Back in May, alongside friends at Scratching the Pitch, I helped to break the story that the United Soccer League would be returning to Cincinnati. Included in that piece was the team’s name — FC Cincinnati — their colors, and their logo.
Two weeks ago, I was the first to tell you that the still unannounced FC Cincinnati would be coached by former US men’s national team captain, John Harkes. Also in that piece was confirmation that the team would also playing at UC’s newly renovated Nippert Stadium in 2016.
And today, I’m here to tell you that all of that was 100% correct.
According to a news release received this morning, FC Cincinnati will officially announce their arrival on the professional soccer scene tomorrow at an 11:00am press conference.
The list of attendees mentioned in the release included some very heavy hitters. Jeff Berding, the man who we tabbed in our original piece as the lead man for the team, will be there. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley will be in attendance, as will University of Cincinnati President, Dr. Santa Ono, and Athletic Director Mike Bohn. Bohn is expected to confirm that additional renovations to Nippert were necessary to accommodate soccer at the stadium. And as to be expected, USL President Jake Edwards will also be in the house.
But interestingly, as we had hinted at a week ago, the last man on the list of attendees is majority owner, Carl Lindner III. We had been hearing for months that FC Cincinnati had incredibly deep pockets, and with Lindner in the fold, that certainly proves true. The heir to the United Dairy Farmer’s empire and Co-CEO of American Financial Group, Lindner has an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion.
Also included in the news release was the trailer video below, confirming Harkes as coach of the team as well as the side’s initial home stadium being Nippert. Additionally, official logos for the club were also included, verifying the logos we exclusively revealed back in May.
A point in the video sure to draw some contention is at the 10 second mark when a string of former Cincinnati professional soccer franchises streamed across the screen — but curiously included the Cincinnati Saints, who unlike all of the other teams, aren’t actually defunct. Also suspiciously missing from that list of logos was that of the Cincinnati Dutch Lions, another not-yet-defunct club in the USL’s sister league, the USL Professional Development League. Perhaps that’s due to a minority investment stake in the new FCC side by the Dutch Lions organization?
Not addressed in the press release were the team’s anticipated plans to build their own stadium. The USL has a league-wide mandate that all teams be in their own, soccer specific stadiums by the 2020 season. And from the sources we’ve spoken with, FC Cincinnati plan to achieve that goal by 2019 — though no word has been received on where in the city the club is targeting.
A livestream of the press conference is also available below, should you want to tune in. WSOTP will be in attendance, so be sure to follow us on Twitter (@wrongsdeofpond and @JeremyLance) for live updates.
Great reporting DJ!
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Holy crap, those are some big fish in that little pond of a press conference tomorrow! I bet they’re going to broach the subject of a SSS perhaps in a few years (if they last that long), when the deadline looms much closer. I know you both aren’t as excited about USL as you would be without your ties to the Saints, but I’m looking forward to what they can offer us. I’m somewhat reserved in my excitement about this in regards to the trend of USL teams being basically an MLS reserve team. If there was a guarantee that this wouldn’t happen with FC Cincinnati, I would be so much happier because USL teams that are affiliates (i.e. LA Galaxy II) don’t ever expand into an MLS team. I want us to play with the big boys.
I’m fine with it being “FC Cincinnati”, I just wish the “F” didn’t stand for “Futbol”. It just comes across as a cynical marketing strategy, much like Real Salt Lake.
If they really wanted a nonsense name they could have gone with “S.V. Cincinnati 2016”. A tongue in cheek nod to our German heritage. We’d all be able to sit around and complain about how our little Sechszehn never gets any respect, and how plastic the Bayern fans are. Missed opportunity.
Th same team colors as the Dayton (Cincy?) Dutch Lions? Ugh. I am already cynical.