FC Cincinnati today unveiled the identity of the club’s MLS NEXT Pro squad, FC Cincinnati 2. MLS NEXT Pro kicks off in 2022 as a part of the Major League Soccer pathway to pro.
MLS NEXT Pro is designed to serve as the bridge between the FC Cincinnati Academy and first team and will begin play in 2022. FC Cincinnati 2 will play a 24-game slate, culminating in an eight-club playoff format with a cup final. The club will train at Mercy Health Training Center, and the venue for the club’s home matches will be announced in the coming days.
The club’s crest is similar to the first team logo, with Gary the Lion being replaced by a block number “2” in the bottom half of the crest. The club will don the newly released orange Juncta Juvant kits along with the navy-blue Dynamic Kit, and both kits will feature the FC Cincinnati 2 badge.
FC Cincinnati 2 will be led by Head Coach Tyrone Marshall. Marshall served as FC Cincinnati’s interim head coach for the final months of the 2021 MLS campaign and has coached the FC Cincinnati U-19 squad since last February.
Marshall joined FC Cincinnati’s Academy coaching staff from Real Salt Lake, where he had been an assistant coach for the Utah MLS club since 2015. In his playing career, Marshall made over 300 MLS appearances with five different clubs between 1998 and 2012. He is a two-time winner of MLS Cup (2002 and 2005 – LA Galaxy) and a three-time Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup winner (2005 – LA Galaxy, 2009 and 2010 – Seattle Sounders FC). The Jamaican international appeared over 85 times in his career with the national team, scoring five goals.
Ryan Coulter joins the staff as FC Cincinnati 2’s goalkeeper coach. The Bray, Ireland native played his youth career as a goalkeeper for several clubs in the League of Ireland before moving to the United States to play Division I college soccer. He spent two seasons at the University of San Diego before transferring to East Tennessee State in 2011, where he made 61 appearances with the Buccaneers. He graduated in 2014 and returned to Ireland, where he played professionally for a number of clubs in the League of Ireland. In 2019, he returned to the States, serving as player-coach for Forward Madison FC in the USL League One. He moved to the USL Championship in 2020, again operating as player-coach for Rio Grande Valley FC. He joined FC Cincinnati Director of Goalkeeping Paul Rogers at Houston Dynamo FC shortly after, working in the Academy, before making the move to FC Cincinnati 2.
The search for a new U-19 coach is ongoing. In the interim, Adrian Parrish and Cristiano Scapolo will oversee the U-19 team with assistance from Niko Katic.