skip navigation

No. 2 – Stories of the Year: Cincy Bursts onto Scene

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 12/30/16, 7:00AM EST


Between boisterous attendances and highlight-reel moments, FCC made noise in first season

Photo courtesy of FC Cincinnati

Expectations were high for a number of the USL’s expansion class of 2016, but none entered with the goals FC Cincinnati had set for itself entering its first season in the league.

Those expectations were smashed as the club scored big both on and off the field, with Head Coach John Harkes’ squad quickly finding its level in the USL’s Eastern Conference in front of record-breaking crowds at Nippert Stadium.

Cincinnati welcomed five-figure crowds to every home game in the regular-season and USL Cup Playoffs in its first year, breaking the USL regular-season attendance record on three separate occasions, and then the league’s overall attendance record three times as well. The club’s regular-season finale against Orlando City B drew a crowd of 24,376, while FCC’s first USL Cup Playoffs game against the Charleston Battery saw 30,187 in attendance.

Photo courtesy of FC Cincinnati

Cincinnati fans saw some thrilling action, too, such as Sean Okoli’s first tally at Nippert Stadium, which landed on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10. Goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt thrilled The Bailey with highlight-reel saves and a strong rapport with club supporters.

Cincinnati’s success was the talk of the USL and beyond, and the club is setting itself up for another box office bonanza. FCC has already surpassed 8,000 season ticket sales for the upcoming 2017 season.

2016: Top Stories of the Year
No. 2: Cincy Bursts onto Scene
No. 3: Red Bulls II Charge to Title
No. 4: Toros’ Hybrid Delivers
No. 5: Fury, Rowdies Make Move
No. 6: Forefront of VAR
No. 7: Fountain of Youth
No. 8: Music City Embrace
No. 9: Highlight-Reel Tallies
No. 10: International Flavor