FC Cincinnati’s lack of success in the franchise's short tenure in Major League Soccer is a cruel reality check for fans, but after back-to-back wins, optimism abounds.
“We were kind of looking ourselves in the mirror at the beginning of the week saying what were we about, and still believing in what we could do," FC Cincinnati defender and Cincinnati native Nick Hagglund said. "We put good performances together and I think the group is feeling the momentum, feeling the positivity, the belief and the confidence.”
The club is now 3-5-1 this season with 10 points. Queen City Press FC Cincinnati beat writer Laurel Pfahler says it's significant.
“I know a lot of people were looking at, they were the bottom of the table, those are teams that they should be able to beat, but they didn't beat those types of teams in the past which is why they finished last the last two years," Pfahler said. "So the fact that they are starting to beat some of those teams that they theoretically should be beating is a big step for them.”
Head coach Jaap Stam is enjoying the successful week but is keeping a level approach.
“It's not like by winning now two games in a row, having a good week that you can say okay now everything has changed because that's not how it works," Stam said. "We're still building, because there's still things, there's still room for improvement as an individual, for players and also as a team.”
FC Cincinnati is now 11th place in the East. It's led to a preliminary playoff discussion amongst some fans, but Stam doesn’t want to talk about that.
“We need to take it step for step, bringing the team together and molding them into hopefully a machine that can go a long way and then can win a lot of games,” Stam said.
Success can be fleeting, but the FC Cincinnati faithful hopes this feeling is here to stay.
“It's nice for the fans to be able to see some results finally when we've been talking about little bits of progress along the way," Pfahler said. "Now they're seeing it. They've got to keep fighting for these points especially on the road, and then they have to start winning at home. That's the next thing I think.”