FC Cincinnati: names to watch during the off season


USA Today Sports

Kendall Waston Celebrates the opening goal at Nippert Stadium vs. Portland on Mar 17, 2019

I don’t agree mostly on these roster decisions, but in the expansion draft and off season window before our first MLS season we had put our self in a hole that we can’t get out of until 2021-22.

— Schlomer

FC Cincinnati have completed their first season in Major League Soccer and their worst season ever in franchise history. The season was expected to be garbage but it ended up worse than expected. With the 2019 season wrapped up and the 2020 season on the way in five short months, keep an eye out because Cincinnati will be making lots of off season moves.

What does FCC Need? Almost everything to be frank. FCC struggled to score goals this season and if you can’t score goals, you can’t win games. Fanendo Adi was a complete crap shoot only scoring one league goal this season and one goal vs. Louisville City FC in the U.S. Open Cup and was still guaranteed (given) $2 million.

Darren Mattocks was out too much for international break multiple times and was not with the club for a lot of the season. Mattocks is a bench player/backup at best but he continued to start after Adi’s “hold out” after having a ‘knee’ injury and never returned to play a game for the orange and blue for the rest of the season.

Aaron Doster
Mar 17, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; FC Cincinnati forward Fanendo Adi (9) against the Portland Timbers at Nippert Stadium. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

You may be thinking, well didn’t FCC allow the most goals this season and in league history? Yes you are not wrong. FCC did allow the MLS record for goals in league history but that is because you have Kendall Waston on international break with Costa Rica and you have horrible defender in Nick Hagglund that plays like he has two left feet and someone kicked his puppy. Defense is partially the problem but I feel that attacking and forward positions should be where we need to focus more this off season.

FCC will be releasing:

Justin Hoyte (D), Victor Ulloa (M), Corben Bone (M), Roland Lamah (F), and Derrick Etienne (F) returns to New York Red Bulls from a short loan stint.

Midfielders Emmanuel Ledesma and Jimmy McLaughlin are still in contract negotiations with the club. Both players are anticipating being back after Ledesma finished the season just short of top scorer by one goal (6), one short of the 7 goals scored by Allan Cruz in the 2019 campaign and finished as the assist leader for the team.

Fanendo Adi (F), Fatai Alashe (M), Frankie Amaya (M), Leonardo Bertone (M), Allan Cruz (M),  Mathieu Deplagne (D), Greg Garza (D), Andrew Gutman (D), Joseph-Claude Gyau (M), Kekuta Manneh(F), Darren Mattocks (F), Alvas Powell (D), Caleb Stanko (M), Przemysław Tytoń (GK), Maikel van der Werff (D) and Kendall Waston (D) will all be returning next season to the orange and blue for the 2020 season.

I don’t agree mostly on these roster decisions, but in the expansion draft and off season window before our first MLS season we had put our self in a hole that we can’t get out of until 2021-22.

Player Mentions:

Player names that have been surfacing around the name of FC Cincinnati are:

(F) Hatem Ben Arfa

Ben Arfa is a highly touted winger who has high level European experience with teams such as: Paris Saint Germain, Nice, Marseille, Lyon, Hull City and Newcastle. The 31 year old has turned down various offers from top European clubs stating, “I am looking for a new challenge.” Could this mean MLS?

Bobby Wood chasing a ball for Hamburg in the Bundesliga 2. (Germany)

(F) Bobby Wood

Wood has been mentioned over the last year on making his way into MLS but not an exact team. Wood Currently is a striker for Hamburger SV in the Bundesliga 2 in Germany. Wood is a former USMNT player who just finished up a loan stint with Hannover 96. The 26 year old is practically in his prime and is only worth about 1 million if FCC were to get Wood on free transfer, this would bring him under the Designated Player status.

(M) Gaston Pereiro

Pereiro would be an expensive Designated Player signing for FC Cincinnati but it would bolster the wings and also the attacking midfield as a whole. The Uruguayan native could be a huge signing for FCC. Both Head Coach Ron Jans and GM Gerrard Njikamp really love this player. He is in his prime at 24 years of age and playing for a top team in the Eredivisie in PSV Eindhoven and has Europa League experience. Current FCC Player Leonardo Bertone came from Young Boys in Switzerland and before being transferred, had played a game versus Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus in the Champions League and showed his talents 13′ in to the opening game of the season with a banger.

What I want:

FCC lacked at every position this season but mostly attackers because of injuries and international duty. FCC needs to go for more attacking based players (Strikers) in this transfer window to bolster the front and maybe start to score goals.

I am a big fan of Ben Arfa, but he is getting up there in age and has been very inconsistent in his stops around Europe. Ben Arfa scored a measly 7 goals in 26 games with Rennes and adding 2 assists. Ben Arfa is not currently with a club and is available on a free transfer and could be purchased for just under DP price.

Pereiro and Wood both need to be signed over this off season window. Wood, I can expect him to sign for under the DP threshold and Pereiro could be over the DP threshold depending on his release price. Signing Bobby Wood could trigger the release of F Fanendo Adi.

USA Today Sports
Kendall Waston Celebrates the opening goal at Nippert Stadium vs. Portland on Mar 17, 2019

Adi needs to be moved somewhere this off season. Adi produced horribly this season with only 1 league goal this season (@Chicago) and one tournament goal in the U.S. Open Cup vs. Louisville City. Adi threw a hissy fit and decided he would be sitting out the end of the season after the apparent thigh/hamstring injury and did not make a practice the rest of the season.

It has recently been stated by General Manager, Gerrard Nijkamp and President Jeff Berding “We think we are going to add five impact players.” Could any of these players on my list be signings? Stay tuned for updates about this story and new additions and moves by the team.