Both Manchester Clubs showing their class

 

Both Manchester clubs had amazing performances over the weekend and are proving to be the clear top two contenders. Five games in and both clubs look to be separating themselves from the pack. The two teams started the season with four wins and a single draw, being the only teams yet to lose. The parity is so tight that both teams have scored 16 goals and conceded two goals. With the goal difference exactly the same and both teams in amazing form, the December Manchester derby can’t come fast enough.

Manchester city dominated Watford 6-0 controlling every facet of the game. Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick and is finally looking back to his world-class form for the first time under Guardiola. Gabriel Jesus scored the third goal of the game is proving to be a deadly matchup playing with Aguero. to begin the year there were doubts if both players could play together but after the last week, there is no longer doubt. They can.

Kevin de Bruyne also put in an amazing performance and is looking like the pace setter of the team. He created key pass after key pass versus Watford if he continues with that form he will be a shoe in for player of the year. Manchester City’s squad is deep and is proving they can handle the high number of fixtures with no problem.

Manchester United responded on Sunday by getting another 4-0 win at home versus Everton. United dominated the game starting with a lead early with an amazing volley by Antonio Valencia. This led the Red Devils to have a controlled performance where they handled Everton’s attack with no real panic and turning up the pressure late. They scored three goals after the 80th minute. Half of their goals this year have come in that manner.

Lukaku continued to be potent scoring on Sunday and being the point of reference of the offense for United. The team is playing exactly how Mourinho teams do, being solid at the back and in the midfield, not worried about the goals. They know they have the talent to get them. With this team you’re not worried about it like last year, you know that the goals will come.

 

 

Both showcased themselves this weekend and proved to be the class of the league so far. This goes to show that when you spend correctly and just to spend on the names, teams can improve a lot during the summer. For City, it was the Goalkeeper and the wing backs. Now the team looks in control at the back and comfortable on passion throughout. Adding Walker and Mendy give them two backs that are workhorses on the wing that will track back and forward. Something they were missing. Ederson at goal also has given the team senses of security like they never had. United, on the other hand, spend their money on a center forward and a central defensive midfielder. Lukaku has scored five goals in five matches and Matic has fit in and brought stability to the midfield. Both clubs were the highest spenders and five games in they look to have spent wisely. The rest of the league will have to step or this might just be a two-team race.

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Cincinnati Handles New York In Home Finale

FC Cincinnati beat the New York Red Bulls II 4-2 tonight in front of a new USL record 30,417 in their regular season finale.

Goals from Austin Berry, Corben Bone, Harrison Delbridge, and Kenny Walker secured an important three points in their regular season home finale. Florian Valot had two goals for New York and a good performance for his team.

Cincinnati started off fast with a fifth minute goal from Berry off a corner. New York equalized in the 18’ off a corner with a goal from Valot. Bone scored in the 32’ with a pretty shot from outside the box.

The match was very wide open and closely contested until a five-minute stretch in the middle of the second half with Delbridge hitting the top corner in the 67’ and Walker converting a free kick in the 72’ to blow the match wide open. New York grabbed a goal in the 80’ with Valot’s second but it was too little to late.

Walker takes home the player of the match with two assists, on Berry and Delbridge’s goals, and a goal. He was instrumental in moving the ball and starting counters that led to chances for Cincinnati.

Six yellow cards were handed out to Cincinnati tonight by the referee. Including four in the first 26 minutes on five fouls at the time. Djiby was given a yellow card after accumulating two fouls, neither of which were worthy of a yellow.

Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch commented after the match, “Important, very meaningful three points tonight for our organization, for our team. We have nothing but respect for the Red Bulls organization. We have had some great battles with them this year, and last year.” He continued, “We scored some fantastic goals, fed off the energy of our fans.”

Tonight was the first win against New York in Cincinnati’s history. The very bad week when Cincinnati lost in extra time to MLS New York Red Bulls in the U.S. Open Cup and four days later lost 4-0 to the USL New York Red Bulls II team. Last year Cincinnati lost both matches with New York.

Koch praised Bone and Walker after the match saying, “They are both fantastic players and people too. I have nothing but respect for them as players and people too. It was nice to see both of them get rewarded with goals tonight.” He continued later saying, “You almost appreciate them more when they are not playing. Because sometimes you don’t see a lot of the dirty work they’re doing.”

Corben Bone talked about what this week has meant to him after having his first child born this week and a birthday, “It’s been crazy. It’s been really emotional. Credit to my family and Annie [his wife], and these guys in this locker room, this team. Everyone has picked me up, it has been so amazing to be apart of this thing. For me to end this kind of week on this high, I’m speechless to be honest.”

Tonight was not a must win for Cincinnati, but it felt like it with their recent away form. With their next four matches on the road the win tonight was instrumental in their chances to make the playoffs. In their last five away matches Cincinnati has four points (1-1-3) and they are (2-7-3) all season with 9 points. Compared to a (7-2-6) home record and now sitting in sixth place. Being four of points out of ninth place should guarantee a place in the playoffs.

Three of their next four matches are against teams that are outside of playoff position. Two of those three have chances to make the playoffs with St. Louis FC and Ottawa Fury FC being in 11 and 12 in the Eastern Conference. Toronto FC II is in last in the conference with no chance to make the playoffs. Their other opponent the Charlotte Independence is currently in second place and is three points off Louisville City FC in first.

Attendance

Cincinnati broke two of their own USL attendance records tonight. The regular season attendance record of 25,308 set against Orlando City B on August 5 earlier this year. Also the single game attendance record set in last year’s playoff loss to the Charlotte Independence of 30,187.

Recap

Berry opened the scoring off a corner in the 5’, assisted by Kenny Walker. Ball was put near post and he arced it over the keeper and into the far side of the net.

Minutes later Bone puts a shot just over the crossbar off a counter, a very quick start for Cincinnati.

Berry and Djiby both received early yellow cards. Berry’s in the ninth minute for bringing down a New York attacker and the referee saw it as a counter but a very iffy card at that stage in the match. Djiby received his in the 14’ for accumulation of fouls after he had a few early. Could have been a final talking to from the referee but he opted for the booking.

New York equalized in the 18’ after a well-worked corner. Valot ran from the far post found open space around the penalty spot firing a volley, missing the three charging Cincinnati players. Hildebrandt didn’t see the ball until it was a few feet from him and couldn’t react in time. The corner came after a great diving save

The cards kept coming for Cincinnati after Andrew Wiedeman cleated a New York player shooting a volley in the 23’. In his defense he got the ball but the follow through clipped the charging New Yorker. Matt Bahner also picked one in the 26’ after arriving just late on a challenge.

Cincinnati regained the lead in the 32’ after a rifled shot from Bone into the top of the net from 23 yards out. A free kick was headed out right to Bone who chested the ball down and fired off the shot.

New York came close to scoring off a set piece from 33 yards out in the 51’. Valot found his way behind the Cincinnati defense unmarked but put the header just over. The match should have been tied, very lucky form Cincinnati.

A scary moment for Cincinnati in the 58’ when Paul Nicholson gave the ball away and a New York attacker was able to get a shot off in a one on one situation with Hildebrandt, a good save kept the lead intact.

Delbridge doubles the lead with a rocket into the top corner from just outside the box in the 67’. Delbridge collected a pass from Walker and beat the defender in front of him before burying the shot.

Five minutes later Walker stepped up for a free kick from 20 yards out and placed it perfectly over the wall and past the keeper to bring the lead to three. Delbridge drew the foul leading to the free kick.

New York pulled a goal back in the 80’ with a Valot shot going through the legs of Delbridge and past a diving Hildebrandt.

Final Thoughts

This season can be considered a resounding success for Cincinnati as long as they qualify for the playoffs, which is pretty close to happening. With the incredible Open Cup run and averaging over 20,000 loud and boisterous fans for home matches the MLS has to take notice of what is going on here in Cincinnati. Getting to the MLS is the reason this club was founded and remains the most important thing.

Tonight was a total team effort, highlighted by the performances from Kenny Walker and Corben Bone.Walker showed why Cincinnati had so much trouble early in the season when he was out injured and Bone had to play the defensive midfielder role and wasn’t allowed to come forward like he was tonight.

On a concerning note Austin Berry coming off at halftime is a bad sign if he is out for any of the remaining matches due to his incredible performances. Early in the second half some of the chances New York had I feel he would have stopped including the one on one situation with the keeper.

EPL Week 4 Rundown

Manchester City score 5 to see off Liverpool at the ETIHAD

Manchester City faced their first real test of the season and responded beautifully controlling a heavy pressing squad like Liverpool with ease. Many expected Man City’s defense to struggle with the pace the Reds bring and they did early. Yet as the game went on Manchester City looked extremely comfortable on the ball and were never really rattled by Liverpool’s attack in the second half.

The game started well for both sides with each team being able to create chances. The game was quick and back and forth until Manchester City found the net when Kevin De Bruyne found Aguero with a great through that the Argentine put it in with class. Liverpool knocked at the door but Ederson was up for all the shots from the Reds.

Then came the talking point of the game, Mane’s red card. The Senegalese international accidentally kick the City keeper, Ederson, who ran out to head the ball right out side of the box. Although Mane’s eyes were always on the ball the kick got the keeper clearly in the face in a gruesome fashion that almost looked like a Karate Kick.The referee didn’t really have an option and sent Mane off.

After the red everything was lost for Liverpool who lost their fight and organization, trying many different formations to stop the bleeding but nothing was done. Manchester City controlled the pace and found five goals. Highlighting the performance is how well Aguero and Gabriel Jesus were able to play together. Many believe both strikers can’t be on the field together but Saturday they looked in perfect sync, creating chances of each other’s movements. Jesus scored twice and was a handful for the overmatch Liverpool defense.

The last two goals were scored by Sane who came in and made an immediate impact. Finishing up an amazing team goal when he teamed up with Mendy on the left-hand side. Then came the Golazo of the weekend when Sane took a left footed shot from outside the box and put it left in the top corner, leaving the keeper with nothing to do.

Manchester City Finally looked like a Guardiola side if they are able to control games and create chances constantly like they did Saturday they could easily find themselves competing for all the titles this year. Liverpool, on the other hand, will have to work on the same issues they had last year and find ways to stay compact at the back even when playing a high pressing style.

Manchester United finally drop points

United started the year with perfect form winning all three of their matches by multiple goals. The form finally stopped when they traveled to Stoke over the weekend. The Potters were great at pushing United and putting their center backs under pressure, something we had yet to see this year. United faced their first adversity of the season a responded well to get the game back and find the lead. They couldn’t keep control of the game but the team showed heart in the performance.

Choupo-Motíng caught Baily napping and found the space in behind to finish a cross and put Stoke City ahead late in the first half. United responded quickly scoring a scrappy goal right before the halftime whistle. Manchester came back strong in the second forcing the issue and finding the net when Lukaku put in the rebound of his own attempt to get United ahead.

The lead didn’t last long as it was time for Stoke City to respond quickly to going down. Phil Jones did a horrible job defending the corner and let Choupo-Moting get a free header to tie the game. United pushed the issue but was never able to regain the lead and dropped their first points of the year.

Manchester United still sit a top of the table but have shown that they are beatable and that the issues at the back we saw last year are still there. They still look the part and responded well to going one goal down.Still, should be considered the title favorites from what we have seen of this season so far. As for Stoke this was a great result and are showing great play. They look in prime position to make a push at the Europa League spots and be nowhere near the relegation battle.

Spurs And Arsenal get much-needed wins

Spurs got a much-needed win after dropping points at home last week beating the Toffees 3-0. They faced the tough challenge of traveling to Goodison Park and face the heavy spending side Everton and passed it with ease. Spurs Controlled the game and finally look like the elite side we saw last year. Harry Kane broke the goal drought he had to start the year. Netting two goals, one from a cross that found its way in and the other was a classic give a go goal Kane scores. Ericksen scored the other goal and was the best player on the field dribbling up and down the pitch and finding any pass he wanted. Spurs form comes at a good time who welcome Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday in Champions League play in a matchup that might decide the group.

Arsenal was the other team desperate for a result after the disastrous result versus Liverpool last week. They look in control all the game beating a Bournemouth 3-0 having the ball and creating chance after chance. The defense looks in no pressure all 90 minutes which was something that everyone was looking at. The Gunners face another tough test next Sunday when they visit Chelsea and the defense will have to perform like today if they want the result. Danny Welbeck found the net twice putting in a performance that might delay Alexis Sanchez re-introduction to the first 11. Arsenal looked better and started both their new signings of Lacazette and Kolasinac, something they have to do to keep performances up. Keeping the home form up was key for Arsenal to keep the pressure of the fans off the team.

Morata Keeps on shining

Chelsea Had a difficult road test visiting recent champions Leicester City and came back with three points. Still without Hazard and saving some players for the midweek champions league matchup, Chelsea was able to see out the result and gain all three points.

The first goal of the game was Morata who again was able to score a header by finding the space in between the center backs and sending the ball home. Filing in nicely with Diego Costa yet to show up to practice. The second goal came in the second half when Kante hit a low rolling shot that found the bottom corner facing his former team. Leicester City thought they found a way back when they had penalty scored by Vardy but it was difficult for the Foxes to create chances and continue having a rough start to the season. Chelsea, on the other hand, find their third straight win after the embarrassing loss in against Burnley week one.

Crystal Palace loss but West Ham win in their must win-or-get sacked games.

Crystal Palace sacked their manager Franck de Boer yesterday after starting the year with four defeats and his team not scoring a single goal. He was brought in this summer to change the style of play but that could never have been done in four games. What will make matters worse for De Boer is the final match he had. The goal they conceded was a huge gift from a back pass that Chris Wood pushed it home. Palace controlled the 90 minutes creating 23 shots and allowing only two but they were unable to find the net and now De Boer is out of a Job. Palace face a long season as four games in they lose their manager and the same problems remain, the team will have to respond quickly if they want to stay up.

West Ham was the other team facing a 0-4 start but the hammers responded with a gritty 2-0 over recently promoted side Huddersfield town. They played a classic English style of sending a ball over a top and having Andy Carrol knock the ball down to create chances. They left it late but found a deflection goal and a tap in off a corner. This win will give the manager more time to fix the system and it was a great result as the club’s first home game of the season.

The rest of the league

Watford got a great 2-0 win on the road as they beat a Southampton side that continues to struggle infront of the goal. They have failed to score the last three games. Brighton got their first win and goal of the season versus West Brom from in a 3-1 game. The last game saw Newcastle getting a scrappy 1-0 win at Swansea as they look to ignore the lack of spending in the transfer window.

There is no midweek action this week as the top teams will have Champions League play in the first European match day on the season.Expect some weird squad selections next week in response to these matches.

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Headlines From Transfer Deadline day

Winners: Tottenham

Serge Aurier comes in to fill the hole left behind by Kyle Walker(Image: Getty Images)

Spurs added depth to their squad which is what they desperately needed.They seem like the only club who really go what they wanted. The north London club has a starting 11 that can compete with anyone. Serge Aurier is a World class wing back they are bringing in from PSG. He will probably take up the role left behind by Kyle Walker’s departure to Manchester city. They got 50 million from Man City found a cheaper replacement on deadline that cost less than half (23 million).

The other pick up was Fernando Llorente who will come in and be a valuable back up to Harry Kane. The only other striker in the squad was Victor Janssen who can’t seem to score in the Premier League. Llorente is an experienced Spanish international that will understand his role, he is big, mobile and finally, gives Spurs a real option off the bench. To add more to the news they stole the striker from Chelsea who was talking to Swansea all week and then Spurs came in on deadline day and signed the Striker.

They may have missed out on bringing in the third player that was promised on deadline day but the squad has added a lot of talent. With the addition of Davinson Sanchez, last week Spurs looks like they have a full squad to compete and actually win the Premier League. They still might be a little thin to really compete in the Champions League after their difficult draw.

 

Losers: Arsenal and Alexis Sánchez

 

Alexis Sanchez’s Long waited move fell through on Deadline Day (Images; Getty Images )

After losing 4-0 at Anfield, Many expected Arsenal to be very active and bring in players. They threw in a massive bid for Thomas Lemar that was accepted by Monaco but the young French international decided he didn’t want to go a club that wasn’t in the Champions League.

They sold players on Transfer deadline day but not the one that many thought would go in Alexis Sanchez. The Gunners did accept a bid for Sanchez from Manchester city but decided not to go through with the deal after not getting a replacement. Now Arsenal is stuck with a player that is causing problems in the locker room, You don’t know how motivated and will probably leave on a free next summer.

The Gunners are in a crisis and on transfer deadline day they did nothing to improve their situation. From the Alexis point of view, he is frustrated that Arsenal backed out of the deal and that the Chilean will having to be in London more time that he wants to be probably not competing for trophies.

On the end of the spectrum, Manchester city lost the opportunity of becoming one of the scariest teams in Europe. The addition of Alexis Sanchez to the squad would have put the up there with the best teams in the world and one of the favourites to win the Champions League.

Arsenal Finished outside the top Four last season and all they have done this summer is gotten rid of some players and only brought in two Reinforcements. If Sanchez and Ozil don’t come motivated than the Gunners face the fear of becoming a mid-table team. Lacazette is a world-class striker that will get Arsenal goals and Kolasinac will be a much-needed help to the defence but that simply isn’t enough to get them among the Elite in the EPL. Arsenal should’ve done something on Deadline day or not have left it all for late in the transfer window.

Chelsea gets rejected by a player again

Usually, when a team are champions a lot of players want to go there but it is very interesting transfer window, Chelsea has managed to get rejected on numerous occasion. Romelu Lukaku rejected them earlier in summer when he decided to go to Manchester United over the Blues. Then two days ago Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain decided to turn down the move to go to Chelsea in preference to go to Anfield. Then to end Transfer deadline day they got rejected by Ross Barkley, a player that currently seems out of favor in his current squad.

While they still brought in players during the summer that will help the squad it still seems weird that so many players have rejected them recently. It wasn’t all bad news for Chelsea they were able to bring Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater on Deadline day. Zappacosta is a Right back but can play on the left-hand side and will be a much-needed backup in the heavy wingback system of Chelsea. Danny Drinkwater will be another proven midfielder that helps Chelsea deal with the expanded fixture list this season.

Chelsea didn’t have the worst day but they should have a better day and better summer but were denied by many of their top targets throughout the transfer window.

 

Liverpool miss out on having the perfect summer

Deadline day has passed and Coutinho is still a Liverpool player. They will have sweat it out one more day as Barcelona’s Window closes today. In addition to that, they have Brought in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who be able to play various positions in the high pressing Liverpool system.

Virgil Van Dijk will stay at Southampton to surprise of many (Image; Getty Images )

The thing is they failed in bringing in Virgil Van Dijk who would have been the perfect signing for the Reds. Liverpool is in much need of a secure center back that you can have confidence in every game. The other loss was not being as strong in their pursuit of Lemar. They were a couple million short of the offer that accepted from Arsenal and the player started that he really wanted to play for the Reds.

If Liverpool would have brought in those two players alongside what they did they would have had the perfect summer. As of now, that is in prime position to get top four again and be able to compete in every competition they are in. Yet, if they would have added them they would be among the contenders. This squad is slightly a step down from the other Manchester Squads and Chelsea but those two players would have put them right up there.

Liverpool still had a good summer they added some depth to the squad and didn’t really over spend for any players.

 

Other Big Moves

The most eye-catching move was made by Swansea who brought in Renato Sanchez on loan from Bayern Munich as their replacement to losing Sigurdsson a couple of days ago. He is a young prospect that was key in Portugals run to win the Euros last year. Amazing that a world class player goes to a mid-table team. The other team that had great news on Transfer Deadline day was Crystal Palace who got in the much needed center back in Buying Sacko from Liverpool. They also got help up top with signing Niasse, Crytal Palace has not started the season well. Losing three games they needed to bring in players was something the team had to do if they ever want to get out of relegation battles.

Renato Sanchez will be on Loan at Swansea this year (Image; Getty Images)

 

This Transfer Deadline day will be remembered for the WHAT IF. So many transfers were close to coming together that fell through. It was a day that had players reject moves, teams waiting on other teams to do so and angry players driving and flying to other countries to work out their move. Transfer Deadline day is always crazy but finally, it is the end of the silly season and teams can focus of what they have because nothing else can be done. So much money was spent this summer and it only set up the best Premier League yet.

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Weekend Review, Arsenal humiliated and Madrid drop points

It was a big week in club soccer as the teams get prepared for the international break. Too many managers these weeks are going to be frustrated with the break. As it puts them two weeks without the squad and they can’t fix many of the problems that team have. So any team coming from a win, it is huge they go into the break in a good mood and will most likely keep their form, On the other hand, the teams that lose don’t have a chance to work on the problems and will only have 2 or 3 days before the next matchup.

 

England

The big match up of the weekend was Liverpool vs Arsenal. Many expected a high scoring match from both teams as they both are considered to have leaky defenses. Yet, only one team showed up at Anfield and that was Liverpool. The Reds won the game 4-0 dominating both half of the game creating chance after chance. They showed that they could still be elite even without Coutinho in the side. They have to fight off Barcelona for a couple more days but if they lose the Brazilian to a transfer the front three of Saido Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mouhammed Salah will have no problem scoring and creating chances.

 

Arsenal though probably had their worst performance in the last five years falling to put a single shot on target. This has lead many Arsenal fans to bring back the campaign of Wenger out. To make matters worse Arsenal has to fight off losing some of their key players these next few days and have no time practice because of International break. The Gunners are in a crisis. Their new formation isn’t working with many players looking disinterested in playing and the squad is nowhere deep or as good as the Arsenal fans expected. With three matches in, I doubt Wenger loses his job but during his whole time at Arsenal this might the worst position he has ever been.

Here are the game highlights

In the rest of the league of Chelsea dominated most of the game beating Everton 2-0, finally looking like the champions of last season. Alvaro Morata and Fabregas particularly impressed as the Spaniard duo connected for the goal and were influential. It’s early in the season but Alvaro Morata scored in the weekend and has been showing he could be the perfect replacement to the departure of Diego Costa from the squad.

 

Tottenham dropped points again at home, officially dropping more this season than in all of the last year. The team is trying to convince that the Wembley form is not a problem but these were more points drop at the end when Spurs are playing in this stadium. This a problem if it continues throughout the season and they don’t have their home form of last year they will have no chance of winning the premier league. They dominated most of the game finally breaking through with Dele Ali’s goal but they couldn’t see the result out and letting Chris wood have a good run at the box score.

The Manchester Squads both had wins over the weekend. United continue their scary good form to start the season by dominating a Leicester City side to win 2-0. United has been in amazing form to start the year and is becoming the clear favorites to win the premier league before the transfer window completes. Mourinho seems to always win titles in his second years and this team seems to finally feel like the old Ferguson teams.

Manchester City won on a 90-minute winner versus Bournemouth right at the end. Sterling hit the shot and celebrated with the fans but to the surprise of the whole stadium, he got a second yellow. This means Sterling will miss the next game for celebration with the fans but he didn’t really do anything over the top. Bournemouth might come out of the game feeling gutted as the southern team had Charlie Daniels score an amazing goal in the 11th minute. They lost the lead by a goal from Gabriel Jesus who plays a smartly taken quick free kick to catch the team sleeping.

The rest of the EPL saw 3 draws, Newcastle surprised with a 3-0 win over West Ham and Swansea stealing a win at Crystal Palace. Manchester is the only perfect side and sits on top of the table but the upcoming days with transfer window closing it will let us know where everyone truly stands.

 

Spain

In Spain, the great Real Madrid dropped points at home drawing to a resilient Valencia side in a game that was back and forth and either club could have won.The champions couldn’t survive with missing two of stars with both Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo out with a suspension. Marco Asensio came to the rescue for Madrid with an amazing performance that might set him up to be a starter even when Ronaldo comes back. Bale was jeered out after his performance bringing his departure back into question. Barcelona cruised into another 2-0 with an outstanding performance from Messi who scored twice. the team doesn’t look as strong upfront but they are still able to really control matches versus the mid table Spanish sides. To Many Barca is in crisis but things are looking up they will add a couple more signing before the transfer market closes a go into the international break top of the table.

Italy

In Serie A the weekend was highlighted by the comeback 3-1 win by Inter Milan over Roma on the road. The Italian capital side dominated the first half and created chances after chances scoring ones with a true striker’s goal from Dzeko hitting the post three times. In the second half, Icardi took over and score two quick finishes to give Inter the lead and Vecino finishing it in the 89th minute putting home a Perisic cross in for his second assist in the game.

 

The other big clubs also took care of business. Juventus completed a two goal comeback to beat Genoa 4-2 on the road. Dybala scores a hat-trick bringing his team back after conceding two goals in the opening 15. The defence is not as sound but if Dybala keeps playing like this It won’t matter. AC Milan won 2-1 at home versus Cagliari with an amazing free kick by Suso. Milan scored early with the teenage sensation Patrick Cutrone putting home a cross but lost the lead. The Suso free kick was the ultimate kick in the game. The big spending squad has yet to reach its potential but have started the season on the right foot. Napoli also had a comeback win beating Atalanta 3-1 with Zielinski scoring an amazing goal.

The transfer window is wrapping up and it will curious to see how the teams look after the three days that are left. It will be interesting to see which teams set themselves up for success or failure, so expect random big news this couple days.

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Analysis the Champions League Draw

Here are the Groups:

Group A: Benfica, Manchester United, FC Basel, CSKA Moscow.
Group B: Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Anderlecht, Celtic.
Group C: Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, FK Qarabag.
Group D: Juventus, Barcelona, Olympiakos, Sporting CP.
Group E: Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Liverpool, NK Maribor.
Group F: Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City, Napoli, Feyenoord.
Group G: Monaco, FC Porto, Besiktas, RB Leipzig.
Group H: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham, APOEL Nicosia.

 

Real Madrid in the Group of Death

Two-time defending champions get drawn in the Group of Death. (Image by Getty Images)

Group H is clearly the group to watch as the two-time defending champions Real Madrid have drawn Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham in their group alongside Cyprus side Apoel.

Real Madrid will have to continue the high form they are in if they want to survive. The Spanish side is still favorite to come out of the group, but they can’t afford to have slip-ups. Unless they are the top team in the world, they might not survive.

Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid are in a group again after being grouped together last year. Borussia Dortmund will look at the same challenge as last year when they also had a tough group with the defending champs, and they found some success winning the group.

Both games between the clubs ended in 2-2 draws, so it looks like things will be settled this year. The rematches should be fun to watch.

The addition of the Spurs drama is extra to the group this year. Spurs completely underwhelmed in last year’s competition, losing three games and two at Wembley. Many believe Spurs can’t fill and play well there.

Spurs will have to put the Wembley curse behind them with the difficult group. (Image by Getty Images)

Well, this year all their games are at Wembley because of the new stadium being built. If the Wembley form continues, or if the curse is true, it will be a tough year for Spurs, who will have to host the two-time champions and the high attacking Dortmund side.

Still, this group will feature six games of high-quality football in three cathedrals of the sports. The Bernabeu, Westfalenstadion and Wembley are world-class places. Every match between the clubs will be a spectacle to watch. This group will showcase the beauty of European club football.

Rounding out the group is Apoel, who will be the underdog in every match in the group. Not much is expected from them.

The Cyprus team does have some experience in the competition from 2012 when the team surprisingly got to the quarterfinals. The club will be looking to replicate the run they had, but it will be difficult with the group they were drawn in.

The Group of Life is Group G

Group G has Monaco, Porto, Besiktas and Red Bull Leipzig. It is the group where everyone seems to have a genuine chance of winning it.

There are no favorites in the group. Monaco is the champions in the group, but they have sold many of their stars from the semifinal side last year. With even more sales to come, it will difficult for the club to bring back the form they were in.

Monaco was given a lifeline with the difficult group, but none of the true football giants are in it. It will be challenging for the French Ligue side. Depending how they use the huge amount of funds that are coming in, they might be alright.

Porto, on the other hand, has been accustomed to making the second round of the tournament and will like their chances against teams who don’t really have experience. Porto has the side full of veterans that look poised to take control of the group. The Portuguese side will have the tough test, but with most of the squad at Monaco being sold, they seem destined to win the group.

Besiktas is the other team that will fancy their chances of coming through. They see the lowering of the level at Monaco and want to break  the bad streak Turkish football has had in Europe.

The Turkish league has risen in funding in recent year, but it has yet to have translated to Europe. Now Besiktas has the opening of making some noise with this group. They have a big fanbase and the funding to really make noise. Don’t be surprised if you see Besiktas in the second round.

Red Bull Leipzig is the last team and really makes the group interesting. The German side finished second in the Bundesliga and will make their European debut with this group. The German side hasn’t really made the addition of the squad, but have been keeping many of the players in the team from the surprise year, something Monaco hasn’t been able to do.

With this draw, the Leipzig side will definitely fancy their chances of going through. Expect a young high-pressure side that attacks anytime they can.

This group seems the most entertaining on paper from the point of view that every team will believe they are the better side. This will give us a group full of open matches.

Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester city get favorable groups

All three teams came into the draw with nightmare possibilities and left with scenarios they will like.

Manchester United gets an easy favorite and becomes a contender to win it all. (Image by Getty Images)

United got drawn in group A alongside Benfica, Basel and Cska Moscow. All are games where the Red Devils will be favorites to win.

Manchester United may have gotten in the tournament through the back door of the Europa league, but now the three-time winners look poised for a deep run this year. They have started the league with two 4-0 thrashings. Things are looking bright for the English giants and Jose Mourinho.

If United can get one or two more players, they could be serious contenders to win the champions this year. It wouldn’t have been the first time Mourinho has won the Europa League and then the Champions League the following year.

Liverpool is the middle of the Coutinho drama, but there is good news. The Reds got drawn into Group E with Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Maribor. They got one of the best options they had as their group’s champions with Spartak Moscow from Russia, a side Liverpool could get a win against.

Liverpool gets some much needed good news in the draw (Images : Getty Images )

They also get a win over Sevilla, which is the most favorable Spanish side they could have gotten and gives them the chance to avenge the loss they had in the Europa league final two years ago.

The last side Maribor is the Slovenian side that is among of the worst teams in the 32. They will look to shock the world, trying to get results with clubs much bigger in fan base and funding.

The Reds now look to be in a good place to make a run. Maybe this news makes them a little more willing to sell Coutinho. Liverpool could sell a couple players and still make it into the second round of the competition.

Man City ended up with the toughest group out of the three, but one that the club should handle. Group F is Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli and Feyenoord, along with the Manchester club.

Man City should be favorite, but face a very good Napoli side, who could easily get a result. Napoli returns a very cohesive squad that will challenge any team. A Shakhtar side that is a veteran of the competition and seems to be in final 16 every year. Feyenoord is a young side that will surprise this year.

Man city is favorited, but if Pep doesn’t get the squad focused, things could go wrong fast in this group. Compared to Liverpool’s and United’s group, it’s hard, but Manchester City should have the squad to go through easily.

Chelsea dealt with tough group

Chelsea have tough test as they come back to the competition (image: Getty Images )

The blues are in a group that will test how deep the squad is as they will have no easy games.

Chelsea is in Group C alongside recent finalist Atletico Madrid, Roma and debutant Qarabag. Chelsea is coming from missing the Champions League last year and want to be among the leaders in the competition again.

Atletico Madrid is among the favorites to win it all, losing two recent finals, but face the unique challenge of being transfer banned. For the group stage, the club will be without reinforcement which might make it tough for the Spanish side.

Roma will look to take control from Chelsea with locker room troubles and an Atletico side that can’t improve themselves. They have brought in some talent and brought in a young Italian manager Eusebio Di Francesco.

Qarabag is the side in trouble. The side is the first club from Azerbaijan to ever make the Champions League group stage and will prove to be a long trip for the three big European clubs. Besides the Group of Death with the defending champions, this seems to be the toughest group on paper.

Big matches you won’t want to miss

Bayern Munich vs PSG – September 27 at Parc des Princes and December 5 at Allianz Arena
Atletico Madrid vs Roma – September 12 at Stadio Olimpico and November 22 at Wanda Metropolitano
Roma vs Chelsea – October 18 at Stamford Bridge and October 31 at Stadio Olimpico

Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid – September 27 at Wanda Metropolitano and December 5 at Stamford Bridge
Juventus vs Barcelona – September 12 at Camp Nou and November 22 at Juventus Stadium
Sevilla vs Liverpool – September 13 at Anfield and November 21 at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan
Manchester City vs Napoli – September 26 at City of Manchester Stadium and November 1 at Stadio San Paolo
Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund – September 26 at Westfalenstadion and December 6 at Santiago Bernabeu
Borussia Dortmund vs Tottenham – September 13 at Wembley and November 21 at Westfalenstadion
Tottenham vs Real Madrid – October 17 at Santiago Bernabeu and November 1 at Wembley

 

Featured Image from Full Matches and Shows

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

Cincinnati Back On Track With Win Over Ottawa

FC Cincinnati gets back on track with a hard fought 3-1 win over Ottawa Fury FC. Cincinnati was able to get two first half goals from Danni Konig and Jimmy McLaughlin with Sem de Wit adding one early in the second half. Ottawa got one back shortly after de Wit’s but the defense held to close out the victory.

De Wit’s goal was also his first professional goal of his four-year career. Konig got his ninth of the season and McLaughlin scored his fourth this year.

Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch commented on the match saying, “No league game is more important than any other game. Every game we play is worth three points. But, what we have gone through, as human beings, and players, coaches, a staff was very challenging for all of us. We’ve used the word embarrassed, and we’re embarrassed. But nothing short of proud of every player tonight.”

The match started off pretty even with Cincinnati getting most of the early chances but only one blocked shot.

Ottawa had a goal ruled offside in the 15’. They created the chance with very good buildup play and a few good passes in a tight space but Sito Seoane just strayed past the last man back. Justin Hoyte did very well to stop the first shot and another pass but the rebound ended up falling to Ottawa.

Harrison Delbridge hit the crossbar on a shot from 30 yards out in the 28’. After the ball hit the crossbar it careened about 30 yards away due to the power of the shot.

Konig scored on a cross from Tyler Polak to give Cincinnati the lead in the 34’. A great pass from McLaughlin put Polak into space before he hit a first touch cross to Konig who put it in. Konig also fought off a defender who was pulling him down and was just able to get an outstretched foot on the ball in a spectacular effort.

Ottawa came close to scoring in the 40’. Mitch Hildebrandt punched a corner out that landed at the feet of an Ottawa midfielder whose shot Hildebrandt tipped into the air and Harrison Delbridge did a bicycle kick clear the ball off the line.

McLaughlin doubled Cincinnati’s lead with a 40-yard breakaway before sliding the ball into the corner in the 42’. Sem de Wit cleared a ball up field and a slight touch by Konig at midfield sent McLaughlin streaking downfield into open space.

Directly out of halftime Cincinnati had a chance to score when Corben Bone took the ball into the box and was able to create enough space to get a clear shot but the keeper smothered it.

In the 47’ Ottawa came close to scoring again when a long throw in bounced around and landed for an Ottawa striker at the top of the six yard box. The first shot was blocked by Delbridge and went straight to another Ottawa player who fired right into a rushing Hildebrandt who saved it and then was able to kick the ball away.

Sem de Wit scored off a set piece from Tyler Polak in the 57’. Poor defending from Ottawa allowed de Wit to get goal side of a defender after the corner was deflected allowing de Wit to tap the ball into the net.

Ottawa got a goal back when Ramon del Compo shot a bouncing ball into the corner of the net to cut the deficit to two in the 63’. Off a corner that hit off a Cincinnati defender, falling to the feet of Compo who fired it into the net. Ottawa had a player who was in an offside position but was ruled to not have interfered with play.

After Ottawa scored it became Hildebrandt time. He made a few decent plays, cutting out passes and a save that could have been dangerous if he let it get into the path of an Ottawa player. But his save of the night came in the 82’ off a powerful 30 yard strike where he completely stretched out and tipped onto the post to preserve the two goal lead. If he doesn’t get a hand on the ball it was going into the bottom corner.

At the beginning of stoppage time he again tipped a 30 yard volley just over the bar. It was another spectacular save from the player of the night for Cincinnati.

News and Notes

The win tonight moves Cincinnati into sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 34 points (9-9-7). This was a much needed win tonight due to Ottawa being a few spots behind Cincinnati in the standings and three points behind with two less games played. Cincinnati came into the night in ninth in the conference.

This was the first league win since July 22 for Cincinnati.

Cincinnati will finally get some well-deserved rest after playing a match every four days for the last three months with nine days before their match next weekend. The team is taking the next four days off.

Cincinnati had an incredible 82% passing accuracy in the first half while also holding 54% of the possession. They fell apart in the second half with 56% passing and 35% possession.

Hildebrandt had to make six saves and most of them he was forced to make an acrobatic play to keep the ball out of the net.

Next Up

Cincinnati has a nine-day break before they host the Pittsburg Riverhounds at 4 pm on September 2. This will be the second and final meeting between the two teams this season. Cincinnati won the first match 1-0 on a goal from none other than Djiby Fall, Cincinnati’s leading goal scorer.

Final Thoughts

Tonight was a much needed three points. After losing their last three matches in heartbreaking fashion, lost 5-0 to Louisville, blowing a 2-0 lead against the New York Red Bulls, and 4-0 to New York Red Bulls II. It has been a tough week and a half for Cincinnati and hopefully they can move past this and solidify a playoff position.

Tyler Polak had an incredible game tonight with his two assists and five interceptions. Cincinnati is very good at the left back position with him and Josu.

Hildebrandt had a good game before the goal but after the goal he made a few incredible saves that were the difference between one and three points. Ottawa was playing very well and the defense gave him some help but shots still came in after the passes were deflected and half cleared to open players.

Sem de Wit was a great signing for Cincinnati and tonight he proved his worth scoring his first professional goal and starting the counter that allowed McLaughlin to score. His defense wasn’t incredible but he did well on the right side of the back three before being substituted for Austin Berry.

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Weekend preview: Games to watch

All the leagues are now going this weekend and here is a guide to the five games you must watch.

Bayern Munich vs Bayern Leverkusen

Bayern Munich kick off the Bundesliga with a tough test.

Bayern Munich will try to erase the bad preseason today (Images: Getty Images)

Bayern will look to start the season off with a good start. They have won the last five titles and are looking for a record sixth in a row. Yet, the feeling has changed after a bad preseason, where the team lost four games, many are believing this might be the most vulnerable we have seen the Munich side in years. Many of their stars like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are ageing and they have many new signings that have yet to find their place in the squad.

Friday will be the start of this squad and we will get to see if what everyone fears are true.They face a tough opponent in Bayern Leverkusen who look to improve from the form they showed last season. Leverkusen had a huge fall from grace dropping from playing in the Champions League to finishing 12th in the table. Adding more to the problem. they have sold their best-attacking options in selling Chicharito and Hakan Çalhanoğlu. Still one would expect them to improve from their form last year. They bring back most of the spine of the team and bring in the veteran and former title winner in Sven Bender to play along side his twin brother. They are a side that is not going to beat itself.

The game will show if Leverkusen is still able to play at a Champions league level and if they will miss their two main men up front. On the other hand, this game will let us see if Bayern Munich are the team we saw in the pre-season or the one we saw the last five years. The game is today at 2:30, which is the perfect way to start your weekend.

Barcelona vs Real Betis

Ernesto Valverde will have the tough job of surviving without Luis Suarez ( Images: Getty Images)

Barcelona is in the middle of a crisis and begins the league this Sunday. After losing by an overall 5-1 margin to their bitter rivals Real Madrid, losing Neymar to PSG and now facing four to five weeks without Suarez, Barcelona is desperate for good news.

With less than two weeks left in the transfer window, Barcelona is desperate to get talent in through the door to improve the level and depth of the squad. This is something they need badly. The level they showed in the Spanish Super Cup is far from what we expect from the Spanish giants and not good enough to win the league. On Sunday we will see a Barcelona we haven’t seen in a while, one without Neymar nor Suarez. This will be a big test at home to show that they can survive this stretch without Suarez and the new signing that have yet to come in. Ernesto Valverde will have to work with what he has.

The game is also important because the last few years the league has gone down to the final moments and a bad start to the season can create a gap in the points on the table too big for them to make up during the year. This stretch will prove how good of a Manager and fit Valverde is as the team will have to find a new way to play.

From the Real Betis point of view, they see a weak Barcelona and a chance to get points at the Camp Nou. A place where not that many teams will find success this year. Any points are good for the Seville side as they look to get out of the relegation battle they were in last year. Betis did find success last year against the Catalan side drawing 1-1 and only dropping the 3 points by a Suarez goal at the last minute. The teams face off Sunday at 2:15 pm

Tottenham vs Chelsea

Spurs will face Chelsea Sunday in the first top six match up of the year (Images: Getty Images)

The top two teams from England last year face off in a London derby that has been full of sparks the last couple of seasons. Chelsea is coming off a shocking home loss against a Burnley side that was dreadful on the road last year. Adding insult to injury the squad will be without Cahill because of the red card last game and Eden hazard who is still hurt. Another loss will put pressure on Chelsea as the defending champions will be looking at back to back defeats to start the year.

Spurs, on the other hand, will want to prove that they are true title contenders this year. Chelsea cost them their title chances two years ago and beat them last season they will still look for revenge. The North London side are one of the title favourites and nothing will go better in the squad than a derby win over the reigning champions. This is setting up to be a very heated encounter.

Expect an amazing atmosphere as this will be the first game the Spurs will play at their temporary home of Wembley. Tottenham will play all their home games this year at Wembley while their new stadium finishes up for next year. The Spurs will look to kick off the season right in the historic stadium while Chelsea will look to make up for their recent performances at the grounds. Coming from losing back to back finals against the other North London side, Arsenal.

It may be only the second week of the season but this game could be crucial as both teams expect to be in title contention. Being the first game between the top six this year, everyone in England will be locked into this match. The game kicks off at 11:00 am on Sunday

 

Inter Milan Vs Fiorentina

Matias Vecino and Borja Valero joined Inter Milan from Fiorentina, which they face this weekend. (Image: Getty Images)

Serie A is also beginning this weekend and the game to watch is Inter Milan vs Fiorentina. Inter Milan want to consider themselves a title contender and there is no better test that an established team in Italy like Fiorentina. The game will also have an extra flavor to it as Inter got two of the most important players from the Florence side this summer.

Matias Vecino and Borja Valero moved into the Milan side this summer giving up on the Florentine side, a side Valero was the captain of. Fiorentina is one of the most ambitious clubs in Italy and is doing a massive overhaul of their roster this summer, bringing in 19 players and letting 15 go. Creating a massive earning of 79 million. The squad is now young and full of potential highlighted by the signing of Giovanni Simeone and will look to surprise the Milan side in the season opener.

Fiorentina has the potential with this squad to create a young core for years to come and this game will be the first test for the inexperienced squad against one of Italy’s finest. For Inter it is important to start with a win as having good momentum this year will be huge as an extra Champions League place has been added to the Italian league. With their main rivals A.C. Milan having big spending summer, Inter wants to have a good showing to bring up the morale of the fans who were expecting a bigger transfer window up.

Both squad vision themselves being among those top four in Italy and playing Champions League next year. They have very different setups: Fiorentina with the young talented squad and Inter Milan with big very diverse and veteran squad and on Sunday we will see who is better set up for the year to come.

Other games to keep an eye on.

Other games that should peak interest are Arsenal and Manchester United who both get their first road test of the year. Mourinho’s Squad takes on a Swansea side that has just lost their top player in Gylfi Sigurðsson. Arsenal goes to Stoke to face a team who keeps being very ambitious with the signings. Expect former Madrid player Jesse to make his debut in the game.

In Spain both Madrid side starts on the road with winnable games, the great Madrid side that will be without Ronaldo to start but if the super cup is any indication the team the team will have no problem with Deportivo La Coruna. Atletico Madrid plays Girona FC the recently promoted side that has five Man City loan players on the roster.

The last good game to keep an eye on is Schalke 04 versus Reb Bull Leipzig, both teams are the favourites to push Bayern this year expect a high level back and forth encounter. In Italy Roma play Atalanta in a game that faces off two teams that were in the top four last season and set up to be a very entertaining encounter.

With all the leagues now going strong, and a transfer window that is still open it will be a good weekend to be a soccer fan.

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Cincinnati’s Cinderella cup run ends after blowing lead

FC Cincinnati’s magical U.S. Open Cup run ended tonight after a 3-2 extra time loss to the New York Red Bulls of the MLS. A new U.S. Open Cup Semifinal record attendance was set tonight with 33,250 packed into Nippert Stadium.

Cincinnati jumped into the lead after Corben Bone fired in a chested pass from Danni Konig in the 31’. They doubled their lead off a corner in the 63’ from Austin Berry’s header he powered into the back of the net. Then the wheels fell off for Cincinnati after giving up two goals in three minutes from Gonzalo Verón and Bradley Wright-Phillips. Wright-Phillips headed home the winner in extra time in the 101’.

After the match Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch commented, “Disappointed, yes. I think anytime you’re up 2-0 in a game and you don’t win you’re going to be disappointed at the end. Throwing that aside, nothing but pride, absolute pride in a group of players that put everything they could out there on the pitch tonight for our team, our club, our city.”

New York head coach Jesse Marsch was very complementary of Cincinnati starting off his press conference saying, “First thing I want to do is congratulate this city and this club. What an incredible environment, what a great performance, what a great run for this team. Well coached, organized, fight, belief, all things good teams are about. And we escaped by the skin of our teeth.”

Cincinnati and New York started the game off evenly with both sides taking possession, but New York got the first shots of the match but both were very ambitious.

In the 13’ New York’s Sean Davis gave Cincinnati real scare when he curled a shot just past the post from outside the box. Keeper Mitch Hildebrandt was diving but it would have been close to whether he would have tipped it wide.

The match was a very evenly contested match after the shot from Davis. Cincinnati was willing to sit back and counter and were able to charge forward but had the ability to hold off taking a bad shot and possessing the ball in the attacking third.

Bone gave Cincinnati the lead in the 31’ firing home a shot from inside the box. A pass from Andrew Wiedeman was chested down by Konig into the path of an unmarked Bone. Both Konig and Bone got in behind the defense and only one defender was back to attempt to stop the ball and Cincinnati capitalized.

Konig and Felipe of New York were involved in a scrum going head to head exchanging of words after Damien Perrinelle pushed Konig after an offside call. The referee had to get in between Felipe and Konig, later calling over Cincinnati captain Kenny Walker to have him calm Konig down.

Cincinnati killed off the last part of the second half by keeping the ball in the attacking corner.

Wiedeman came very close to doubling the lead with a shot from just inside the box off a long clearance pass from the defense. New York keeper Ryan Meara made a good save to keep the deficit at one.

Austin Berry scores a goal off a corner from Kenny Walker in the 63’. Berry was on the far side of net from where the corner was taken and beat his man before powering a header into the back of the net.

New York got a goal back from Gonzalo Verón in the 75’. The initial headed shot from Verón hit Berry directly in the chest and bounced back into the path of Verón who slid it past the keeper.

Bradley Wright Phillips headed a ball just inside the post to even the match. Taking a cross from Tony Adams, Wright-Phillips coolly redirected the ball into the net giving Mitch Hildebrandt no chance to make a save.

New York almost took the lead twice before the full time whistle. First, after Wright Phillips heads a ball right off the crossbar and then a shot from Felipe was fired toward the near post of Hildebrandt who fell to the ground just in time to preserve the tie and head into extra time.

11 minutes into extra time after New York dominated possession Wright-Phillips scores his second, a beautiful header just inside the post again in the 101’.

Marco Dominguez had a good chance two minutes after the goal to even it up. A ball over the top was misplayed by the keeper and went to Dominguez in front of an open net but New York’s Tyler Adams came at the last second to clear the ball off the line.

Kevin Schindler was wide open 30 yards out and put the shot just wide of the post. It would have been a beautiful goal just before the first half of extra time ended.

The second half of extra time Cincinnati had shots from Wiedeman and Bone both go wide before New York was able to ice the rest of the match.

News and Notes

The goal was the first from Bone all season across all competitions. It was also the first scored from a Cincinnati player not named Djiby in U.S. Open Cup play.

Cincinnati had 585 scoreless minutes in their Open Cup run until the goal by Verón.

Koch commented on Bradley Wright-Phillips after being asked how close Cincinnati was to the MLS, “How many goals did Bradley Wright-Phillips score tonight? That was the difference. Big time players step up in big time moments.”

Marsch later commented on how the MLS commissioner Don Garber was in attendance and said, “I hope he takes notice of what’s going on here and I don’t think it will be too long before we are back.”

New York will be playing Sporting KC in the US Open Cup Final in Kansas City on September 20.

Cincinnati was missing Djiby, their leading goalscorer, this evening due to yellow card accumulation by picking up three yellow cards in the cup.

Next Up

FC Cincinnati has a match this weekend against the New York Red Bulls II up in New York at 4:00 pm. There is the possibility that some of the New York players that featured tonight for the first team could also play again this Saturday in the reserves. New York sits right behind Cincinnati in the Eastern Conference Table in eighth with 28 points (8-11-4).

Next Wednesday Cincinnati hosts Ottawa Fury FC at 7:30 pm. Ottawa currently sits one point out of a playoff position in 10th with 27 points (7-7-6). This will be the first match between the two. Ottawa joined the USL this season after three seasons in the NASL. They were one of two teams to make the jump from the NASL to the USL along with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Final Thoughts

Even though this cup run has ended there is no reason that the momentum for soccer in Cincinnati to slow down. They beat two MLS teams in Columbus and Chicago as well as beating Miami FC, the best the NASL has to offer. This has been a magical run and whatever happens Cincinnati now has to use that momentum to make sure they are in the USL playoffs.

In attendance tonight were the two most powerful men in US Soccer in US Soccer president Sunil Gulati and MLS commissioner Don Garber. The MLS looks to be waiting for Cincinnati as long as the stadium deal gets done. The Bailey also brought out a sign asking for the stadium to be built in Cincinnati and not Newport.

In what was a great performance from Cincinnati until the 75′ the first goal was scored there were a few standout players for Cincinnati. Justin Hoyte had a great game and was very aggressive after being released on the counter a handful of times and narrowly missed providing an assist. Danni Konig ran down every clearance and kept pressure on New York’s defense until he was subbed off in the 71′. Andrew Wiedeman was probably the most impressive because he looked to have pulled his hamstring late in original 90 minutes and kept fighting through it all the way through the end of extra time.

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