FC Cincinnati and General Manager Chris Albright have agreed on a long-term contract extension, the club announced today. Since he joined FC Cincinnati in October 2021, Albright and the club’s technical and scouting staff have built a roster which earned the Orange and Blue’s first MLS playoff berth in 2022 and won the 2023 Supporters’ Shield in 31 matches.
“Chris has done a tremendous job since he took the helm two years ago,” said FC Cincinnati Co-CEO Jeff Berding. “FC Cincinnati have become one of the most exciting teams in Major League Soccer, leading to a 2023 Supporters’ Shield triumph. We’re pleased to extend Chris and keep him and his family in Cincinnati for the long term. He will continue to provide leadership and stability over all soccer-related areas.”
“Chris exemplifies what it means to be a successful leader, as he has overseen a positive, winning culture, managed a terrific coaching & technical staff and developed a talented roster, helping make Cincinnati a championship city,” said Carl H. Lindner III, controlling owner and Co-CEO, FC Cincinnati. “We appreciate how Chris and his family have embraced Cincinnati and are pleased to extend his contract.”
Albright took over the club near the end of the 2021 season, and in just one offseason, led the hiring of Head Coach Pat Noonan and his staff and the rebuilding of the roster into a playoff contender in 2022 and Supporters’ Shield winner in 2023.
The technical staff, under his leadership, added key players to the club, beginning with Roman Celentano, the second overall pick in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft. Albright and his team also identified and signed 2023 Defender of the Year candidate Matt Miazga, Designated Player standouts Obinna Nwobodo and Aaron Boupendza, in addition to experienced MLS veterans and promising young talent.
Albright has negotiated contract extensions for MLS All-Star Álvaro Barreal, MLS Best XI and All-Stars Brandon Vazquez, and club captain and 2023 Landon Donovan MLS MVP candidate Luciano Acosta.
“I’m thrilled to extend my contract to stay with FC Cincinnati,” said Albright. “For me and my family, coming here was a new adventure and we have been embraced fully by the club, the fans, and the city. It’s been an incredible 2 years and I’m looking forward to our continued growth and success in the future. I’d like to thank Jeff, Carl, and all the ownership group for their commitment to the club and for their continued faith in what we’re building together.”
He also orchestrated the club-record transfer of Young Designated Player Brenner to Udinese this past summer.
Albright came to Cincinnati from Philadelphia, where he served as Technical Director of the Philadelphia Union from 2014-20. In that time, the Union and Albright saw domestic success, winning the 2020 Supporters’ Shield and reaching the U.S. Open Cup final three times, while Albright and others received international recognition for his development of the Union Academy.
He has over two decades of American soccer experience, as a player and as technical director. He played 15 seasons in Major League Soccer, winning three MLS Cup titles in addition to earning 2005 MLS Best XI honors and three consecutive MLS All-Star selections from 2004-06. He ended his 15-year MLS career having played in 253 matches, tallying 12 goals and 25 assists with five MLS Clubs.
Internationally, Albright earned 22 caps with the United States Men’s National team, including a selection as a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team in Sydney and the 2006 FIFA World Cup squad in Germany. Albright scored two goals for the U.S. in the 2000 Olympic run to the bronze medal game, the best finish in men’s Olympic history.
Albright will continue to report to FCC Co-CEO Jeff Berding and oversee all soccer-related areas, including roster management; salary cap budgeting and administration; player scouting and acquisition; oversight of the coaching staff, sports performance staff and medical staff; youth development and academy programs, and more.