“We were at the right moment at the right place with the right timing with the right purpose,” Nijkamp said.
FC Cincinnati had reason to move now for a big signing. It is moving into its new West End stadium in 2021. In that regard, FC Cincinnati is similar to Minnesota United, which moved into Allianz Stadium in 2019, its third season in MLS.
But the similarities end there. The Loons were terrible in Year 1 but already starting to put the pieces together second season. In 2019, Minnesota dealt aggressively, but for help throughout the lineup: Vito Mannone, 2019 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, Ike Opara, the 2019 MLS Defender of the Year, 2019 MLS all-star Romain Metanire at right back and Jan Gregus and Osvaldo Alonso in midfield.
FC Cincinnati went 6-22-6 in its first season and finished with a slightly worse point-per-game average in its second season when it had a 4-15-4 record. The changes Nijkamp made after he arrived at the end of his first season had minimal effect. FC Cincinnati has a couple of good young midfielders in Frankie Amaya and Allan Cruz but holes throughout most of the lineup.
One name that came up in recent days as an FC Cincinnati target is Argentine Pity Martinez, who was dealt by Atlanta United to Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia last summer.
"It's not good to share names," Nijkamp said, "but we are busy with other targets. We try to do our utmost to get the best players in town. No. 10, winger and center back is what we need now."