Dirty River Derby Could Be The Spark That Gives New Life To FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati fans would never admit it, but Louisville City FC might be just the catalyst to spark the Orange and Blue from its current tailspin. 

The two squads were bitter rivals in the USL and reunite Wednesday at Nippert Stadium in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. 

While FCC made a name for itself with success in past Open Cup play, interim coach Yoann Damet said the squad is very aware of the challenge Louisville City represents.

“Yes, it's a good challenge,” Damet said. “It is good for the fans. It is good for the club, too. Everybodys looking forward to it.”

FCC has fired a head coach, named a new general manager, and watched a promising start disappear while falling to 3-11-2, and now the team faces a Louisville City squad which continues its dominant ways. 

Back-to-back USL Cup champions, Louisville City is 7-4-3, just five points behind current conference leader Tampa Bay. 

While FCC fans have wondered when the Orange and Blue will turn it around, maybe a home game against a hated rival which sits only 100 miles away will change the fortunes. 

“Yes, we are still working on the plan but we obviously take this game very seriously,” Damet said when asked about improvement while still focusing on this game. “We want to give them our best shot. We want to make sure we are focused on us, how we want to play. So we will see what the plan is depending on what players that are going to play.”

Fans on both sides remember the historic clashes from 2016-18 in the River Cities Cup between the two, a rivalry that became so heated it was renamed the Dirty River Derby.

The two teams met 10 times over a three-year period, with each winning four times. 

FCC fans still defend Djiby Fall after his biting incident in 2017; he was still sitting a six-game suspension from league play when his goal proved to the game-winner in the U.S. Open Cup a month later. 

In the middle of the MLS international break, FCC is also dealing with a lackluster 5-2 losing effort at FC New York City in the last game. 

FCC has not had a full squad for practice leading up to the Louisville City game but Damet said his squad will be ready. 

“For now we are dealing with injuries and the group is pretty light with the call ups,” Damet said. “We are dealing with a small group for now and like I said we are going to put the best group together.”

As a former USL team, FCC had to play its way in but now as an MLS expansion squad, FCC is automatically advanced to the fourth round. 

Damet is hoping some of the old magic can be rekindled for FCC this year.

“Yes, of course, it is new competition and we want to use it to bring some freshness back to the group,” Damet said. “In this competition anything can happen. You can go far like we did with the run we made two years ago. So it is a good challenge for the group. It is fresh motivation and we are looking forward to playing the game.”

Cincy defender Forest Lasso is looking forward to the match and knows just how big the occasion is for the two clubs and their fan bases.

“It’s huge,” Lasso said concerning the rivalry. “Coming from a previous club (Charleston Battery), where Louisville knocked us out of the playoffs my first two years, coming here, I hated them. Once I got to Cincinnati, you could immediately tell the rivalry it had regionally: the rivalry it had with the fans between the cities and especially with the players.”

Louisville City's most recent outing was a 2-1 win over Loudon United on Saturday, their second consecutive win following a 4-1 demolition of the Charleston Battery.

Louisville coach John Hackworth is looking forward to the chance to show their mettle against an MLS side and acknowledges the preparation has special.

"This week is definitely different," Louisville coach John Hackworth said. "The fact that we're playing Cincinnati I think is the biggest factor, but also now the fact that they've gone up to the MLS and we have the opportunity to prove ourselves against a team that's in the highest league. I know for our club, for our fan base, for the players, that's an opportunity that we are going to cherish."

What: U.S. OPEN CUP, 4th round

Teams: FCC vs Louisville City

Where: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati OH

When: 6:30 PM CT, Wednesday, June 12


Wesley Davidson also contributed to this piece.

Dwight Yorke Shined For Trinidad & Tobago And Manchester United

Sometimes all it takes is an opportunity.

Red Bulls Take Drama-Filled Atlantic Cup Game Against D.C. United

Drama was not in short supply on Wednesday night at Audi Field in Washington, D.C., as the New York Red Bulls beat D.C. United 2-1 to claim the first leg of the 2019 Atlantic Cup. Both sides finished the game with 10 men, as Wayne Rooney was sent off for violent conduct in the first half, followed by the visitor's Amro Tarek in first-half stoppage time.

D.C. United Host Red Bulls With Rivalry Pride & Table Position At Stake

Olsen Recounts Hat-Trick Against NY

It's been nearly a year since they last faced each other, but D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls kick off the MLS Heineken Rivalry Week on Wednesday night when the two sides meet at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. 

Andres Guardado, Nearing Mexico's Cap Record, Is Already A Concacaf Legend

The generation of Mexican players who are just on the cusp of nearing the end of their international careers has been some of the best ever to suit up for El Tri. Javier Hernandez is the country's all-time leading goal scorer, while Guillermo Ochoa is one of the best-ever keepers in the history of Concacaf. Even Carlos Vela, who isn't quite as beloved by fans of the national team, has had a stellar club career over in Europe and in MLS with Los Angeles FC.

Berhalter With A Decision To Make, Canada's Vicious Attack & A Growing Cuba


Group A of the inaugural Concacaf Nations League offers no shortage of intriguing storylines. 

D.C. United Can't Overcome Reyna's First Half Goal, Fall 1-0 To 'Caps

With Wayne Rooney back in the lineup, D.C. United could not turn a plethora of shots into a goal on Saturday night, falling 1-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place. Yordy Reyna scored the game's only goal in the 18th minute, as United failed to pick up their first two-game winning streak since May. The loss dropped the Black-and-Red down into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, just one point ahead of rivals the New York Red Bulls, who come to town on Wednesday.

D.C. United Begin Busy Week With Visit To Face Vancouver Whitecaps

The New Look D.C. United

After scraping together a much-needed 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy on Sunday, D.C. United will look to make it two wins in a row tonight when they travel to Canada to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Black-and-Red haven't won two games in a row since May 4 and May 12, when they took down the Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City in back-to-back games at Audi Field. The win over LA last weekend catapulted United back into third place in the Eastern Conference, despite just three wins in their past 14 games.

Concacaf Legends: Honduras' Left Back For Over A Decade, Emilio Izaguirre

Sometimes, it's hard to go back home. 

Clint Dempsey Forged A Career & Persona Unlike Any Other US International

Small-town Texan. Bass fisherman. Rapper. Premier League star. World Cup hero.

League C Brings Caribbean Nations Trying To Climb The Concacaf Ladder


The inaugural Concacaf Nation kicks off in less than a month and in League C — the lowest tier of the competition — are 13 nations aiming to grow and gain promotion to League B in the next edition. The tournament is the first of its kind involving all 41 teams in the region and is a welcomed opportunity for many of the participants to convene and take part in more competitive matches than ever before, seven of which FIFA President Gianni Infantino recently visited to assess the development of the sport in the Caribbean.