Game Preview: FC Cincinnati vs. Charlotte Independence
USL Regular Season | Match #20
FC Cincinnati vs. Charlotte Independence
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 | 8 p.m.
Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio
TV: ESPN2 | Stream: ESPN3 | Talent: Mike Watts (play-by-play), Devon Kerr (analyst)
Radio: ESPN 1530 AM | Talent: Tom Gelehrter (play-by-play), Kevin McCloskey (analyst), Lindsay Patterson (sideline)
FC Cincinnati: 11-3-5, 38 pts. | First in USL East
Charlotte Independence: 7-6-6, 27 pts. | Tied-Seventh in USL East
RECORD-SETTING CROWD POTENTIALLY ON HAND WEDNESDAY
As of Monday morning, more than 23,000 tickets had been sold for Wednesday's game against Charlotte
Should those fans attend the game, it will set the new USL attendance record for a Wednesday league game
The old record was set earlier this year - by FC Cincinnati - when the Orange and Blue welcomed 22,407 fans to Nippert Stadium on June 13 for the Bethlehem Steel FC game
CRACKING THE 25K MARK IN ATTENDANCE
With 25,416 fans attending last Saturday's game at Nippert Stadium against Tampa Bay, FC Cincinnati pushed its 2018 regular-season attendance up over 25,000 per game
After Saturday's game, FCC now averages 25,004 fans per game this season
Cincinnati has played nine home games, with five games seeing crowds of 25,000 or more ... the team's season high so far was 28,026 for the Richmond Kickers game on June 16
FCC already had to stop selling season-ticket packages early as the team exhausted its full-season inventory at 18,000 season tickets
FC Cincinnati's 25,004 average attendance this season is the fourth-highest average attendance this season in professional soccer in the U.S. and Canada ... FCC - which plays in the second division USL - sits behind three Major League Soccer teams: Atlanta United FC (52,408), Seattle Sounders FC (40,567) and Toronto FC (26,302)
UNDEFEATED RUN CONTUNUES
FC Cincinnati continues its six-game USL homestand with a pair of games this week and looking to extend its current unbeaten run
FCC enters Wednesday's game riding an eight-game unbeaten run during which time FCC is 5-0-3
Since June 2, Cincinnati has posted five wins and three ties in league play
During the run, FCC is 3-0-1 at home and 2-0-2 on the road
The club's longest undefeated run was 12 games in the first half of the 2016 season (7-0-5)
REMINDER: WEDNESDAY'S MOVED TO THE DUECE, ESPN3, 8 PM
FC Cincinnati's Wednesday home game at Nippert Stadium against the Charlotte Independence will be televised on ESPN2
To accommodate the network change, the game will now kick off at 8 p.m.
The Queen Cities Cup contest was originally scheduled to air on ESPNews at 7:30 p.m. that night.
Wednesday's game will be the second meeting between the teams this season ... on May 12, FCC traveled to Matthews, N.C., and fell 4-1 for their first road loss of the season.
HISTORIC TRIO OF GOAL SCORERS
So far in 2018, Danni Konig, Emmanuel Ledesma and Nazmi Albadawi have combined for 25 goals of FC Cincinnati's 37 goals ... that is more than 15 USL clubs have scored this season.
Additionally, this is the first time in club history the Orange and Blue have three goal scorers with 7+ goals in a same single season.
2016: Sean Okoli (16), Andrew Wiedeman (7), Jimmy McLaughlin (4)
2017: Djiby (12), Danni Konig (11), Jimmy McLaughlin (5)
2018: Emmanuel Ledesma (9), Danni Konig (9), Nazmi Albadawi (7)
KEEPING IT CLEAN
With eight clean sheets through 19 games, FC Cincinnati has already eclipsed its 2017 mark of seven clean sheets
If the club records three more shutouts through its final 15 regular-season matches, FCC will break the club season record of 10 clean sheets, which was set during the inaugural 2016 season.
Goalkeeper Even Newton has now gone 285 minutes across all games without allowing a goal and 291 minutes without allowing a goal at Nippert Stadium ... his current home shutout stretch is the second longest home shutout streak in club history ... Mitch Hildebrandt held USL opponents scoreless for 337 minutes at home in May 2016.
FC Cincinnati's current 285-minute shutout stretch across all competitions is the third longest in club history:
405 minutes (includes playoff match) - Sept. 5-Oct.1, 2016
343 minutes - May 7-June 4, 2016
285 minutes - June 27-present, 2018
If the Orange and Blue can hold Charlotte scoreless Wednesday night, it would be the second time in club history the team has recorded four consecutive clean sheets ... the last time it happened was Sept. 11- 24 2016, when the team closed the 2016 regular season with four straight shutouts.
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