Is the 5-3-2 the way of the future for FC Cincinnati?
By now, most Cincinnatian's know that FC Cincinnati beat their rival MLS team, the Columbus Crew, last Wednesday. Djiby Fall, FCC's main scorer, found the back of the net in the 64th minute. It was an exhilarating performance from our hometown USL team.
Before the game even started, head coach Alan Koch set the team up for success in a powerful yet defensive lineup. Koch started FCC in a 5-3-2. The two strikers up top were the heading specialist Danny Konig and the beloved Djiby Fall.
Koch usually started Jimmy McLaughlin and Dacres in a 4-3-3 to create chances for the striker in the middle, but after some disappointing one-goal games, he decided to shake things up. It worked. Koch knew what was at stake. Usually, he might also go to the 4-3-3 to give his strikers a rest since games are often only a few days apart.
Bringing all the guns proved to pay off even though the Crew still managed to get 19 shots off. It makes me wonder if Koch will start using this lineup in "must-win" situations like against the Chicago Fire in the round of 16 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The team still lost possession 40% to 60%, but that is almost expected since they were playing a playoff hopeful MLS club.
FCC will get USL-leading Charleston on Saturday, and I would expect Koch to resort back to his 4-3-3. Understanding that the 5-3-2 works will be great for going against stronger opponents in the future though.
In my opinion, the 4-3-3 should be used against equal or lesser opponents while the 5-3-2 creates a stronger defensive mindset. It was beautifully executed against the Crew.
(Photo courtesy of @yikesitsmariah/Twitter)