CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati has signed defender Forrest Lasso ahead of the club’s debut season in Major League Soccer. Lasso, 25, was named the United Soccer League’s Defender of the Year for 2018.
As a United States citizen, Lasso will occupy a domestic roster spot on Cincinnati’s 2019 MLS roster. He is one of five players currently signed to the 2019 roster, alongside forward Fanendo Adi and midfielders Fatai Alashe, Corben Bone and Emmanuel Ledesma.
"Being able to play in MLS has been something I’ve been trying to achieve since I started playing soccer, so for me, it is very satisfying,” Lasso said. “There’s been a lot of hard work over the years, and I had faith in myself that I would eventually get the opportunity. I’m grateful to the FC Cincinnati organization for giving me this chance and I couldn’t be more excited to get ready for next year.”
Lasso joined FC Cincinnati prior to its final USL season on Nov. 20, 2017. During his lone year with the Orange and Blue at the USL level, Lasso made 29 appearances, with 28 starts, and scored three goals.
“Forrest was a massive part of our team this past year and we feel he’s earned a spot to play at the MLS level next season,” FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch said. “While his potential has always been evident, Forrest’s dedication to improvement each and every week played a key part in his fantastic season. We look forward to Forrest’s continued growth and are eager to see him embrace the challenge of playing in MLS next year.”
Lasso proved to be a key piece in FC Cincinnati’s 2018 Regular-Season Championship campaign. The Raleigh, N.C. native finished third on the team in minutes played (2,574) and finished first in the league overall with 223 clearances, first among defenders in aerials won with 172 and second in blocked shots with 32. The 6-foot-6 center back also posted standout numbers elsewhere, winning 74.3 percent of duels over the regular season (214-of-288) and 82.7 percent of aerial duels (172-of-208) while recording 47 interceptions, 17 tackles and 88 possession recoveries. For a second consecutive year, Lasso was voted to the USL All-League First-Team for his outstanding season.
Lasso’s professional career began in 2015, when he was signed by the Charleston Battery after a four-year career at Wofford. The defender went on to make 62 appearances, including 45 starts, and scored 10 goals across all competitions for the Battery from 2015-17. In his final season in Charleston in 2017, Lasso was named to the USL All-League First-Team after making 28 appearances, with 25 starts, and scoring a career-high six goals.
The next time Cincinnati takes the field, it will be as MLS’ 24th team in 2019 when the club debuts in the top professional league in the U.S. and Canada. Season tickets for the 2019 season are now on sale at fccincinnati.com/tickets.
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. For more information about FC Cincinnati tickets - including 2019 season tickets - call 513-977-KICK (5425) or visit fccincinnati.com/tickets.
Transaction: FC Cincinnati signed D Forrest Lasso as a free agent on Dec. 3, 2018.
Jersey Number: 3
Birthdate: May 11, 1993
Birthplace: Raleigh, N.C.
Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.
Last Club: FC Cincinnati (USL)
Nationality: United States
MLS Roster Status: Domestic Player
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent on Dec. 3, 2018.