Preview: FC Cincinnati Travel to Columbus for First Hell Is Real Match of 2024

FC Cincinnati Announce Roster for 2023 Preseason

May 10, 2024 – Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release

The storied history of the Hell is Real derby will add another page to its textbooks Saturday night when FC Cincinnati, winners of their last three and second place in the Eastern Conference table, make the two hour drive from the Queen City to Field to take on the Columbus Crew for the seventh time since joining MLS.

The history of the two clubs is in the past, and there’s nothing to be done to change that. So the approach to the weekend rivalry match has been putting away distractions like that, and focusing on the task at hand so as to make sure the performance FC Cincinnati put on on Saturday night is up to their standards, and one they can be proud of.

“What I care about is can this group go and perform well, and hopefully get a result to go with it,” FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan said Thursday, “But if we’re so focused on all the results that didn’t go our way in the past, then we’re already in the wrong frame of mind of how we approach this game. So that won’t be something that we discuss.”

FC Cincinnati has never won at Columbus, at best registering draws to come away happy with a point (we tied once at the old stadium). But it is worth noting that the club has, since Pat Noonan took over as Head Coach, never had its full assortment of options available to them when making the trip to Columbus. Last season, in a 3-0 loss, starters Matt Miazga, Yerson Mosquera and Santiago Arias were all unavailable.

Noonan highlighted Thursday that 2023 MLS MVP Luciano Acosta and defender DeAndre Yedlin were both day-to-day headed into the weekend after coming out early the week before with knocks. But expressed optimism that both would be available for the match. Yamil Asad, who picked up a knock will be unavailable for the match, but otherwise, a full complement of FCC players would be available for the match.

“These games are different, not just for us individually, but for the club and for the fans. And that makes it more exciting,” midfielder Obinna Nwobodo said of the rivalry match. “This is a special game. For everyone in the club…but we try to focus more on ourselves so we don’t get into our heads.

“If we only focus on the rivalry, that is not going to work for us. We need to be in the moment and still execute knowing fully well that this game is important. (So) we need to focus on our game.”

While struggles historically have come at Columbus, FC Cincinnati have…

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