FC Cincinnati, off to the worst start of any expansion team in MLS history, has moved fast to clean house.
It announced roster moves a day after the 2020 regular season ended. Twelve players have guaranteed contracts for the 2021 season, and the options of three players were picked. But 16 other players had their options declined or weren't offered new contracts. Five whose contracts weren't picked or who are out of contract remain in discussions about returning in 2021.
FC Cincinnati not only finished last in the overall standings in 2019, but it repeated as the worst team in the league in 2020.
Four other expansion teams finished last in their first season -- Chivas USA in 2005, Toronto FC in 2007, the second version of San Jose in 2008 and Vancouver in 2011 -- but never in their first two seasons. Only once before has a team finished last in back-to-back seasons: Chicago in 2015 and 2016.
“We felt it was important to make these decisions swiftly to not only provide an opportunity for the players who are no longer part of our organization to have the maximum amount of time to find a new opportunity” GM Gerard Nijkamp said, "but also to provide us the roster flexibility as we prepare for more additions ahead of the new season."
2021 FC Cincinnati Roster:
Goalkeepers (2): *Ben Lundt, Beckham Sunderland
Defenders (4): Saad Abdul-Salaam, *Zico Bailey Tom Pettersson, Maikel van der Werff
Midfielders (6): Frankie Amaya, Alvaro Barreal, Allan Cruz, Yuya Kubo, *Haris Medunjanin, Kamohelo Mokotjo.
Forwards (3): Franko Kovacevic, Juergen Locadia, Brandon Vazquez.
Bring back Harkes!
The elder or the younger? ;>)
Who are the players that have been dropped?