FC Cincinnati sign defender John Nelson


FC Cincinnati have signed defender John Nelson to a contract for the 2022 season, with a club option for 2023, the club announced today.

Nelson, a Generation adidas player, is a native of Medina, Ohio who spent the past three seasons with FC Dallas. The 23-year-old has made 30 MLS appearances since the 2019 season and started in two MLS Cup Playoff matches for Dallas in 2020.

“We’d like to welcome John to Cincinnati,” said FC Cincinnati General Manager Chris Albright. “He’s a promising young defender who has already played games in this league, and we are excited to add him to the group.”

Nelson was the first of six selections across MLS in Stage 2 of the 2021 MLS Re-Entry Draft in late December. Eligible players were at least 22 years old and had a minimum of one year of MLS service who were out of contract and did not receive a Bona Fide Offer or whose contract options were not exercised by their clubs.

Nelson was selected by FC Dallas with the 10th overall pick (first round) of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of North Carolina. He played two seasons and started 41 matches for the Tar Heels, where he was named to the 2017 All-ACC Freshman team and named to the All-ACC second-team during his sophomore year.

Nelson played 10 matches in 2021 with FC Dallas, totaling 554 minutes. Here is what FC Cincinnati’s roster looks like at this time:

GOALKEEPER: Alec Kann, Beckham Sunderland, Kenneth Vermeer

DEFENDER: Zico Bailey, Tyler Blackett, Geoff Cameron, Ray Gaddis, Ronald Matarrita, John Nelson, Alvas Powell, Gustavo Vallecilla

MIDFIELDER: Luciano Acosta, Allan Cruz, Calvin Harris, Yuya Kubo, Ben Mines, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Arquimides “Quimi” Ordonez, Kyle Scott

FORWARD: Isaac Atanga, Dominique Badji, Álvaro Barreal, Brenner, Brandon Vazquez

TRANSACTION: FC Cincinnati sign defender John Nelson to a contract for the 2022 season, with a club option for 2023 on January 6, 2022. He will occupy a supplemental roster spot.


Position: Defender

Height: 5’ 9”

Birthdate: July 11, 1998 (23)

Birthplace: Medina, Ohio, United States

Nationality: United States

How Acquired: Via signing on January 6, 2022 after being selected in Stage 2 of the 2021 MLS Re-Entry Draft

Check out FC Cincinnati's 2022 schedule HERE. 2022's home schedule begins at TQL Stadium when the club hosts D.C. United in the home opener on March 5. Tickets are currently available through Season Ticket Memberships. Fans can get the best tickets at the best price to the best matches all season long, including the home opener, by purchasing season tickets at fccincinnati.com/tickets or by calling 513-977-KICK, that’s 513-977-5425.

Fans can now purchase half-season ticket packages, starting at just $170. The “Orange” pack contains nine matches, including the Hell is Real match vs. the Columbus Crew. The “Blue” pack contains eight matches, including the home opener vs. D.C. United. To receive more information on half-season ticket packages, fill out the interest form at fccincinnati.com/tickets/2022-ticket-interest.

FC Cincinnati begin their fourth season of MLS competition in 2022, and their second playing at TQL Stadium. For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. Additionally, fans are encouraged to download the team’s official mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.