Forget 2019, and Cheers to 2020 and Nippert Stadium – (a memoir, sort of)

Let's reminisce on FCC 2019 for a brief moment, then forget all of the dull moments, Cheers to 2020.

As I am writing this, the 2020 MLS Season has already kicked off. Loud drums, screaming fans, echoing chants and not completing any school work; the month of March. For many, March is just another shitty month filled with nothing but school and then the walk. But I thrive in March because it is SOCCER SEASON, baby.

The 2019 season was a cluster filled with the “highest of highs, and the lowest of lows” (I haven’t forgot about you, Alan). Selling out the first ever MLS home match at nipper stadium – High. Getting absolutely reamed by every team except for the team up north – Low. Coming into that season, I did not expect much. My hopes were raised high just 13 minutes into the season when Bertone hit an absolute cracker in Seattle but were ultimately crushed every game after Portland with the infamous scoring drought of 2019 that lasted over 600 minutes.

Alan Koch, you dirty dog. I have never seen a coach ruin a team so fast in my life. Ten weeks in and the man gets fired after going 2-6-2 respectively. In my opinion, He should have never, let me stress, NEVER been the coach of FC Cincinnati. I would rather have a pack of cigarettes and a bag of potato chips instead of him.

I had one goal this season. Win a meaningful game, just one. Let me set the stage. It’s a brisk August evening in Columbus, Ohio. You are about to witness one of the greatest rivalries in MLS history and you made a 2-hour drive with your beloved mother to watch this game. FCC would take a 2-0 lead after goals from Manu Ledesma and a felon who shall not be named and has no right to be on MY team. After halftime, FCC blows it all. The team is outclassed, just pure embarrassment from all aspects of the game to the Columbus casuals flicking you off and that little 12-year-old who is watching you suffer inside. Just one goal this season, to win a meaningful game, just one. I don’t want to talk about the home game.

If it could not get worse, Fanendo Adi screwed FC Cincinnati by only scoring one league goal vs. the Chicago Sparks or the Fire or whatever they are (change your logo back) and scoring the lone goal vs. Louisville City in the U.S. Open Cup. FCC bought out Adi’s massive contract and he was picked up by the crew less than two hours later. You are from Cincy. Just put all of the pieces together. Adi is going to run it up vs. FCC in the Hell is Real Derby this season because that’s just our luck. Right?

Lets just forget 2019 even happened. Not the whole season. I will look back when I am an old man and when I have grandchildren and my own kids and get to tell them about this club and the history that was made in 2019 both good and bad. Yes, we can forget about how bad we were, Fanendo DUI, Darren the Felon, the racist dutch man (rip Ron), the million-dollar goal, and the worst ever goal differential in MLS History in 24 seasons (2020 season marks 25 seasons). But some things we just can’t forget. Leo Bertone’s goal in Seattle to open our MLS account, the magical march to the stadium for the home opener, getting to play good teams and world class players, the countless away trips that fans made and the amount of press generated. Never forget that.

Yet, we are Cincinnati, and after building the best roster in club history, then Head Coach, Ron Jans uses a racial slur in the locker room in Tucson in the preseason. Its only up from, here right? Psych. Ron “resigned” from his position at FCC and Yoann Damet is taking over as Caretaker Manager again for the second time in less than seven months. He did not have the best record either. On the bright side, Yoann is working with some world class pieces in the attacking front with Yuya Kubo, Jurgen Locadia, and Andre Reggatin and also having Haris Medunjanin in the 6 spot to spray that ball out. I shall not forget about the God himself in the 10 role Siem De Jong. De Jong played for PSV, and Ajax and is a very successful player wherever he goes. If he can create chances, Yo is in luck.

FCC 2020, the last ride at Nippert Stadium. I have been waiting four months for you and you are finally here. Maybe the 5-year celebration can bring a few more wins than the six we got last season and maybe a possible playoff push for old times, like in 2018. Ahh, the good ole days. Cheers to five years and cheers to never looking back on the dull moments of 2019 and looking to the new stadium in 2021, to you FC Cincinnati.