Przemylaw Tyton, who is most commonly referred to as “Titi” has become a bit of a polarizing figure for FC Cincinnati fans.
Coming into the inaugural MLS campaign, the club assembled the team by combing the globe in search of undervalued players with something to prove. As they announced the signings, Tyton’s background stuck out. He’s recently played World Cup games with Poland, amassed 48 La Liga games, and you’d figure that the MLS experiment would be fun with a player of the pedigree.
Safe to say, things haven’t gone according to plan for the goalkeeper. After picking up a couple of injuries and finding himself in an unexpected position battle with Spencer Richey, Titi found himself between the sticks for only the third time in the 2019 campaign.
Too, his first start in front of the home crowd at Nippert Stadium where he helped secure a 2-1 victory over the club’s local rival.
“It’s important for me to give him that opportunity. We spoke to him, he knew that the Cup was for him, so it was a good time to have this opportunity,” FC Cincinnati interim head coach, Yoann Damet said.
“It’s not easy to come into games like that and face the pressure. It’s the derby, and the first game in the Cup, so like I said we wanted to use that game as an opportunity to turn the season around. I think he did well. The most important thing to do was win, and we did.”
Damet’s remarks about playing Tyton while trying to “turn the season around” are interesting. The reality is, while Richey has been a hot hand, Tyton has been available and healthy in a stretch that has seen the team win one of its last 11 league competitions.
For Titi, the USOC opener provides an opportunity to make a case for himself in his first opportunity in front of the home fans.
“The fans came for the game, even if it was the middle of the week. They came here to support us. We know that we weren’t the best the last couple of weeks, but we still feel the support. We want to win for them as well. They still believe in us.” Tyton said.
He was taken far away from the play when Louisville equalized in the 30th minute.
Otherwise, the Poland native stood sturdy as The Orange and Blue picked up a crucial moral victory.
“I am satisfied after a long time that I didn’t play. I tried to help my team in situations and I think I did well. So, I am happy about my performance today.” he said.
Although Damet has given him the nod for the cup run, Tyton feels the frustration about the club’s recent run of form and understood the importance of what Wednesday’s game meant, even if it was against a USL side. MLS competition starts again next weekend and picking up a couple of cup wins may give the struggling club an air of confidence.
“Before this game, we knew that there was a derby,” Tyton said.
“We tried to just win. We tried to win for the fans, for ourselves, and of course, we go through to the next round. We are going to see what’s going on.”
“We as a team, we needed it, because it is confidence. It is confidence. Winning is confidence. We needed the confidence. Just believing in ourselves. We did a good job, just needed points, needed wins.”
The opportunity also provides Tyton an area to be a little selfish and make his case for the starting XI in league play. While Richey is a fan favorite and has already made a “comeback kid” narrative for himself in 2019, Tyton offers much to consider in the experience and vision department.
Louisville City is a USL side, that’s important to remember, but the Cincinnati back-line personnel was set up identical to one used in the 5-2 drubbing in New York City last week. Only difference being, Tyton who was taking long look and moving people around before putting balls back in play.
“I think we did it well. Everyone played with a passion, with confidence and I think as a defensive block we did well. Of course, we know we have to do it better. We have to be happy. We win the game, so we really need to appreciate this moment”
It will take a lot to knock Richey off the one spot of the depth chart, but Cincinnati ultimately needs results. Letting a high investment sit on the sidelines will raise questions, but Tyton started the conversation with Wednesday’s performance.