UPDATED: At 7 pm on Wednesday, FC Cincinnati released a statement that Major League Soccer had reinstated Fanendo Adi. An independent review of the forward’s OVI incident was completed by the league. Additionally, he was cleared to play by MLS’s SABH (Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health) doctors. He will be available to play on Saturday against the New York Red Bulls.
Alan Koch explained at training earlier on Wednesday that he hoped to get the Designated Player back to training with FC Cincinnati’s full squad soon.
“Fanendo is making progress. I just had a chat with Gary (Walker) and he’s working on the side. We hope to include him very, very soon, maybe even tomorrow in terms of training with the team.”
Adi returned to Cincinnati last week but had not been able to fully participate with his teammates until he was cleared by the league.
“He’s doing work on the side,” said Koch earlier on Wednesday. “We have to wait for the proper authorities to make their decisions. He’s allowed to do work and PT on the side, and he’s making significant progress, but we have to wait for decisions to be made obviously before we can move forward.”
Adi had been missing from the squad since March 17th, when he left the match against the Portland Timbers with an ankle injury. That injury, plus an OVI incident on March 31st, resulted in an extended absence for FCC’s target man.
According to today’s reports and court documents, Adi appeared in court on Tuesday and received a $250 fine for his OVI. He was also given a suspended 30-day jail sentence and a 6-month suspension of his driver’s license.
FC Cincinnati went into their mid-April clash with LAFC surprisingly banged-up, but several players are on the mend. Roland Lamah, Alvas Powell, and Kekuta Manneh recovered fully for the match against Real Salt Lake last week. Also, FC Cincinnati will likely add another name to the list of players available for selection for this weekend’s match.
“Ledesma’s been back and training completely for two days now, so that’s exciting,” said Koch.
Things don’t look quite as good for Greg Garza, who was limited to physical therapy on Wednesday, but is making “significant progress.”
Given Adi’s upcoming return, the improved injury outlook, and the new grass playing surface in Milford, morale was high for FCC’s squad on Wednesday, despite a difficult loss just four days ago.
“It’s awesome, and I think I speak for the entire team,” said Koch about the grass surface at the team’s new fields at Mercy Health Training Complex. “We’re incredibly grateful for the club to provide this to us. It feels like we’ve had to play on the turf for a long time, but you can see it in the players, they are energized after training on grass. It makes the adjustment, in terms of going on the road to NY, Philly, and SJ and having to play on grass, and the fact that we can actually train on grass all week long. It’s great from that perspective.”
Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for our Match Program preview and coverage of Saturday’s matchup with New York Red Bulls.