General Manager Gerard Nijkamp Reflects On FC Cincinnati's Future

CINCINNATI — Gerard Nijkamp understands his new role as the general manager for FC Cincinnati will be one which has many moving parts.

Nijkamp is not even full-time on the job until Aug. 1 but thus far has been hands-on in helping finding a new coach after Alan Koch was fired in May. Yoann Damet has been the interim coach and while Nijkamp praised his work and admitted Damet was looked at as a candidate, he will not be considered for the permanent head coaching position. 

Additionally, Nijkamp has to right the ship on a team that has been blasted on the pitch, including a 7-1 loss to Minnesota United in its last game, while falling to 3-13-2 during the expansion year. Since Koch’s ouster, the team has been 2-7, including U.S. Open Cup competition.

Nijkamp has to upgrade the roster before FCC moves into the new $250 million West End Stadium in March 2021. 

At a press conference on Friday, Nijkamp opened up by acknowledging he is in contact with the current directors of the club, which includes Damet, technical director Luke Sassano, and  assistant coach and director of sports performance Gary Walker.

“What I am doing at this moment is working hard with my team of directors to talk about the things happening daily but also to look forward to the future and to build the club in the philosophy and playing style and identity,” Nijkamp said. 

Nijkamp went on to say that the head coaching position is his No. 1 priority.

“First the head coach search, of course is very important, is an area which is needed,” Nijkamp said. “Not because we think [Damet] is doing a bad job, but we also feel, and I feel and I see from here and from my time in Cincinnati in the match against LA that we need at this moment a caretaker, a short-term solution who can help and support [Damet] coming through this season.”

FCC has had a lot of interest in the head coaching job and Nijkamp said he has spent a lot of time whittling down the original list to seven or eight final candidates. Nijkamp said the plan was to hire a new coach on an 18-month contract, which time-wise corresponds to the opening of the new stadium.

“We do an analysis on potential coaches who can help us on the long term but also on the short term,” Nijkamp said. “We go now in the direction of the short-term solution. You have to think about this season and extension of the next season so an 18-month appointment of a head coach.”

Nijkamp didn’t release a name but mentioned he and FCC president Jeff Berding met with a candidate last week in the Netherlands and hinted negotiations are in the works. 

Nijkamp said the 18-month contract plan was not the original direction but evolved as he and Berding worked their way through the list of candidates.

“At a certain moment we decided to change our procedure in way of thinking we need a person who can help us the next 1.5, or 2.5 years coming into the West End new stadium,” Nijkamp said. “We went to more of a caretaker to bring us through the season and hopefully one more season after. We changed a little bit our strategy, if you can say it like that.”

When asked if the club is limiting its options with the 18-month contract, Nijkamp said that is not the case.

“This season six months and then we will evaluate how we succeed in the goals we put on the table for him, and there on, with both sides, if we see enough potential to extend the contract another season then another 12,” Nijkamp said. “I am happy with the way [Damet] is doing his job but to appoint the new coach we all have to be convinced he is the right guy at the right moment in the right place.”

Nijkamp said he, Berding, and owner Carl Lindner III will make the final decision on the new coach. He then added that the roster is being evaluated with the hope of not only having a good starting 11 but also depth from the bench. 

“We can find solutions and field a more consistent team with a more consistent roster after Aug. 8 that has more qualities and depth,” Nijkamp said, alluding to picking up players during the transition period. “What I mean by that is we can focus on our first 11 but not always the best 11 can play. You have injuries, suspensions, international break, so we need the player from 12 to 25, so that is what I mean with consistency and depth.”

First Half Own Goal Gives D.C. United Huge Victory Over Portland Timbers

In 90 minutes of rain, D.C. United emerged victorious in the Pacific Northwest, benefitting from an own goal in a 1-0 win against the Portland Timbers. Bill Tuiloma knocked in Ulises Segura's cross in the 25th minute, giving United their second consecutive win, both of which came away from the friendly confines at Audi Field. The win elevated the Black-and-Red to fourth place in the Eastern Conference, a position that could change depending on other results on Sunday.

D.C. United In Position To Solidify Playoff Position With PDX Trip

After two weeks off for the international break, D.C. United are back in action on Sunday afternoon as they travel cross-country to take on the Portland Timbers. A win could see the Black-and-Red vault back into fourth place in the Eastern Conference after they were surpassed midweek by Toronto FC, who moved into fourth on the goal differential tiebreaker. Both teams currently occupy a playoff spot at the moment but need a win to cement their standing.

4 Notes From The Opening Rounds Of The Concacaf Nations League

The opening two rounds of the Concacaf Nations League are in the books, and we now have a clearer picture of which nations might punch their tickets to bigger and better things or tumble down into a lower league. 

Final 4 Weeks Of MLS Season Should Provide Plenty Of Drama

With the new schedule this year, Major League Soccer has a couple more sprints before the finish of the 2019 season. With the new playoff schedule, the second season is much shorter this year, after having to deal with the November international window smack dab in the middle of the playoffs. This year the playoffs are sandwiched between the October and November FIFA windows, which will help produce an MLS Cup winner in a whirlwind of a playoff schedule.

The Gap Between US & Mexico Is Widening On The International Stage

Rewind the tape to last September, when the USA and Mexico faced off in a friendly in Nashville. Tyler Adams helped the USMNT grab a 1-0 victory under the guidance of interim manager Dave Sarachan. What might be most memorable from that game, though, was the towering center back Matt Miazga reminding Mexican youngster Diego Lainez just how much shorter the then 18-year-old was than Miazga.

Trinidad & Tobago Struggle In Opening Rounds Of Concacaf Nations League

Though it may have been just a consolation prize considering their last-place finish in the Hex, Trinidad & Tobago’s shocking win over the United States at the tail end of 2017 was ample reason for the small nation to celebrate. 

4 Games Left To Decide D.C. United's MLS Playoff Standing

The last time D.C. United took the field in a competitive MLS game, they did their playoff chances a world of good. In a crucial showdown against the Montreal Impact on August 31, the Black-and-Red repeatedly punched their opponents in the mouth over the first 45 minutes of the game, picking up a 3-0 win that massively helped ease the pressure on a playoff race that was rapidly tightening up.

Concaclusions, Ep. 1: Nations League Matchday 1 & Mexico Dominate USA


From clutch finishes to a surprise resignation, the last week of Concacaf action featured just about everything imaginable as the inaugural Nations League is now underway. Away from the opening round of the tournament, Mexico were busy flexing their muscles in front of a rain-soaked crowd at MetLife Stadium. 

The Favorites Roll, Curaçao Narrowly Beats Haiti & More From Days 2 & 3


The past two days of the Concacaf Nations League has provided plenty of drama, decisive results, and world-class goals for everyone to enjoy. With games across all three leagues in the competition, some storylines are already beginning to play out throughout the competition, as we move on to the second match day, beginning on Monday.

Unexpected Concacaf Twist: Gustavo Matosas Stepping Down Because Of Boredom

The Concacaf Nations League began play this week and is sure to provide plenty of drama on the field over the next couple of months. Countries are vying to move to the semifinal round, or avoid relegation, or even jump up a league through promotion. There's always some element of unpredictability in these games, leading to shock results and standout performances from unheralded players.