Preseason Preview: FCC vs. Colorado Rapids

Leonardo Bertone and Alvas Powell participate during FC Cincinnati practice Photo by Kareem Elgazzar)
After a strong showing in their first preseason match against the Montreal Impact, FC Cincinnati face their second preseason opponent, The Colorado Rapids, on Feb. 2. This match offers the club an opportunity to field some of its draft picks. Perhaps Frankie Amaya, the number 1 draft pick from UCLA, will make his debut.

There were several positives to take away from FCC’s match against Montreal.  The second half squad showed defensive strength. Przemyslaw Tyton, made some impeccable saves against the Impact. The former La Liga player could play a similar role to Mitch Hildebrandt in the 16-17 season in terms of defensive leadership. Though, what sets Tyton apart from FCC’s former keeper is his experience in some of Europe’s toughest leagues. The Polish keeper could prove to be the spine of the Orange and Blue’s MLS defense.  

However, the Colorado Rapids will put that defensive toughness to the test. 

The Rapids boast a strong attack with two proven goal scorers in Kellyn Acosta and Kei Kamara. Kei Kamara was traded to Colorado by FCC after being picked up in the expansion draft. During his journeyman career in the states, Kamara has played for the likes of Columbus, and Vancouver, all while racking up one hundred goals in the MLS. 

The Sierra Leon international is a dual threat, with talent as both a target man and as a scavenger in the penalty box. Midfielder Kellyn Acosta will prove to be a challenge for FCC’s defense given his knack for creating great opportunities. Acosta has produced 2 goals during his short stay at Colorado. Though this may not seem impressive, Acosta is a threat in clutch situations, as his late equalizer against Columbia shows.

FCC’s attack had several moments of brilliance throughout last game. Paramount of which was Darren Mattocks making quick work of a long clearance by Forest Lasso. That doesn’t mean the rest of the attack was on the back burner. 

Adi had a goal narrowly called off that was set up by Emery Welshman. Welshman dribble around two defenders to make the cross. The product of consistent, positive play by the forwards was snuffed out by circumstance. The Rapids, however, have USMNT legend Tim Howard between the sticks for his farewell season. Experience can be an important x-factor on defense but if the pressure is constant on attack, expect FCC to slot a few in.

Where FCC struggled the most in last game was in the midfield. With Allan Cruz, an intended cornerstone, away with the Costa Rican national team, the midfield clunked through the 90 minutes against Montreal. The Orange and Blue did pull back into the game after Piatti cut a ball past Tyton in the opening 15 minutes. However, it is hard to gauge the full potential of the midfield without FCC’s two midfield draft picks, Amaya and McCabe.

So, what does all of this mean for the Orange and Blue’s match up against Colorado? 

FCC will have to find a way to bring the consistency of the attack to the midfield. The defense could use some shifting in order to find the right formula but that’s exactly what preseason is for. Despite his few appearances for Deportivo La Coruña, Tyton’s defense will only solidify as the cobwebs shake off. 

However, the Rapids’ offense has quite the bite. FCC’s attacking prowess was confirmed in their last outing, now it’s time to show that it can stay consistent.

Predicted scoreline: FCC 2-1 CR