FC Cincinnati kicked off its 2017 preseason with two practice sessions on Wednesday. After a morning workout in Mason, coach Harkes put the team through its paces in an evening session at UC’s Sheakley Athletics Center.
Orange and Blue Press caught up with a couple of FC Cincinnati’s newest faces at UC.
Alan Koch joined FC Cincinnati’s technical staff in the offseason and has a big assignment. He’s the assistant coach for the first team, the head of scouting and analytics, and is also in charge of FC Cincinnati’s academy project. The Durban, South Africa native most recently served as the head coach of Vancouver Whitecaps 2, and brings a wealth of coaching experience to the organization. FC Cincinnati hopes to capitalize on Koch’s experience working with the Whitecaps academy, one of the most esteemed development programs in MLS. We talked to Alan about his new role, FC Cincinnati’s plan for an academy, and his contributions to the MLS expansion application.
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Cincinnati native and former University of Cincinnati standout Matt Bahner had a good first day on the job. He’s only been in town for a week but is settling in nicely with his new team. “It’s a dream come true” said Bahner about the opportunity to return and play for his hometown club. Bahner spent the past two years playing with the NASL’s Jacksonville Armada. He featured at fullback there, and is looking forward to earning an important role on FC Cincinnati’s roster. Bahner says he’s “comfortable playing anywhere on the back line,…at full back or more centrally.” He’s the only defender signed by FC Cincinnati so far this offseason. His versatility will be important for the squad. Before playing for the Armada, Bahner spent two season’s with the Harrisburg City Islanders. He was the only City Islander selected to the USL All League 2nd team in 2014. The City Islanders went all the way to the USL PRO playoff final that year, losing 2-0 to the Sacramento Republic.
Bahner has end product to his game as well. Check out the assist and game winning goal starting at 1:36 of this video.
FC Cincinnati plays the first of six preseason games against OKC Energy on February 19th in Bradenton, Florida. Stay tuned to Orange and Blue press for more coverage and color commentary of FC Cincinnati’s preseason.