Calvin Harris epitomizes the notion of soccer being the world’s game.
Born in England, he played youth soccer in Hong Kong, made six appearances in the top New Zealand league and eventually became one of the best players in the NCAA while at Wake Forest University.
Now, Harris is trying to use those experiences as he moves to another city, Cincinnati, and becomes another one of FC Cincinnati’s young, promising players entering the 2021 MLS season.
The 20-year-old was selected by FCC with the second overall pick in January’s MLS SuperDraft, and arrived at the Mercy Health Training Center as a dynamic winger hoping to impress head coach Jaap Stam.
“It’s a real big feeling of excitement and I’m grateful for the opportunity that Cincinnati has given me,” Harris, a Generation adidas signing, said on draft day. “I just want to learn and improve, and my confidence will come with that. That’s what I’m looking forward to doing with Cincinnati.”
Despite only playing two seasons at Wake Forest, Harris finished with 32 appearances, scored 10 goals and logged five assists. While his attacking productivity was on display in college, the Orange and Blue are hoping that quality will translate into MLS for a team that scored only 11 goals in 2020.
“We added a promising attacker in Calvin Harris,” FCC general manager Gerard Nijkamp said following the draft. “He’s only 20 years old and a (Generation adidas) player, so his salary is not affecting our cap. That means he gets to learn, improve and develop and be an important player for our future.”
A player who prides himself on individual duels and creating attacking opportunities, Harris is another example of FCC adding young depth pieces in attacking areas.
In addition to his selection, the club added former New York Red Bulls winger Ben Mines, while Álvaro Barreal joined Cincinnati last September and made five appearances. Of course, Brazilian forward Brenner was signed as a Young Designated Player last month.
While each of them will be competing with one another for minutes on the wings – and with Jürgen Locadia, Yuya Kubo and Joseph-Claude Gyau – the youthful injection out wide reiterates the Cincinnati is building a younger roster with players the club can develop for the future.
“With the research I’ve done on Cincinnati and Jaap, the way he wants to play, it’s very much Dutch football and wanting to play with the ball on the ground and in possession,” Harris said. “It seems like a good fit for me.”
Harris is one of two Cincinnati SuperDraft picks who will join the club throughout preseason. The other is left back Avionne Flanagan, who was selected with the 29th overall pick from the University of South Florida.
The rookie duo could make their first unofficial appearances for the club on March 13, when Cincinnati plays a closed-door friendly at the Mercy Health Training Center.
Join Calvin Harris and the Orange and Blue when they move into their new home. FC Cincinnati 2021 Season Tickets start at $20 per game and are available for purchase. Being a Season Ticket Member gives you the best opportunity to secure your place in history for our inaugural season at West End Stadium. Click here for more information or to register your interest in 2021 season tickets.