PREVIEW: Saint Louis FC v FC Cincinnati

PREVIEW: Saint Louis FC v FC Cincinnati

Saint Louis FC: (7-10-9) 29 pts. 13th in the Western Conference (26 GP).

Form Guide: DLDLD

FC Cincinnati: (12-6-7) 43 pts. 5th in the Eastern Conference (25 GP).

Form Guide: LLDDW

Match Details: Monday, September 5th. 3:30 PM CT

Location: Nippert Stadium. Cincinnati, OH

 

Streaming: ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App

 

Preview:

 

On Monday afternoon Saint Louis FC travels to Cincinnati, Ohio in their second ever meeting with FC Cincinnati for a USL Labor Day special at 3:30 pm CT. This will be FC's first ever visit to Nippert Stadium after the Ohio club visited World Wide Technology Soccer Park in early July for the teams' first meeting of the season. Omar Cummings controversially opened the scoring inside 8 minutes after he beat Ryan Thompson at his near post even though he looked to be offside. Saint Louis FC labored through the first half and went into the breakdown 1-0. The contest was more balanced in the second half but FC Cincinnati added to their lead when substitute Eric Stevenson smashed home the rebound from Omar Cummings' long-range effort. Schillo Tshuma grabbed a late goal for STLFC, turning in a Jordan Roberts cross with 5 minutes left to force a thrilling finish. Ryan Thompson nearly equalized late into stoppage time, getting on the end of a corner as the hosts threw everyone forward but STLFC fell 2-1 in front of a crowd of 4502.

 

Saint Louis FC come into the game still looking for their first win under interim head coach Tim Leonard who took over for Dale Schilly on August 15th. Although the performances have been markedly improved, STLFC still only has a pair of draws and a loss to San Antonio FC since the coaching change. And with one win in their last eleven, Saint Louis will be looking to right the ship against Cincinnati as they hang onto hopes of sneaking into the Western Conference playoffs.

 

It's a different story for FC Cincinnati who have enjoyed an extremely successful inaugural season under head coach and former USMNT Captain John Harkes, both on and off the field. Cincy currently sits at 5th in the Eastern Conference and have already clinched a playoff spot in their first season in the USL. However, FCC will be going into Monday winless in their last four and having lost their last two games to fellow Eastern Conference playoff contenders, NYRB2 (1st in East) and Charlotte Independence (6th in East). Cincinnati will be looking to get back to winning ways in front of a big crowd at Nippert Stadium as they push for home field advantage in a top-heavy Eastern Conference.

 

3 Things to Watch For:

 
  1. FC Cincinnati's high-powered attack will likely be without former Colorado Rapids and Houston Dynamo forward Omar Cummings who came off injured in Cincinnati's game against Rochester Rhinos on August 24th and hasn't featured since. Cummings injured his knee after colliding with Rhinos' goalkeeper Tomas Gomez. The club announced that Cummings would miss "several weeks" while recovering from the injury. Cummings played an integral part in FC Cincy's 2-1 win against Saint Louis in July, scoring a goal and setting up the other in route to the win. While Cummings will be a miss, Cincinnati will still have leading goal-scorer Sean Okoli, whose 12 goals are tied for 3rd best in USL this season.
  2. Saint Louis FC will have a few absences for the trip to Cincinnati. Both Irvin Herrera and Ryan Thompson will miss their second consecutive league games while away on international duty. STLFC announced earlier in the week that Parker Maher would miss the rest of the season as a result of a groin injury he sustained against Swope Park Rangers. They join AJ Cochran, Alex Morrell and Schillo Tshuma who will all miss Monday's game through injury. There is good news, however, as loanee Jason Plumhoff has been passed as fit and Sam Fink will be eligible to play after serving his yellow card suspension.
  3. Both Saint Louis FC and FC Cincinnati come into Monday afternoon's game looking to break out of slumps. STLFC are still in search of their first win under Tim Leonard and have only won one of their last eleven. FC Cincinnati is winless in four and has dropped two straight. Both sides will be desperate to get back to winning ways as Saint Louis clings onto the hope of reaching the playoffs and Cincinnati fights to secure home-field advantage in the East.
 

Leading Scorers:

Saint Louis: Irvin Herrera (11)

FC Cincinnati:  Sean Okoli (12)

Leading Assists:

Saint Louis FC: Mike Ambersley, Richard Dixon, James Musa, Irvin Herrera (3)

FC Cincinnati: Corben Bone, Omar Cummings (5)