Three Question Preview - Matchday 7

We have finally arrived at the first full capacity match in the West End for FC Cincinnati. While technically this will be The FC’s third match at The Teak, tonight’s match against The Colorado Rapids is the spiritual home opener. 

Coming into the match FC Cincinnati bring with them a 1-4-0 form. The season has been a struggle for the Orange and Blue thus far and Colorado won’t be much relief. In fact Colorado’s last five matches have gone the inverse of The FC, sporting a 4-1-0 form. Colorado have doubled Cincinnati’s goal output this season and currently sit 4th in the Western conference. Buckle up. 

Tonight is also, probably, the last time Cincinnati fans will see Jurgen Locadia play for their team. Locadia held so much promise after the 2019 season implosion of Fenando Adi. While people have been quick to criticize Nijkamp (who me!?), Bringing in Locadia on a loan deal has proved to be smart business. Rather than being saddled with an underperforming DP for three years, the loan option has give the Orange and Blue flexibility this summer. 

So here are the three questions we’ll be looking to have answered tonight when FC Cincinnati takes on the Colorado Rapids:

1) Will Jurgen Locadia Leave us Wanting More?

As mentioned above, this is probably the last time Cincinnati fans will get the see Locadia play in the Queen City. His time here with Cincinnati has been very disappointing compared to the expectations, not to mention salary. He certainly showed flashes of brilliance, but the most memorable moments in MLS are the sitters missed and chances blown. Maybe he would have played better under Ron Jans, maybe this was destiny. But tonight, maybe he can show one match where it all comes together for him. 

2) Can the Cincinnati defense hold up? 

Colorado will be bringing some firepower to the West End. Only three teams in MLS have scored more goals this season than the Rapids. Cincinnati have given up 7 goals in just the last four matches. Vermeer had a reputation in LA for being unreliable and haphazard with his goalkeeping, but so far has looked reliable for Cincinnati. Cameron and Vallecilla have been revelations on the backline, and Stanko has looked like a regular starter in a back three. Tonight will be a great measure of where this defense really stands. 

3) How will FC Cincinnati perform in this crucial 5 match stretch?

I asked the other contributor’s how many points they expected FC Cincinnati to win in their next five matches. Those matches are home against Colorado, away to Chicago, away to Toronto, away to Houston, and finally home against Columbus SC. Here were the predictions: 

Joseph Meme: 5

Max Ellerbe: 4

Grayson Chalmers: 9 

Erik Seyferth: 5

Troy Breisch: 8

Kevin Wallace: 4

I do not expect this team to beat Colorado tonight, I think they can get a draw and a win out of Toronto and Chicago, and I think they lose against Houston and Columbus. If the team is able to get more than 4 points out of these 5 matches, it will be fair to say improvements are happening. Less than 4 points and I cannot imagine too many people are backing Stam after Hell is Real. But weirder things have been known to happen.