The Away End | FC Cincinnati with Lee Hinton


New York City Football Club face off against FC Cincinnati on Wednesday night. 

For this edition of 'The Away End' presented by Berkeley College & Rennert International, we spoke to Lee Hinton, a member of the FC Cincinnati UK Supporters Group to find out more about The Orange and Blue...

How long have you been a fan of FC Cincinnati?

I have been a long term MLS fan, mainly coming from my love of America in general. My first introduction to Cincinnati was in 2016 when they hosted Premier League Crystal Palace at Nippert Stadium. The following season I then kept tabs of the US Open run where we reached the semi finals.

Ever since FC Cincinnati joined the MLS as an expansion team in 2019 I have adopted them as my team. It has been challenging following from afar over here in the UK, but this season it has become a lot easier with AppleTV! It was a tough start to MLS, and has taken a few years for us to really get into our stride but I am hopeful that the play off appearance last season can be just the start for us.

What has been your highlight in that time?

Last season was a real highlight for me. Clinching the Play-Offs for the first time in the team's history was a fantastic way to top off the season. It continued into the play offs with a great 2-1 win at Red Bull Arena, unfortunately, we came short against a Philadelphia side which blew a lot of teams away last season.

It was great to finally see Cincy start to challenge the elite in the MLS and reach the end of season play offs. Players like Brandon Vazquez performed all season and it was great to see him finally get a USMNT call up earlier this year.

What are your thoughts on the team’s start to the season?

I had high hopes for this season after the success of the 2022 season, but so far it has exceeded my expectations. TQL Stadium has turned into a real fortress, and this can be the benchmark for our success this season.

To have played 8 home games and win all 8 has been magnificent, and it is testament to the team mentality that Pat Noonan has created. At the time of writing we are top of the Eastern Conference and are still in the Open Cup - I hope we can keep this up all season!

What are your hopes for the 2023 season?

To continue how we have started...! In fairness, if we can keep this up and continue to excel in the Conference, then that would mark a fantastic season for Cincy. My personal hopes are that we can win the Eastern Conference.

This would be a great achievement and a real sign of progress from our initial success last season. Then we can go into the MLS Cup with confidence and see where it takes us.

What do you think will be the deciding factor in Wednesday’s game?

A lot of our success this season has been based around our ability to keep clean sheets, as can be seen by the number of 1-0 victories we have had so far!

Therefore, I think the first goal is going to be vital. If we can get the first goal, I have confidence in our defense that they will be able to manage the game to gain us 3, or at least one point. If NYCFC grab the first goal, and they have lots of threats, then it could be a real test of character.

And have you been able to take a game in yet in person?

Unfortunately not, but it is on the bucket list for hopefully this season! In my trips to America I have been able to take in many MLS games, visiting 6 stadiums so far, but they have never coincided with a Cincy game.

I plan to visit on a week which includes a midweek matchday and get 3x fixtures in, including an away trip. The atmosphere at the TQL looks incredible and I can't wait to join the Bailey!

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