For those who aren’t part of the FC Cincinnati faithful or follow me personally, we had a second week bye this past weekend and after enduring the dreadfully boring offseason, a second week bye could have been deemed cruel and unusual punishment for all of us... not to mention that after making history in week one with a big result on the road against Charleston, we all wanted more league action.
However, coming back home with 3 points and having 2 weeks to prepare for our next league match against Indy Eleven presented many positives as well.
The most obvious being time to rest and recuperate. Whether it’s a serious injury picked up during a match or a minor knock during a training session, having time to nurse those knocks is extremely beneficial.
Second, and arguably the most beneficial, a bye week gives us more time to prepare, train, and perfect our imperfections. In a perfect world, teams aim to conclude their preseason in match form and while I wouldn’t say we weren’t prepared for our season opener, I also firmly believe that every day, every training session, every match is an opportunity to improve, a chance to get better. With that being said, an extra week of training without a league match allowed us to focus on implementing and playing our system/style of play correctly.
Furthermore, we had the opportunity this past weekend to travel to a Columbus to play a friendly against the Crew’s reserves at their training ground. While what I’m about to say may contradict my first point with the whole resting/recuperating aspect, maintaining match fitness and playing in match-like conditions is very important this early in the season.
One challenge was having to travel to Columbus verse staying at home. Most of y’all probably know this already, but playing on the road presents different variables than playing at home. Additionally, we were playing against an MLS side with great quality. While getting the result wasn’t necessarily our main priority, we were going to Columbus with a chip on our shoulder. Columbus, even though a league above, is our in-state rival and we wanted to remind them of such.
For those who weren’t able to follow along on twitter, considering the match was held behind closed doors, we walked away with a 4-2 win. We were able to get everyone on the squad minutes but most importantly, continued to approach the next week of training with some momentum as we prepare for Indianapolis this weekend.
Until then, much love!