It has been suggested that FC Cincinnati (2016–2018) be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since March 2023.
Football Club Cincinnati, commonly known as FC Cincinnati, is an American professional soccer club based in Cincinnati. 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 Co-CEO. Currently, the role of general manager is held by Chris Albright.
|Full name||Football Club Cincinnati|
|Nickname(s)||The Orange and Blue, Kings (of the Queen City)|
|Founded||May 29, 2018[nb 1]|
|Owner||Carl Lindner III|
|General manager||Chris Albright|
|Head coach||Pat Noonan|
|League||Major League Soccer|
|2022||Eastern Conference: 5th|
Playoffs: Conference Semifinals
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, opened in 2021.
FC Cincinnati signed its 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.
On August 6, 2021, FC Cincinnati announced that the club and then general manager Gerard Nijkamp had "parted ways effective immediately". On September 27, 2021, the club relieved the duties of head coach Jaap Stam, 2-time interim head coach Yoann Damet, and assistant coach Said Bakkati. Former MLS defender Tyrone Marshall was named interim coach.
On October 4, 2021, FC Cincinnati announced the hiring of Chris Albright as the general manager of the club. On December 14, 2021, FC Cincinnati officially hired Pat Noonan as the new head coach of the team. Under the first season of the Albright-Noonan regime, the Orange and Blue would qualify for their first post-season in 2022 on 49 points (12–9–13), good for fifth in the East (eighth in the league). Brenner and Brandon Vazquez would score a joint-best 18 goals in the regular season, the first time in MLS history teammates had made such a mark; in addition, Luciano Acosta contributed 10 goals and a league-leading 19 assists to a Cincinnati side that netted 64 goals on the season. Cincinnati defeated New York Red Bulls in their first playoff match (2–1) before losing to top-seeded Philadelphia Union in the conference semifinals, 1–0.
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 badgeEdit
FC Cincinnati's primary colors are orange and blue. The secondary colors are gray, dark blue, and white.
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: Auxilia One, the Briogaid, The 5th Line, Die Innenstadt, Hangar 937, Norden, The Pride, Queen City Firm, and the Queen City Mafia. All of these supporter groups are together under a unified organizing body named 'The Incline Collective', which is responsible for pooling resources for community events, Tifos, organizing 'The March', and organizing with the club.
Starting as a tradition when the club was in USL, The March, as the name would imply, is a march to the stadium from various bars and points of interest throughout Over The Rhine in Cincinnati. As of February 2023, the current iteration of The March consists of stopping at the breweries and bars, Northern Row, OTR Stillhouse, Holiday Spirits, Taft's Ale House, The Symphony Hotel, and The Pitch to have the respective supporters groups join The March. 3/4ths of the way through The March, supporters stop at Washington Park for a rally before the final leg of entering TQL Stadium.
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).
FCC also retains a heated rivalry from its USL days with current lower division club Louisville. The two teams most recently played each other in a friendly on March 13, 2021.
Former Cincinnati Bengals executive Jeff Berding was the club's original president, and in 2022, he was promoted to co-CEO. The CEO and majority owner of the team is Carl Lindner III, CEO of American Financial Group, with Scott Farmer also a leading owner.
In November 2019, Meg Whitman purchased a minority stake in the club. Whitman will serve as the club's Alternate Governor on the MLS Board of Governors.
In May 2019, Dutch football executive Gerard Nijkamp joined the club as general manager to oversee all the club's sports activities. On August 6, 2021, Nijkamp and the club mutually agreed to part ways. The club was 7–20–10 during his tenure.
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 would call play-by-play with Kevin McCloskey as color analyst. Lindsay Patterson served as sideline reporter through 2019, and Alex Stec held the position from 2020.
From 2023, all FC Cincinnati matches are available on MLS Season Pass from Apple TV, ending FC Cincinnati's time on local TV.
Players and staffEdit
- As of March 31, 2023
|1||GK||Alec Kann||United States|
|3||DF||Joey Akpunonu (GA)||United States|
|4||DF||Nick Hagglund||United States|
|5||MF||Obinna Nwobodo (DP)||Nigeria|
|10||MF||Luciano Acosta (DP)||Argentina|
|15||DF||Yerson Mosquera (on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers)||Colombia|
|18||GK||Roman Celentano (GA)||United States|
|19||FW||Brandon Vazquez||United States|
|21||DF||Matt Miazga||United States|
|26||MF||Malik Pinto (HG)||United States|
|28||DF||Ray Gaddis||United States|
|29||FW||Arquimides Ordóñez (HG)||Guatemala|
|32||DF||Ian Murphy||United States|
|33||DF||Isaiah Foster||United States|
|36||GK||Evan Louro||United States|
|37||MF||Stiven Jimenez (HG)||United States|
|—||GK||Paul Walters (HG)||United States|
Out on loanEdit
|35||MF||Harrison Robledo (HG; at Indy Eleven)||United States|
|General manager||Chris Albright|
|Head coach||Pat Noonan|
|Assistant coach||Dominic Kinnear|
|Assistant coach||Kenny Arena|
|Goalkeeping coach||Paul Rogers|
|Assistant/development coach||Ricardo Páez|
|Performance analyst||Simon Wigley|
|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|
|Domestic scout||Mike Grella|
|Regional scout||Doug Elder|
|Manager of team personnel||Tommy Rogers|
|Kit manager||Teddy Kerr|
|Data and analytics||Alexander Schram|
Last updated: September 28, 2021
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 – September 27, 2021|
|Tyrone Marshall (interim)||Jamaica||September 27, 2021 – November 7, 2021|
|Pat Noonan||United States||December 14, 2021 – 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||Avg. att.||Top goalscorer|
|2020||MLS||23||4||15||4||12||36||-24||16||0.70||14th||26th||NH||MLS is Back Tournament||Ro16||N/A||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 October 27, 2022
- As of October 27, 2022
- As of October 27, 2022
Bolded players are currently on the FC Cincinnati roster.
On September 25, 2020, FC Cincinnati signed a partnership agreement with Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Furthermore, the club is also a part of the "Common Values Club Alliance" with Hoffenheim, and Ghanaian Premier League club Hearts of Oak SC.
- ^ MLS franchise awarded in 2018 and began play in 2019. FC Cincinnati was founded in 2015 and played in the USL from 2016 to 2018.
- ^ a b "MLS Brand: FC Cincinnati". FCCincinnati.com. FC Cincinnati. Archived from the original on March 24, 2021. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- ^ Weingartner, Tana (November 12, 2018). "Football Club Cincinnati: Check Out FC Cincinnati's New Branding". Retrieved November 13, 2018.
- ^ "West End Stadium". FCCincinnati.com. MLS Digital. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
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- ^ "FC Cincinnati 'in talks' with Major League Soccer, but no solid plan in the works". WCPO. April 23, 2016. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
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- ^ Brennan, Patrick (January 31, 2017). "FC Cincinnati submits expansion bid to MLS". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- ^ Brennan, Patrick (May 29, 2018). "It's official: FC Cincinnati has joined MLS, will begin play in 2019". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- ^ Watkins, Steve (March 22, 2018). "Here's when FC Cincinnati plans to begin play in new stadium". Cincinnati Business Journal. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- ^ "FC Cincinnati signs Fanendo Adi, Fatai Alashe ahead of MLS move". ESPN. July 30, 2018.
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- ^ "FC Cincinnati can select 5 major league players for inaugural roster". November 9, 2018.
- ^ Bogart, Tom (December 11, 2018). "2018 Expansion Draft Results: FC Cincinnati pick, trade big names".
- ^ "Club Dismisses Head Coach Alan Koch". FC Cincinnati. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- ^ Brennan, Patrick (May 7, 2019). "FC Cincinnati dismises Alan Koch as head coach". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- ^ "Ron Jans named Head Coach". FC Cincinnati. August 4, 2019. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
- ^ Brennan, Pat. "FC Cincinnati: Ron Jans resigns as head coach". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
- ^ "FC Cincinnati and General Manager Gerard Nijkamp Agree to Mutually Part Ways". FCCincinnati.com. FC Cincinnati. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
- ^ "FC Cincinnati announce departure of Head Coach Jaap Stam". FCCincinnati.com. FC Cincinnati. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
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- ^ "FC Cincinnati hire Pat Noonan as head coach". FCCincinnati.com. FC Cincinnati. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
- ^ "FCC fall to Inter Miami CF, 3–2". FCCincinnati.com. May 17, 2021. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
- ^ Lind, Jason (November 12, 2018). "FC Cincinnati reveal new MLS crest and colors for expansion season". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
- ^ "FCC Unveils its Major League Soccer Logo, Marks & Colors". FCCincinnati.com (Press release). MLS Digital. November 12, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
- ^ Bava, John (November 12, 2018). "FC Cincinnati Unveils Updated Crest Ahead of Inaugural MLS Season".
- ^ "Major League Soccer and adidas extend landmark partnership through 2024". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. August 2, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
- ^ Watkins, Steve (January 16, 2019). "FC Cincinnati".
- ^ Brennan, Pat (July 10, 2020). "FC Cincinnati new sleeve sponsors". Cincinnati.com.
- ^ "FCC Supporter Groups". inclinecincy.com. The Incline Collective. January 13, 2022.
- ^ "The Incline Collective". The Incline Collective. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
- ^ Brennan, Pat. "Fan experience: Pre-match march of FCC supporters includes stops at Findlay Market, Washington Park". The Enquirer. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
- ^ "The March". The Incline Collective. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
- ^ Reed, Tom (June 14, 2017). "It's feeling real in Cincinnati". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- ^ Murphy, Pat (June 14, 2017). "Massive Predictions: Hell is Real – Will Hell freeze over or take over Columbus following this U.S. Open Cup Derby?". Massive Report. SB Nation. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- ^ Hatch, Charlie (June 14, 2017). "'HELL IS REAL,' and so is FC Cincinnati's threat to Columbus". FourFourTwo. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- ^ "FCC's Inaugural MLS Schedule Released". FCCincinnati.com. MLS Digital. January 9, 2019. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
- ^ "LouCity opens preseason with win over MLS' FC Cincinnati". March 13, 2021.
- ^ Kay, Joe (May 29, 2018). "FC Cincinnati to join MLS in 2019 as league's latest expansion team". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- ^ "Jeff Berding Promoted to Co-CEO of Fussball Club Cincinnati". FC Cincinnati. January 11, 2022. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
- ^ Straus, Brian (February 1, 2017). "MLS expansion city profile: Cincinnati". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- ^ Watkins, Steve (May 23, 2018). "FC Cincinnati owner Lindner on MLS bid: 'I think we're going to get over the finish line'". Cincinnati Business Courier.
- ^ Soshnick, Scott (November 27, 2019). "Meg Whitman's Stake Values Cincinnati Soccer Team at $500 Million". Bloomberg News.
- ^ "FC Cincinnati and General Manager Gerard Nijkamp Agree to Mutually Part Ways". FCCincinnati.com. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
- ^ "WSTR Star64 Announced As Local Broadcast Partner". FCCincinnati.com (Press release). MLS Digital. January 30, 2019. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
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- ^ "FC Cincinnati announce partnership with Bundesliga club TSG Hoffenheim". MLS Soccer. September 25, 2020.
- Media related to FC Cincinnati at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website