FC Cincinnati 2 have signed three played to the MLS NEXT Pro team for 2022, the club announced today. The Orange and Blue have signed defender Avionne Flanagan and forward Andrew Akindele to MLS NEXT Pro Professional contracts.
FCC 2 have also signed goalkeeper Nico Campuzano to an MLS NEXT Pro Professional contract, pending ITC and work authorization. All three contracts are subject to league and federation approval, and per club policy, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Flanagan was selected with the No. 29 pick in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft and spent 2021 on loan with both Orange County SC and FC Tulsa in the USL Championship. Flanagan made six appearances for Orange County loan spell from May to July. In September, he joined FC Tulsa on loan until the end of the season, where he made seven appearances.
“We’re excited to have Avionne join the team,” said Tyrone Marshall, FC Cincinnati 2 Head Coach. “He’s someone who brings experience and stability to the defense.”
Flanagan, 22, played three full seasons at South Florida (2017-19) prior to being drafted, where he made 48 appearances, including 41 starts, scoring four goals and adding seven assists. The defender was named to the AAC All-Conference First Team in 2019 following his junior campaign.
Campuzano is a graduate of Portland University, and he graduated with his masters from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021. In his final season with Pitt, he finished third in the country in saves with 66, and sixth in the nation with six shutouts in 16 games.
“Nico is a mature leader in net who can help translate that to the backline,” said Marshall. “His experience at multiple levels of the game will add to his impact on our group.”
The 24-year-old from Cantabria, Spain has played in the academy and reserves with UD Las Palmas, Villareal CF, FC Barcelona, Real Valladolid CF, and Racing Santander. He spent the latter half of FC Cincinnati’s 2022 preseason camp in Clearwater, Fla. working with the first-team goalkeeping group and Director of Goalkeeping Paul Rogers.
Akindele totaled seven goals and five assists in 39 appearances during the forward’s career at the University of Wisconsin. His freshman season with the Badgers earned him a spot on the 2018 All-Big Ten Freshman Team and a top 50 ranking on Top Drawer Soccer’s Top 100 Freshman list. The Chicago, Ill. native began his career in the Chicago Fire FC Academy when he was 13.
“We’d like to welcome Andrew,” said Marshall. “He is a forward with the talent to take that next step, and I look forward to his development with FC Cincinnati 2.”
TRANSATION: FC Cincinnati 2 have signed forward Andrew Akindele, goalkeeper Nico Campuzano, and defender Avionne Flanagan to MLS NEXT Pro Professional contracts.
Prounciation: ah-kin DAY-lay
Birthdate:Jan. 11, 2000 (22)
Birthplace: Chicago, Ill.
Height: 6’ 0”
Weight: 167 lbs.
Nationality: United States
DOB: Jan. 29, 1998 (24)
Birthplace: Los Corales de Buelna, Cantabria, Spain
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 185 lbs.
Birthdate:April 6, 1999 (22)
Birthplace: Baltimore, Md.
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 165 lbs.
Nationality: United States