FC Cincinnati: A History


On Tuesday 29th May 2018, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber officially announced that FC Cincinnati would join MLS.

Here's everything we know about the league's newest members.


In the early stages, the dream of Futbol Club Cincinnati was born in coffee shops on the city's East Side, with former Cincinnati Bengals front office man; Jeff Berding leading the way with just a couple friends at his side.

Like all good ideas and projects, much of the details were worked out over beers and pizza at Berding's own kitchen table.


Further down the line, the table became an office in Downtown Cincinnati and word soon got around about the potential of the USA's newest soccer team. Billionaire Carl Linder III of American Financial Group got wind of the project and told Berding he wanted in. 

Unlike Major League Soccer's other new boys, Atlanta United and Los Angeles FC, FC Cincinnati began playing right away. They took the USL (United Soccer League) by storm, making the playoffs twice in their early years, smashing attendance records along the way.

United Soccer League (USL)

2016 season
Record: 16-8-6 (Third place in USL Eastern Conference).
Leading scorer: Sean Okoli (16; USL Golden Boot winner).
Team-voted MVP: Corben Bone. 
Home attendance: 333,353 (all matches).
Playoff result: First-round loss to Charleston Battery at Nippert Stadium.
Open Cup result: Third-round loss to Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) in the third round. 

2017 season
Record: 12-10-10 (Sixth place in USL Eastern Conference; 17-12-10 in all competitions)
Leading scorer: Djiby Fall (16 goals in all competitions).
Team-voted MVP: Kenney Walker
Home attendance: More than 477,000 (all competitions)
Playoff result: First-round loss at Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Open Cup result: Lost in the semifinal to New York Red Bulls of MLS.

2018 season
Record: 6-3-2
Leading scorers: Danni Konig/Emmanuel Ledesma (4)
Home attendance: 124,333 (through five matches in all competitions).
Open Cup result: A fourth-round match against Minnesota United FC 

Major League Soccer Expansion

In November 2016, MLS Commissioner Don Garber made his first public stop in Cincinnati as the club signalled it's intentions to join Major League Soccer.

Garber was greeted by FC Cincinnati fans who were determined to show the world that their city was ready for the big time. 

In May 2018, the Commissioner returned to Cincinnati and this time, it was for a much more significant event. The official announcement the city had been working towards for the last 18 months: The club has joined Major League Soccer.

In a speech at the official announcement, Garber explained the fans of FCC had him at "Hello" and that the world had stood up and taken notice of the club's following.

FC Cincinnati will begin playing in Major League Soccer next year as the 2019 season kicks off.

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