3 Questions About Cincy with Michael Walker
Can you believe FC Cincinnati is just now getting a home game? Well, St. Louis has the honors of bringing the beautiful game to Division 2 Cincy for the first time ever. 2017 hasn't been friendly to the boys in orange and blue, and Michael Walker of Orange and Blue Press agreed to give us all a few thoughts on the season so far as well as the injury updates and changes to the team this season.
1. Starting with the obvious one. Cincinnati has had an unexpectedly bad start, but one wrought with injuries. That's one obvious reason. Can you bring us up to date on current injuries and other possible causes to the rough start?
The three starters that could miss Saturday’s match are center back Austin Berry (concussion), fullback Justin Hoyte (hamstring), and central attacking midfielder Daryl Fordyce (calf strain). Berry is the most critical of the three in my opinion, because we have more experienced cover in the other positions. He is also co-captain of the team (although Kenney Walker wears the armband). The back line is not the same without Berry.
As far as other possible causes to the slow start I would suggest two things. The team has not quite gelled yet and is still adjusting to the coaching change, implementing a more direct style of play, and integrating eleven new players.
Second, matches are defined by key moments, and the key moments have gone against Cincinnati in their two losses. For example, two penalty kicks were conceded that had a big impact on those losing results. Those PKs weren’t the only reason FCC lost, but they played a big part.
2. Cincinnati has also made a few high-profile signings. Were they the right guys to sign? Will they prove themselves in the end?
On paper, FC Cincinnati clearly added quality and depth in several positions. I believe forward Djiby Fall will undoubtedly be a success. He was banging in goals during preseason, and already has two goals in three regular season matches. Justin Hoyte only played 13 minutes and got injured so we haven’t seen enough to know. You obviously don’t play for Arsenal without great quality though. There are some other noteworthy signings like Quinn, Fordyce, Mansaray, Dacres, and Bahner. Since early results haven’t been spectacular, not many of these players have stood out. It’s very early in the season to judge though.
3. Who impacted the team most by leaving and why? Okoli or Harkes?
I would have to say Harkes departure has had the most impact at this point. That’s mostly because it’s harder to change the leadership, tactics, and style of play for a team than it is to replace a single player like Okoli. That being said, I think Preki’s doing a great job of making those changes so far. Alan Koch has plenty of time to prove himself and most think he’ll be good, but it’s a results-oriented business. As for Sean Okoli, he benefitted from good service and taking the penalty kicks last year. He did well to take his chances and deserves full credit, but I think some fans and pundits think many strikers could have done well as the focal point of FC Cincinnati’s attack last season. Djiby Fall has a good shot at putting up stats similar to Okoli’s,especially if FC Cincinnati can find a good run of form.