FC Cincinnati’s big win over Columbus builds momentum towards future
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - FC Cincinnati may just a “baby” in the world of professional soccer, but they showed on Wednesday night that they can play with the “grownups.”
The club beat Major League Soccer's "Columbus Crew SC" in front of a huge crowd to advance to the Sweet 16 of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
It’s a big deal for the team trying to move up from the United Soccer League.
The upset has even been compared to a 16-seed knocking off a one-seed in the NCAA tournament.
On Wednesday night, FC Cincinnati bested MLS’s Columbus Crew FC at Nippert Stadium to create some “June Madness.”
When it was over, no one wanted to leave.
“When the referee blew the whistle, it was pure joy. Our players played so well. They worked so hard during the match.,” said FC Cincinnati President and GM Jeff Berding. “It was just an incredible night for Cincinnati to show off what a great sports town we are.”
30,160 fans were in attendance, but a lot more eyes are on FC Cincinnati. It's been a big week in their push to be part of MLS's expansion plans.
On Monday, they laid out stadium designs and potential locations. Wednesday they laid out a big league opponent.
“It's certainly a momentum builder,” said Berding.
If nothing else, it's a lot of fun. The team store was busy Thursday morning. Erin Feiser watched a live stream of the game with her husband. On Thursday she was Father's Day shopping.
“We're super excited. We grew up playing soccer in our young adult life and just love watching a professional team here in Cincinnati,” said Erin.
Even disappointed Columbus Crew fans enjoyed Wednesday night.
“My wife and I both enjoyed the experience and thought the atmosphere was great. The fans were really into the game. It did not seem minor league. We thought it was great,” said Ian Riddlebarger, who is also a high school soccer coach.
There's more to come.
FC Cincinnati will be back at Nippert Stadium in two weeks to host another MLS team when the Chicago Fire comes in the next round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
FCC will also be back at Nippert on Saturday for regular season play against Charleston Battery FC, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year.
Wednesday night's attendance at Nippert Stadium set an US Open tournament record for a match that wasn't a final.