The city of Cincinnati is certainly amped up for FC Cincinnati’s inaugural home contest as a Major League soccer team, and judging by the effort in Thursday’s practice, the players are excited as well.
The Orange and Blue opened up with a 4-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC before rebounding with a draw against Atlanta United FC.
A traditionally tough place to play, Cincinnati is home to the raucous supporter group The Bailey, which gets to showcase itself in what will likely be a sellout when FCC hosts the Portland Timbers Sunday at 5 PM ET.
“We are excited to play at home,” FCC coach Alan Koch said. “We are excited to play in front of our fans.”
Koch did temper the home advantage, adding, “The game is 11 v 11 whether you play home or away, but we have told the players they’re not expected to be easy just because you are playing at home.”
Playing at all levels, FCC has a record of 33-9-16 at Nippert Stadium, their temporary home while a new facility is completed. The stadium boasts a capacity of 32,500 and is near a sellout as of Thursday.
Koch liked the way his squad bounced back from a rough opener to earn a point at Atlanta FC.
“Well, you hope in an ideal world that the progression will just be systematic and just happen every single week,” Koch said. “We don't live in a utopian world obviously so between that first week where it was very difficult in Seattle I think we responded and came together as a group and showed substantial growth. The hope is to show that growth every single week but the realist in me knows that is impossible.”
- What: FCC (0-1-1) vs. Portland Timbers (0-1-1)
- When: Sunday, March 17, 5 PM ET
- Where: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
- TV: Fox Sports 1
FCC Players to Watch
Fanendo Adi and Alvas Powell: Both are facing their former team for the first time. Adi scored 54 goals and notched 14 assists in 104 starts for Portland. Powell had six goals and 10 assists in 123 appearances for the Timbers.