The rivalry soccer fans have been waiting for is finally here. FC Cincinnati travels to Columbus Saturday to take on in-state rival, Columbus Crew SC.
This is the first regular season meeting between the two sides since FC Cincinnati began play in Major League Soccer this year.
Fans early on dubbed the potential rivalry the "Hell Is Real" derby (pronounced: darby) and the teams finally are embracing the unofficial moniker. It's drawn from a well-known billboard along I-71 between the two cities.
The mayors of Cincinnati and Columbus are putting ice cream on the line. The two are wagering Jeni's and Graeters to be sent to the winning city's foodbank.
— John Cranley (@JohnCranley) August 8, 2019
Are you ready for @ColumbusCrewSC vs @fccincinnati? @JohnCranley and I are! We’ve got a friendly wager going — losing Mayor has to donate their hometown ice cream to the other city’s food bank. Can’t wait for @Mid_OHFoodbank to get some @graeters! #crew96
— Mayor Andrew Ginther (@MayorGinther) August 8, 2019
Kick off is at 7:30 p.m.
Columbus travels to Cincinnati for a return match on Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. That game will be nationally televised on Fox Sports 1. Cincinnati is declaring it a "blue out," encouraging fans to wear blue attire.
FC Cincinnati shared a tweet Aug. 5 showing an image of the Columbus scoreboard on fire just prior to a 2013 match. A picture of the Hell Is Real billboard is Photoshopped onto the board's TV screen.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) August 5, 2019