Michael D Karos Jr John H Kirk Janet R Meyer Patsy A Clark Dorothy J Schroeder Broncos trample the G-Men, 73-40 Rockets down the Devils, 59-55 Seven new inductees to enter WBHS Sports Hall of Fame Lady Warriors ascend to 13-1 Broncos finish 2nd of 22 teams in Hammer and Anvil Invitational Hedwig Lambert Billie G Walkup Some county offices may be moved G’town Council approves 2017 budget Family doubles in size with adoption Sardinia Mayor looks forward to 2017 2017 Fayetteville Firemen’s Festival set Floyd Newberry Jr Donna F Lang Gene Warren Dwight L Fulton Virginia A O’Neil Anne L Durbin-Thomas Marietta Dunn Charles L Latchford Broncos win ‘Battle of 32’ Lady Broncos claim win over Bethel-Tate Jays top Warriors, fall to Mustangs Lady Warriors claim top spot in SHAC with win over Lynchburg-Clay Broncos buck the Lions, 54-51 James N DeHaas Questions still linger in Stuart explosion New direction for Brittany Stykes case New public safety director now on duty in Brown Co. Fayetteville Mayor anticipates a good year for the village Chamber of Commerce announces awardees Robert Bechdolt Carl E Lindsey Audrey F Maher LeJeune Howser Tammy L Connor Henry C Mayhall Jr Chad Spilker Frank W Kemmeter Jr Wanda J Howard Dorothy Huff Colon C Malott Eastern varsity teams come out on top to capture Brown County Holiday Classic crowns WBHS Army JROTC hosts rifle shooting competition Bronco varsity wrestling team unbeaten at 8-0 Blue Jays finish 1-1 in Ripley Pepsi Classic Mona G Van Vooren Hiram Beardsworth Avery W McCleese Ethel E Long Children learn safety from ‘Officer Phil’ Microchips can help locate lost pets Local GOP plans trip to Washington Three sentenced in common pleas Estel Earhart Roy Stewart Tenacious ‘D’ leads Lady Jays to victory over Blanchester on day one of Ripley Pepsi Classic Fayetteville’s Thompson, Jester earn SWOFCA All-City honors Jays fall to Blanchester on first day of Pepsi Classic Ticket details announced for OHSAA basketball and wrestling state tournaments Jerri K McKenzie Randy D Vaughn Georgetown JR/SR high to have new library Georgetown saw many improvements in 2016 Three sentenced in common pleas court Esther O Brown G-Men go on scoring rampage for 77-41 win over Cardinals Warriors climb to 4-2 with wins over West Union, Lynchburg Rockets top Whiteoak for first win Shirley M Bray Carter Lumber closes in G’town Wenstrup looks forward to 2017 Seven indicted by county grand jury John Ruthven holds pre-Christmas Open House New pet boarding facility now open in Georgetown Denver W Emmons Carl W Liebig Mary L McKinley Blake C Roush Louis A Koewler William D Cornetet Western Brown dedicates Perry Ogden Court Lady Warrior win streak hits 5 Lady Rockets wrap up tough week on the hardwood Barons rally for win over Broncos Georgetown to hire two paid Firefighter/EMT’s Noble receives statewide law enforcement award County helps family in need after house fire Flashing signs banned in G’town historic district ‘Christmas Extravaganza’ at Gaslight Thelma L Ernst Roy L Bruce Ken Leimberger Cathye J Bunthoff Lending a holiday helping hand

FC Cincinnati has earned local support

By Garth Shanklin – News Democrat

Hey, Cincinnati sports fans: are you tired of the Bengals constantly letting you down in the postseason? Does the Reds rebuilding (or retooling, depending on your level of optimism) interest you about as much as an episode of Bob the Builder? Do the local college teams politely bowing out of the NCAA tournament before the second weekend just not give you the same rush as before? Well, have I got some good news for you.

A few weeks ago, FC Cincinnati held their home opener at Nippert Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Just over 14,000 people turned out for the event, a 2-1 victory over the Charlotte Independence. A week later, the team returned to their home pitch for a rivalry matchup with Louisville City FC.

I have to be honest, if you had told me two years ago Cincinnati would take on Louisiville at Nippert in 2016 I would have been estatic. I loved the gridiron battles for the Keg of Nails and was beyond disappointed when the Cardinals left for the ACC, effectively putting the rivalry on hold. Suffice it to say learning the teams would once again do battle at Nippert would have thrilled me, until someone bursts my bubble by clarifying the teams would be playing futból, not football.

I have no problems with the sport that I’ll refer to as soccer from here on out. I’ve spent the better part of the last four years at a college that hasn’t sponsored American Football since 1970, the year the Reds lost to Baltimore 4-1 in the World Series. Without the typical sport of choice for most colleges, students at Bradley University instead rallied behind the school’s soccer team, which makes sense.

Between 1996 and 2013, Bradley won three Missouri Valley Conference tournament titles, four regular-season titles and made seven trips to the NCAA tournament. When you compare that to a basketball team that won a grand total of 14 games over the past two seasons, it’s easy to see why soccer is a main draw.

At any rate,, while at Bradley I watched more soccer in those four years than I had in the 18 years prior. It signaled a pretty dramatic shift in thinking for me, as I hadn’t previously thought about the sport all that much. By the time I left the college, we had held viewing parties for the World Cup last year.

I’ll admit that I was skeptical about the new club’s chances in the city. The area already has pro teams of all levels and colleges to support, and I wasn’t sure how the city would handle a new squad to support. Well, apparently there wasn’t anything to be worried about. The team shattered the league attendance record against Louisville, drawing well over 20,000 people to a match which resulted in a 3-2 loss.

It’s probably not reasonable for anyone to expect the team to draw that kind of fan base consistently this early into its existence, but those kinds of attendance figures are encouraging for a lot of people on a lot of levels. First, it solidifies the team as a bonafide entertainment option in the area. The cheapest set of tickets places you right behind one of the goals and will cost $10, a tad more expensive than the lower-end of the Reds’ tickets but to be fair FC Cincinnati doesn’t have 81 home games to draw on.

Those numbers also bode well for the team’s ultimate goal: transitioning into the MLS. The highest level for soccer in the United States currently sits at 20 teams, but it won’t for long. Two more teams, one in Atlanta and another in Minnesota, will join the league next year with a second Los Angeles team to follow in 2018. Miami could also gain a team that year, though that hasn’t been finalized yet.

Even after those four teams join, the league isn’t done. Last December, the league announced it wanted to expand to 28 teams by 2020. FC Cincinnati had been announced in August of last year yet despite the organization’s youth president Jeff Berding said his ultimate goal is to get the squad into Major League Soccer.

It’s an attainable achievement. If the team’s attendance stays consistent and the on-field play is competitive, there isn’t really a good reason why the squad couldn’t make the jump to the big leagues. One could argue that the Columbus Crew already have established themselves in Ohio, but the southern part of the state doesn’t necessarily support the Crew as much as you would think. In 2013, Cincinnati tallied a .13 rating from Nielson regarding Crew games, less than half of the viewership in Columbus and even lower than that of Cleveland. In the years since, it’s actually gotten harder for fans to watch Crew games on television, as they signed an exclusive deal with Time Warner Cable that broadcasts the games on a network only Time Warner customers have access to.

Maybe it’s the glitz and glamour of a new team in the region, maybe it’s the fact that the teams currently in the region have done nothing but let fans down as of late, but whatever it is it’s nice to see the city turn out en masse to support the new team in town. If they can keep it up, maybe we’ll end up at the higher levels, but for now, it seems like a good idea to go out and experience the club for yourself. After all, every team had to start somewhere, and everyone likes to be able to say they were supporters before it was cool.

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2016 News Democrat