FC Cincinnati and Nashville SC played to a 2-2 draw in a preseason match at Gettler Stadium in front of a sell out of 1,400 fans.
Nashville opened the scoring with a goal from Matt LaGrassa inside the box shortly after a corner. Lance Laing equalized for Cincinnati just before halftime with a stunning 25 yard curling volley that landed in the far corner of the net.
Cincinnati took the lead in the 65th minute with a goal from Emery Welshman off a throw in. He allowed the ball to roll all the way to the end line before sliding it past the keeper for the goal. A late penalty for Nashville, converted by Alan Win, tied the match up in the 87th minute. A Cincinnati defender took down a Nashville attacker with a bad tackle.
After the game Head Coach Alan Koch said, “I think it was exactly the way we needed it to be. To be honest I am glad we didn’t win because if we left the pitch today winning, some people, some players, some fans, maybe some of my staff would leave today with a bit of a false sense of confidence. It is exactly what we needed it to be today. That’s exactly what a USL game will look like. That’s why we played Nashville today.”
Lance Laing impressed the entire 70 minutes he was on the pitch. Besides the goal, he put in a few very good crosses for Welshman that were just too far away for him to put into the net. His strength fighting for the ball gave Cincinnati a chance to keep every ball that was played long down the left side of the field. He has pace to run down long balls, which led to his goal. Left back Blake Smith was able to play a few very nice balls to him; this could be the beginning of a very nice partnership this season if it continues.
Set pieces are going to be the strength of Cincinnati this season. Large defenders Dekel Keinan and Forest Lasso both attack corners and free kicks incredibly well on both offense and defense. Keinan even bashed heads with a Nashville defender and received a nice cut above his eye that had to be stitched up on the field. He came off for a few minutes to get cleaned up and played until the mass substitution in the 72nd minute.
It was a decent performance from Cincinnati today against a physical team that fell down a lot begging for calls when the physicality was given back to them. Nashville had two tall forwards that were handled well by the defense and Evan Newton made a fair share of good saves to keep Cincinnati in game. There will be comparisons to Mitch Hildebrandt, but Newton is going to be better.
The service to Welshman was lacking through the first 30 minutes of the game and he seemed to be on an island for long stretches. When the ball was played to him he was muscled off by the larger Nashville defenders. He barely missed getting his head on two very nice crosses from his wingers in Laing and Emmanuel Ledesma. The bright side is when he gets the perfect ball he is able to put a good shot on target which he showed with his goal.
Moment By Moment
6’ Kienan was down for a long time after colliding heads with a Nashville defender. He had a nice cut above his eye. He rejoined the match in the 14’ minute.
19’ After a giveaway in the midflied that could have been called a foul Nashville put in a good shot from from outside the box hit the crossbar. The rebound was cleared for a corner.
21’ Nashville’s Matt LaGrassa scored the first goal just outside the six-yard box to give Nashville the lead.
41’ Evan Newton with a good save on a close shot off corner. The sun in his eyes made things tougher but he handled it well.
44’ Newton with another good save in a one on one situation. After the ball bounced around a little bit after a corner in landed in front of Nashville’s Hume. The low and hard shot was parried away by Newton.
45’ Off the counter from the good save by Newton, Blake Smith carried the ball out of the area and passed to Laing who hit a beautiful curling volley into the far corner.
65’ Welshman collects a throw in inside the box lets the ball roll close to the goal line and slides the shot past the Nashville keeper. After the goal was counted the keeper pleaded to the referee that the ball had gone out of play but to no avail.
87’ A penalty was conceded by Cincinnati to Nashville after a bad tackle in the box. Win stepped up and buried the penalty into the corner to pull Nashville level.
88’ Nashville’s keeper made a great diving play to stop a Matt Bahner cross to a sitting Tomi Ameobi.