As Logan Gdula spoke, his voice fluctuated between excitement, nervousness and the unknown.
Gdula’s week started in Alabama, where he scored his first professional goal for the Hartford Athletic, where he’s on loan in the USL Championship. Once he returned to Connecticut, he had little rest before FCC’s No. 13 pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft learned he’d be in Cincinnati soon, too.
“I was excited but a little bit flustered because they wanted me to come the next morning,” Gdula said Wednesday morning after his loan recall was announced Tuesday afternoon. “There’s a lot of emotion, but I’m definitely excited to get back with the team and see what everything’s about.”
Interim Head Coach Yoann Damet and the FCC coaching staff are just as eager to see what Gdula can provide, especially with depleted depth at the fullback positions right now.
Gdula was drafted as a fullback and can play on either the right or left. But with multiple players ahead of him on the depth chart at the start of the season, the rookie was sent on loan for professional experience and minutes.
Since then, Gdula went to the Phoenix Rising, picked up and injury, then later went to Hartford to make his professional debut. As for the Orange and Blue, outside backs have either been injured (Greg Garza), on international duty (Alvas Powell), playing at center back (Justin Hoyte) or played every minute out of necessity (Mathieu Deplagne).
Gdula’s return offers immediate depth – and for Damet, a traditional full back to potentially fill the spot in the lineup after deploying center midfielders Caleb Stanko and Fatai Alashe at right back the past two matches.
“I just hope maybe I get an opportunity to show what I have,” Gdula said. “I’m not expecting much right now. I’m just trying to show what I have in practice and work hard and maybe earn some minutes in the next couple weeks.”
FC Cincinnati’s current list of available outfield players for Saturday’s game – 14 – is hardly ideal, but it creates an opportunity for younger players, like Gdula.
Last Saturday, rookie Rashawn Dally, who was initially on loan at Memphis 901 FC to begin the season, started for FCC in his MLS debut against the LA Galaxy. There’s a chance Gdula can find himself in a similar situation Saturday in Minnesota.
“It’s been a lot of ups and downs,” Gdula said of his 2019. “Being in Phoenix and then having that injury, I was out for a while. Them going home and being in Hartford was big for me. Just having my family at games was big. Playing a lot of games and getting that experience, I couldn’t trade it for anything. It’s helped a lot in my development and getting back here.”
Now that he’s back up with FC Cincinnati, there’s a chance his family might see him play on ESPN in his MLS debut soon.