F.C. Cincinnati: A New Era
Exactly 286 days ago the MLS announced that F.C. Cincinnati would join the league in the 2019 season. F.C.C. previously played in the USL and had three very successful seasons. With the expansion of the MLS, they look to grow soccer culture in the USA. Cincinnati will now host 3 major league teams, confirming Cincinnati as a city is on the rise. F.C.C. GM Jeff Berding of spoke of the team as, “the next big thing for Cincinnati”. We can expect top tier players, city pride and a lot of excitement surrounding the orange and blue.
F.C. Cincinnati has officially just ended their preseason with a (1-3-3) record. F.C.C described their last loss against Columbus Crew as a “good end to the preseason”. Being a new team, and their first preseason the number show they can play with anyone. While the losses technically didn’t mean anything to the team, “it clearly meant something mentally” F.C. reported in an article. Saturday, March 2nd marks the start of the new teams regular season.
Being a brand-new team to the MLS, many personnel changes have been made. Not many players from the USL team made the cut for the new team. When talking to Steve Joebgen, possibly Moeller’s biggest FCC fan, he highlighted two previous players to stay aware of. Those being: Emmanuel Ledesma and Jimmy McLaughlin.
Emmanuel Ledesma a player from Argentina looks to shine coming off a terrific first season with F.C., Emmanuel was named 2018 USL’s Most Valuable Player. Steven Joebgen says, “he's proven himself to one of the better attacking minded mid fielders and a center piece of the team... his playing style plays into F.C. Cincinnati's possession style game”. The veteran fan favorite Cincinnati player Jimmy Mclaughlin will also return to the pitch this year. Joebgen says Mclaughin will provide a,“70’ minute spark, and energy to the fanbase and the team”.
Three standout pickups to the team that will make an impact are Fanendo Adi, Prezemyslaw Tyton, and Greg Garza. Adi came from the Portland Timbers the runner-up of the MLS last season. Adi is a very talented, athletic striker that will be looked to contribute a lot this season up front. Starting in goal will be a former polish national team player Prezemyslaw Tyton. “He’s faced the world top talents, that experience is valuable to building a new club at the top level... I think he’ll make an immediate impact”, said Joebgen.
Lastly, Greg Garza previously played for the MLS champion, Atlanta United. We can look forward to him holding the defensive line together, “He’s a top-quality character guy and great defender,” Joebgen says. It’s safe to say the team has enough talent on their hands to win a lot of games. The obstacle for the team will be finding a rhythm on how to play together. We have seen this in their first game against the Portland Timbers that they have trouble keeping possession and getting the ball up the pitch. Lucky, they fixed this the past game with Atlanta United. The game finished a 1-1 draw off a late goal by Roland Lamah and just like that F.C.C. gets their first point in the MLS.
The new team is more than just a soccer team, it’s a statement for the city. Not only are we getting a 26,000-seater stadium built in the West End, but we are getting “top tier talent players, and high-quality character guys” said Joebgen. With a team like F.C. we will hope to begin seeing a lot more city pride and coming together. Soccer is a game with great culture that is built on passion and love for the game. Cincinnati has shown that this more than just a football and baseball city, THIS IS a soccer family