Playoff Preview: FC Cincinnati heads to Florida to battle Tampa Bay
FC Cincinnati did it! They managed to find their way into the postseason.
Although they have the sixth spot, the club was just a loss away from complete elimination, which would be the first in the club's short history. Just being in the playoffs will not be good enough for the Orange & Blue in their second straight trip to the playoffs. Last season, during the club's inaugural year, they entered the playoffs as the third seed. Ironically, they will be playing the third seed this time around. FCC lost 2-1 in a rough battle with Charleston last season which was actually played at Nippert Stadium.
This season, they will be taking on the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium, the home of the Rowdies. FCC played the Rowdies twice during the regular season, once at home and once away. They drew the matchup at home while losing 2-0 when the visited Tampa Bay during July. Their away game was about 10 days after the thrilling victory over the Chicago Fire so their priorities might have been construed.
This time around, the club is healthy. The club is focused, but the only concern FCC fans should have is that this club is not good on the road. They were much better this season in front of their 20k+ fans at Nippert. Healthy or not, they have had their struggles away from Nippert.
In FCC's season finale, Alan Koch, the head coach for FC Cincinnati, decided to go with two strikers up top. If I were to guess, I would assume Koch will go back to this power lineup. There was little experiment in this lineup. He went with Djiby and Konig, his two faithful scorers up top. Then he went with his trusted Bone-Walker midfield and had McLaughlin and Weideman to show speed on the outside of the midfield.
Then he went with Hoyte, Berry, Delbridge, and Polak as the backline, and obviously, Hildebrandt defending the goal. This line was fantastic. The defense did give up three goals to a pitiful Toronto side, but they did manage to show their resilience and fight back to win 4-3.
That lineup should be what we see moving forward. Saturday will be a special game. And, if you are looking to go out, there will be several places to see this game throughout the neighborhood.
When: Saturday, October 21 at 7:30
Where: Al Lang Stadium