Match Program: FC Cincinnati vs Louisville City FC

Orange and Blue Press’ match program for FC Cincinnati vs Louisville City offers images, infographics, and fast facts to get you ready for the Dirty River Derby.

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Multiple players tied with 1 goal and 1 assist  — Design: CSDIV / Photos: Ryan Meyer (scarves), Joe Schmuck (FCC players)

Welcome to Dirty River Derby week!

If we needed any extra ammunition to this entertaining rivalry, FC Cincinnati and Louisville City FC come into Saturday’s contest at Nippert Stadium with identical perfect records, two wins and two clean sheets each. The “boys in purple” edge out FCC in the Eastern Conference standings by goals scored, three to two. The difference though is that the Orange and Blue have played both matches away. In contrast, LCFC hasn’t left their cozy baseball field yet.

Head-to-head in USL regular season play, the two teams are all square to date – 2 wins, 2 draws, and 2 losses (1-1-1 at home). Additionally, the Orange and Blue secured the 1-0 U.S. Open Cup victory over LCFC last May. FC Cincinnati will be looking to rebound from last August’s 0-5 drubbing at Slugger Field when Sam de Wit was sent off in the 36th minute.

LouCity will be arriving with extra swagger after winning the USL Cup in 2017 and defeating a strong Tampa Bay Rowdies squad 1-0 last Saturday. Expect to see Coach James O’Connor deploy his preferred 3-4-2-1 formation and attempt to control the midfield and run of play from box-to-box. Key Louisville City signings this offseason include Jamaican international/former Columbus Crew midfielder Shaun Francis and former FCC defender Pat McMahon (28 career appearances for the Orange & Blue).

Fast Facts

A few tidbits to charge your inner fandom.

  • FC Cincinnati currently sits last in the USL in shots taken with only 17 over their first two matches. However, their efficient scoring conversion rate of 18% places them in the league’s top ten in this more significant statistic.
  • Kenney Walker is day-to-day after suffering a concussion against Indy. It’s likely you’ll see a different FCC starting XI for the first time this season. Will Seymore has proven his worth to earn a start alongside Richie Ryan. Look for Garret Halfhill to make his first appearance on the substitutes bench. All other FCC players (minus Tyler Gibson) should be available for selection.
  • Former Orange and Blue, and local Cincinnati United Premier (CUP) product, Luke Spencer, looks to extend his hot play against FCC. He led the Louisville City attack last season with 11 goals and 5 assists in all competitions. As a true #9, Spencer tallied a goal and two assists the last time these two sides met.
  • SHOTS FIRED – 70% of LCFC’s shots this season have come from inside the 18-yard box. FCC’s “Wall of Defense” will need to stand tall and continue to hold their opponent’s shots to less than 50% from this dangerous proximity.
  • ATTENDANCE Yes, when at home we’re always looking to break another USL attendance record. Look for the Orange and Blue faithful to surpass the season home opener mark of 23,144 set last April versus Saint Louis FC.

What is your attendance prediction for Saturday’s titanic match? Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more coverage leading up to Saturday’s Dirty River Derby.

Special thanks to CSDIV for the graphics and special edition cover for this match program. More on the inspiration for this design here.

Why FC Cincinnati Fans Should Watch the USL Eastern Conference Final

FC Cincinnati’s season came to an abrupt end in October, but there’s more than one good reason to tune into this Saturday’s Eastern Conference final.

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Photo credit Ryan Meyer (left) and Joe Craven (right)

It’s been almost two weeks since FC Cincinnati made their early exit from the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs. While it was an abrupt end for the Orange and Blue faithful, the football keeps going until a USL Champion is crowned. In the East, Louisville City FC faces New York Red Bulls II in the Conference Final this Saturday. With FCC’s roster already dismantled and coach Koch traveling the globe looking for new talent, you might ask yourself, “Why should I care?”

Here are a handful of good reasons to tune in.

An Upset Could Be in the Cards

New York Red Bulls II and Louisville City FC have met six times since 2015 in USL regular-season league play, and the home team has won only 50% of the time. While Louisville City won both regular-season contests this year, Red Bulls II are finding form at the right time and will prove a tougher opponent on their second trip to Slugger Field in 2017. The Baby Bulls toppled #2 seed Charleston and #3 seed Tampa Bay in the previous two rounds. There’s no reason why they can’t knock off #1 Louisville, especially if they can keep LCFC’s offense under wraps. Baby Bulls goalkeeper Evan Louro had a man-of-the-match performance last weekend against Tampa Bay. If he can keep his team in this game, the Baby Bulls offense is capable of doing damage.

Queen City Talent

Two Cincinnati natives feature for Louisville City FC and have assembled impressive seasons for our Southern rival. LaSalle High School and Cincinnati Dutch Lions product Kyle Smith (#24) is a right-sided defender for LCFC. He is third on their roster in minutes played and has logged four goals and three assists this season. He’s a part of a defense that accumulated 13 clean sheets, the second highest total in USL in 2017. The second Cincinnati native is a name everyone will recognize. Luke Spencer (#12) is a Winton Woods and Xavier University product that spent the 2016 season on John Harkes’ FC Cincinnati roster. Although he struggled to break into the first team at home, he’s thrived in Louisville. He’s their leading goalscorer with 11 goals and has four assists despite starting only 17 matches.

Goals

This conference final pits the two teams tied for #2 in USL goalscoring against each other. Each team bagged 63 goals in 2017 and are surpassed only by Reno 1868 in total goals. New York and Louisville have scored 11 goals combined in four playoff games. To add to that, New York’s Stefano Bonomo leads the USL in playoff goals with 3 total so far. Louisville City has been able to shut out their past two playoff opponents at Slugger Field, but New York will pose a much bigger offensive threat than either Rochester or Steel FC.

Standard Bearers

While Cincinnati has led at the turnstiles in their first two years, these two teams have been the standard bearers from a footballing perspective in the Eastern Conference. These teams finished #1 and #2 in the East ahead of FC Cincinnati in 2016. Furthermore, Saturday’s contest is a rematch of the 2016 Conference Final, a match where New York edged Louisville City on penalties at Red Bull Arena. While many point to an increase in the strength of USL in 2017, these two teams have managed to stay on top despite losing key pieces of their roster last offseason. As Alan Koch and FC Cincinnati look to revamp and rebuild their roster, these are the two teams they will take aim at in 2018 with the intention of getting to the top of the heap in the Eastern Conference.

Tebbetts on Fire 🔥🔥🔥

Orange and Blue Press’ Geoff Tebbetts has been tracking the Eastern Conference playoffs closely and is predicting the outcomes of each round. He’s called the outcome of each and every match correctly so far. So who does he have winning Saturday’s match and advancing to the USL final? Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for his prediction tomorrow.

The Eastern Conference final will be played at 7:30pm on Saturday, November 4th at Slugger Field in Louisville and will be streamed live on USL’s Youtube Channel.

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Cheat Sheet: FC Cincinnati at Louisville City FC

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

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Photo for header and information graphic courtesy Ryan Meyer Photography

FC Cincinnati pays a visit to rival Louisville City FC on Saturday for their third and final league meeting of the USL season. These teams last met less than a month ago on July 15th in Kentucky. The Orange and Blue left Slugger Field with 3-2 victory in that match, in front of over 1,000 traveling supporters. Danni König’s 77th minute strike proved to be the game winner.

These sides also met for a 1-1 stalemate at Nippert back in April. Former Louisville City captain Aodhan Quinn scored a second half goal to rescue a draw for Alan Koch’s side.

Louisville City currently sits in fourth place on 35 points after 19 matches played. FC Cincinnati slots in two places behind them in sixth, but Alan Koch’s side has played three more games than their Southern foe. Louisville is recovering from a bad defeat in North Carolina. They were toppled 3-1 by the impressive Charlotte Independence at Mecklenburg County Sportsplex.

FC Cincinnati’s lineup will likely be influenced by next Tuesday’s US Open Cup semifinal matchup against the New York Red Bulls. Djiby Fall should feature at forward on Saturday given the fact that he is suspended for next week’s cup semifinal. Aodhan Quinn will miss the match against his old club. He is suspended due to yellow card accumulation.

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

  • Local boy and former FC Cincinnati striker Luke Spencer is now Louisville City’s joint top scorer after netting two goals in the past three matches.
  • FC Cincinnati undoubtedly has two bona fide goal-scorers. Danni König now has 8 goals on the season, and while König doesn’t generate as many shots as Djiby, his conversion rate (goals/shots) of 42% is almost 20% higher than Djiby’s. He’s scored 8 goals on just 19 total shots.
  • If you ignore FC Cincinnati’s recent goal-fest at Slugger Field, Louisville City has only conceded 3 total goals in their other 7 home games this season, which is a 0.43 Goals Against Average (GAA). It makes FC Cincinnati’s July victory look even more impressive.
  • Louisville City and FC Cincinnati both take a lot of shots. At 291 and 273 respectively, they rank third and fourth in the Eastern Conference in total shots. They both have the same middling conversion rate of 14% however, which means it takes them both a lot of shots to generate a goal.

Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for more coverage of Saturday’s Dirty River Derby.

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