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Cincy Rewards USL-Record 24,376 with Shutout Win

By CHARLIE CORR -, 09/18/16, 11:45AM EDT


Club breaks own record for third time, eclipses 250K in regular-season attendance

Photo courtesy of FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati’s home finale was another milestone moment in the USL as the host side broke its own single-game attendance record for a third time Saturday. With 24,376 fans packed into Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati clinched third place in the Eastern Conference with a 1-0 victory against Orlando City B.

“We certainly don’t take it for granted to have this type of fan base,” Cincinnati Head Coach John Harkes said after the match. “Overall, it has been a tremendous year so far. We enjoy them. When the fans come out and support us like that, we want to reward them.”

Cincinnati capped off the home regular-season schedule with an attendance of 259,437 (an average of 17,296 per game), and the organization also surpassed 300,000 (303,166) in all matches played at Nippert.

Cincinnati needed some help off the bench Saturday to finally break through against an Orlando side that is still trying to secure a berth in the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs. In the 81st minute, Casey Townsend tallied the decisive goal off of an Eric Stevenson assist. 

Cincinnati recently acquired Townsend after his stint with Wilmington Hammerheads FC to bolster the club’s attack. In his first home match in Cincinnati, he came away thoroughly impressed with the environment and tallied the winner to give the base a full three points to enjoy.

“When I heard that this was an opportunity, I jumped at it right away,” Townsend said. “I was excited about it and wanted to get here as quickly as I could. I feel good about the goal and I’m here to help put us over the edge a little bit going into the playoffs.

“[This is] the best crowd I have been in front of for a while,” he said. “They gave us a big boost in the end when we were tired.”

Photo courtesy of FC Cincinnati

For visiting Orlando, the club is clinging to a one-point lead over Townsend’s former team Wilmington in the race for the final postseason position in the Eastern Conference.

Though OCB couldn’t break through for a goal, it was one of the club’s stronger performances in recent weeks – even months. Despite losing for the fifth consecutive time, Orlando did come away with some positives and is still in the driver’s seat for the last postseason slot when it travels to face Bethlehem Steel FC next Sunday.

“It was one of the best performances we’ve had this season,” OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis said. “We missed six clear-cut chances, totally dominated the possession and defended really well. The players deserve a good amount of credit. We changed the system tonight and the way [the players] bought in and executed the game plan and adapted to the system was fantastic to see.

“Obviously we are on the road again [for the next match] and it is not going to be easy. If we can approach the game with the same mentality and perform how we did tonight then we will give ourselves a really good chance of making that final spot.”