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Paul King - Becoming Royalty

Started on 10 June 2019 by TheLFCFan
Latest Reply on 2 October 2019 by ScottT
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Avram Grant may prove to be a shrewd capture. An experienced coach and manager, he'll be an invaluable asset to have.
Some incredible additions to the staff, especially someone like Avram Grant! It was expensive but it should be worth it in the end. Nice to see you back again on the story shitttttttttt Seb!!!
Avram Grant without a doubt the main name in there and he will be invaluable in advising King over in the US.
TheLFCFan's avatar Group TheLFCFan
2 yearsEdited


Cincy Move Hagglund and Cruz



Nick Hagglund playing for now former side FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati have wasted no time in making some major moves after becoming the latest Major League Soccer franchise. Having already traded away Mathieu Delpange, Caleb Stanko, both to DC United and Kekuta Manneh to Orlando City, today Nick Hagglund and Allan Cruz have also left the club.

Hagglund and Cruz leave the Ohio based club for Canada and will join the Vancouver Whitecaps. The deal saw the Orange and Blue receive the 2nd pick (Round 1) 2019 Superdraft, the 2nd pick (Round 2) 2019 Superdraft, an International Player Slot (Until 31st December 2019) and $725,000 General Allocation Money.

With this deal seeing a further two picks being added to FC Cincinnati’s arsenal after already receiving three picks previously from DC United and Orlando City respectively, it is clear Cincinnati are looking towards the Superdraft as a way of improving their team. Now holding both the 1st, 2nd and 6th picks in the first round along with 1,2 and 3 in the 2nd round the expansion side are going to have the first chance of securing some of the biggest names in the draft class.

FC Cincinnati's General Manager had this to say on the deals “We would like to wish Nick and Allan the best of luck with their futures as both are very talented young players. However, with the offer that Vancouver made, it was one we could not turn down. We now have a large amount of top picks in this upcoming Draft which we are highly excited about.”

Hagglund, a 26 year old center back, was signed just a season ago from Toronto FC for $300,000. Having featured in 8 games last season for FC Cincinnati it seems as though the club believe that Danny Wilson, who joined via the Expansion Draft will be enough to replace Hagglund and will likely form a center back pairing with club captain Kendall Watson.

Also being moved on to the Vancouver Whitecaps is 22 year old Costa Rica winger Allan Cruz. Cruz, who was also signed last season didn’t feature in a single game for the club despite his 10 caps for Costa Rica showing he is a talented player. The youngster could never force Emmanuel Ledesma out of the side and that has seemingly meant he is surplus to requirements.

FC Cincinnati’s manager/Head Coach Paul King told us the following “Both Nick and Allan have been class acts around the club last season with Nick playing an important role for us last year. Unfortunately Allan never got to show his true worth to the fans however he showed his talent and work rate in training every day. We wish both men the best of luck. The picks and money we have received for the pair are incredible and we are looking forward to adding some very talented young players through the Superdraft in less than a months time.”
The MLS Superdraft takes place in just over three weeks time on January 17th 2019 where FC Cincinnati will hold some very important draft picks.


FC Cincinnati's Trades in Full (So Far)

FC Cincinnati Receive
6th pick (round 1) 2019 Superdraft
6th pick (round 3) 2019 Superdraft

DC United Receive
Mathieu Delpange
Caleb Stanko

FC Cincinnati Receive
3rd pick (Round 2) 2019 Superdraft

Orlando City Receive
Kekuta Manneh

FC Cincinnati Receive
2nd pick (Round 1) 2019 Superdraft
2nd pick (Round 2) 2019 Superdraft
International Player Slot (31st December 2019)
$725,000 General Allocation Money

Vancouver Whitecaps Receive
Nick Hagglund
Allan Cruz

Replies


SOA: Thank you. We were certainly looking for experience as that could prove vital in our first couple of seasons.
Scott: Indeed, hopefully this backroom staff and I can be very successful here at Cincinnati.
Justice: Grant was a name I just couldn't look past. His experience is unmatched and someone I was very happy to sign.
BigMaguire: Yes, the terminations were slightly more than I would of hoped for but it was needed as that staff was barely up to USL standard let alone MLS.
Jack: Grant is certainly a big name joining the club, hopefully his experience proves useful.
Cincinnati seem to have a clear strategy in their business, with their eggs placed in one basket - the MLS Superdraft. I'm keen to see if this is something which will benefit them in their debut season in the league, or something they come to later regret.
Hopefully the Super draft gives even more good acquisitions

Cincinnati To Host Galaxy In Opening Day Fixture


Last years MLS Cup winners Atlanta United lifting the MLS Cup.

Major League Soccer new boys, FC Cincinnati today found out their schedule for their debut MLS season. With anticipation high, it was announced that Cincinnati will face off against LA Galaxy in the opening fixture of the 2019 MLS season.

LA Galaxy are one of the largest clubs in North America having won a record five Major League Soccer titles as well as nine Western Conferences including last seasons. Having boasted talents such as David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and current star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, The Galaxy are renowned for being a massive influence in the growth of the game in America.

With this being FC Cincinnati’s first season in the MLS, having impressed the expansion committee mainly due to their level of support, the challenge of facing Galaxy will be a tough one. However, with the match being at their home ground, Nippert Stadium, the support will be strong for the Orange and Blue. With attendance records being broken repeatedly in the USL since their formation, it has been proven that Cincinnati have a strong and loyal fanbase and that will certainly be shown once again come Friday 1st March.

FC Cincinnati also found out that they would play host to last years champions Atlanta United on the 4th May 2019 before the away match on the 1st June. Atalanta, managed by former Ajax, Inter Milan and Crystal Palace boss, Frank De Boer, beat LA Galaxy 1-0 in last years final courtesy of Julian Gressell, who now plays for Cincinnati. Atlanta who became an MLS side in 2017 have taken the league by storm and boast some of the biggest talents in the MLS. With legendary goalkeeper Brad Guzan as well as young prospect Ezequiel Barco and striker Josef Martinez, Atlanta have formed a very strong side.

The “Hell is Real” derby will also be renewed when FC Cincinnati travel to Columbus Crew on the 13th April before playing host on September 7th. After a billboard was placed on Interstate 71 that linked Cincinnati with Columbus, the matchup between the two sides in their 2017 Open Cup match was dubbed the “Hell is Real” game. It will certainly be a fiery affair with the previous game seeing Cincinnati beat their opponents 1-0. Columbus Crew downplayed the game and result, belliting their new rivals claiming it was a nothing match to them and they were focused on ‘bigger things’. Cincy will certainly be looking to prove their worth once again when these matches come around.

The banner displayed by FC Cincinnati fans when the rivals faced of in a 2017 Open Cup match

FC Cincinnati manager, Paul King had this to say on the fixtures:

“As exciting as this is we just want to get going now. It is good to know who we are playing and when but everyone throughout the club just wants to play and win football matches. I am looking forward to 1st March and I truly believe it will be an amazing spectacle when we host one of the biggest clubs in America.”

Cincinnati will end their inaugural MLS season with a trip to Texas when they face off FC Dallas on October 6th.

Replies


Scott: The draft is certainly the clubs main focus for the time being, however the trades are also giving us a large amount of General Allocation Money which will allow us to make our own moves later in the year. We have also not lost out any key players who can not be replaced.
BigMaguire: Indeed.
An intriguing fixture to begin the season. LA Galaxy are a side with quality amongst their ranks - it'll be a difficult opening challenge.
A blockbuster of a debut fixture in the MLS. You're in the business for the big games, and now its time to deliver!

Making the Right Moves


December 25th, one of the most famous dates around the world. Christmas Day, a day of spending time with the family, gifting and receiving presents and quite frankly eating way too much food and not being able to move after dinner.

This year was just the same apart from the fact that the official list of Major League Soccer Superdraft declarees was released. The players who would be available to be selected was official and we could finally start planning for our 1st pick in our first ever Superdraft.

Despite the list being published in the late evening of Christmas Day, owner Carl Linder III and Jeff Berding, Team President informed myself and General Manager Gerrard Nijkamp to stay at home for the day and enjoy it with our families with plans to meet up the following day. So that's what we did, early on boxing day the four of us met up with the intention of developing plans towards the next few weeks.

We met at a stadium I had come to love over the past decade of being in and around it, the Nippert Stadium. We had sealed off a conference room and dedicated it to our draft process months before. Only myself, Carl, Jeff, Gerrard and now my new assistant manager Avram Grant were allowed access. The room consisted of a large table which was able to comfortably sit 12 people. On the table sat four large folders, which were labeled “Goalkeepers” “Defenders” “Midfielders” and “Strikers” with each folder holding the players who played in the respective positions and a small scout report on each. On the far wall sat a further 138 folders dedicated to each player in the draft giving us information from height, weight, birth place to all stats from previous clubs and colleges from the ages of 14.

We had been scouting and following these players for months, ever since we were finalised as the newest expansion side. We knew approximately who would be declared for the draft and that allowed us to get the information we possessed.

In front of the large desk was four large white boards that had been nailed onto the wall for us. Each board represented a single round in the draft with the numbers 1-24 written in a black pen signifying the picks with the clubs logo who held the respective pick next to it. This allowed for us to not only evaluate the players we believed we would select but also the rest of the league.

This meant we needed to know everything about everyone. To help us we hired two data analysts in Steve Lurie and Blake Ruhaak to analyse every clubs strengths and weaknesses allowing us to have an improved understanding of which clubs would target which players.

But today's meeting was about us. We knew a lot about every player in the draft but now we had to begin narrowing down the players to a select group. We had to focus on firstly who we wanted to select with our first and second picks before choosing players for the remaining picks and having backups if they had already left the board.

The five of us spent eight hours reading through and discussing the scout reports of every player we had information on. Every detail was covered with us eventually settling on a group of players we wanted further info on. Eventually a list of 49 players was narrowed down. This was the group we believed would be best suited to us, it was quickly decided that these players would be further scouted and the reports would be with us before the Combine on January 11th.

January 17th couldn’t come soon enough.

Replies


Scott: It will certainly be a tough test, but it is one that will tell me a lot about where we are.
Justice: A blockbuster of Hollywood proportions. We certainly do need to deliver and hopefully we can put out a big performance to kick us off.
Wow, you seem to have everything so organised at FC Cincinnati. Hopefully this organisation can propel you forward into becoming an MLS force!
Paul and co seem to be clear and prepared for the incoming draft. With such a system, it's important to remember that you're not guaranteed to sign your desired player in each position - with others team potentially beating you to signing them. However, I trust that the group have suitable targets in mind, which will prepare for such an event.
I think it would be helpful (for people like me who have absolutely no clue how an MLS draft works) to detail the process of the draft and provide more information on it. A nice update and I'm sure Grant has contacts spreading right across the globe which will be helpful!
It is almost game time. Good to see the group are prepared for the draft, now it is time to make sure everything falls into place.
TheLFCFan's avatar Group TheLFCFan
2 yearsEdited


Cincy Announce Pre-Season Plans


FC Cincinnati’s Pre-Season fixtures

FC Cincinnati has today announced their plans for the upcoming 2019 Pre-season, including a tour of Jamaica. With the squad expected to return to training on Monday 21st January, seven fixtures have been announced as a way of preparing the team before their first Major League Soccer fixture on March 1st against LA Galaxy.

To start their Pre-Season fixtures, Cincinnati will play host to two of Columbia's biggest clubs in the form of Junior FC and Independiente Santa Fe. Both clubs are former winners of Columbia's top division, Liga Postobón, with Santa Fe finishing first in their inaugural championships with Junior finishing as runner up that year. Both sides will prove a big test to start off the Pre-Season but one Cincinnati will relish.

The Orange and Blue will then welcome Canadian side Forge FC to the Nippert Stadium to continue their Pre-Season fixtures on Saturday 2nd February. Forge, who feature in the Canadian Premier League, were formed just last year but already hold some top talents in North America. Kyle Bekker a 28 year old midfielder who has been capped 18 times by the Canadian national side and has featured in the MLS for Toronto, FC Dallas and Montreal Impact.

The squad will then fly to Jamaica the following day with a trio of fixtures scheduled on Wednesday 6th February, Saturday 9th February and finally Wednesday 13th February, playing Boys Town, Arnett Gardens and Waterhouse respectively. Arnett Gardens and Waterhouse are recognised as two of Jamaica's biggest clubs featuring in the Red Stripe Premier League. Waterhouse are two time winners of Jamaica’s top tier, whilst Arnett Gardens are five time winners most recently winning the league in 2017. Boy’s Town, are also former three time winners of the Premier League however have suffered of late seeing them in the second tier of Jamican football pyramid.

Upon their return from Jamaica, the latest expansion side FC Cincinnati will play host to Nashville SC a side Cincy are familiar with having played them in the USL. Nashville, managed by former Colorado Rapids head coach Gary Smith, were formed in 2016. Playing in the Eastern Conference the two sides have faced each other four times, with all four fixtures ending in a draw.

Cincinnati will end their Pre-Season fixtures in a behind doors friendly with their academy side in an attempt to add the finishing touches to tactics before their massive clash a week later against LA Galaxy.

Paul King, the Orange and Blue Head Coach commented on the Pre-Season fixtures saying “I am looking forward to it, we have some big games coming up in the regular season and we believe the Pre-Season fixtures we have set out will prepare us sufficiently. We are up against some good sides in Waterhouse and Arnett Gardens whilst away on tour and we are hopefully going to see some good performances from the boys. Starting off the Pre-Season against clubs the size of Santa Fe and Junior we are looking to put in some top performances and starting our preparations off well.”

FC Cincinnati will look to put in some big performances throughout Pre-Season and prepare well before they kick off their regular season against LA Galaxy 1st March 2019.

Replies

Scott: The side certainly are prepared for the draft with ideal choices and a number of back ups planned.
Jack: Grant will help us for sure with his contacts and that is one of the main reasons he has been hired. There may be an update coming soon for that reason.
Justice: That is the plan, although it will take a bit of luck to get every player we want in the draft.

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