Former Team: BSC Young Boys
Market Value: $1.7M
Deal: Transfer – u
FC Cincinnati signed midfielder Leonardo Bertone from BSC Young Boys of Switzerland for an undisclosed fee on Tuesday, December 18th. The Wohlen
Bertone was a bonafide starter for Young Boys for most of the past three seasons, barring an ankle injury that kept him out of the lineup for about three months in 2017. His playing time dwindled considerably in the 17’/18′ season, however, and he’s been reserved mostly for substitute roles since. His contract also would have expired in the summer of 2019, so the Swiss club was likely looking to get a return for him before he left on a free transfer.
Three Things Leo Bertone brings to FC Cincinnati
Top Flight European Experience
Bertone has a substantial amount of first division experience despite playing for only one professional club, similar to rumored transfer target Mathieu Deplagne. He boasts over 100 starts in the Super League, and can claim Europa League and Champions League experience as well. The bulk of that experience is from 16 appearances he made in the Europa League between 2015 and 2017. He also earned one start and two substitute appearances in the UEFA Champions League in 2018. How many MLS players can say they’ve played against Cristiano Rolando in a competitive match? Bertone has.
Bertone wore the number 6 at BSC Young Boys, but Transfermarkt describes him as a box-to-box central midfielder that can also play defensive midfield. Also of note is that during his substitute appearances this season, he came on for wide or attacking midfielders. Of course, those substitutions could have been made late in games to take advantage of Bertone’s defensive qualities. Regardless, it seems the 24-year-old can play a variety of roles, and versatility may have been part of the attraction for Alan Koch and his technical staff.
Right-footed Set Pieces
Kenney Walker was most often the right-footed set piece man during FC Cincinnati’s 2018 season. Who will step up to that role in 2019? If you watch the video below, you’ll notice that a number of Bertone’s highlights come from free kicks or corner kicks that he delivers. Other candidates will likely emerge on the experienced roster that Alan Koch is building, but Bertone is certainly now one of the options.
Alan Koch had the following to say about the new roster addition.
“We are excited to add Leo to our roster. He’s a skillful player and we believe he is a great fit for our style of play. He comes from a culture of success with Young Boys and we believe he’ll be an important part of our foundation as we instill a winning mentality within our group.”
Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati offseason and MLS roster build.