FC Cincinnati have signed midfielder Gerardo ‘Dado’ Valenzuela as a Homegrown Player, the club announced today. Valenzuela signs a contract through the 2026 season, with a two-year option for 2027 and 2028.
Valenzuela, 18, becomes the seventh former FC Cincinnati Academy player to join the Orange and Blue on a first team deal and the fifth Homegrown Player on FC Cincinnati’s current roster (Stiven Jimenez, Arquimides Ordoñez, Harrison Robledo, Paul Walters).
“Dado is an exciting young player who has worked incredibly hard for this opportunity,” said Chris Albright, FC Cincinnati General Manager. “He has an innate ability on the ball and continues to improve his defensive understanding of the game. His growth from our Academy through MLS NEXT Pro has been a testament to all the work that’s been done in our player pathway and we look forward to his continued development with the first team.”
Valenzuela joined the FC Cincinnati Academy in August of 2020, playing for the U-17 and U-19 teams. In 2022, Valenzuela spent much of the year with FC Cincinnati 2 in MLS NEXT Pro’s inaugural season. Valenzuela made 14 starts in 16 total appearances for FCC 2, scoring one goal and adding two assists.
"I'm excited to sign my first professional contract with FC Cincinnati," said Valenzuela. "It's been my dream to be a professional ever since I was little, and it feels even better to have achieved this with the support of this great team, my family, and my coaches."
In six appearances for FCC 2 this season, Valenzuela has netted once, a match-winning goal against Toronto FC II on the opening day of the season and picked up one assist.
TRANSACTION: FC Cincinnati sign midfielder Gerardo Valenzuela as a Homegrown Player. Valenzuela signs a contract through the 2026 season, with a two-year option for 2027 and 2028.
#58 GERARDO ‘DADO’ VALENZUELA
Height: 6’ 0”
Birthdate: September 28, 2004 (18)
Birthplace: Boca Raton, Fla.
FC Cincinnati return to MLS play to face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, May 27 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Kickoff is set for 9:30 p.m. ET and the match will be streamed on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app and carried over the radio locally on ESPN 1530.
FC Cincinnati’s next home game at TQL Stadium comes against Chicago Fire FC on June 3. Tickets are available at FCCincinnati.com/Tickets or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK).
FC Cincinnati’s full 2023 regular season schedule can be viewed HERE. Fans can visit HERE for FC Cincinnati’s 2023 home platform match schedule. FC Cincinnati matches air live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, the unprecedented subscription service features every MLS regular season, playoff and Leagues Cup match.
Single Match Tickets can be purchased now at FCCincinnati.com/Tickets or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK). For more information about Group Tickets and Premium hospitality options, including suites and all-inclusive experiences, call (513) 763-1025.
FC Cincinnati is now also offering a Flex Plan. Fans can select one Leagues Cup match, in addition to two to five regular season matches. The Flex Plan provides ultimate flexibility, with benefits including cost savings, no fees and presale access for additional events at TQL Stadium, including potential home playoff matches.
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 new official mobile app on iOS or Android for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.