Monday, January 7th, 2018
MLS has released the full season schedule this afternoon after withholding all but the first three games for each team since December 20th, when FC Cincinnati learned that their welcome party to Major League Soccer would be against three recent league champions in Portland (2015), Atlanta (2018), and Seattle (2016) which is quite a task for any club, let alone our brand spanking new one that hasn’t even completed their roster.
Final touches to the roster are still coming together - more to come on that later this week.
The highlights of the scheduling for the Orange and blue feature seven national television appearances:
March 2nd, @ Seattle Sounders (FS1)
March 10th, @ Atlanta United (ESPN)
March 17th, vs Portland Timbers (FS1)
April 7th, vs Sporting Kansas City (ESPN)
June 29th, @ Minnesota United (ESPN)
July 18th, vs DC United (ESPN)
August 8th, vs Columbus Crew (FS1)
The orange and blue will square off with each Eastern Conference team twice (home and away) while facing each Western Conference side only once with an even home and away split.
There is a scrumptious couple of weeks when FCC will run into natural rival Columbus Crew SC twice in August (10th & 25th) for the official beginning of the Hell Is Real derby in which FCC currently holds the crown.
Without seeing this team kick a ball in the league, it it absolutely impossible to predict how the team will perform.
Last year there were 11 teams in the East, 12 in the West. It took 50 and 49 points, respectively to make the playoffs. That’s where FCC needs to be looking for as a barometer for success. As close to 50 as they can possibly get and make it interesting in September.
If you’re just now getting into soccer - there are three possible outcomes.
Win - 3pts
Draw - 1pt
Loss - 0 pts
FCC fans should not expect the same initial success that the club saw in USL. Soccer is a hard game. MLS roster construction is next to impossible to understand, and FCC’s most valuable (on paper) player is trying to regain upper echelon MLS status.
That said, there are no punks in this league and FCC have gone global with their roster thus far, with a couple of weeks of work left to do. The club has indicated that there will not be a second designated player being added to the roster in this transfer window - and that is smart. See what this team actually does, and address the needs in the summer.
This season is not about making the playoffs, it’s about trying to - and the final prediction is:
Literally impossible to say - don’t be crazy. It probably won’t be incredible in all likelihood - but with the league allowing 14 of the (current) 24 teams into the tournament - it won’t take the “incredible” to have a fun first MLS season.