All this talk about Futbol Club Cincinnati’s upcoming playoff run this autumn has plenty of supporters on edge and excited, and justifiably so.
By the time FC Cincinnati opens the USL Cup playoffs Oct. 20, it will have been more than two years since the club hosted a first-round playoff match.
Suffice it to say there’s plenty of pent-up energy that’s going to be released during that first-round matchup at Nippert Stadium.
And that got us thinking over here at Cincinnati.com. The club’s absorbed many new and intrigued fans since the Oct. 2, 2016 playoff loss, and they’re probably interested in what it was like when the club reached the playoffs convincingly back during its infancy.
Sixth-seeded Charleston Battery came from behind to knock third-seeded FC Cincinnati out. The final score was 2-1.
A United Soccer League single-match playoff record crowd of 30,187 attended the match at Nippert Stadium.
Eric Stevenson opened the scoring for FC Cincinnati with one of the most glittering goals in club history, a lash from some-35 yards out that curled left to right off the outside of his foot into the top lefthand corner of the net in Nippert’s south end.
The goal gave FC Cincinnati one last taste of national attention as it packed up for the offseason as the goal was featured on ESPN’s Sportscenter afterward.
Game coverage from Cincinnati’s first-ever playoff match:
Great stories don’t always have happy endings. The first chapter of Futbol Club Cincinnati’s story was book-ended with a crushing, upset loss.
Sixth-seeded Charleston Battery, a team that seemed to have No. 3-seeded FC Cincinnati’s number all season, stomped out the Queen City’s soccer fairy tale with a 2-1 win Sunday at Nippert Stadium in a United Soccer League playoff match.
The game itself disappointed home fans, but FC Cincinnati’s 2016 season isn’t reducible to one loss. Club officials vowed after the playoff match to continue pushing FC Cincinnati forward.
FC Cincinnati is 0-2 all-time in the USL Cup playoffs, but that shouldn’t be construed to suggest the club can’t win in single-elimination situations.
Head coach Alan Koch has a 6-1-2 record in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play and saw the team through to the semifinal round of the competition in the 2017 iteration of the tournament.
Fans unsure of what to expect from an FC Cincinnati home playoff match should look to aspects of the 2016 loss to Charleston for a preview of the atmosphere and excitement, as well as the 2017 U.S. Open Cup run, which featured sellout crowds at Nippert Stadium and raucous scenes.