|Full name||Football Club Cincinnati|
|Nickname(s)||Orange and Blue|
|Founded||May 29, 2018[nb 1]|
|Owner||Carl H. Lindner III|
|General manager||Gerard Nijkamp|
|Head coach||Jaap Stam|
|League||Major League Soccer|
|2020||Eastern Conference: 14th|
Playoffs: Did not qualify
Football Club Cincinnati, commonly known as FC Cincinnati, is an American professional soccer club based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The club plays in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer (MLS). The team succeeded the lower-division team of the same name and was announced on May 29, 2018, when MLS awarded an expansion franchise to Cincinnati. The team began MLS play on March 2, 2019 with its first match against Seattle Sounders FC. The club's ownership group is led by Carl H. Lindner III with Jeff Berding serving as president and Gerard Nijkamp as general manager.
The owners of the USL club began negotiations with Major League Soccer over a potential expansion franchise in early 2016, and Cincinnati was announced as one of ten cities that had expressed interest in the slots for teams 25 to 28. MLS Commissioner Don Garber visited Cincinnati in December 2016 to tour Nippert Stadium and meet with city and club officials, complimenting the city and its fans. FC Cincinnati formally submitted its expansion bid in January 2017, including a shortlist of potential stadium locations.
On May 29, 2018, Major League Soccer announced that Cincinnati would join the league in 2019 as an expansion team under the FC Cincinnati brand. TQL Stadium, a 26,000-seat soccer-specific venue in the West End, is scheduled to open in 2021.
FC Cincinnati signed their first two MLS players, Fanendo Adi and Fatai Alashe, in July 2018. Adi was the team's first designated player. Both players were loaned to the FC Cincinnati USL team for the remainder of the 2018 season.
FC Cincinnati selected five players from certain MLS teams in the expansion draft, which took place on December 11, 2018. The players were Darren Mattocks (D.C United), Kei Kamara (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Roland Lamah (FC Dallas), Eric Alexander (Houston Dynamo), and Hassan Ndam (New York Red Bulls). Kei Kamara was then traded to the Colorado Rapids for an international roster spot.
On May 7, 2019, the club fired head coach Alan Koch after a 2–7–2 start to the 2019 MLS season. Assistant coach Yoann Damet was named as interim head coach. President and general manager Jeff Berding cited a culmination of on-field performance and off-field matters for the dismissal.
On August 8, 2019, Ron Jans was officially hired and made head coach of FC Cincinnati. However, Jans resigned on February 17, 2020, amidst an investigation into his alleged use of a racial slur.
FC Cincinnati played at Nippert Stadium for its first two seasons in MLS while its permanent home, the soccer-specific TQL Stadium, was being built. The new stadium hosted its first match, a 3–2 loss to Inter Miami CF, on May 16, 2021.
Colors and badge
FC Cincinnati's primary colors are orange and blue. The secondary colors are gray, dark blue, and white. The home jersey is blue, orange, and white. The away jersey is white and black.
An updated crest was designed after they were accepted as an expansion team to Major League Soccer. It maintains the same orange and blue color scheme but now pays tribute to the city of Cincinnati.
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor||Sleeve sponsor|
|2020||First Financial Bank|
FC Cincinnati reached a multiyear deal with First Financial Bank to serve as the club's exclusive banking and financial services partner. First Financial will gain many benefits from this partnership. There will be a First Financial Gate as well as a premium club area at the new stadium. They will also be involved in planning community events, fan experiences and game-day activities. As part of an extended sponsorship, First Financial Bank was announced as FC Cincinnati's sleeve sponsor, along with Cintas.
The club recognizes the following supporters' groups: Die Innenstadt, the Pride, the Briogaid, Hangar 937, the Bridge, Queen City Firm and Auxilia One.
Cincinnati has an in-state rival in Columbus Crew. The idea of the Ohio soccer rivalry first gained popularity ahead of a 2017 U.S. Open Cup match between FC Cincinnati (then in the United Soccer League) and the Crew. The rivalry was dubbed the Hell Is Real Derby after a billboard on Interstate 71, the highway between Columbus and Cincinnati. The clubs faced each other in their first league matches in 2019: on August 10 in Columbus and August 25 in Cincinnati (the latter match took place during MLS Rivalry Week).
Former Cincinnati Bengals executive Jeff Berding is the president. The CEO and majority owner of the team is Carl Lindner III, CEO of American Financial Group, with Scott Farmer also a leading owner.
On January 30, 2019, FC Cincinnati reached an agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group to have WSTR-TV televise all home and away games, except for ones already scheduled to be broadcast nationally. Continuing from their roles on the former USL team, Tom Gelehrter calls play-by-play with Kevin McCloskey as color analyst. Lindsay Patterson served as sideline reporter through 2019, and Alex Stec has held the position since 2020.
Players and staff
- As of July 28, 2021
|1||GK||Cody Cropper||United States|
|2||DF||Edgar Castillo||United States|
|4||DF||Maikel van der Werff||Netherlands|
|5||DF||Gustavo Vallecilla (on loan from Aucas)||Ecuador|
|6||MF||Haris Medunjanin||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|8||MF||Allan Cruz||Costa Rica|
|11||MF||Luciano Acosta (DP)||Argentina|
|12||DF||Geoff Cameron||United States|
|13||DF||Joe Gyau||United States|
|14||DF||Nick Hagglund||United States|
|15||MF||Kamohelo Mokotjo||South Africa|
|16||DF||Zico Bailey (HG)||United States|
|17||MF||Ben Mines (HG)||United States|
|18||DF||Rónald Matarrita||Costa Rica|
|19||FW||Brandon Vazquez||United States|
|20||FW||Calvin Harris (GA)||England|
|27||DF||Avionne Flanagan||United States|
|29||FW||Arquimides Ordonez (HG)||United States|
|30||GK||Beckham Sunderland (HG)||United States|
|33||MF||Caleb Stanko||United States|
Out on loan
|39||GK||Ben Lundt (at Phoenix Rising)||Germany|
|General manager||Gerard Nijkamp|
|Head coach||Jaap Stam|
|Assistant coach||Said Bakkati|
|Assistant coach||Yoann Damet|
|Goalkeeping coach||Jack Stern|
|Director of sports performance||Gary Walker|
|Director of sports medicine||Aaron Powell|
|Strength & conditioning coach||Austin Berry|
|Video analyst||Diego Martinez del Campo|
|Head of scouting||Hunter Freeman|
|Regional scout||Doug Elder|
|Manager of team personnel||Tommy Rogers|
|Data and analytics||Alexander Schram|
Last updated: November 12, 2019
Source: FC Cincinnati
|Alan Koch||South Africa||February 17, 2017 – May 7, 2019|
|Yoann Damet (interim)||France||May 7, 2019 – August 4, 2019|
|Ron Jans||Netherlands||August 4, 2019 – February 17, 2020|
|Yoann Damet (interim)||France||February 17, 2020 – May 21, 2020|
|Jaap Stam||Netherlands||May 21, 2020 – present|
This is a partial list of the last five MLS seasons completed by FC Cincinnati. For the full season-by-season history, see List of FC Cincinnati seasons.
|Season||League||Position||Playoffs||USOC||Continental / Other||Average
|2020||MLS||23||4||15||4||12||36||–24||16||0.70||14th||26th||NH||MLS is Back Tournament||Ro16||0||Yuya Kubo||3|
^ 1. Avg. Attendance include statistics from league matches only.
^ 2. Top Goalscorer(s) includes all goals scored in League, Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup, MLS is Back Tournament, CONCACAF Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and other competitive continental matches.
- As of April 26, 2021
- As of November 9, 2020
- As of July 22, 2021
Bolded players are currently on the FC Cincinnati roster.
- MLS franchise awarded in 2018 but did not begin play until 2019. FC Cincinnati played in the USL and was founded in 2016.
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