By: Donald Menke ~Staff Writer~
FC Cincinnati has only been in existence since Aug. 12, 2015, but it has been a very good year for the young franchise.
The club plays at Nippert Stadium and has made substantial progress since it was founded.
Currently, FC Cincy is in third place in the United Soccer League with 42 points. They are five points behind current leaders Louisville City FC and New York Red Bulls II, who each have 47.
Even though it’s only been one year, FC Cincy has managed to develop a few rivalries.
One is Louisville City FC, which has been fueled by the closeness of the clubs, both in distance, with Louisville fewer than 100 miles away, and standings, with FC Cincy one spot below Louisville.
These clubs also compete for the River Cities Cup every year. FC Cincy currently leads the series.
Another rivalry, possibly intensified by that between the Bengals and Steelers, is with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Another notable rivalry is with the Charlotte Independence, with whom they compete for the Queen City Cup.
FC Cincy also features some homegrown talent, as the roster includes two former Xavier players, forward Luke Spencer and goalkeeper Dallas Jaye.
In addition to FC Cincy, Jaye has made six appearances for Guam’s national team.
He made 14 appearances while at Xavier but has yet to make an appearance at FC Cincy. Spencer has yet to score for FC Cincy.
However, while at Xavier, Spencer scored 22 goals in 70 appearances throughout his fouryear career.
He did well enough to be drafted 23rd overall in the MLS Superdraft but tore his ACL before he signed, and his deal was never completed.
Attendance has been incredible this season. The club has broken the record for highest single game attendance twice this season.
The first time occurred on April 16 with a total attendance 20,497. They broke the record again on May 14 with 23,375 attendees.
FC Cincy also owns the record for the highest single season attendance record in the USL on July 20, with five games remaining.
FC Cincy’s attendance has been great not only by USL standards but also by Major League Soccer (MLS) standards.
FC Cincy consistently posts better numbers than most MLS games and also broke the Ohio state record for highest attendance of a soccer game when 35,061 people came to watch a friendly match against the English Premier League team Crystal Palace.
This could potentially help the team’s case for a promotion to the MLS when the organization expands.
This could occur as early as 2020, and FC Cincy has been listed as a potential club. This is a giant leap forward, as very few thought they would have a shot so soon.
It has been a successful year for FC Cincinnati and one it hopes to build off of for as long as it can.