Regardless of the outcome, FC Cincinnati has already won
After defeating the Columbus Crew in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, a game that drew 30,160 fans to Nippert Stadium, FC Cincinnati will now face the Chicago Fire.
The Fire, who are a tremendous MLS team, sits at 10-4-3 and are second in the Eastern Conference. FCC, who is a borderline-playoff USL team, sits sixth in the Eastern Conference at 5-5-5. The Fire, who laid the smackdown on Orlando City SC this past Saturday, June 24, were led by David Accam who netted a hat trick, scoring three of their four goals. FCC, who also won this past Saturday, thanked a tag team of Danny Konig and Andrew Weideman for their 2-0 victory.
Both sides, while tired, should be rested enough to put their best foot forward in this game. The game, which was not originally scheduled to be televised outside of local broadcasting, found its way into the ESPN spotlight after that incredible crowd drawn in fourth round matchup against the Crew. According to Pat Brennan from the Cincinnati Enquirer, the club is now expecting the total attendance to surpass the Crew game's 30,160. So, the team attracted another huge crowd AND they made it on ESPN, a feat that had not been done accomplished in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals.
Even USSoccer.com realized that something special in happening in Cincinnati. They wrote:
"Cincinnati, Ohio is the capital of American Soccer. Let it sink in. Say it out loud and let it roll around your mind. For the moment at least, all eyes are on this city where the Licking and Ohio rivers meet, known more for a devotion to bats, mitts, and the oval kind of football. 'There’s a perfect storm going on here,' midfielder Andrew Wiedeman told ussoccer.com about his second-tier FC Cincinnati, on a run to the Round of 16 of the 2017 U.S. Open Cup that is drawing huge crowds to a downtown dead as doornails not long ago."
From the match to the Bailey to the Bailey itself, something special is taking place in Cincinnati, and it has all eyes watching. While a win would be nice, FCC has already conquered the night regardless.