Match Preview: FC Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia Union

After sealing an impressive away win against the New England Revolution last weekend, the Orange and Blue come back home to square off against Philadelphia Union, in what could be a record-breaking match for FCC.

 If Cincinnati wins this match, they would beat the Seattle Sounders’ 2009 inaugural season record of nine points in five games. This would be the team's third straight victory. Since FCC’s internationals have returned from a successful stint of games, the squad will be at full strength to take a stab at yet another record.

Allan Koch will probably stick with the fluid 4-4-2/4-2-3-1 formation that worked well against Atlanta Untied and the Revolution. The coach has a tough choice between resting the two Dominican internationals, Allan Cruz and Kendall Waston, and putting on Saief and Garza who played spectacularly against New England.

Koch will probably want to get the Dominican duo back into the swing of things, so expect them in the starting XI. However, don’t be surprised to see Garza and Saief come off the bench for some extra firepower. Darren Mattocks will most likely be returning to the striker spot and goal of the week-winner Kekuta Manneh will shift into his natural position on the wing.

Spencer Richey will undoubtedly start in goal this weekend seeing that Tyton is still recovering form a hamstring injury.

The Union will be a staunch opponent for the Orange and Blue.

They struggled in the opening of the season with back to back losses to Toronto and Kansas City but managed a tie against United and a 3-0 shut out of Columbus. Philadelphia have stars on both sides of the pitch in Marco Fabian and Andre Blake.

Fabian will return after a single game suspension and, as writer says, “has something to prove.”

The Mexican international is a seasoned goal scorer with an eye for creating space. FCC will have to rely again on Richey’s heroics between the sticks. Andre Blake is also a known entity in the league, having won keeper of the year in 2016. Blake has been the backbone for both the Union and the Reggae Boyz.

He will be the toughest keeper FCC has faced so far, but the Orange and Blue’s offense has been tested against other seasoned keepers. If FCC can continue the creativity of last week, we can expect big plays by the likes of Manneh and Mattocks.

As we saw against the Revolution and Timbers, a goalkeeper can only do so much against a team the reinvents their attack on ever drive down the pitch.

Score prediction:
FCC 2: Philadelphia 1