Lahoud, Konate Internationals – Africa Cup of Nations Qualification on Tragic Matchday 2

Both Mike Lahoud and Pa Konate participated in matchday 2 of African Cup of Nations qualifying on Sunday, September 9th.

Image: Ryan Meyer

Pa Konate and Mike Lahoud were absent from FC Cincinnati’s postponed match against Louisville City FC on Saturday. The pair represented two different countries, but didn’t see any playing time in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers held on Sunday.

Mike Lahoud – Sierra Leone 🇸🇱

Mike Lahoud’s Sierra Leone fell 1-0 to Ethiopia at Hawassa International Stadium on Sunday. A 35th minute penalty kick by Getaneh Kebede gave Ethiopia the victory. Mike Lahoud was in the 18-man squad, but did not appear in the contest. In a shock result in the same group, African powerhouse Ghana fell to a shorthanded Kenya on Saturday. All four teams in Group F have 3 points after two matches, with Ghana leading the way on goal difference. Sierra Leone faces Ghana next on October 10th in Ghana.

Pa Konate – Guinea 🇬🇳

Pa Konate traveled but did not make the 18-man squad for Guinea. However, his new international side earned a 1-0 victory over the Central African Republic. Partizan Belgrade striker Seydouba Soumah scored the winner in the 65th minute. It was Konate’s first match for his father’s nation after playing his youth career and three friendlies for Sweden, where he was born. Guinea now leads Group H with 6 points. Their next match is at home against Rwanda on October 10th. That match falls between FC Cincinnati’s last two games of the season against Pittsburgh and Nashville SC. Konate shared the following scenes of his experience after the match.

Tragedy in Madagascar

A tragic situation in Madagascar overshadowed qualifying on matchday 2. One person was confirmed dead with at least 37 others injured in a stampede before the qualifier between Madagascar & Senegal in Antananarivo.

The finals of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations will be held in June 2019 in Cameroon. Qualification for the tournament extends over 6 match days held between June of 2017 to March of 2019. The current set of fixtures represents matchday 2 of the qualification process. If these two players continue to be selected at the international level, they will play again in October and November of 2018, and March of 2019.

While it’s certainly a great honor for these players to represent their teams in an international competition, it must to be disappointing to travel that distance and not see any playing time. Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s 2018 season.


Audio: Back to Canada – Opportunity to Build on Recent Performance

Richie Ryan shares his thoughts on the club he captained in 2015 and Alan Koch talks preparations and injuries ahead of the match with Ottawa Fury FC.

20180421-JRC-CIN v PIT-7.jpg
Image: Joe Craven

Orange & Blue Press checked in with Richie Ryan and Alan Koch at FC Cincinnati’s training session on Thursday. It was their third and final session of the week following an exciting second-half comeback draw versus the Riverhounds last Saturday at Nippert.

Richie Ryan


20180421-JRC-CIN v PIT-43
Richie Ryan vs Pittsburgh / Image: Joe Craven

Richie is one of five FC Cincinnati players to log every minute (450) of the 2018 USL season so far. As highlighted by Orange & Blue Press recently, Ryan’s metronome-style distribution leads the team in passes (327), passing accuracy (86.2%), passes per 90 minutes (65.4) and passing percentage in the opponents’ half (82.9%).

In the audio below, Richie talks about his two years with Ottawa Fury FC in 2014-2015 and his thoughts on returning to play at TD Place Stadium. He states,”In the five games we’ve shown growth as a squad of players and I think the second half especially against Pittsburgh we showed a lot of positive signs.” He also provides his thoughts about the healthy competition within the team and having Mike (Lahoud) as an FCC teammate (2:17).

Alan Koch

We also spoke to Alan Koch, who is excited to go back to Canada. “I’m a Canadian citizen, so it’s always fun to go back and play against Canadian teams.” He added, “We want to build on our second-half performance against Pittsburgh”. In addition, FCC’s coach shared his thoughts on the recent adjustments to the squad’s shape, the upcoming fixture load and player depth, Michael Lahoud’s progress,  and provides a quick injury report (3:03).

For all the particulars of Saturday’s match away to Fury FC, be sure to check out our Match Program preview.

Match Program: FC Cincinnati at Ottawa Fury FC

Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for our coverage of the Fury FC match on Saturday.

20180421-JRC-CIN v PIT-7

FC Cincinnati Links in Review – April 24

Our Links in Review segment takes a look at the past week and some of the best FC Cincinnati related content produced by various outlets.


In this segment, we highlight our feature article of the week and take a look at some of the best FC Cincinnati related content produced by other outlets. It’s a way to recap the week’s events and share content that we think is worth your attention.


Orange & Blue Press – Stephen Buckridge: FC Cincinnati 2 – 2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Deeper Cuts

In our latest fixture the Orange & Blue fought back twice to draw against a good Pittsburgh Riverhounds side. This article takes a deeper look at the positives and negatives of the match and how the formation and tactical adjustments impacted the result.

Cincinnati Enquirer – Pat Brennan: FC Cincinnati’s MLS expansion bid in a good place. Enjoy the club for what it is today.

It’s no secret that FC Cincinnati is now the clear front-runner in the MLS expansion race after solidifying their building site in the West End earlier this month. In spite of this, there has been little expansion news to quell the desires of the FCC faithful. This article reminds fans of the Orange & Blue to stay calm. Brennan reiterates the strengths of the #MLS2CINCY bid, gives reasons why MLS has been so quiet and reminds us that there is still an FC Cincinnati season underway to keep us entertained.

USL – Staff: FCC Signs Experienced Midfielder Lahoud 

In perhaps the biggest news of the week following the departure of Garrett Halfhill and Josu comes the signing of former Philadelphia Union player and Miami FC captain, Michael Lahoud. The team announced Wednesday that they would be adding Lahoud to an already crowded midfield. This article does a great job of giving an in-depth look at Lahoud’s past performance and what the Sierra Leone international can bring to the 2018 FCC squad.

Cincy Soccer Talk – Rob Peirce: Fitness Tracker Aids FC Cincinnati Technical Staff

If you’ve been paying attention at FC Cincinnati matches these last few weeks you’ve probably noticed some people questioning why players have been wearing “training bras” when they warm up. Well, folks, those aren’t training bras, but rather intricate pieces of training equipment that are used to track a player’s physical performance. This CST piece delves into the importance of this equipment as well as an interview with the man in charge of this data, coach Austin Berry.

WCPO – Breanna Molloy: Devout sports fan ready to add FC Cincinnati van to his fleet … he’s just waiting on MLS bid

We have all seen FC Cincinnati license plates and stickers on cars, but this fan takes things to a whole other level. Cincinnati sports fan Kenny Simpson is the owner of customized vehicles for every Cincinnati professional sports team. This amusing article is an interview with this fan and what it will take for him to add an Orange & Blue van to his collection.

ICYMI on Twitter: Bob Williams

There is one thing that FC Cincinnati does better than everyone else in the USL. Check out how our crowd stacked up this Saturday to teams across the nation.

Did you read something that’s a little different and worthy of a shout out? Let us know and stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for all your FC Cincinnati coverage.


Audio: Nazmi “Feeling Sharp” Ahead of Pittsburgh

Nazmi Albadawi shares his thoughts on his first start and Alan Koch touches based on Bob Lilley’s Pittsburgh side, and MLS expansion as a distraction.

Image: Ryan Meyer

Orange and Blue Press checked in with Nazmi Albadawi and Alan Koch at FC Cincinnati’s training session on Thursday. It was their third session of the week following a hard-earned draw against Bethlehem Steel FC last Sunday.

In the game against Bethlehem, Albadawi made his first start of the 2018 season and scored a goal in the 71st minute to level the match.

In the audio below, hear Naz’s thoughts on his first start, his preseason injury, and Michael Lahoud joining the FC Cincinnati midfield (1:51).

We then spoke to Alan Koch about what his staff was looking for when they signed Michael Lahoud. Also, FCC’s coach sized-up Bob Lilley’s Pittsburgh team and gave us his take on the recent MLS expansion chatter and its potential impact on the team (3:01).

For all the particulars of tomorrow’s match at Nippert, be sure to check out our Match Program preview.

Match Program: FC Cincinnati vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Stay tuned to Orange and Blue Press for our coverage of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds match on Saturday.