FC Cincinnati: Brenner signing rings soccer world like a bell

FC Cincinnati (Photo by Jason Whitman/Getty Images)
FC Cincinnati (Photo by Jason Whitman/Getty Images) /

FC Cincinnati supporters have despaired after the team’s first two seasons ended dead last in the standings. A few fans even gave up, considering some mad plan in the head office to focus on just about anything but winning.

That’s after rocketing through USL ranks with attendance rivaling any soccer organization across the central or north Americas. Yet, their success in attendance has not translated into anything remotely resembling competitiveness in their first two MLS seasons.

FC Cincinnati faithful has wondered if the good days are gone. What General Manager Gerard Nijkamp says should get supporters to become hopeful, if with caution. He emphasizes that the Brenner signing is an important addition.  He isn’t expected to arrive as a one-man army. But Nijkamp did stress that, despite age 21, he’s not brought in to develop further off the bench.

Scouts reported that he produced for his team in Sao Paulo, Brazil at the highest level. So expect last-place FC Cincinnati to build from a core while continuing to acquire playmakers to drive the ball to Brenner and other attacking teammates. The new FC Cincinnati will for the first time look like a team fitting every MLS squad’s goal: win the MLS Cup (or at least get into the post-season).

FC Cincinnati’s signing of Brenner sent a shock to the soccer world

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The Brenner development has erupted into two strange effects: the first within FC Cincinnati and the other ringing world soccer like a bell – however briefly. FCC midfielder Frankie Amaya all of a sudden looked at the last two years’ miserable results and the recent player move and demanded a trade.

It’s like new MLS side FC Cincinnati these past two seasons have been riding in an old, used, abused raggedy school bus that ran out of gas. Someone just got the idea, got a can of petrol, filled the tank, and got the heap started. Then Amaya jumps out of the seat and yells he wants out.

The official word from the team is that they won’t trade Amaya. That’s a smart decision. He’s earned his place as a starter and is the team’s leading tackler. There will have to be more to his situation than a resolve to keep him in his contract and stick him out on the pitch.

The coaching staff will have to reopen communication channels with Amaya to assure him he’s valued and the organization has a brighter future now, with him and his teammates. The Amaya deal can be sealed just that simple. The more global effect comes in that everyone in Europe looked exactly where Brenner was supposed to land. And all they saw was that someone had soiled the bed of Premier League side Arsenal FC.

As European sports media instruct me, along with Premier League devotees among my friends, that MLS teams aren’t supposed to land youthful world-class talent. Sometimes I sense they’re stopping just short of describing the home-grown MLS universe as populated by mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging savages.

Arsenal scouts had watched Brenner’s success in Sao Paulo, especially the 17 goals in 33 games. And finally, they had to report where the attacker ended up. The team had plans to pick him up this summer. The media reacted with words like shock, and then Brenner going to a small MLS side with little success.

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FC Cincinnati has risen with this latest move to show someone else has to take the last place from now on. All of MLS needs to take that same attitude. No corner of Planet Earth has a monopoly on soccer excellence. The story in 2021 is they have an excellent addition of a player who’s never been on the pitch for an FC Cincinnati loss. Supporters are ready to see teammates surround him to ensure it stays that way.