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Takeaways from FC Cincinnati’s friendly with Valencia

FC Cincinnati lost their international friendly match with Valencia C.F. 2-0 on Monday. Here are the takeaways from the match:

Not The Event It Was Last Year

Last season’s summer international friendly was the event of the summer; this year’s not so much.

Crystal Palace brought a sold out crowd of 35,061, which is still the record for FC Cincinnati for a single match. This match also brought the pedigree of England’s Premier League that is by far the most popular league in America. It is very accessible through NBC, NBC Sports Network and NBC Live Extra, their streaming platform where every EPL match was broadcast live. Crystal Palace made the FA Cup Final last year against Manchester United, which definitely didn’t hurt the buzz around this match.

Takeaways from FC Cincinnati's friendly with Valencia
Photo of the crowd during the second half.

Valencia comes from Spain a league that is only broadcast on BEIN in the US. BEIN is a channel that is included in extra cable packages and tough to find for casual soccer fans.

Valencia has also had a few down years since their highs of the early 2000s. But what a set of highs those were, two Champions League Finals and a pair of La Liga titles are nothing to skip past. The 12th place finish last season gave them their first finish outside the top half of the table since 1986.

Putting the match on a Monday night didn’t help and kept a handful of fans away. This season the biggest moments of the season could have already happened with the U.S. Open Cup matches. In their match against Columbus, Djiby scored an incredible header to give them the victory. Mitch Hildebrandt stopped three penalties as Cincinnati advanced over Chicago. With three extra Open Cup matches and the U.S. Women’s National Team friendly in September, which has already sold more than 20,000 tickets, there is only so much disposable income soccer fans in Cincinnati have to go around.

At the end of the day this was a good event but not the event of the summer like last season.

Omar Cummings Retirement

 Omar Cummings made his final appearance as a professional soccer player tonight. In a fantastic ceremony at halftime surrounded by family, his wife and daughter, and General Manager Jeff Berding and Owner Carl Linder III he was given a video tribute and framed jersey. As he was subbed off in the 73 minute he was given a standing ovation from the crowd. Every player and staff member was standing as he exited the field.

Cincinnati is losing one of their inaugural signees as a player, but he will be moving into the front office working with the development academy and community involvement.

Backup Keepers

Granted, two goals were scored tonight but we saw some very good play from Dallas Jaye and Dan Williams, FCC’s second and third keepers. Jaye made a great save by jumping to grab a ball that was fired above his head and made a diving save on a shot from Simone Zaza that was offside. He gave up one goal but there was nothing he could have done in the one on one situation he was put in.

Williams had one good save tonight but gave up an open net goal after being called up for an offensive corner. To his credit he did hustle from box to box after the ball was cleared, but he never had a chance to stop Zaza before it was tapped in.

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