Dear Ron Jans, Beat Columbus

Welcome to Cincinnati Ron Jans, we're very excited to have you here. In our soccer team's four-ish year history, you're the first qualified coach we've had. I know I am really excited about that. This city hasn't seen a cohesive plan coming from the dugout... ever really.

So you come to our city with both playing and coaching experience, that's great. Then surely you know how important this match is on Saturday.

Our season so far has been a train wreck. I've argued, perhaps incorrectly, that our team is an average MLS team but has had really poor leadership thus far. Our new GM and your buddy Nijkamp seems to agree with me. But that means there's going to be some pressure on you for the rest of this season. Not much mind you, but some. A fair amount. More than a modicum but less than a bit? Somewhere in there.

Because while this season isn't mathematically lost, you're not Ronny Potter with a magic stick. He was outside of our budget.

But the one way this season can be salvaged is by beating Columbus. They're our rival. I hate the city of Columbus. Columbus and Cincinnati as cities have a rivalry that transcends sports. beating them is one way we can consider this season a success. And I said that before the season started. I'm not picky either Mr Jans. If we lose to them twice but finish above them in the table? I'll take it. If we beat them on an aggregate score? Totally counts. If we have more FCC fans in Mapfre Stadium than they have Crew fans? Well that's a moral victory but it isn't going to cut it.

You have 6 days. which is insanely unfair. I've decided I'm going to vote for whichever candidate for President who says they'll make it easier for FC Cincinnati players and employees to get visas. But since you're here, I'm really going to need you to beat Columbus. Organize the backline, convince the team not to quit after the 60th minute, and have half a plan going forward. You'll already be doing better than your previous three successors.

It's not impossible though. If someone hasn't told you, we beat Columbus in the Open Cup a few years ago when we were a lower division team. They'll tell you they didn't play their best team, but the kicker is we didn't either. It drove them nuts. It was glorious. We had no business winning that game, and we did. So I know miracles can happen. So I'm going to need you to try and pull one off again this Saturday.

But seriously. Columbus is awful. And all last year they made us wear their colors to save their team that they don't even support anymore. It feels like the whole thing was a prank. We've been had. We need revenge.

Beat Columbus, please.

Kevin Wallace