Photo courtesy FC Cincinnati
CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch believed he would learn a lot about his team as it ran a gauntlet of three of its main rivals over the course of eight days at Nippert Stadium.
After a 1-1 draw against arguably the toughest of the three assignments against River Cities Cup rival Louisville City FC in front of 20,473 at Nippert Stadium, Koch was pleased with what he had seen.
“What I'm most proud about is the amount of character the boys showed this game after going down a point and then being able to battle back and even the scores,” said Koch. “I would also like to tip my hat off to the fans, they brought a lot of energy in the second half that pushed us forward to get that goal.”
Photo courtesy FC Cincinnati
Cincinnati had earned victory against Saint Louis FC last Saturday night, and a draw with the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Wednesday previously in its home stand, but was put up against it by a Louisville side that struck early through Brian Ownby. Cincinnati began to carry more of the play from the half-hour mark on, however, and Koch elected to push more strongly around the hour-mark when Daryl Fordyce and Andrew Wiedeman were introduced.
"We brought Daryl and Weideman in around the 60th minute because we wanted to give ourselves a chance,” said Koch. “Both are attacking styled players and so we wanted to bring them in and push them up into the attack with Djiby. It was tactical adjustment because towards the end we want more bodies around the ball.”
In the end, though, Aodhan Quinn proved the man of the hour. Going up against his former team for the first time since his offseason move to Cincinnati, the standout midfielder helped create a number of chances for his teammates over the course of the game. After all the craft he had provided, an opportunistic turning finish with 11 minutes to go after a broken play in the penalty area saw Quinn notch the equalizer.
“I knew if the opportunity presented itself, I wasn't going to celebrate it,” Quinn said. “I have nothing but respect for that [Louisville City FC] organization. I was ecstatic about getting the goal and helping the team get back into it and thought because of the character we showed to fight back into it the game, we deserved that goal.”
Cincinnati again had to fight off the final minutes with 10 men as USL leading scorer Djiby Fall was sent off for a strong challenge against Kyle Smith, the third red card FCC has received already this season. With the team coming off a grueling run of games, though, Koch was pleased with what he had seen from his charges.
"I'm excited about the direction we are heading,” said Koch. “We knew coming into these three games that we were going to be against three of the top teams in the league, and that's exactly what it proved to be. To be able to come away with five points of the possible nine from these matches, I am very happy with the results."