My Story: How a man living in England became an FC Cincinnati superfan

How The Orange and Blue Buzz Crossed The Atlantic

It's July 2016, and Crystal Palace FC visits the Nippert Stadium. It’s a huge game for the Queen City, as an English Premier League side plays a pre-season friendly against a newly formed team, barely a year old on their sold out home turf.

The established London club comes out on top, but it’s by no means a walkover for the Eagles, as the Orange and Blue lose just 2-0. But what’s even crazier is that this match outdrew every single MLS crowd that weekend, with over 35,000 people filling the Nippert. Days after the match, an FC Cincinnati UK Twitter account had been set up, and numerous tweets had circulated crediting the city of Cincinnati for putting on a show.

This was to be the start of my FC Cincy love affair, as I will now explain.

I was delighted when a quick peruse of YouTube for a late night binge guided me towards “FC Cincinnati vs Crystal Palace.” I knew nothing of Cincinnati, but I quickly saw the orange and blue jerseys and I thought, “they’re awesome!” The match commentator explained how Cincinnati was a new club and the crowd was unprecedented for a USL side.

As a lover of all things hipster, cool stadiums and rightly colored kits, FCC were ticking all the boxes. For the next few months, with the USL season well underway, I continued watching almost every game on YouTube until I fell asleep. These 1 am kick off times in the UK are difficult to stay awake for, but for the few I managed to watch all the way through, I was usually rewarded with something, be it a screamer from Andrew Wiedeman or a six-yard header for the prolific Djiby Fall – a man who has found his place in the Queen City after spells in Russia, Kazakstan and Norway to Denmark, Belgium, and Germany.

Through the powers of social media, I made friends with Charlie Hatch – an FC Cincy writer for the Enquirer, and we soon got chatting about all things orange and blue. When Charlie took a vacation around Europe, it was only right that we met up when he eventually found himself in London. Taking in a non-league game at Sutton United, he surprised me with a Cincinnati scarf emblazoned with the words “MLS 2 Cincy,” and believe me when I say it might just happen if all goes to plan.

So, games easy to watch online, a pal I can chat to about them, and now I’ve got a scarf. Fair to say, FC Cincinnati is a club I can definitely get on board with. That is my story, and now I am one of the biggest FC Cincinnati fans on this side of the pond.

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