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FCC Announces Adi as First MLS Designated Player

By FCC Communications , 07/30/18, 11:30AM EDT

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CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati has acquired Portland Timbers (MLS) Designated Player Fanendo Adi (pronounced fah-NEN-doh AHH-dee) in exchange for $450,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and $400,000 in MLS Targeted Allocation Money (TAM). Portland could also receive up to $100,000 in future TAM for Adi’s on-field performance, as well as a portion of any future international transfer value through the 2020 summer transfer window. 

A U.S. permanent resident, Adi will occupy a domestic roster spot – in addition to a Designated Player spot – on Cincinnati’s 2019 MLS roster.

A 6-foot-4 forward who hails from Lagos, Nigeria, Adi scored 54 goals in 126 games in Portland. Adi had notched two 16-goal seasons and one 10-goal campaign in his four-plus years in the Pacific Northwest.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Fanendo to Cincinnati,” Managing Owner and Chief Executive Officer Carl H. Lindner III said. “We believe he will find himself quickly engrained in our city and beloved by our passionate fanbase. We’re excited for him and his family to settle in and hit the field for us.”

Adi originally came to Portland in May 2014 as a Designated Player on loan from FC Copenhagen, scoring nine goals and adding four assists in 24 games in his debut MLS season. Portland later completed the transfer and he then scored back-to-back 16-goal seasons in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, he registered his third-straight season with double-digit goals with 10, despite being sidelined the final two months of the year with injury.

With Copenhagen, Adi drew UEFA Champions League experience with group-stage appearances against Juventus, Real Madrid and Galatasaray.

“We’re pleased to add Fanendo as our first MLS Designated Player,” President and General Manager Jeff Berding said. “He’s a tremendously talented player who is also a standout citizen in the community. The fact that he has agreed to join us is a clear demonstration of his passion for leadership and winning. He will immediately begin to create his new legacy with another very special fan base. We can’t wait to see him out on the field at Nippert Stadium.”

So far this season, Adi has scored three goals and has added two assists in 14 MLS appearances (nine starts) and also saw time during Portland’s U.S. Open Cup run.

In 2015, Adi helped lead Portland to the MLS Cup Championship as he scored two goals and added one assist in the Timbers’ six-game run to the cup.

“Fanendo is a proven MLS star who has realized success year after year in Portland,” Technical Director Luke Sassano said. “We’re thrilled to have him join our squad this season, get acclimated to both Cincinnati and our club. We expect he will find success as he settles in. By bringing Fanendo onboard now, we hope to show players both within MLS and outside MLS that we are willing to commit early for to the right players to continue our established winning culture from day one."

“We are incredibly excited to bring in a proven MLS goal-scorer to our club,” Head Coach Alan Koch said. “The fact that Fanendo has committed to join us now, in this mid-season transfer window, shows how he believes in our team project and where our club is going. We’re excited to get him involved in the squad immediately and embrace him in the culture of our club. We anticipate that he will have a major impact on the pitch for us for the next several years.”

Adi spent time in the Nigerian youth system with the Under-23 national team, most recently appearing in 2011. He was later called up to the full Nigeria National Team for Africa Cup of Nations qualifying in March 2016, but did not make an appearance.

First-place FC Cincinnati (13-3-5, 44 pts.) returns to USL action on Saturday, August 4, when the team hosts another future MLS expansion team, Nashville SC, at 7:30 p.m. at Nippert Stadium. The game will be the team’s annual “Blue Out” game, and will be televised on WSTR 64, streamed on ESPN+ and carried on the radio by ESPN 1530 AM.

For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official web site at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. For more information about FC Cincinnati tickets, call 513-977-KICK (5425) or visit fccincinnati.com/tickets.

Transaction: FC Cincinnati (USL) – Acquired Portland Timbers (MLS) F Fanendo Adi in exchange for $850,000 in Allocation Money and up to $100,000 in TAM depending on Adi’s on-field performance, as well as a percentage of any future international transfer fee.

FANENDO ADI
Pronunciation: fah-NEN-doh AHH-dee
Position: Forward
Height: 6-4
Weight: 185
Birthdate: October 10, 1990
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Last Club: Portland Timbers (MLS)
Nationality: Nigeria
MLS Roster Status: U.S. Permanent Resident, Designated Player
Twitter: @Fanendo
How Acquired: Via trade from Portland Timbers (MLS) in exchange for $850,000 in Allocation Moneys and up to $100,000 in TAM and a percentage of any future international transfer fee

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