FC Cincinnati isn’t sitting on their MLS franchise opportunity. The 2019 MLS SuperDraft and Regular Season get here quickly. They’re busy getting ready.
The MLS SuperDraft in January 2019 and March 2019 regular season quickly approach FC Cincinnati. So while fighting through the USL competition, the front office works overtime to get themselves ready.
The players are working overtime for their MLS future as well. Defender Paddy Barrett said he and his teammates can meet whatever standard they’re challenged to face. Even the MLS. And that’s the opportunity that Barrett, former Vancouver Whitecaps Player of the Year, wants along with USL First Team Forrest Lasso and defender Sem de Wit.
Everyone acknowledges these center backs provide the power for FC Cincinnati to stay atop the USL Eastern Conference. That’s where they are right now. But do they deserve a shot at MLS?
Should these players make the move with FCC to the MLS coming in mere months, the front office already has some Designated Players in mind for them to feed the balls they intercept.
FC Cincinnati technical director Luke Sassano said the team will have a DP for the start of the 2019 season at best. If they miss that goal, the latest fans will have to wait to greet the DP will be the summer transfer window.
Sassano warns we shouldn’t be surprised to see a second DP in 2019 with a third, probably a Young DP, on the roster by 2020.
So the players and front office stand ready. And the supporters have kept right in step with them the entire time.
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This year’s season-ticket holders get first in line for FC Cincinnati MLS tickets. So the team sold out of all 18,000 season tickets for this season. The team had initially moved their season ticket goal to 20,000 but rolled the number back after strong single-game and group sales. Deposits on seats for the first MLS season start in July.
That MLS season continues to play in Nippert Stadium until 2021 when the new 21,000-seat stadium opens in the West End.
And it will not be long until the first MLS season for FC Cincinnati begins. Browsing the calendar makes it look months away. But the 2019 season opener gets closer as each day of preparations passes.
Supporters and media still have lots of questions for their team. The front office answers them as best they can.
But perhaps the biggest, most pressing issue lies with the players. Which current roster players will continue fighting on the pitch for FC Cincinnati in the MLS? Those players attempt to answer that question with every USL game.
Proceedings are running smoothly for FC Cincinnati, but there is a harsh reality for some of these players: MLS will be beyond them.