Our 2017 Scarf

Scarf Mockup_2017_release2.jpg

Created through a collaboration between our members, with the final design crafted by member Mike Dew: our 2017 scarf.

11 blue Ohio River waves represent each player taking the pitch and the 12th represents us; the supporters who stand with our club.

Die Innenstadt memberships cost $20 and include one of these scarves as well as a DI logo sticker. The scarves are currently being manufactured and this year we'll have the ability to ship them out. However, we'll also have them available for pickup at a pre-season event. Details on that soon.

Stay tuned... 

Purchase memberships/scarves here.

Look to the Future, but Appreciate What You Have

When I was a kid, I really wanted one of those K’nex roller coaster sets, but Christmas was far away and my parents were most definitely not going to run out and just buy me one. So I enjoyed what I had. I broke out a ton of Lego’s and started building supports on the table. I used toothpicks to create the coaster rails. In the end, it didn’t at all work like the K’nex one on television, but I was damn proud of my Lego creation and left it set up for months. I never even got the K’nex set, didn't really think about it again once I started pouring out the plastic bricks.

Who didn't want this when they were a kid?

Who didn't want this when they were a kid?

These days, I’ve got the same attitude about a lot of things. I love visiting Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. At one time, I deeply envied a lot of what those cities have. Why couldn’t Cincinnati be that way? Why did we screw ‘this’ up back in the 19th, 20th, and early 21st centuries? Then I learned to just fully embrace the Queen City and appreciate it for its own unique attributes, to learn its history, to be positive for the future and work towards what it can truly become. I can think of a number of stories where our city/region/area has misstepped and espouse several examples. I’ve poured over the stories of the Stingers and their failure to get into the NHL, I’ve stood in the abandoned subway tunnels, and I’ve walked through the forgotten parts of a once booming airport. While I’ve learned from history, I’ve also learned to not overlook what we do have and during these early days of FC Cincinnati, I think it’s a lesson we can all keep in mind.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend to be some holier-than-thou, skull bandana wearing evangelist who is telling you the proper way to support. I won’t hide it: I WANT to see FC Cincinnati in Major League Soccer, playing at this nation’s highest level. I do think there’s a good chance of that happening and I enjoyed the day when Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber came to visit. I sang the chants, took the day off to hang out with Die Innenstadt friends, marched from the bar, went to the Woodward when he spoke, etc. I certainly felt it was important that we made a strong impression that reflected the massive amount of support this team has. I feel we made our case, but something struck me and it was more realized as I spoke with fellow DI Members in the ensuing days. The potential for FC Cincinnati to join MLS, to bring the city of Cincinnati a third top-tier sports franchise, and to keep raising the profile of this city and its people is all incredibly exciting. I can definitely see it on the horizon. At the same time though, we must truly appreciate what we do have. Whether our club is vying for MLS or just trying to make it in USL, they deserve the strongest possible support we can bring. I hope the Commissioner was impressed, but more so, I want to see even more people on the march through Uptown, picking up a paintbrush at tifo nights in Brighton, and at Rhinehaus in OTR during away matches. I want to hear more unique chants develop, for support to continue growing throughout the city and region. All that can happen whether we’re tapped for MLS or not.

While I’m keeping an eye on the news, what I most look forward to is warmer weather and enjoying the biergarten with some of the best people I know in the heart of our fair city. I’m looking forward to marching, to matches, to continuing the Dirty River Derby, to getting revenge on Charleston, and to watching this club play a competitive and successful season. One day, I’d love to see John Harkes hoist the MLS Cup in the air under a Losantiville sky. For now though, I’m content to watch him and the ‘Boys in Blurange’ hunt for the USL cup.

What we have in USL is incredible. Let’s not forget that and never take it for granted. Look to the future, but appreciate what you have. Not to get overly cliche, but as the song states: where this team goes, “we’ll follow.” In the meantime though, first and foremost: “we support the ‘Nati.”

Regards,

Ronny Salerno

Thank You

The sun sets on Nippert Stadium following the last match of the season. 

The sun sets on Nippert Stadium following the last match of the season. 

I can still remember six years ago when the Cincinnati Reds were swept in the 2010 National League Division Series, their first playoff appearance in 15 years. That season had been incredibly important to me, I attended 33 games that season. 30 at home, three on the road. After two losses in Philadelphia, the Reds came back to their home, hoping to turn the tide, one game from elimination. I was there and felt the air get sucked out of the ballpark when Scott Rolen struck out. It was an emotional moment, the end of something truly special to me. 

I still love the Reds, still follow them, always will. Admittedly though, I never made it down to the ballpark this year. This happened not so much because I’m a “fair weather” fan and this baseball season was abysmal, more so the amount of time I wanted to dedicate to investing in following sports. FC Cincinnati had captured my attention ever since the team was announced in the summer of 2015. I love the stories of upstart sports franchises, how soccer is growing in the United States, and specifically in regards to this sport: how the teams become part of the community. FC Cincinnati General Manager Jeff Berding spelled it out in many of his interviews: the fans who follow this team aren’t just soccer fans, they’re fans of Cincinnati. So when the chance came up to join with fellow like minded people who deeply love the place they call home, I jumped at it. I was able to be Die Innenstadt member No. 3 (Dale Earnhardt, RIP). We started with small gatherings, but when we marched in Bockfest, the ideals of civic pride were reinforced: we carried banners of the team right along with the flag of our city. 

It had been my cautious hope that the people of Cincinnati would provide this club with the attendance numbers to meet the league average. On occasion, maybe we’d get 10,000+ fans in attendance, a feat rarely achieved in the United Soccer League. As we waited for the home opener, we enjoyed the preseason at Xavier, crowded barrooms to watch away matches and then we brought 14,000+ into Nippert, the start of blowing attendance projections out of the water. Rival fans called us “plastic” and criticized FC Cincinnati’s ambitions even as we made the 1.5 mile climb up the Ohio Ave. steps from Rhinegeist to the stadium, but things were just getting started. We found a wonderful home at Mecklenburg Gardens, bolstered by the fantastic staff and the city’s German heritage. On away days, we filled up Rhinehaus down in the urban core, where another great group of hospitable employees took care of us as our city grew with the addition of the streetcar on 12th street out front. Over the past decade, Cincinnati has grown so much with a renewed energy of civic pride and the team on Nippert’s pitch has joined with and promoted that cause. It's beautiful.

It feels like more than just one season. In such a short amount of time, Die Innenstadt has brought together so many people from so many different places. We’ve organized for charity, to host overseas visitors, to pack busses to Louisville, and to support our team - always cheering them off even when we didn’t like the score line. It’s the people of Cincinnati who helped propel this club to where it’s at and it’s the members of Die Innenstadt who have helped make this such a memorable year for me. To everyone who marched with us, cheered with us, banged on a drum, helped create a TIFO /two-stick, clinked their beer glass, and who proudly wore a scarf emblazoned with “Juncta Juvant:” 

THANK YOU!

Photo Credit: Alex Vehr

Photo Credit: Alex Vehr

Last week, when the final whistle was blown, I didn’t feel the air get sucked out of a stadium like I had in 2010. There was a brief moment where I thought: wow, it’s really over, and then the cheering started. The Bailey erupted in applause and vocal support for the team that fought hard all season long and the franchise that defied everyone’s preconceptions. I was more than proud to join with everyone, to turn around with the megaphone and sing: “We Love Ya” once more. Mitch Hildebrandt threw up his gloves into The Bailey. Both myself and Bob went to catch them, Bob emerging victorious. He turned to me and handed me one and we hugged. Who knows if I ever would’ve met Bob had it not been for Die Innenstadt? And on that note, how many of the other 500+ members would I have met, had the chance to share a beer with, to converse with, and to create memories with?

I’ll never forget it and I'll always treasure it.

Thanks for the great keepsake, Mitch!

Thanks for the great keepsake, Mitch!

It’s not over though. Just as we all stayed to keep cheering on the team as they exited the field, how we all went back to Mecklenburg together and sang to Jimmy McLaughlin and hear the words of Jeff Berding: Die Innenstadt was re-energized. It’s only a few months to March, till we get to do this all again and cheer on our team as well as our city. Stay tuned.

Stand with Die Innenstadt. 

Stand with Cincinnati. 

Juncta Juvant! 

Just a small fraction of the 500+ members who joined Die Innenstadt in its inaugural year! 

Just a small fraction of the 500+ members who joined Die Innenstadt in its inaugural year! 

Stay tuned in the near future for some info on offseason events. 

Also, I need to say a huge thanks to Tom Niehaus who has edited all these posts for me and put up with me all year long. He's the man and another great friend made through Die Innenstadt. 


Ronny Salerno is a founding member of Die Innenstadt as well as an author and photographer who appreciates history and Waffle House coffee. He also is one of the guys with a megaphone, apparently that's called a "capo," but he's not quite that ultra. 

 

Tom Niehaus is an awesome guy who edits these posts for him and offers creative contributions. 

In Our Own Words

On August 12, 2015, just one year ago, the formation of FC Cincinnati was announced. To celebrate the club’s founding, Die Innenstadt presents a look back at the Crystal Palace match on July 14, 2016.

Captured here are the reflections of our own Ronny Salerno on that historic match between an American 1st year club and an EPL club in its 111th year, as well as quotes that day from many others. 

- Tom Niehaus

I handed off the megaphone to someone else, the amount of people surging into the front of The Bailey was too much. Annoyed, I went to the top and decided to take in the game from up there. I wanted to enjoy the match, not fight for space. The rest of the stadium was filling up, even the upper deck on the east side. Not even a year before, there was no FCC, no Die Innenstadt. Yet, there it all was before me: 35,000 fans and many of them donning scarves emblazoned with our logo and the words: “Juncta Juvant,” the city’s motto, our motto. The club we rallied around, representing the city we love, was about to take on a squad from the top tier of international football. 
 
The march from Mecklenburg had been the biggest yet. Standing at the corner of University and Vine, you could look down the hill and see a trail of people in orange and blue for the next several blocks. We marched and sang in unison, echoing throughout the concourse and towards the north end of the stadium. I don’t regret not taking a usual spot up front with a bullhorn in hand. For the first time this season, I was able to walk around and take in the atmosphere from all over the stadium, snapping photos of the huge crowd. It had been an incredible day. At noon, Mecklenburg Gardens was already packed as beers were toasted, a pig was roasted, buffet lines were jammed, and both Cincy and Palace fans alike sang in the crowded biergarten.  It truly was a day to behold as a fan of sports, soccer, and Cincinnati. 
 
It’s been said that this organization is ambitious, and the club made that clear in a statement of their MLS pursuit  on day one. But scheduling a friendly against a Premier League side had been a huge step that turned some heads. On their summer tour, Crystal Palace would be taking on the Philadelphia Union and Vancouver Whitecaps of top tier MLS, as well as us down in American soccer’s “third division.”  
 
Up front when the match began, I was annoyed at the amount of people trying to force their way into the front and center. I get it, The Bailey is a fun area, but when you’re being nearly trampled by so many people, many of whom you’ve never seen at a match before, your patience goes away quickly. Even in the presence of such a momentous occasion. In the end though, stepping away for this match proved to be the best thing (and I understand the excitement around The Bailey, this club, and that match). My girlfriend and I got to watch alongside my father and close friends. At the top of the section, people still sang, still chanted along. In the end I took it as just more people being exposed to what sets FC Cincinnati apart in the soccer landscape. In the warm sun as the evening wore on, that stadium’s energy never let up. In the second half, I came across my friend Evan standing by the Jimmy Nippert memorial, looking out at the packed house. I remember him saying to me back in November, in the early days of the franchise after a team meet and greet: “It’s going to be a fun summer.” Never would I have imagined that he and I would be standing there along with 35,000 others watching our club, not even a year old, take on an EPL side. The best memories of that day though, centered around celebrating what Die Innenstadt has become so far. I love FC Cincinnati, but I love our supporters group more.  
 
I wanted to do something special to commemorate it, to maybe sum up how big of a day this was, how important it was to some. As a photographer and writer, I could’ve devoted the day to taking photos and writing an essay (but that would’ve gotten in the way of beer, chanting, and talking with friends). I decided to do a photo booth of sorts. Not the corny, use-our-custom-wedding-hashtag-on-instagram type of photo booth, moreso, portraits. And I wanted opinions, I wanted to know why people felt this match was important. So we strung up a small banner and a few of the flags, set up the camera in the biergarten and invited fellow Die Innenstadt members to pose and define the day in their own words.  
 
I asked this question to each person:


“Why do you feel this match is so important to Cincinnati?” 
 

“It’s a sign of the next generation of Cincy fans to have something of their own.” 
- Evan

“It’s establishing a soccer community here. We can show the English soccer community that Americans can do it just as well.” 
- Stephen
 

“It’s the next stepping stone to being recognized.” 
 - Hien with Hoa
 

"This whole season has been incredible and beyond expectations. From how the club has grown in such a short time to how Die Innenstadt has grown in such a short time. It's all bringing together so many different people. It's a great reflection of where this city comes from and what it can be. 
- Die Innenstadt President, Ryan Lammi.  

“This match is lit.” 
- Yosief Tzeghai (of Cincinnati Soccer Talk

“This is the biggest game in Ohio soccer history, it puts us in a completely different stratosphere.” - Matt (left) 
 
“Cincinnati is a city on the rise and this is showing that to the world.” 
- Dan (right) 

“Because I think our supporters can relate to the Palace supporters. They can be a role model for how we support our team. They are the most passionate in the Premier League. We’ve come out strong, but there is a lot we can take from them.” 
- Jared
 

“It puts Cincinnati on the map even more than it is.” 
- Joshua (left) 
 
“Because Cincinnati needs to keep growing its love for soccer.” 
- Mariana (right) 

“It helps us branch out locally and internationally.” 
- Jason 

“Shows the world that Cincinnati is a serious and educated soccer fanbase." 
- Blake with Joe

“Shows we have the best venue and best fanbase in the state of Ohio.” 
- Nick

“This game, this crowd, is crucial to our image. It’s massively positive. Unbelievable that we sold out this match.” 
- Alex

“Having Crystal Palace here shows the world that Cincinnati is a real football city, and that the world should take notice.” 
- Bjorn, Bailey drummer. 

“It shows the true spirit of football in Cincinnati.” 
- Matt

“FCC is showing the world that we’re on the map.” 
- The legendary Tom Niehaus  

“This is the biggest soccer happening in America this summer.” 
- David Kurtz of the Crystal Palace American Fan Group

“This match shows that Cincinnati has embraced this club and this sport. And that this will be a testament how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time.” 
- Bob, Bailey drummer

“This match helps foster the interest in soccer in Cincinnati where the focus usually gets diverted to baseball and [gridiron] football. The encouragement of soccer will help build a talent pool for soccer in this city and contribute to the development of soccer nationally.” 
- Clyde
 

“We’re on the map now, now we’re on the international radar.” 
- Bryce (the leader of our marches) and his father

“First English side to play in Cincinnati. Hopefully they invite us back to their home sometime.” 
- Jack

“It exposes our team to the masses.” 
- Phil

“It’s been incredibly exciting watching this team go from an announcement to an international friendly.” 
- Christina

“Because it’s the world’s game and Cincinnati needs to join the world. You know that alleged Mark Twain saying about how when the world ends he wants to be in Cincinnati because everything happens ten years later? Well, when the world ends, we still need to be playing soccer in Cincinnati ten years later.” 
- Richard

“Just to have a team from the EPL playing here...it’s amazing.” 
- Claire

“We’re literally on the international stage right now. The most important USL match being played in the world.” 
- Tom who runs the fantastic charity, Sports Games For Kids

“It shows that there’s a passion for high quality soccer here.” 
- Jeremy

“It’s another great opportunity for the club and the city to show that Cincinnati is finally ready to support a pro soccer than that can keep up with international heavyweights." 
- Timo, Die Innenstadt Vice President

“Now we find out what we’re made of.” 
- Pat with Ryan and Mike. 

“This match wasn’t about Cincinnati or the clubs playing in it. This match was about people coming together to share their passion for something beautiful. This match was about love. Love for the game, love for the club, love for the city, love for the country, and how amazing things can be when there is love. And for one day, we saw just that." 
- Ian

“This is a world match. This goes beyond MLS, this is international, it’s going to be crazy.” 
- Fox, Bailey drummer. 

“It allows the city to showcase soccer enthusiasm to an international audience.” 
- Adam with Alex

“It’s putting us on the international map.” 
- Taylor with Seth, Louige, and Kimberly

“Because it’s fun and Cincinnati’s awesome.” 
- Annie (right) with Nick. 

“Because my boyfriend dragged me here.” 
- Taylor with Alex

“Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la. Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la. FC. Cincy.” 
- Levi

“It shows that we’ve got the chops to make it big time.” 
 - Daniel

“It helps spread the game. Philly was nonexistent, Cincinnati is alive.” 
- Traveling CPFC fans from Michigan, Kevin and Kyle, with FCC fans/DI members Hien and Hoa.  
 
And a quote from a man who became an honorary DI member when he posed with the scarf...

"This club is fantastic; we're so proud and privileged to be part of it tonight."

"You can't help but to say that this is a club we should get involved with because of the way they've conducted themselves, and the fans, and the way they've welcomed. It's like brothers-in-arms, it was brilliant." 

"I'd love to come back here; this was a great game, great facilities, and a tremendous occasion." 

- Crystal Palace Football Club Manager Alan Pardew (comments to the media following the match)

A year ago, I spent a week wandering all over the city, photographing how it was hosting the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It was a great time for the true Queen City and it culminated in the 86th Mid-Summer Classic, something I was fortunate enough to see in person.

Those were some of my favorite moments as a Cincinnatian. A year later and I’m watching this city embrace the world’s game, while rallying together with great people, old friends and new,  who are working to create something special. Six years ago, I resented soccer. Six years later, I’m incredibly proud to be a member of Die Innenstadt, a supporter of this club, and a supporter of my city.  
 
So why do I “feel this match is so important to Cincinnati?” 

“Because through a sporting event we were able to show Cincinnati at its best. We recognized its history and enthusiastically promoted its future. FCC and the fans that gathered were just a sample of how great this city and its people can be.”                                                                      

  - Ronny (right) with Blake

We’ll see you this weekend at Rhinehaus to watch the “boys in blurange’” take on the Kickers down in Richmond. We’re back at Mecklenburg Gardens and Nippert on the 24th of August. See you then.  
 
Stand with Die Innenstadt. Stand with Cincinnati. 
 
Juncta Juvant.  


Ronny Salerno is a founding member of Die Innenstadt as well as an author and photographer who appreciates history and Waffle House coffee

Tom Niehaus is an awesome guy who edits these posts for him and offers creative contributions.