FC Cincinnati’s Jimmy McLaughlin and Kenney Walker celebrate McLaughlin’s goal in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Pittsburgh at Nippert Stadium. Photo courtesy of FC Cincinnati

7 things to know as FC Cincinnati hosts Crystal Palace

One of the big stories of the summer in southwest Ohio is FC Cincinnati, a pro soccer team playing host to English club Crystal Palace this weekend.

Here are seven things to know about the friendly scheduled for Saturday night at 7 p.m.

1. FC Cincinnati has been a big hit with fans so far this season, drawing an average of 16,443 fans per home game at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. A game April 16 against Louisville FC drew a league-record 20,497 fans.

2. The team is not a member of Major League Soccer but rather the United Soccer League, a third-tier league. FCC sits third in the USL’s Eastern Conference as of this writing.

3. Per the team, more than 30,000 tickets have been sold for the visit from Crystal Palace, a member of the Barclays’ Premier League in England. A sellout crowd of around 35,000 is expected to be on hand.

4. FC Cincinnati is coached by John Harkes, a former member of the United State Men’s National team and former Premier League player.

5. Whether or not the soccer game produces much action, there will still be fireworks. No, that’s not a metaphor: A pyrotechnics show is schedule to follow the game at around 9:30 p.m. (weather pending).

6. Crystal Palace is holding a training session at Nippert on Friday night from 5-6:30. It is open to the public and will be followed by a meet and greet in the south end zone.

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