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Paul King - Becoming Royalty

Started on 10 June 2019 by TheLFCFan
Latest Reply on 2 October 2019 by ScottT
Pfffft, that was a bit easy. You should make things more challenging and play with no keeper.

Cincinnati Progress to CONCACAF Semi-Final

After a stalemate 0-0 draw in the first leg of FC Cincinnati’s CONCACAF Quarter-Final with Vancouver Whitecaps, Cincy have beaten the Canadian side 2-0 to see them through to the final four.

In one of the most memorable moments in FC Cincinnati’s short history, Leonardo Bertone’s winning goal has seen his side through to a historic CONCACAF semi-final spot. After a lacklustre first leg, which saw very limited action, leg two, held at Vancouver's BC Place, was a much improved spectacle.

Cincinnati boss Paul King had admitted after the first leg that his side was not at their best in the opening tie and was looking for an improved performance this time around.

“Simply put, we were not good enough last week, nowhere near good enough and we were lucky that Vancouver weren't necessarily at their best either. We can’t bank on that same luck this time. We need to create a lot more chances, and make sure we take them, whilst remaining solid at the back.” commented King before the days game.

Requesting an improved performance, King certainly got one. Ending the game with 17 shots on goal and limiting Vancouver to just two. But it took awhile for the games opener.

With an hour gone, and the tie still locked at 0-0, David Cooper came on to replace German winger, Julian Gressel. Having played in six games in three weeks, the effects were clear on the German, and Cooper, who finished third in last seasons MLS Rookie of the Year, came on looking to make an impact. It didn’t take long for that impact to be made.

Just five minutes after entering the game, a Greg Garza corner was played into the area. Zac MacMath, Vancouver's goalkeeper, left his line to punch it clear, however, Cooper rose highest and met the ball first, guiding it into the empty net. 1-0.

Things looked to only get better for Cincinnati as Joe Aribo, who recently returned from 6 weeks on the sideline, had the ball in the net for the second time. However, it was ruled out as Aribo had been in an offside position as the freekick was played in.

But it didn’t take long for that second. Leonardo Bertone, who has already scored two freekicks this season. Placed the ball down and drilled a shot hard, hoping to beat the Vancouver wall, however it cannoned back to the Swiss midfielder. With one touch, Bertone moved the ball to the right before swinging his foot seeing the ball fly into the top right hand corner.

The Cincinnati bench were delirious, with King running down the sideline towards to the away fans punching the air in delight. Quickly settling down, King saw his side hold out for the final ten minutes, seeing his side into their first CONCACAF Semi-Final.

“Incredible. I am delighted. Everyone had us down as lucky to get San Francisco in the round of 16 and said we had no chance here. But we always had belief. It is something this side prides itself on. Nobody had faith in us last season. Look at what we did. Nobody has faith in us in this competition but now we are into the Semis. I think I may have got a bit carried away after Leonardo’s (Bertone) goal, but can you blame me. I love this team and I am so proud of the boys. But now, due to the ridiculous schedules we have in the MLS, we need to focus again. It's a long trip back to Ohio and then we have Dallas in less than 48 hours.” said Paul King following the game.

King is clearly unhappy about the scheduling, something he has mentioned numerous times before, most famously following Cincy’s 2-2 draw with Chicago Fire last season. It will be a quick turnaround for him and his team as they are expected to land in Ohio in the early hours of Wednesday morning, before facing FC Dallas, who sit in 3rd in the Western Conference, on Thursday evening. They then travel to Minnesota on Saturday for their fourth game in seven days.

Cincinnati will be keeping an eye out on the CF Pachuca vs New York Red Bulls game on Thursday night, as the winner of that game will be their Semi-Final opponents.


Scott:Samura has impressed early on, he seems to of been a steal of a pick so far!
Justice: A little bit tougher this time around!
A fantastic result after a tough first leg for sure, especially in such a tough competition. Hopefully King can lead his side even further!
Four games within the space of a week? No wonder King isn't happy. An excellent result here, nonetheless. To record a 2-0 win in such an important game away from home is something to be very pleased with.
A win's a win, you'll take that. The progression continues, now it is time for you to show that you can do it on the big stage.
That schedule would piss off any manager, but a remarkable achievement and no doubt time to celebrate in the near future!
Great result and good momentum heading into the Semi-Final. Lets hope you bring home another trophy.

A Frustrating Start

It’s been just under a month since we played our first competitive fixture of the year, where we beat San Francisco 6-0 away from home in our debut CONCACAF match. Since then we have played a further, seven games in the following three weeks. With two games in the CONCACAF quarter-finals, beating Vancouver 2-0 on aggregate. Whilst also playing four league games, beating Real Salt Lake, drawing to FC Dallas and losing to Colorado Rapids and Minnesota FC.

The league started well, we beat Real Salt Lake, 1-0 at home, thanks to a stunning freekick from Leonardo Bertone. The Swiss midfielder has been very impressive so far this year scoring three goals and perfecting his defensive duties.

Going into March, our focus was on the CONCACAF Champions League, with two legs against Vancouver Whitecaps, separated by a 1-0 away loss to Colorado Rapids. We started the quarter-finals with a 0-0 draw at home to the Canadian side. A game both teams, as well as the fans will want to forget. A shocking performance from both sides. But we followed that with a very impressive 2-0 away win that guaranteed our qualification into the semi-final. We now know that we will be playing Mexican side, CF Pachuca, who beat New York Red Bulls 4-1 on aggregate to qualify.

Pachuca will be a very tough test as the Mexican team are an impressive group of players. Former two time winners of the CONCACAF, they will be looking to add their name to the trophy for a third time, having last won it three years ago in 2017. We will go into both games as huge underdogs but I truly believe that favours us and I hope we can cause an upset.

We followed that game with a game against FC Dallas, the current Western Conference leaders. In fact, our draw against them, as Aron Jóhannsson scored his first goal of the season to equalise after they scored early on, is their only dropped points so far.

We then went into our game against Minnesota. A game we started off impressively. Two goals inside the first half an hour gave us the 2-0 lead thanks to Emmanuel Ledesma and Joe Aribo. But we were hit with a worrying level in lack of concentration. With 60 minutes gone it was 2-0 but by the 71st it was 3-2. It is embarrassing to throw away a lead like that and I truly let the boys know it. We can’t give up points like that, it just isn’t good enough.

That result sees us just holding on to a playoff spot due to goal difference as we sit in 7th a spot below our next opponents New York City FC.

Our squad could be looking a lot different going into that match though as we are currently seeing some major moves. Diego Forlán and Connor Randall have both been waived, to make space for international spots. Neither players were starting and with the additions already made through the draft, neither would be playing a part in the team. With space available, we are looking at a number of options to improve the side.

With our original roster looking strong, we are looking to improve further. We believe there is no point in sitting back and being happy with where we are, we want success. That's what everyone who is in this game wants.

Our start has no doubt been frustrating, but with the amount of games played in such quick succession, we can’t be too disappointed. Still in the playoffs and a place in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League, is nothing to be upset about. We now have a two week break following the postponement of a couple of fixtures due to the international break and in that time we will see Peter Pham return whilst also having our team gain some much needed rest.

This season is going to be one of excitement, and I can’t wait to get into it!


BigMaguire:A promising result for sure, very happy with getting this far and hopefully we can go even further.
Scott:The scheduling is a complete mess, but as you said, a 2-0 away win is great news and shows that even with the rotations we need to make, we are still a side who will be competitive.
Justice: It's only going to get tougher from here, the remaining sides are all Mexican powerhouses, with much larger budgets than we could imagine. Hopefully we can stay competitive and give them a run for their money.
Jack:MLS really need to sort their scheduling out, it is a complete mess and with them expanding the league even further I can't see how they are going to fit all the games in. Going to be interesting to see what they do.
SOA:It would be a massive achievement to win it! We need to get through this tough test first!
The start of a season is always meant to be frustrating. The best teams are those who can continue to improve until the end of the campaign. That'll be you, I'd imagine.

Cincy Confirm Bazoer Deal

FC Cincinnati President, Jeff Berding has today confirmed the signing of Riechedly Bazoer from German side VFL Wolfsburg.

In a joint statement with General Manager Gerrard Nijkamp, Berding stated

“We are delighted to announce the signing of Dutch midfielder Riechedly Bazoer for a fee of $2,000,000. Riechedly (Bazoer) has signed a three year deal, earning $2,927,000 a year and will be a designated player. The club is delighted to welcome him to the team and can’t wait to see him pull on the Orange and Blue of FC Cincinnati.”

Born in the Dutch city of Utrecht, Riechedly Bazoer started his youth career at PSV Eindhoven, where he joined aged ten. Spending six years at the PSV academy, Bazoer was developing interest and was seen as a real prospect by a number of clubs with some top English sides supposedly interested in the teenager. However, the then 15 year old decided to move to Ajax, one of the largest clubs in Holland.

He was placed into the Jong Ajax side and quickly established himself as a very intriguing talent. With a ruling keeping Bazoer out of the Ajax team until his 16th birthday, the youngster eventually made his debut in 2014, making a total of 17 appearances for the Dutch side that season.

He quickly established himself as a key component of the Ajax midfield and at just 19 years of age he made his Holland international debut against Wales. With his stock rising, once again some of Europe's elite were taking an interest in him. Arsenal, Manchester City, Napoli, Barcelona and Bayern Munich were a few of the sides Bazoer was linked with.

Compared to Patrick Viera and Sergio Busquets, Bazoer eventually joined VFL Wolfsburg in 2016. Signing for $13,500,000 the move was seen as a steal for the German side. Bazoer however, failed to cement his place in the team only making 25 appearances for the German side in four years.

His time at the club saw him go on loan to Porto B and his hometown side, FC Utrecht last season. Despite an impressive year, Wolfsburg deemed the midfielder as surplus to requirements and was transfer listed.

This has seen FC Cincinnati pounce on the opportunity signing the 23 year old for a fee of just $2,000,000. A deal that Head Coach Paul King is delighted with.

“It’s an excellent deal for the club. Riechedly (Bazoer) is a very good player and at just 23 has years to improve and develop for us. We are delighted that he has chosen to join us here at Cincy and can’t wait to see him in the squad in the very near future. We have another ten days before our next game and that will give him plenty of time to integrate with the lads and start to show what he can do on the training pitch.” commented Paul King.

Bazoer will be looking to force his way into a midfield that impressed many last season, with Paul King preferring a three man midfield usually occupied by Leonardo Bertone, Joe Aribo and Rasmus Schüller. But with the Dutch midfielder being the clubs record signing and now the highest earner in the team, it is assumed he will slot into the side.

Bazoer also took time out of his day to give a comment to the clubs official website stating “Cincinnati is a team that is growing and I am very proud to be joining the project. It is a great moment for me to be named the clubs newest designated player and I can’t wait to prove everyone who showed faith in me that they were right to do so. I have had a lot of doubters and been called a failure many times over the last few years, but I believe I still have the talent and desire to prove those people wrong. I am still 23 and have many years left in my career, I want to do whatever I can to make the Cincinnati fans happy whilst I am here!”

Bazoer who has played a number of roles in his career, namely, right back, center back, defensive midfield and more naturally a central midfielder, will be looking to make his debut in Cincinnati’s match with New York FC in just ten days time.

The club has also announced the signing of Portuguese striker Gabriel Mendes who will officially join the side in February 2021. The Leixões youth product made his first team debut last month, scoring his first senior goal a week later.

With Mendes being a highly rated prospect, everyone at Cincinnati is very excited for the 17 year old to join up with the team.

“He is a player that looks to have tons of potential, he’s still young and has loads of time to develop. But the raw skills are in place and we can’t wait for him to join up with us next year. Hopefully he gets a good amount of game time in his current team, as he has already proven to be a player with a lot of talent for them scoring once already.” stated Paul King.


Justice: It has been a tough start for sure, but as you said, it's all about how you end the season with the best teams getting through the tough times and finishing strongly!
I think Bazoer could prove to be an excellent piece of business should he realise his potential again, which is a very real possibility. Moving to Wolfsburg seems to have been a move that has witnessed a stall in his career and he needs to be given the opportunity to really kick-start it again.
Bazoer is a monstrous signing! Very athletic and very intelligent, and he ticks all the boxes as a midfielder. Could become a key player for you.

Mendes looks like a very raw, but a very talented, striker. He'll be a major aerial threat, but his Off The Ball movement makes him somewhat of a maverick in the penalty box!

Cincinnati Dream Continues

Paul King's FC Cincinnati will be playing in the CONCACAF Champions League Final following a dramatic 6-5 penalty shootout win over CF Pachuca.

Following two legs that ended with no goals being scored, FC Cincinnati’s tie with CF Pachuca, took penalties to separate the pair. The lack of goals didn’t come through a like of trying.

Leg one, which saw a record attendance for Cincinnati with a crowd of 38,223 at Nippert Stadium, had a total of 21 shots, with 15 on target, whilst leg two had 24 shots with 8 on target. The game saw numerous attacks and attempts however, staunch defense from both sides saw no goals scored.

CF Pachuca did have the ball in the net though, with a disallowed header being scored in the 86th minute of the first leg. Timothée Kolodziejczak rose above Rasmus Schüller to head home from a corner in the dying moments of the game. With the Mexican side running away in celebration, the referee was furiously blowing on his whistle indicating that the French centerback had unfairly pushed Schüller before scoring the goal.

The second leg saw a change of tactic for FC Cincinnati, as they employed a 5-1-1-2-1 system. With three center back’s two fullbacks, a defensive midfielder, a central midfielder two wingers and a striker, it was something we hadn’t seen from Cincy before. Yet the lack of experience with the system didn’t matter as it worked to perfection.

CF Pachuca have been a side with the eye for goals so far this season with 58 goals in 36 league games, the second best record in the league. They had also managed to score nine goals in their previous four CONCACAF matches, and were yet to be beaten at home.

With Cincinnati holding the Mexican side to a goalless draw for the second time in a row, the game went to a shootout. Przemyslaw Tyton saved the first Pachuca penalty whilst Cincy saw Aron Jóhannsson, Greg Garza, Rasmus Schüller and Julian Gressel all convert. Alvas Powell missed his spot kick allowing Pachuca to equalise. But a second Tyton save, allowed for Leonardo Bertone to gift Cincinnati the victory.

Pandemonium hit as the Cincinnati bench cleared running onto the pitch to celebrate with their team with Paul King leading the charge. He did however, state that his side need to now remain focused.

“Wow. I am speechless. I seem to say it all the time, but we just continue to exceed expectations. We are Champions league finalists! We came into the game today with a plan, a plan we implemented and executed to perfection. They beat New York Red Bulls by four goals here the other week, we knew coming to their home was going to be tough. But I couldn’t be prouder of this group. But now we have to focus. We haven’t won anything yet and nobody remembers the runners up, we want to be remembered. It is going to be a tough final no matter which side we play but I will never doubt these boys.” commented King.

Semi-Final two will take place tomorrow evening when Club América and Tigres UANL face off. The current aggregate scoreline is 1-1 after the draw in leg one at the home of Tigres. Club América currently sit in 8th of the Mexican Closing Stage, whilst Tigres are currently 2nd, with both sides being two of the largest in Mexico.

Whoever Cincinnati have to face it will be a tough test as both teams are former winners of the Champions League. Cincy and their fans will however, go into almost any game full of confidence following their, what is being called a ‘fairytale run’.

Before the final, Cincy will face four tests in the MLS playing Orlando City, Houston Dynamo, Chicago Fire and Montreal Impact. Despite their incredible Champions League run, the Orange and Blue have struggled in the league so far. Currently sat in 11th, the table looks worse than it is, as with three wins in their three games in hands, the side will see themselves rise into 4th. But with no win in six, in the league, Cincy will need to find their domestic form, sooner rather than later.

The CONCACAF Champions League Final will take place on the 22nd of April with the second leg taking place a week later on the 29th.


Scott:That move really stalled his career. No regular first team football in and out on loan, with a chnage of location and an opportunity in the MLS he can really start to reach that potential once again. Him reaching that potential should also help see us achieve some positive results.
Justice:I was shocked that we managed to finalize the deal. He is an incredible player and a real step up on anybody else we have previously managed to get here.

Mendes was a steal in my opinion. A player who was cheap as you like and has so much potential he could become a real star for us!
What a fantastic result for King and Cincinnati
Congratulations to Paul King on an excellent result that marks the opportunity to win the Champions League title in the club's debut year within the competition. A truly remarkable moment when you consider Cincinnati were only debuting in the MLS last season. The side have certainly enjoyed a meteoric rise under his management. Mexican sides have monopolised the competition and it's time an American side breaks that!

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