Nashville Soccer Club will write the first chapter in what could be a long soccer rivalry when it visits FC Cincinnati in a preseason friendly.
The teams will meet for a preseason showdown on March 3 at Gettler Stadium on the campus of The University of Cincinnati.
The friendly is one of seven announced by FC Cincinnati Wednesday. Nashville SC confirmed the fixture when approached by Golden Goal.
“We are thrilled to add another strong club to our preseason schedule in FC Cincinnati,” Nashville SC said in a statement. “We look forward to announcing more preseason fixtures in the near future.”
FC Cincinnati season ticket holders will receive priority ticket-buying privileges. Remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public Feb. 14.
Cincy enters its third season of play with major aspirations following a sixth-place Eastern Conference finish and first-round USL Playoffs loss. The club earned attention and respect from a semifinal appearance in the U.S. Open Cup, a run that included wins over the MLS’s Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire.
Cincy fans flocked to Nippert Stadium in 2017, easily breaking league attendance records by averaging more than 21,000 fans per game. The city is a major contender for an MLS expansion bid alongside Sacramento and Detroit — a decision that could be on hold for several more weeks.
Here are some things you need to know about FC Cincinnati:
- MLS Affiliation: None
- Stadium: Nippert Stadium (33,800)
- Nippert is home to the University of Cincinnati football team and is the largest venue in the USL
- It is the fifth-oldest stadium in college football
- Coach: Alan Koch (2nd season)
- Koch came to Cincinnati from Vancouver, where he led the Whitecaps’ reserve squad for two seasons
- He took over in Cincy for John Harkes, a former U.S. national who abruptly left after one season due to a personality conflict with team management
- Koch is from South Africa and speaks English, German and Afrikaans
- First Season: 2016
- 2017 Finish: 12-10-10 (Lost in Conference Quarterfinals to Tampa Bay, 3-0)
- Best-ever Finish: 2016 (16-8-6, Conference Quarterfinals)
- Supporters’ Groups: The team has several active supporters groups
- Three Fun Facts:
- FC Cincinnati fans packed Nippert Stadium in 2017, leading the USL in attendance by nearly double the second-place team
- FCC advanced to the semifinals of the 2017 U.S. Open Cup, beating Columbus and Chicago and selling out Nippert Stadium for the semifinal match
- Cincy and Louisville City compete in the Dirty River Derby for the River Cities Cup. Louisville won the 2017 trophy on goal differential after the sides went 1-1-1 in three matches. FCC is 3-2-2 all-time in the series