns home for the 2017 opener at Nippert on April 15th. Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s 2017 season.

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Updates: Two changes were made to the original article. The original article said Delbridge “lost” Lasso on the first goal. Another player may have been responsible for Lasso so this was removed. Also Kenny Walker was the captain for this match rather than Austin Berry.

Preview: FC Cincinnati at Charleston – Behind the Battery

Andrew Miller of the Charleston Post and Courier gives the inside scoop on FC Cincinnati’s week one opponent, the Charleston Battery. Plus, a score prediction.

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Matt Bahner is one of 10 new FC Cincinnati players in 2017. Photo courtesy JES Photography/ Joe Schmuck

FC Cincinnati begins its second season on Saturday when they take on the Charleston Battery at MUSC Health Stadium. This match pairs the Queen City’s newcomers against one of the longest standing outfits in American soccer. The Charleston Battery can now boast 25 years as a professional franchise, an impressive accomplishment.

It also pairs FC Cincinnati with a team that they could not beat last season in three attempts. Charleston defeated FC Cincinnati 1-0 on opening day in 2016. Romario Williams scored a late winner to settle that contest in stoppage time. The two teams drew 1-1 at Nippert in July with Charleston grabbing a late equalizer. The same Battery team also knocked FC Cincinnati out of the USL playoffs in the first round, defeating the Orange and Blue 2-1, and ending their inaugural season.

Andrew Miller of the Charleston Post and Courier answered a few questions from Orange and Blue Press about FC Cincinnati’s week one opponent.

Which Charleston Battery player could ruin FC Cincinnati’s opening day on Saturday? 

“Charleston Battery striker Romario Williams. Williams has lost 10 pounds since last year and his fitness level appears to be in mid-season form. He scored a goal against the Seattle Sounders in the Battery’s preseason tournament – the Carolina Challenge Cup – and was certainly the club’s most dangerous offensive player a year ago.

Watch out for Ataulla Guerra as well. He’s going to be central midfielder, tucked in right behind Williams and the two have had great chemistry during the preseason. Midfielder Maikel Chang is probably the Battery’s most gifted and creative playmaker and normally plays on the outside, crossing balls into the box. Midfielder Justin Portillo is always dangerous on the free kicks and corner kicks.”

Why do you think the Battery have been a bogey team for FC Cincinnati?

“That’s hard to explain. I don’t know that there’s any logical explanation for it. The Battery just seems to match-up well against Cincinnati for whatever reason. It’s a mystery of sports sometimes why some teams match up better against other teams. Is it style of play? Is it talent level? The Battery has just seemed to have Cincy’s number. Of course, all that can changed with the amount of personnel turnover from season to season.”

Who is the best offseason addition that the Battery have made (one we will likely see on Saturday)? Why?

“Defender Skylar Thomas. He was a First Round pick in the 2015 MLS Super Draft (Toronto FC) and played in 47 games with Toronto FC II over the past two seasons. He’s a big, rangy defender that will play left back with O’Brian Woodbine out for three games with a league suspension. He can play in the middle if needed as well. With his speed and strength, he can match-up with any forward in the league.

You could see Mikey Ambrose, who was loaned by Atlanta today, on the field Saturday. He played five games last year with Orlando City SC. They have a couple of other new guys, including Kotaro Higashi and Andrew Carleton, but they are not with the club right now.”

Has Charleston’s affiliate agreement with Atlanta United benefitted the club in your opinion? Do you think it gives the Battery an advantage/disadvantage vs. independent clubs like FC Cincinnati?

“I think right now, it’s too early to tell. I can say with confidence that the affiliation with Atlanta is better than the previous ones with Vancouver and Houston. Romario Williams and Jeffrey Otoo will be with the club all summer. Other players likes Andrew Carleton, Mikey Ambrose, Alex Tambakis and Chris Goslin will probably shuttle between the two clubs throughout the season. I think anytime you have young, hungry, talented players it’s going to make your club better.

I think the jury is still out on the advantages/disadvantages question. I still think the MLS is trying to figure out if having a reserve team in the USL or having straight affiliations is better. I think it’s more cost efficient to have affiliations, but do your players develop? That’s what every MLS team is trying figure out. I do think if you’ve got a strong affiliation then it works to your advantage against independent clubs. If not, then I think it works against you because you put guys on the field that either are not ready to play at this level or are not good enough.

Orange and Blue Press Prediction

Charleston uncharacteristically lost five matches at home in 2016. MUSC Health Stadium may not be the fortress it has been in years past for the Battery. But make no mistake, this is a difficult first week matchup for FC Cincinnati.

Charleston is a defense first team with dangerous counter attacking options. Last year the Battery’s physical midfield disrupted FC Cincinnati when they tried to impose a possession based style on the game. Look for similar tactics tomorrow.

FC Cincinnati is certainly capable of winning this match. They have showed positive progress in preseason, but Alan Koch is still working to figure out his best team. Team captain Austin Berry was injured in the Sacramento match and has been sidelined with an elbow sprain. He returned to training this week, but is still a long shot to start. Paul Nicholson or new signing Mélé Temguia are the backup options. FC Cincinnati doesn’t look cohesive enough yet to get three points away to Charleston with so many new pieces in the puzzle. Look for a scored draw in the season opener. Charleston Battery 2 – FC Cincinnati 2.

You can watch the match on Star 64 (WSTR) locally in Cincinnati or stream on the USL Youtube Channel. Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s first match of 2017.

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FC Cincinnati’s Five Must-See Home Matches

FC Cincinnati released the full schedule for its second season on Tuesday. There are five home matches that stand out from the rest and are must-see events.

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FC Cincinnati released its long-awaited 2017 schedule on Tuesday afternoon. The USL calendar was delayed by several weeks waiting for US Soccer to make a decision on division two sanctioning. The USL received division two status and now, less than two months before the season begins, the full schedule is available.

FC Cincinnati begins the season with a challenging three game road trip. They face the Charleston Battery, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, and Bethlehem Steel on three consecutive weekends starting on March 25th. Orange and Blue Press highly recommends taking in these games with the team’s most passionate supporters at Rhinehaus OTR, Molly Malone’s Covington, or one of FC Cincinnati’s pub partners.

All of the home matches at Nippert Stadium are, of course, worth your while. But the five matches listed below are must-see events. Mark your calendars, change your plans, take a day off, get a dog-sitter, cancel your vacation. Do what you have to do to support the Orange and Blue.

April 15th – Saint Louis FC (Home Opener) –  Get your taxes done early so you can see FC Cincinnati return to Nippert after a six month respite. The release of the pent-up Bailey energy on April 15th will be something to behold. Saint Louis FC is a new member of the Eastern conference, migrating from the USL’s West to balance the two conferences. FC Cincinnati played Saint Louis twice and beat them twice in 2016. A revamped Saint Louis FC, led by former US international Preki, will be looking for revenge. This early season game will also carry the weight of an MLS expansion rivalry.

April 22nd – Louisville City FC – The home leg of Dirty River Derby (a.k.a. River Cities Cup) is the #1 match of the season. It’s that simple. Take into account that FC Cincinnati has signed away not one but two LCFC players, including their captain. This match is going to be nasty and will feature a loud traveling contingent from Louisville. FC Cincinnati travels to Louisville for the second and third legs of this three games series. Mark July 15th and August 12th as travel dates on your calendar.

June 17th – Charleston Battery  – If FC Cincinnati has a bogey team this early in its existence, it’s the Charleston Battery. They’re 0-2-1 against the Battery, including the home playoff loss that ended FC Cincinnati’s inaugural season. This will be a revenge match against the old guard of a very new-look USL. They came into our house twice last year and took four points. That can’t happen in 2017.

August 23rd – Ottawa Fury – Two teams, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Ottawa Fury, defected from the troubled NASL to the USL’s Eastern Conference this offseason. Some may argue that Tampa is the more interesting matchup, considering our history and the competition over MLS expansion. However, the Tampa game is on a Wednesday and is sandwiched between two other must-see games. So Ottawa may be the game you earmark if you can only check out one of the two former NASL clubs this season.

September 16th – New York Red Bulls II  – The Baby Bulls were the class of the league last season, winning both the regular season and the USL Cup. FC Cincinnati lost to them twice last year, and both games were haunted by questionable refereeing decisions. The Orange and Blue will try to prove that they are the best of the East in the last home game of the regular season. Top playoff seeding will likely be on the line.

Honorable mention: September 2nd – Pittsburgh Riverhounds: What can you say, it’s Pittsburgh. The Riverhounds struggled in 2016 and all three matches the Orange and Blue played against them were, shall we say, tepid. It is Pittsburgh though. If you have Bengals baggage, this is the day to deal with it.

The full 2017 FC Cincinnati schedule can be found here. Times for all matches will be announced at a later date.

What do you think?  Which games are you most looking forward to seeing? Leave a comment below.

If you don’t have season tickets already, right now would be a stellar time to lock some up. Over 9,000 season tickets have been sold already.

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FC Cincinnati vs Charleston Battery: Dream Season Cut Short

FC Cincinnati vs Charleston Battery: FC Cincinnati’s record setting inaugural season comes to a close in the first round of the USL playoffs.

FC Cincinnati fell 2-1 to the Charleston Battery in the first round of the USL playoffs in front of 30,187 fans on Sunday. The enormous crowd at Nippert Stadium represents a USL postseason attendance record, breaking a 2013 record held by Orlando City.

The home team started on the front foot, taking the lead in the 19th minute when Eric Stevenson thundered a thirty yard blast into the the top right corner of Charleston’s goal. The show-stopping strike was good enough to earn him a spot on ESPN’s SportsCenter top 10 plays of the day.

The Orange and Blue gave one back in the 40th minute under circumstances that have become familiar in 2016’s storyline. They let in a soft goal five minutes before halftime from a throw-in. There was suspicion of a foul both on the Charleston throw and for a push on Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt as he made a play on the ball. Neither foul was called and the goal stood.

Charleston took a decisive lead, against the run of play, twenty minutes into the second half when Zach Prince redirected Maikel Chang’s corner kick into the FC Cincinnati goal. Tyler Polak got a touch on the ball as it went in, but full credit was awarded to Prince on the score sheet.

FC Cincinnati battled and pushed in the final 25 minutes of the game, as the near capacity crowd urged them on, but a stout and physical Battery defense would not break down. The game finished 2-1 and FC Cincinnati’s dream first season came to an abrupt end.

For more perspectives on the match, see the following worthy sources.

FC Cincinnati Official
Cincinnati Soccer Talk
Enquirer
USL
Charleston Post and Courier

Despite the defeat, FC Cincinnati’s inaugural season must be categorized as nothing short of an overwhelming success. Kudos to the players, coaching staff, front office and especially the fans for making the 2016 season an instant classic. We started the season trying to prove that we were a soccer city, and finished showing that we are THE soccer city. It has been an honor to cover the first season of this club and I look forward to many more amazing moments colored in Orange and Blue.

If you are interested in contributing to Orange and Blue Press in 2017, please contact us at orangeandbluepress@gmail.com.

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FC Cincinnati vs Charleston Battery – Matchup

FC Cincinnati vs Charleston Battery: FC Cincinnati opens its USL playoff campaign against the Charleston Battery on Sunday at Nippert Stadium.

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FC Cincinnati opens its USL playoff campaign this Sunday at Nippert Stadium against the Charleston Battery. They are the number three seed in the Eastern Conference and are hosting a Charleston team that beat them on opening day and drew them at Nippert in July.

The Orange & Blue are in better form coming into the match, having won four of their last five games. The defense has been sharp lately producing four clean sheets in a row. Nippert stadium has been a fortress for Harkes’ men this season. They have only lost two matches at home all season and those have been to the two best teams in the USL regular season, Louisville City FC and New York Red Bulls II. Aside from Omar Cummings long term injury, the team is healthy heading into Sunday’s contest.

Charleston have had an up and down season but can boast some very decent road results, including 6 away wins overall. They defeated New York Red Bulls II in New Jersey earlier in the season and just beat the playoff bound Richmond Kickers in Virginia in their last match away from home.

The USL playoffs opened with an early upset in the Western Conference on Friday, as the three seed Colorado Switchbacks fell at home to Vancouver Whitecaps FC II by a score of 2-1. That result will serve as a good reminder to the Orange & Blue that despite their good form and home field advantage, they will have to be at their best on Sunday to advance.

FC Cincinnati general manager Jeff Berding announced on Friday night that over 25 thousand tickets have already been sold for the match, which is a USL record attendance for a playoff game already. The game is a white out, so fans are encouraged to wear white in support of the club.

Stay tuned to Orange and Blue press for news leading up to Sunday’s big playoff game at Nippert.

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FC Cincinnati Ends Season on a High

FC Cincinnati closed their regular season campaign on a high note and now know their first playoff opponent.

FC Cincinnati played the last regular season match of their inaugural campaign on Saturday evening against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. They finished with a 1-0 victory against their Eastern Conference rivals. Sean “Ugo” Okoli scored the lone goal of the match from the penalty spot in the 31st minute. That strike will almost certainly secure him the USL’s Golden Boot award. The Orange and Blue had already secured third place and a playoff berth prior to the match, and could not improve their seeding with this result. Coach John Harkes still opted to start a strong lineup with an eye on going into the playoffs with momentum and a win.

Based on other results in the Eastern Conference, FC Cincinnati’s playoff matchup became clear. They will face the Charleston Battery at Nippert Stadium on October 2nd in the first round of the USL playoffs.

For more details of the games’ events, see the following sources.

FC Cincinnati Official
USL
Enquirer
Cincinnati Soccer Talk
Pittsburgh Soccer Report

Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for news, insights and analysis leading up to FC Cincinnati’s first ever playoff match.

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

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FC Cincinnati vs Charleston – Match Notes

Key events, statistics, quotes and photos from FC Cincinnati’s 1-1 draw with the Charleston Battery.

FC Cincinnati played the Charleston Battery to a 1-1 draw in front of a crowd of over 19K at Nippert Stadium on Saturday. For play-by-play details of the game’s events, see the sources referenced in our recap roundup segment.

Photos 

Special thanks to photographer Joe Craven for the images in this week’s match notes.

 

Match Notes

Don’t Fix It – The Orange and Blue lined up in the same formation they used with such success against Louisville City last weekend. One personnel change came in the form of Derek Luke starting at right back in place of Pat McMahon. Kenney Walker and Paul Nicholson were unavailable for the match due to injury.

Scoreless First – Both goalies came up with 1 big save in the first half to keep the score level at 0’s. The Battery had a very good chance to go up a goal in the 16th minute following quality combination play between Williams and Garbanzo, but Hildebrandt denied the opportunity. Andrew Wiedeman had a right-footed rocket from 25+ yards saved by Tambakis near the end of the first half.

Scoring at UC – Omar Cummings scored his first league goal at Nippert 6 minutes after the start of the second half. The the crowd erupted in approval for the former Cincinnati State and UC product.

No Delbo in Canada – Harrison Delbridge picked up a yellow card in the second half, his 5th of the season. Because of yellow card accumulation he will serve a 1 game suspension and be unavailable for Wednesday’s match against FC Montreal. Keep in mind that Paul Nicholson is also injured so we could see Evan Lee start against the Canadian club.

SMH – The goal FC Cincinnati conceded was one to forget frankly. It was a corner kick sent directly into the center of the 6 yard box (very close to goal). A couple of nearby defenders didn’t even jump for it and Mitch was beat to the ball by Cordoves.

Late Battery – Charleston had a glorious chance to equalize in the 83rd minute. Charleston substitute Tsonis connected with a point blank header in the box that rattled the crossbar and was scrambled off the line by Hildebrandt. The Orange and Blue were also extremely lucky that Harrison Delbridge was not called for a handball in the box during stoppage time following his sliding tackle. FC Cincinnati has been on the wrong end of some bad refereeing decisions but this one went their way, and was probably worth a point.

Hildebrandt hurt? – Mitch Hildebrandt has played every minute so far for the Orange and Blue in the USL regular season. Late in the game he suffered an apparent shoulder injury that didn’t force him to leave the game, but put him in some discomfort. Let’s hope he heals quickly and is fit to play in Montreal.

Interesting Stat

FC Cincinnati’s dominated many of the game’s statistics (shots, shots on goal, far fewer fouls conceded). One category they did not dominate however was corner kicks. Charleston had 8 corner kicks to FC Cincinnati’s 2, and the FCC lead was undone by one of those eight byline set pieces.

Quotable

“Once I saw Jimmy get the ball, I knew he was going to go for the cross. I knew I would have to anticipate where it would go, and once it was past Ugo, I just reacted.” –Omar Cummings on his goal

“One thing we keep telling our guys that there will be games where you feel you dominated the game, but it may not reflect in the score. We were a bit unlucky, we certainly could have scored the second goal to go ahead and lock it up.” –John Harkes

Standouts

The three offensive players behind Okoli were very good in this match. Omar Cummings was the bona fide scoring threat all match and converted in the 51st minute. Andrew Wiedeman and Jimmy McLaughlin worked hard to create all night, resulting in several quality chances. They couldn’t find the second goal though, a problem that has plagued the team at times this season.

Competition

A draw against Charleston is a decent result, but conceding the 70th minute equalizer and another nervy finish put a damper on proceedings at Nippert. The draw keeps Harkes’ men in 3rd place, above Charleston in the standings. Results away for Nippert were very favorable for the Orange and Blue. The top two teams in the Eastern Conference both lost allowing FCC to gain a point on each. Richmond moves into 5 place on goal difference over Rochester after their big win against NY Red Bulls II.

The Orange and Blue are now 4 points behind league leaders Louisville City with a game in hand. They are in prime position to make a run at the top of the table with 10 games remaining in the USL regular season. The Orange and Blue are back in action Wednesday as they head north of the border to face last place FC Montreal. No rest for the weary.