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Soccer Sports

FC Cincinnati Drops Friendly To RCD Espanyol

FC Cincinnati lost 3-2 to La Liga side RCD Espanyol in an international friendly. 16,135 attended the special match, which also included a celebration of Cincinnati joining the MLS next season.

Cincinnati scored their first goal against an international opponent with a goal from Russell Cicerone in the fifth minute. The previous two international friendlies against Crystal Palace of the English Premier League and Valencia C.F. of the La Liga were both 2-0 losses for Cincinnati.

“It amazing to play here because the atmosphere is good,” Espanyol head coach Rubi on playing in Cincinnati, “the supporters helped the team. It was just a good experience,”

“It was fun, you could see the fans were enjoying themselves. We scored two fantastic goals,” commented Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch on the occasion, “For us to score two great goals against a La Liga team is something pretty special.”

Russell Cicerone scored in the fifth minute to give Cincinnati an early lead. Will Seymore intercepted a pass in the attacking third, passed to Emery Welshman who found a wide-open Cicerone in space.

In the 31’ a bad pass from Sem de Wit goes straight to Victor Sanchez at the top of the box. Sanchez jukes Spencer Richey so bad he was on the ground before the shot was even taken by Sanchez.

Sergi Garcia gave Espanyol the lead in the 69’ after a blocked shot landed at his feet in the box and he just tapped it home. Very unfortunate for Cincinnati who could do very little to keep the ball out in that position.

Emmanuel Ledesma fired an absolute rocket into the net from outside the box in the 76’ to equalize. Jimmy McLaughlin carried the ball 30 yards of the right flank, cut across the center bypassing several Espanyol defenders before making a short pass to Ledesma. Ledesma fired a rocket into the far side of the net giving the keeper no chance.

Espanyol took the lead again in the 79’ after a blocked shot landed at the feet of Sergi Darder who put the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

News And Notes

Tyler Gibson and Mark Village both made their club debuts at the start of the second half. Both played 28 minutes.

Gibson came back from a fractured patella in preseason suffered on February 4th. Gibson hit a rocket in the 54’ that just sailed wide of the net.

Village had a nice debut, he gave up a goal in the 69’ but didn’t have much of a chance to make a save. But he made a fantastic double save in the 72’ to keep Cincinnati in the match at a point when they could have fallen two goals behind and been out of the match.

Lance Laing made his first appearance since May 26 in Cincinnati’s last league loss against Louisville City FC.

Jimmy McLaughlin and Will Seymore both played the whole 90 minutes tonight. Corben Bone and Michael Lahoud were the only two FC Cincinnati players not to feature.

Koch commented after the match that Emery Welshman got a light groin strain. He is suspended for the next two league matches due to a red card against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on July 18th.

Up Next

Cincinnati hosts Nashville SC this Saturday at 7:30 pm. Nashville is currently sitting seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 30 points (8-6-6). The first time they met it ended in a 0-0 draw in Nashville.

Final Thoughts

Tonight was what seemed like an after thought for many Cincinnati soccer fans and the attendance certainly showed that. But for those who showed up they were given a show. The first 20 minutes Cincinnati was playing the attacking and free flowing play that has them unbeaten in their last 10 matches.

Sentimentally watching Tyler Gibson come back after missing six months is always nice to see. He didn’t have a huge impact on the match outside of the rocket he put just wide of goal.

Lance Laing struggled tonight missing some combination passes he was making early in the season and he is far from the player I thought he was going to be after watching his first few appearances in a Cincinnati shirt.

Emery Welshman played very well tonight. He was chasing balls into channels and playing the simple passes a striker needs to make to keep the offense flowing. The only minus was he strayed offside a few too many times. He has the pace to outrun defenders that extra step is nice but it doesn’t mean anything if the whistle blows.

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