Location: Nippert Stadium
Time: 5:00 PM EST
Recent Result: FCC 0 - 0 CHI
Position: 12th in the East
Welp. The day is finally here. It is another game day but it is one filled with less optimism. The last 5 games have been must-win games and yet the fans have been met with 2 points in those 5 games. We have failed in our bid for the playoffs and today is probably the day it is mathematically official. Whether it be an unlikely draw or loss to Cincinnati, a win against Atlanta for Montreal, or a draw against NYCFC for New England. We need every single result over the last 2 weeks if we want to sneak into the playoffs, something that just isn't going to happen. We failed and today is most likely going to be the day where we will look back and regret some of our results and performances, especially in the last 15 minutes of games.
Negativity aside, we should win this game. Cincinnati are not a good team and if we want to be a team in the playoffs next year, we need to be beating teams like Cincinnati with ease. Their best offensive player, Ledesma, has 6 goals and 3 assists. That just isn't good enough. Let's look at the 3 keys to today's game.
I don't care how, get the ball in their net once. I don't care if we lose by 10, as long as we score, I'm happy. Some may say that's crazy but there is a reasoning behind this. FC Cincinnati has conceded the magic number of 74 goals this season, which is the same number that we conceded last season. That number is also equal to the most goals conceded in a season by an MLS club. If we score today, we pass on that record to FC Cincinnati and we no longer have to bear that unwanted record. Plus, how poetic is it that we can set our wrongdoing right by scoring the record-breaking goal. We better do it, that's all I'm saying.
2. Press High
FC Cincinnati aren't a good team at possessing the ball. They would rather kick the ball long and hope to win the knockdown. We need to keep them in their half and really stamp our authority on this game. By doing so, we give them no outlet and basically keep the danger away from our goal by attacking theirs.
3. Attack the Wings
We need to attack the fullbacks and get in behind them. Once we do that, we need to flash in crosses across the face of goal. By doing so, we take their tall center backs out of the equation and force them to move their feet to stop the ball rather than win a header over a smaller player such as Dwyer.
As I was typing out my predicted lineup, the real lineup came out. Moutinho returns and the lineup is our full-strength lineup. This should be a good performance today.
Prediction: 2-0 Win
As I said earlier, FCC is not a good team and we should take full advantage of that. This is a perfect opportunity for JOC to try out some attacking tactics that worked for him in USL with Louisville because he was an attacking-minded coach there. Let's hope he gets the job done here today and NYCFC and ATL help us out.
'Til next time, this has been Gavin Rushnell and #VamosOrlando.