FC Cincinnati started preseason training in Cincinnati this week. It is the first time that the returning stars and new players have played on the pitch together. The team will spend time training in Cincinnati before traveling down to Florida to kick off the pre-season.
Pre-season for FC Cincinnati includes a total of seven games against rival USL teams. There will also be matches against an MLS team and two local university teams.
These games will give the coaches and fans a chance to observe the new roster and see all the team has to offer.
The first two pre-season games will be hosted at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Following these games, there will be a match against the latest addition to the USL, Indy Eleven. After Indianapolis, FCC will travel down to Northern Kentucky University.
Then the team will return to Cincinnati for the final three home matches. The final home match is against Sacramento Republic, a west coast team also up for the MLS expansion bid.
Regarding MLS Expansion
Pre-season games will wrap up by March 10th. This is the week that the MLS is rumored to be announcing the second and final team for expansion for the 2020 season.
FC Cincinnati, Detroit, and Sacramento Republic are the final three teams in the running for the coveted spot. Mid-December was the initial date for expansion news.
The first team announced for MLS expansion was Nashville. This left soccer fans in Cincinnati, Detroit, and Sacramento on pins and needles waiting to hear the news.
Early-March is now the expected timeline for MLS expansion news.
There is speculation surrounding why the MLS bid announcement keeps being pushed back. The most common thread being that the MLS want to provide more time for the remaining teams to solidify the requirements needed of MLS teams.
Whether or not that is the case, Jeff Berding, GM of FC Cincinnati, has assured fans that the club has presented themselves as fully as possible. He suggests that everyone remains positive regarding FC Cincinnati’s future as a club.
While the club and the fans have to wait until March to hear about MLS, pre-season is less than one month away, and that will be a welcome distraction for everyone.