Rivalry Renewed: LouCity Heads Up the River to Face FC Cincinnati in U.S. Open Cup
The Dirty River Derby between Louisville City FC and FC Cincinnati is set to reignite as the two sides face off in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Third Round game on Wednesday. This will be the first competitive match between these two teams in nearly four years, and it promises to be an exciting encounter.
The game is scheduled to take place at Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium, which opened in 2021 and has already hosted several high-profile matches, including U.S. Men’s National Team games. With a capacity of 25,513, this modern facility is an ideal venue for this much-anticipated clash.
LouCity and FC Cincinnati have a short-lived yet fierce rivalry that began in 2016 and lasted until 2018, when the latter made the move to Major League Soccer. During that time, Louisville held the edge in league games with a 4-3-2 record, while FC Cincinnati won both prior Open Cup contests in 2017 and 2019. However, the only meeting between these two sides since the 2019 Open Cup fixture was a 2021 preseason game won 3-0 by Louisville City FC.
Six players from the old Dirty River Derby days are still on LouCity’s roster, which has helped the team maintain its status as a USL Championship power over the years. LouCity enters Wednesday’s game on a four-game unbeaten run across all competitions, while FC Cincinnati has also enjoyed recent success after a rocky start to its MLS era. The orange and blue won only 14 games in their first three seasons in the league before making a run to the 2022 playoffs. Cincinnati’s second in MLS’ Eastern Conference having lost just once this year going into the Open Cup.
The U.S. Open Cup is a national championship tournament organized by U.S. Soccer, and it features 24 Third Round games that will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday. The 18 MLS teams entering the competition are all matched up against lower-division clubs looking to advance to the Round of 32 played from May 9-10. The field continues to whittle down until the Cup final on Sept. 27.
FC Cincinnati has some notable players to watch out for, including Brazilian striker Brenner and American forward Brandon Vazquez, who started in the U.S. national team’s draw last week against Mexico. Another player to keep an eye on is Argentine midfielder Luciano Acosta, who has already scored and assisted goals this season.
This match promises to be an exciting encounter, with both teams eager to progress to the next round of the U.S. Open Cup. With the Dirty River Derby rivalry adding an extra dimension to the game, fans can expect an intense and entertaining match at TQL Stadium on Wednesday night.
If you are not able to make the trip up to The ‘Nati, you can watch the match on the B/R Football’s YouTube channel: tinyurl.com/4r37fm4x.
Prediction: LouCity will have its hands full with a top-tier MLS club; despite playing better over the last few weeks. Both teams are coming into the match playing well. However, FCC is playing better as they sit tied for first in the MLS Eastern Conference, and that will be too much for LouCity to overcome. In the end, I see FCC just overpowering LouCity and the match not being that close in the end. If the game were in Louisville, I would consider the upset, but since it is in Cincinnati, I don’t see that happening.
Final Score: LouCity 1 FCC 2
Photo by: Fahad Alotaibi