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Paul King - Becoming Royalty

Started on 10 June 2019 by TheLFCFan
Latest Reply on 2 October 2019 by ScottT
West Ham is a fantastic step-up for King, if he gets the job. Cincinnati will be fuming with the potential loss of King
If King gets the West Ham job, he will have one of the most lucrative jobs in English football. Despite the tense relationship between the club and the fans at times, the club has a large new stadium, a brilliant history of producing top talents, and a reputation to match their ambitions. He would have a big, and painful, job to do to turn things around, but the strongest steel is forged in the hottest of fires, and I'm sure he'd be able to Hammer a lethal weapon out of West Ham.
TheLFCFan's avatar Group TheLFCFan
4 yearsEdited

FC Cincinnati Fixtures Released for 2020

FC Cincinnati have been handed their fixtures for the 2020 season, as they open the Major League Soccer season, welcoming Real Salt Lake. As the CONCACAF Champions League draw pitted Cincy against San Francisco (PAN).

As a new year is welcomed by everyone around the world, the 1st January 2020 is a historic day for other reasons in the lives of everyone connected to FC Cincinnati. Having made their MLS debut last season, winning the U.S. Open Cup saw their qualification to an inaugural CONCACAF Champions League spot. The club will play San Francisco Panama in their first ever continental game.

San Francisco, is found in the city of La Chorrera and has a population of just 43,939 people compared to Cincinnati’s 301,301 people. The relatively small city’s side are the third most successful side in Panama having won a total of nine Liga Panameña de Fútbol titles. Residing at the stadium Estadio Agustín Sánchez in the city of La Chorrera it has a capacity of 3000. We will be welcomed to the stadium on the 18th February 2020 and that will be the club's official CONCACAF Champions League debut.

The return leg will occur a week later at the Nippert stadium, where an expected sold out crowd will witness the club's first home CONCACAF game. It will be an historic moment for the club who were founded under five years ago. The achievement is one that nobody in Cincinnati has stopped talking about since the U.S. Open Cup win back in September and team President Jeff Berding is sharing the excitement of the fans.

“It is a historic day for this franchise. We have been very excited about this day since the victory just under five months ago. Now we know who our opponents are going to be, the coaching team, led by Paul King, will be preparing well for the tie to give us the best chance of succeeding in not only the CONCACAF Champions League, but the remainder of the season as well. I am already looking forward to February 25th 2020 and I cannot wait to share it with all of the Cincy fans” stated Jeff Berding.

Cincy also found out their Major League Soccer fixtures, kicking off against Real Salt Lake four days after their CONCACAF Champions League second leg on the 29th February 2020. Real Salt Lake, led by last seasons MVP Joao Plata, suffered defeat in Round one of the playoffs last season. It will certainly be a tough test for the Orange and Blue as they will look to kick off their season in a similar way as last season, when they beat LA Galaxy 2-0.

The Hell is Real derby will be renewed as Cincinnati welcome Columbus Crew at the start of May (2nd May 2020) before travelling away at the end of the same month (30th May 2020). Columbus have got the best of Cincy last season, winning both league games 1-0. With the rivalry only growing stronger, it will be a big focus for Paul King and his side to take the bragging rights home and gain their first win over their greatest rivals.

Cincinnati will end their second regular season on the 4th October against U.S. Open Cup finalists, San Jose Earthquakes. The game will be a rematch of the final as Cincy travel away to the California based side, hopeful of getting a similar result as last season.

“I love this time of the year. The fixtures being announced, and for the first time we see our names in the CONCACAF Champions League draw. It is great to now know who our opponents are and I can’t wait to see the players back in training in a few weeks time. Everyone I have spoken to are very excited about getting started which is great to hear.”

With the fixtures now announced, Paul King and his team will set their focus on the MLS 2020 Superdraft which is set to begin on January 16th.


Scott:Bradley, a very successful manager in America, it just shows how tough the premier league is and the major step up from MLS. If Paul does get the job, hopefully he can make the step.
Syb:FUMING! It would be a big move for him indeed.
Justice:Their history in England is massive, it has been a very long time since they had any sort of success though. Could King be the man to hammer their way to becoming challengers again?
Now Cincinnati have been handed their opponents in the Champions League, the realisation they are competing at the highest level in North American football may just have settled in. It's a fantastic opportunity for everybody.
Getting such important Champions League games before the season starts is always tough. Hopefully King can get his players to be fit and ready at the start in order for Cincinnati to go all the way to the Champions League.

A double header against Columbus in the same month, which is very busy to begin with is making it a very interesting May.

Nuno Espírito Santo Announced as Hammers Boss

Nuno Espírito Santo, former Wolves boss has today been named the West Ham manager.

West Ham United have today announced their new manager as Nuno Espírito Santo following the sacking of Manuel Pellegrini on December 16th 2019.

Following a lengthy search for a new manager, West Ham United have secured Nuno Espírito Santo as their new boss. The 45 year old Portuguese manager, was the favourite from the moment Pellegrini was sacked, with the West Ham fans seemingly happy with the appointment.

Nuno had a relatively successful playing career, playing for Deportivo La Coruña, Dynamo Moscow and Porto to name a few. The former goalkeeper was also in Portugal 2008 Euro squad, however, he never made an International appearance. Following a career spanning 18 years, Nuno, hung up his boots in 2010 closing his career out with a second spell at Porto.

Spending a year as an assistant manager at Greek side Panathinaikos, Nuno began his managerial career back in his native Portugal, taking over the reigns at Rio Ave. Impressing at the club, he took the side to two cup finals in 2013, whilst also gaining European qualification for the first time in the clubs history.
Moving on in 2014, Nuno signed a contract at Valencia in Spain. Once again, Nuno had a successful start, taking Valencia to a fourth placed finish in his first season at the club, guaranteeing the side Champions League football. However, his second season didn’t go the same way, resigning from the role in November 2015 and being replaced by Gary Neville.

With a move back to Porto, Nuno, signed a two year deal at his former team. In a season of no silverware Porto still finished second in the league behind a dominant Benfica. Despite finishing second in the league, the lack of trophies saw Nuno relieved of his duties with a year still left on his contract.

However, it didn’t take the Portuguese manager long to find a new job, signing a deal with then Championship side, Wolves just nine days following his departure of Porto.

With his first job in England coming at Wolves, his move came during a large influx of Portuguese talent to the Birmingham based side. Following Nuno’s arrival, Rúben Neves, Diogo Jota and João Moutinho joined the side among others, with superagent Jorge Mendes playing a major role in a majority of the moves.

With Nuno at the helm and the large amount of money being spent, Wolves were promoted in his first season at the club, winning the Championship. With further moves being made, Wolves were excellent in their first season of premier league football, finishing the season in 7th, thus qualifying for the Europa League.

However, the added games and the loss of some key players in Rúben Neves and Diogo Jota to Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen for £69,000,000 and £43,000,000 respectively, saw the side struggle. Slumping to just one win in 13, Wolves found themselves bottom of the table and Nuno saw his contract terminated.

Now at West Ham, who sacked manager Manuel Pellegrini on December 16th 2019 with the side sat in 18th, Nuno Espírito Santo has been named the new boss. With a record of just three wins in 17, West Ham were struggling under former premier league winner Manuel Pellegrini.

Head of Youth Development, Terry Westley stepped into the caretaker role, and saw a win (1-0 vs Newcastle), a draw (1-1 vs Stoke) and two losses (1-3 vs Bournemouth and 1-3 vs Arsenal) in his time in the role. These results have seen the Hammers step out of the relegation zone and move up to 16th position, just a point clear of 18th placed Brighton.

Nuno is set to have his work cut out with just 18 games left in the season as he starts his West Ham career with an FA Cup 3rd Round match against Birmingham, before travelling to his former side Wolves who sit bottom of the table.

So, I didn’t get the job. Simple as. Oh well. In all honesty if I had been offered the role, I don’t know if I would of taken it. Part of the thoughts that wouldn’t leave my mind as I traveled to London, was, ‘Do I really want to do this?’ ‘Is this how I want to leave the club I love?’ ‘Am I making a mistake?’.

Just having those thoughts tells me everything I needed to know. This club is special to me, I am the first man to ever manage this club. It is our baby, we have built it from the bottom up. Me Carl and Jeff have been here from the start and in just under two months time, we will be making our CONCACAF Champions League debut.

It is a dream to one day work in England. The love I have for the country is incredible and the stories my parents have told me throughout my life makes me dream. Going back for a few days has only reaffirmed my belief about the passion the game has there.

I managed to get tickets to see the side I first watched, my Dads beloved Nottingham Forest. They played Barnsley a day before I traveled back to Cincinnati and the 2-0 win for Forest was an incredible experience. I loved every second of it, and I truly can’t wait to get a job in England, at football's highest level.

But for now Cincy is where my heart is, and we still have history to make!


Scott: It is very exciting times for the club and a reason that would of really caused debate for King if the West Ham job was offered to him.
Syb:Its an added dynamic that certainly changes Kings potential approach, how much that approach differs will be seen. May is going to be a very important month, firstly to break this losing record to our rivals as well as some very important games being played!
Plenty of tough away trips to kick off the new season, hopefully you can pull through them.

Shame you missed out on the West Ham job but, as you said, it would have been a bad move if your heart wasn't in it. There'll be plenty more opportunities to manage in the EPL in the future.
Paul's heart belongs to Cincy. It's a shame he won't have the opportunity in the Premier League, but he has a great challenge ahead of him in his current job.
Unfortuate for King, West Ham would be a fantastic job. King will now however have the chance to keep doing what he does at Cincinnati

MLS Superdraft 2020 Team in Focus: FC Cincinnati

In their second MLS Superdraft, having made their debut in the MLS last season, FC Cincinnati had the 16th picks in the first, second, third and fourth rounds. However, they decided to use only their first and second round picks, selecting Abu Samura and David Foley. Using their third round pick, a future 1st round pick and $150,000 in General Allocation money, they acquired the rights to Kyle Rios after he was selected by Vancouver Whitecaps with the 5th overall pick.

Abu Samura
16th Pick (First Round)
Grade: B+

Already an International level player, having made his Sierra-Leone debut against Mauritius last March, Abu Samura is a great pick for FC Cincinnati. Born in Massachusetts to Sierra-Leonean parents, Abu Samura, was selected 16th in the first round by Cincinnati, having been projected to go top 10. The central midfielder had a very impressive season for Western Mass Pioneers, last year, scoring 3 and assisting 13 times in 31 games.

His incredible form in this season had seen the 21 year old rise up the draft boards settling in the number 12 spot in the majority of Mock draft boards. Reports suggested that Samura’s dream was to play for New England Revolution, the team he supported as a boy, however, in his interview following his selection he stated he was delighted to be a Cincy player.
“I don’t think it is news to anyone that I supported New England Revolution as a boy, growing up with them being my local team. But I am delighted to be here. This team showed last year that they are a very ambitious side and coached by a very talented Coach in Paul King. I can’t wait to get into Pre-Season with them and seeing what we can achieve next year in all competitions.” stated Abu Samura.

David Foley
16th Pick (Second Round)
Grade: B

FC Cincinnati have seemingly pulled off a massive steal by selecting David Foley late in the second round. The left back who can also play on the right, impressed everyone in the Draft Combine games. Playing for team ‘Predator’, Foley was an ever present, consistently performing above expectations. The left back was even rated by ESPN as the player whose stock rose the highest after all three combine days. Foley played a key role for his team last year, helping them to six clean sheets and only conceding 38 goals in 34 games.

Foley will be competing with Jimmy Medranda and last seasons 6th overall pick Josh Kim as backup to American international, Greg Garza this season and he states he is ready for the challenge.

“It is something I am looking forward to. Greg (Garza) is clearly one of the best fullbacks in the country and I am looking forward to learning from him in the coming years. It will be a challenge to fight for that backup role as both Jimmy (Medranda) and Josh (Kim) are very talented players. But watching the team last year, everyone got their chances, and I am confident that when given mine, I will take it with both hands. I am excited about meeting up with everyone and I am sure we will achieve some great things here.” commented David Foley.

Kyle Rios
5th Pick (First Round) - Vancouver Whitecaps
Traded to FC Cincinnati - $150,000 General Allocation Money + Superdraft 2020 3rd Round Pick + Superdraft 2022 1st Round Pick
Grade A

Kyle Rios, a Generation Adidas player, was selected number five in this years MLS Superdraft by Vancouver Whitecaps, highlighting the potential the young center-back poses. From day one, Rios was a top five projected pick and someone many people at New York Red Bulls Academy had projected a bright future for. However, Rios declined a contract at Red Bulls, electing to rather go to the draft. Following his selection, Paul King and Gerrard Nijkamp were seen talking to the Whitecaps Head Coach Marc Dos Santos and President Bob Lenarduzzi.

A deal was then completed worth a pair of picks including Cincy’s first round pick in 2022 and $150,000 of General Allocation Money gifting the Orange and Blue the players rights. The deal benefits both sides, however, Cincinnati will be the happier of the two parties. Rios is now expected to sign a deal with Cincinnati that will seal the move.

Overall Grade: B+

Cincinnati will be delighted with their Superdraft business this season. Having had the two top picks last season, with number one pick Brian Black winning Rookie of the Year, it was a big difference for the side this time round. With a lot less options, Cincy have seemingly chosen well and are looking like a side that could compete once again this year.


Justice:Some tough tests indeed. Especially that first set of away games, playing Toronto, New York FC and Houston who all made last years playoffs. The West Ham job wasn't to be but as you say plenty of opportunities in the future.
Scott:It certainly is in Cincinnati for the moment but managing in the top European leagues are certainly an ambition for King.
Syb:Hopefully he continues to improve and bring success to Cincy!
Not bad business at all. They look like they could be decent squad players, with the potential to become key players in the future. Rios and Abu, in particular, look quite good, while Foley's pace is a massive asset to have.
Glad he didn't get the West Ham job, it's not a step up :)
Decent work in the draft. Cinci had a lot of success last season with their acquisitions... I wonder if this year will be the same?

Cincy Seal Quarter-Final Berth

FC Cincinnati have sealed their first victories in the CONCACAF Champions league, in their history, beating San Francisco (PAN) to qualify for the Quarter-Finals.

Of the back of an emphatic 6-0 first leg win, FC Cincinnati sealed their Round of 16 win with a 2-1 victory at the Nippert Stadium. A much rotated side guaranteed an almost certain qualification with goals coming from Superdraft pick, Abu Samura and Emmanuel Ledesma.

Having been impressive in pre-season, winning three of their five friendlies, Cincy went into the first leg after a 3-1 win over Ottawa. Travelling to Panama, there was no sign of jetlag for the American side as they opened the scoring inside ten minutes. Aron Jóhannsson found Finnish midfielder Rasmus Schüller on the edge of the penalty box. Running onto the ball the midfielder, in just his second season with Cincy having impressed last season, had no hesitations, striking the ball first time. The goalkeeper, Marcos Palacios, managed to get a hand to the ball, but the power of Schüller shot saw the scoring opened.

Only ninety seconds later Jimmy Medranda opened his seasons account, and Cincinnati’s second of the day. Leandro Bertone, received a pass from Alvas Powell, before finding Medranda in acres of space. In a similar position that Schüller was, Medranda curled the ball into the same right hand corner, with no issues in extending the lead.

German winger, Julian Gressel picked the ball up and went on a solo run from the halfway line, before placing a perfect shot into the left hand corner. 3-0 inside 15 minutes and the tie, already looked sealed for the American side. With a comfortable lead, Gressel added a second four minutes before half-time. Finding himself unmarked on the six yard line from a corner, the German had time to take a touch before slamming the ball past the helpless San Francisco keeper.

A Jimmy Medranda second and a Leandro Bertone freekick ensured the 6-0 away victory for the Orange and Blue. A clearly delighted Paul King had a large level of praise for his side following the game.

“Faultless. I think that best describes us today. Apparently they had more of the ball, but half of that was them kicking off. Not a single shot from them showed just how good we were, stopping them from creating anything. Yet when we had the ball we created almost every time and scoring six, in any game is impressive, let alone against a team in the continents top 16.” said Paul King.

King clearly felt the game was won after the first leg, making nine changes to his first eleven, giving debuts to draftee, Abu Samura. Also seeing their debuts were Cincinnati academy graduates, Matt Rivera and Brent Turner, and recent arrival from Nottingham Forest Gboly Ariyibi.

It was MLS Superdraft 2020, 12th round pick Abu Samura who opened the second legs scoring. Greg Garza, experienced American left back, found an inch perfect cross to Samura, who made no mistake in sliding the ball into the corner. The International, a five time capped Sierra-Leone midfielder, couldn’t hide his excitement in opening his account as he ran to manager Paul King to celebrate.

Having dominated the first leg, seeing San Francisco not register a shot, the second leg saw the side from Panama provide slightly more creativity. That creativity was rewarded, with Rubén Fernandez equalizing in the first minute of stoppage time before the halftime break.

Despite the lead slipping, Cincy never looked worried and their dominance was repaid as Emmanuel Ledesma ensured a victory with an 85 minute strike. The aggregate score ending 8-1.

“I am happy with today, we weren’t as dominant as last week, but we rotated the side and some youngsters have managed to get some invaluable experience. Matt (Rivera) and Brent (Turner) are both still 17, Rui (Rua), 20, and Abu (Samura) is still 21, all of them started and played at least an hour today. It is great that we managed to give some very promising players the opportunity to play in such a great tournament. I am pleased with us over the two legs and look forward to the next round.” were Paul Kings comments following the game.

Cincinnati will next face Canadian side, Vancouver Whitecaps in the quarter-final as they snuck through their match against CD Olimpia, 4-3. Cincy will host Vancouver on Tuesday 3rd March before travelling to Canada a week later for the second leg.


Justice: I was very happy with our picks. Last season showed that there isn't a tremendous amount of talent in the drafts, but if you select well you can find some valuable assets. I think we have done that with these picks.
SOA: ;)
Scott:Hopefully, as I said to Justice, outside the top five there seems very little talent is actually available and considering our picks were 16th I think we have done very well.
A dominant performance over two legs and it's excellent to see Samura get a goal! Good luck against Vancouver. They're a side Paul will be familiar with.

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