FC Cincinnati 3, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 1 – FINAL
(Lamar Hunt US Open Cup third round)
Matt Gajtka will provide a game recap and get all of the post-game reaction, as the Riverhounds fell in the third round of the Open Cup to FC Cincinnati at Highmark Stadium on Wednesday night.
Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA | 7 pm kickoff
Video stream: ussoccer.com.
Follow on Twitter: #USOC2018 | #UNLEASH
Pittsburgh Soccer Now Open Cup coverage team:
- Ed Thompson photography
- @pghsoccernow’s “Twitter takeover” with Kevin Sparks of MonGoals podcast
- Matt Gajtka – game recap from Highmark
- Full 90 fan reaction with MonGoals
Open Cup Records | How they got here
- Riverhounds SC (11-15 all-time, defeated Erie Commodores 2-1 on May 14)
- FC Cincinnati (6-2-1 all-time, including a 4-1-1 record and a run to the semifinals in 2017 and a 1-1-0 mark in the team’s inaugural season of 2016; defeated FC Detroit 4-1 in 2OT on May 14)
• While this match has no bearing on league standings, even as both of these clubs have risen to the top of the USL’s Eastern Conference, the stakes are high with the winner getting a shot at playing a Major League Soccer opponent in the fourth round. FCC currently sit in first place with a 6-2-2 mark, good for 20 points, but the Hounds, with a game at hand, remain unbeaten (4-0-5), three points behind. US Soccer will hold a drawing to determine who the fourth round opponents will be in the days following the match.
• In its previous meeting this season, the Hounds and FCC battled to a 2-2 draw at Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium before more than 23,000 fans. In six meetings in the all-time series since 2016, the Hounds have never beaten FC Cincinnati (0-3-3).
For more about the brief history of this series – and the potential for a real rivalry to brew between the franchises –check out my feature story from earlier this week:
• Kevin Kerr is the lone remaining Riverhounds player left from teams that made a run to the Open Cup’s fourth rounds in both 2014 and 2015.
Most people remember the 2015 team that lost to DC United at Highmark Stadium in 2OT, but the previous year’s team defeated both RWB Adria, then NY Red Bulls U23s in the second and third rounds to advance to play MLS’ Chicago Fire. The Hounds lost 2-1 to the Fire after the game was called after 52 minutes of game action, but actually dragged on for hours. The match was marred by multiple severe weather delays and was finally called at 11:35 p.m. CST.
Kerr was also a key figure in the Hounds loss to DC United at Highmark Stadium that went to extra time. He drew the foul that set up the Hounds lone goal, a penalty kick by Rob Vincent.
“It’s still one of the best experiences I’ve had in a Riverhounds shirt,” Kerr added. “On another night, we could have won that game.”
In ten Open Cup appearances in the past five years, Kerr has scored three goals and three assists — including a goal and an assist in last week’s 2-1 win over Erie Commodores.
• Current Hounds coach Bob Lilley, previously with the Rochester Rhinos from 2014-17 — guided his teams to advance to the fourth round (and fifth round in 2014), and each time with matches against MLS opponents. Lilley led the Rhinos to 1-0 upset victory over DC United in the fourth round in 2014.
MORE ON FC CINCINNATI
Earlier this season, our own Riverhounds Rabbi posted this profile on FC Cincinnati.
The three active players on FCC’s roster with a Open Cup goal are Jimmy McLaughlin (game-winner in 2016 vs. NPSL’s Indy 11 of the NPSL), Corben Bone (semifinal goal vs NYRB in 2017 and second-round game-winner vs. Detroit City in 2018) and Emery Welshman (hat trick with Detroit City in 2018 second round)
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“This escalates things for sure,” FCC midfielder Jimmy McLaughlin said Monday after practice in an interview with Cincinnati.com‘s Charlie Hatch. “The rivalry is more so because the history of the cities rather than us and them.”
“It’s a massive match for both of us. They’re trying to make a cup run as well. I’m sure they know what happened with us last year. I think people are always gunning for us and that’s just kinda how it’s always been playing for this club since day one.”
“It’s definitely a highlight of the year,” Kevin Kerr said when talking about the Open Cup last year.
The Scotsman, who grew up in Germany, revels playing in Cup competition.
“I always grew up as a massive fan of (English) FA Cup and the romance of the lower league teams getting to compete against the best. In two of my five years here, we haven’t been able to make it to the third round, and its bitterly disappointing. Every team, player, coach at our level wants to test themselves against MLS opposition.”
The fans are excited about this Cup match too…
— Steel Army (@SteelArmy) May 23, 2018
Alright @fccincinnati @NazmiAlbadawi @AlanKochYVR @folasso @MikeLahoud @LndsPatterson @Bahnes_2 @wone_laing14 @DekelKeinan @PaddyBarrett42 @NewtonEvan13 @LedeManu18 @yennek_reklaw TIME TO FORM VOLTRON AND SHOW THE RIVERHOUNDS HOW WE BRING THE FIRE! pic.twitter.com/YaNi5tlSFQ
— Randy Spaulding ⚽️ (@WeenSays) May 23, 2018
Only today he can’t tie his way to a point. COYFCC!
— Gary Randolph (@gsrandolph) May 23, 2018
and so are the broadcasters…
It's not a league fixture, but no exaggeration that tonight is the most important match of the @RiverhoundsSC season to date.
7 p.m. at Highmark
— Matt Gajtka (@MattGajtka) May 23, 2018