CINCINNATI, OH --- Luke Sassano has joined the FC Cincinnati staff and will serve as the club’s Technical Director, announced the club in a press conference today.
“We are looking forward to working with Luke and are excited to add an experienced Technical Director to the front office staff,” said Jeff Berding, FCC President and General Manager. “Luke is a great fit for our development as a professional franchise and he will spearhead our new youth academy efforts as well as work with the technical staff to identify and secure top talent in the years to come.”
Tasked with overseeing scouting, negotiations and player acquisition, Sassano will be the main point of contact for FCC with agents, club representatives, Major League Soccer, USL and USSF for all player transactions. Sassano will help establish the club’s overall technical vision and will develop and execute both short and long-term strategies for player development. Sassano will also have oversight of the club’s youth initiatives as well as manage the technical budget.
“I would like to thank Carl H. Lindner III and the Lindner family, Jeff Berding, and the entire ownership group for the opportunity to work with one of the rising soccer franchises in this country,” said Sassano. “I look forward to being an integral part of the community in Cincinnati and experiencing first-hand the exciting energy of one of the country’s best fan base. I am eager to get started and to ensure that FC Cincinnati and its passionate supporters enjoy continued success and growth that aligns with the club’s immediate and long-term goals.”
Sassano comes to Cincinnati from the New York Cosmos, where during his tenure at the club from 2013, the Cosmos collected three NASL Soccer Bowl Championships as well as claiming a Spring Championship in 2015 and a Fall Championship in 2016. During that time, the Cosmos have signed and produced multiple players that have been placed on the NASL Best XI, including world class players Raul, Marcos Senna, and Juan Arango. In addition to the player personnel accomplishments, Sassano helped broker a historical match in 2015 that pitted the Cosmos against Cuba’s National Team in Havana, Cuba. He was also central for the club in establishing a variety of international friendly matches and preseason tours in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, El Salvador, and Spain.
An Orinda, California native, Sassano played collegiate soccer at UC Berkeley, earning All-Pac 10 honors in 2005 and 2007. He was drafted 32nd overall in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft by the New York Red Bulls and was in the starting XI for the MLS Championship game that season. Following his three-year span with the New York Red Bulls, Sassano suited up with Sporting Kansas City for two seasons before retiring in 2012 due to multiple ankle and knee surgeries. During his playing career, Sassano was an active member in the philanthropic community and was named the National Athlete Ambassador for Athletes for Hope, a sports-focused charitable organization. Luke and his wife Kaila currently sit on the board of directors of Aya Worldwide, an NGO that focuses on building sustainable conditions for communities to overcome poverty specifically in Ghana, Africa.