Cincinnati FC may not be in the must-win territory at 1-5-1 in the 2021 Major League Soccer season with 27 games to play, but it certainly could use a boost.
Coincidentally, the FCC’s opponent on Wednesday – Chicago Fire FC – also needs a lift. The two clubs will meet at Soldier Field (8 p.m. ET) and enter the game by sharing the Eastern Conference basement based on points (four each).
The soil of the east is a familiar place for Cincinnati FC. The club finished last in the league in 2019 and 2020.
Fortunately for the FCC at the Chicago matchup, the quickest way out of the basement is to beat the teams closest to them on the table.
In that sense, the Fire FC match is seen externally as a litmus test of sorts and a measure of Cincinnati’s ability to evade third from bottom in a row, even if more than two-thirds of the game schedule is still being played.
With MLS being the league of parity, you are few quick results away from a turnaround in the season. A big opportunity is ahead of FC Cincinnati with the game in Chicago, followed by a visit to the twelfth Toronto FC (1-5-2, five points) on Saturday.
After the fixture list markers gave Cincinnati FC a difficult start to the season, this aspect of the club’s campaign this week will equate to as good an opportunity for points in consecutive games as the FCC will see throughout the season.
For the game against the fire, Cincinnati FC head coach Jaap Stam said during a press conference Monday at the Mercy Health Training Center that his team would not change their tactics or approach for a game against closest rivals on the table.
“We know of course that they also try to find their rhythm when they are around,” said Stam. “We also have to be aware of that. This is how they probably come up to us too, so you can also see them trying new things sometimes, different things, also different staff, to find the right balance in the team and what to do, and they are not always doing either very happy with the results I saw games of them too – (their) Montreal game that they play at home.
“They lost one to zero at the end of the game, but they were at the top of the opposition. They had better chances, but they still lost and so are we a bit. We know them. We know that ability.” that they have as they can play. What they can do so that we still need to be aware of what they are trying to do while playing. You play at home. We probably know their approach will push high on the pitch, they will be very aggressive against us.
“Of course the approach won’t be very different when you think of Chicago, but I also have to make the team aware that of course we also have to play for a win situation they are in and hopefully we can perform as they do in the last game. ”
Cincinnati FC would do well to repeat their performance from last weekend against the Colorado Rapids, who dominated the TQL Stadium in almost every facet except on the scoreboard, which reflected a 2-0 defeat by the FCC.
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MLS starts lower league
The MLS enters the minor league.
League officials announced on Monday plans to start a new professional league in 2022, which will complete the development and give the players a clear path from the youth ranks in the clubs to the professional ranks.
The league, which is still under the brand name and in which teams will be positioned in non-MLS markets, will consist of 20 MLS-related clubs as well as the potential for stand-alone teams for the opening season in 2022.
The league game will start at the end of March and end with playoffs in autumn and a championship game in early December, announced the league leaders.
Further details on the league will be announced in the course of 2021.
“We are excited to start a new league to complete the professional path between our academies and the first MLS teams,” said MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott in a press release. “In addition to providing more opportunities for MLS-caliber players, the new league will build a diverse talent pool of coaches, referees and front office executives while attracting fans who were previously unable to support a local club in their hometown.”