3 Takeaways from FC Cincinnati Preseason Training Camp

FCC starts their season in the CONCACAF Champions Cup in Jamaica on February 22nd

Columbus Crew v FC Cincinnati: Eastern Conference Final - 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs
Columbus Crew v FC Cincinnati: Eastern Conference Final - 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs / Jeff Dean/GettyImages
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It has been 76 days since FC Cincinnati lost to Columbus Crew in the 2023 MLS Playoff Semi-Finals. A lot has happened since that fateful night. Yerson Mosquera left after his loan deal was over, Brandon Vazquez was transferred to C.F. Monterrey, and Santiago Arias and Junior Moreno were not re-signed and left the club. FC signed MLS veteran Corey Baird and Czech midfielder Pavel Bucha. Yet, FC Cincinnati is still favored to be one of the top clubs in the MLS. FC has completed their preseason training camp in Clearwater, Florida, and are ready to start their campaign in the CONCACAF Champions Cup against Cavalier FC (Jamaica). Before that first game, here are 3 takeaways from the preseason training camp.

Alvaro Barreal is back

It was heavily rumored that the 23-year-old Argentine would be moving on to Europe this January. The left wing-back garnered a lot of interest from European clubs, but there had been a rumor that there was an issue with obtaining Barreal a European work permit. The work on his 'immigration issue' had lasted until the end of January. Unfortunately for Barreal, a transfer to Europe was not in the cards. On the other hand, FC Cincinnati is going to welcome Alvaro back with open arms.

Barreal is coming off his best season for FCC, as he contributed 7 goals, and 7 assists in 38 games and earned a 2023 All-Star appearance. He has excelled in the wing-back role in Coach Pat Noonan's setup. Barreal has admitted that he feels much more comfortable and adapted to his position in the system. The confidence the coaching staff has shown in Barreal is clear as well. Alvaro has been a part of the club since the 2020 COVID-shortened season and when they finished last in the league in 2021. And when Pat Noonan took over as Head Coach after the 2021 season, Barreal appeared in all but 2 games across all competitions. He has been a real fixture for FCC. For 2024, expect more of the same out of Barreal.