FC Cincinnati could make USL history against Rhinos
One of FC Cincinnati's most obvious achievements is the constant record-breaking attendance at their current home in Nippert Stadium. From a low in their inaugural season of 11,278 to a high of 24,376, FCC has seen a terrific stream of consistent fans come to Nippert. Even when FC Cincinnati didn't have the expected turnout, they still managed to just about meet Sacramento Republic FC's highest attendance (11,569).
Fast forward to 2017. Where attendance has yet to be under 15k, including producing 30k for Columbus Crew and 32,287 against Chicago Fire. Where both of those MLS teams average out at 14k for Columbus and 16k for Chicago in their respective homes. Cincinnati? So far, we've gone from 17k average in 2016 to 19k. Should Saturday's game against the Rochester Rhinos exceed 22,810 (currently above 20k tickets sold at the time of writing), FCC will obtain a 20k average for the season. The first time a USL team has ever done this. To put this into MLS perspectives, 20k would put us just above the powerhouse that is the New York Red Bulls. As well as making us the 11th highest average attendance in MLS rankings.
With the announcement of 20k tix sold for tomorrow, @fccincinnati needs 22,810 to be 1st @USL club ever w/ 20,000 average attendance. pic.twitter.com/yXQO45x1L5— Tom Gelehrter (@Tommy_G) July 28, 2017
FC Cincinnati's attendance is something extraordinary. An attendance high of 35,000 and a near 20k average (we can just call it 20k now, right?). For a team who lead with the 2016 MVP of the USL in its first year to a team rapidly climbing the list for that MLS expansion bid, only good should be expected from this team moving forward.
This is not to mention we could face a sellout crowd soon. FC Cincinnati has the opportunity to be the first non-MLS team to enter the semi-finals in the U.S. Open Cup since 2011. Not only that, but Nippert would host the semifinal match against New York Red Bulls with a win on Tuesday, August 2 in Miami. Going a step further, with a San Jose win against Kansas City, FC Cincinnati would actually host the finals at Nippert on September 20th.
While it remains a bit of an upward climb, what's not to say FC Cincinnati's underdog status prevails again in Miami and then goes on to defeat the Red Bulls (whom, by the way, are lower in the MLS standings than both the Chicago Fire & Columbus Crew) and host the Finals against San Jose. This, of course, would also require the favored Kansas City to be bested by San Jose, but hey, if FC Cincinnati can upset two MLS teams, why can't San Jose beat one in their own league team?
Let's just pray for luck to be on our side, and in the mean time, focus on packing out Nippert!