FC Cincinnati vs FC Montréal – Four Numbers

Four numbers that mattered in FC Cincinnati’s 2-0 victory over FC Montréal, plus key weekend USL results and what’s ahead.

The box score for this match was released a bit later than usual, so let’s have a brief look at how this match played out by the numbers. 

FC Cincinnati picked up valuable road points on Wednesday, defeating FC Montréal by 2 goals in Canada. For play-by-play details of the match’s events, see the articles featured in our recap roundup segment.

Four Numbers

11 – Ugo Okoli’s regular season goal total after the brace he netted in this match. This total is good enough to bring him into a tie for 3rd in goals scored this USL season. Only Jack McBean (15) and Chandler Hoffman (14) have scored more regular season goals. Okoli had 9 total shots in the game, a season high for him.

9 – Percentage of shots by FC Montréal that were on target. FC Montréal did create some chances in the offensive third, especially in the first half, producing 11 total shots. Unfortunately for the Canadians, all but 1 of those shots was off target. A lone effort on goal by Philippe Lincourt-Joseph in the first half was easily gathered by Mitch Hildebrandt.

3 – The gap in points between Eastern Conference leaders NY Red Bulls II and third place FC Cincinnati after Wednesday’s result. Since then, Louisville City FC eked out a win against Pittsburgh 2-1 to regain the top stop. Therefore, FC Cincinnati is now 4 points off the top with a game in hand.  See the full Eastern Conference standings at the USL website.

10  – Number of days between this match and FC Cincinnati’s next contest on Saturday, August 13th. Richmond recently moved into 4th place behind FC Cincinnati, after wins on Wednesday and Saturday. Richmond has won an impressive 6 matches in a row, with 4 of those 6 being earned on the road.

What’s ahead?

The Orange and Blue will need the rest on offer this week before turning their attention to a challenging schedule for the remainder of August. Their calendar includes four total matches. Three of those four matches are on the road. Two of those four matches are Wednesday matches. All of the matches feature opponents in the top half of the Eastern Conference.

  • Saturday, August 13 – @ Richmond Kickers (4th)
  • Wednesday, August 24 – Rochester Rhinos (6th)
  • Sunday, August 28 – @ New York Red Bulls II (2nd)
  • Wednesday, August 31 – @ Charlotte Independence (7th)

Return to Orange and Blue Press soon for more statistics, color commentary and analysis on Cincinnati’s favorite football team.

FC Montréal 0 FC Cincinnati 2

Read our recap roundup as FC Cincinnati earned a critical road victory at FC Montréal, defeating the Canadian side by a score of 2-0.

FC Cincinnati earned a critical road victory at FC Montréal on Wednesday afternoon, defeating the Canadian side by a score of 2-0. Sean Okoli netted a brace to increase his goal total for the season to 11 goals, leading the team.

See the following worthy sources for play-by-play details of the match’s events:

FC Cincinnati Official
Cincinnati Soccer Talk
Enquirer
FC Montréal

The Orange and Blue now have 9 luxurious days off before they return to action on August 13th against the Richmond Kickers. Return to Orange and Blue Press tomorrow for more details on FC Cincinnati’s road victory and information on what’s ahead.

Cheat Sheet – FC Cincinnati vs FC Montréal

FC Cincinnati’s Wednesday matchup with FC Montréal is summed up in one page.

MTL-MatchUp

The Orange and Blue are in Canada tomorrow to face FC Montréal before entering a 9 day period with no games. FC Montréal was at the bottom of the Eastern Conference when these teams last met in June (a 2-1 FC Cincinnati win), and they are still there today. A team with FC Cincinnati’s ambitions must look to take all 3 points from this road match. Note the 2pm Eastern kickoff time for this contest.

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.

FC Cincinnati vs FC Montréal – Match Notes

Color commentary on FC Cincinnati’s 2-1 victory over FC Montréal on Saturday June 11th.

Notes

Turf Heat – Apparently, field turf can get hot…really hot. A Las Vegas study determined that artificial grass temperatures in the state of Nevada can reach up to 180 degrees in the summer months! While this clearly isn’t the Nevada desert, and quality artificial surfaces for sports come equipped with cooling mechanisms, the turf temperatures at Nippert are going to be a challenge this summer. There were reports that the field temperature at kickoff was 110 degrees while the air temperature was 89 degrees. This isn’t a new problem. Artificial turf has always come with this drawback. It is safe to play on, but all the more reason to support the hydration breaks we saw as part of Saturday’s contest.

First Half – The first half against FC Montréal was one of the best halves of football that we have seen FC Cincinnati play at Nippert. FCC was dominant in all phases of the game and then took the lead through Okoli’s 35th minute penalty kick. They were expected to dominate this FC Montréal team given their experience advantage, their form coming into the match, and the fact that the contest was played at Nippert. They did. Give credit where it’s due, the boys in Orange and Blue were good.

Second Half – The second half started well with Okoli’s volley but we witnessed another nervy finish and another late goal. When I watched it back on Youtube, it wasn’t as nervy as it seemed live. I think the crowd was still feeling the collective anxiety from last week’s Richmond draw. FCC had the insurance goal and they managed the game to its conclusion, claiming all 3 points. Was it perfect? No. Was it better than last week? Oui.

Interesting Stat – There wasn’t too much to get excited about in this week’s box score, but the match did offer a total of 26 fouls between the two teams. This is a season high for a game when FC Cincinnati has been a participant. Surprisingly, the match really didn’t seem that chippy. FCC also tied their season high for fouls committed at 13. The only card that was issued was Kenney Walker’s yellow.

Goalkeeping Coach Gone Wild? – FC Montréal’s keepers coach was sent off by referee Rosendo Mendoza just after the Canadian side scored their 90th minute goal. Maybe he took offense to something that was said? I’m guessing it was something like what’s contained in this catalogue of things not to say to French Canadians. If anyone knows why he was actually sent off, please comment below. I’ve scoured the internet and exhausted my short list of contacts. I’ve come up empty.

Stand Outs

Sean Okoli – This is obvious so I won’t belabor the point. After a quiet first 25 minutes, Okoli came to life and was the difference maker. Terrific finishing on both the PK and the volley.

Eric Stevenson – Stevenson earned his second start of the season against FC Montréal and took advantage of it. He possessed and distributed the ball well in the attacking midfield role, initiating a number of offensive moves. He served a sublime cross for Okoli’s second after dispossessing Montréal in midfield to start the move. It’s hard to see him not starting again next week given this performance. I’m not sure the positional change suits Corben Bone who is now being asked to play deeper. It will be interesting to see if the coaching staff tries any other midfield combinations.

Okoli-Stevenson-2
Ugo Okoli and Eric Stevenson turned in noteworthy performances against FC Montréal

Andrew Wiedeman – Wiedeman was fantastic in this match. He was lively and threatening on the right, combining to good effect with McMahon and Stevenson, especially in the first half. He played the long ball to Okoli in transition that resulted in the penalty foul. He had a fantastic work rate, tracking back to help out the defense on FCC’s right on several occasions. He also had a couple of good looks at goal and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.

Tyler Polak – Polak was solid at left back shutting down a number of FC Montréal moves, turning possession over in the Orange and Blue’s favor. He served 2 delicious crosses in the first half (45′ and stoppage) that easily could have resulted in goals. His corner kicks and free kicks were on point all night. Polak has taken criticism this season for some of FCC’s defensive growing pains. I think he needs to get some credit for this shift.

Results away from Nippert were good as well. LCFC drew and Charleston, Rochester and Charlotte all lost. FCC’s only close competitor that won was second place New York Red Bulls II. The Orange and Blue remain in third place 4 points behind leaders Louisville with a game in hand. See the full USL standings here.

Check back with Orange and Blue Press later this week as we lead up to Canada Part Deux, Toronto FC II, on Saturday the 18th.

FC Cincinnati 2 – FC Montréal 1

FC Cincinnati defeated FC Montréal 2-1 in front of a crowd of 14,267 at Nippert stadium Saturday evening.

Match Recaps:
FC Cincinnati Official: https://t.co/1ul3CJDT5U
Cincinnati Soccer Talk: https://t.co/uO7QCewplL
Enquirer: https://t.co/VP6AVyZfaE
FC Montréal: https://t.co/A67c2aWPWR

Check back with Orange and Blue press this week for match notes, color commentary and statistics.

Also be sure to follow us on Twitter @orangebluepress and like our Facebook page for regular updates.