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FC Cincinnati have signed former FC Cincinnati Academy goalkeeper Paul Walters as a Homegrown Player, the club announced today. The goalkeeper joins the club on a deal through the 2026 season with a club option for 2027.

Walters, 18, becomes the sixth former FCC Academy player in club history to sign a first team contract with the Orange and Blue, and the third this offseason.

“We are excited to sign Paul as we continue to focus on developing young talents,” said Chris Albright, FC Cincinnati General Manager. “From his time with our Academy, FC Cincinnati 2, and at Northwestern, he’s shown to be a smart, athletic goalkeeper with great potential. I’d like to welcome him back to Cincinnati as he begins his professional career.”

Walters rejoins the Orange and Blue following one season at Northwestern University where he made four starts for the Wildcats. Walters made his collegiate debut against Houston Baptist on September 12, a 2-1 win, and made a career-high six saves against Northern Illinois on October 12.

Walters joined the FC Cincinnati Academy in 2019 as part of the program’s inaugural class. He played for the U17 and U19 teams before committing to Northwestern. Walters also trained with and made one appearance for FC Cincinnati 2 in MLS NEXT Pro this past season in a 5-3 win against Orlando City B on May 29. Walters made five saves in the match.

“I’m excited to be back here at FC Cincinnati,” Walters said. “Starting out in the Academy through [Goalkeeper Coach] Dave Schureck I was able to learn a lot and improve my game. I’ve kept my love of soccer this whole time, it’s great to be back.”

Walters, a native of nearby West Chester, attended Lakota West High School, the same high school as FC Cincinnati defender Nick Hagglund.

Walters will be the fourth Homegrown Player on FC Cincinnati’s current active roster (Stiven Jimenez, Arquimides Ordoñez, Harrison Robledo) and is the sixth former FCC Academy product to have been signed to the first team (Beckham Sunderland, Malik Pinto).

TRANSACTION: FC Cincinnati sign goalkeeper Paul Walters as a Homegrown Player through the 2026 season with a club option for 2027.

PAUL WALTERS
Position: Goalkeeper
Height: 6’ 3”
Birthdate: April 11, 2004 (18)
Birthplace: West Chester, Ohio
Nationality: American

2023 Season Tickets, which include all 17 regular season matches and both Leagues Cup Group Stage matches, are also on sale now at fccincinnati.com/tickets. 2023 Single Match Tickets will go on sale Thursday, Jan. 26 in an exclusive presale for Season Ticket Members. Single Match Tickets will go on sale to the general public Friday, Jan. 27.

Fans who purchase Half Season Ticket Packages will be able to choose one of the two group stage matches once the Leagues Cup schedule is announced. An FC Cincinnati ticketing representative will reach out to confirm specific dates at a later time. Choose from the Orange Package here and the Blue Package now. Fans looking for more information can contact a dedicated FC Cincinnati representative at (513) 977-5435 or e-mail tickets@fccincinnati.com.

Fans can currently place deposits on Group Tickets and Premium seating options for the 2023 season. More information on these experiences at TQL Stadium can be found at fccincinnati.com/tickets.

2023 marks the fifth season in MLS for FC Cincinnati. The Orange and Blue begin the season at home for the first time in club history on February 25 at TQL Stadium against Houston Dynamo FC. The full 2023 regular season schedule can be viewed HERE.

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.