FCC Combine Chat

FCC Keeping Draft Options Open At MLS Combine

Options are open for how FC Cincinnati utilizes the first pick in next Friday’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft, Head Coach Alan Koch said Friday afternoon in Orlando, Florida.

Koch and the club’s technical staff are attending the 2019 MLS Player Combine. While there, FCC could find future players to draft or a club to potentially trade the No. 1 pick with.

“We’re preparing for all eventualities,” the coach said. “Do we keep the pick, and then what do we do with that pick? Or do we make ourselves open to potential trades? We’re here to (scout) every single player. We’re open to all sorts of possibilities as we go through this process and just try to maximize our time while we’re down here.”

Options aren’t limited to keeping or trading the pick, either.

With the top pick, FC Cincinnati sets the tone for what follows. For the first-year MLS franchise, that could mean picking the best overall player. That could also mean picking someone to provide depth at a certain position or become a developmental player for the future.

“It depends on the situation,” Koch said. “You don’t have to make any decisions until draft time and you’re on the clock, but we’re looking at players and have a good idea of what positions they may play.

“We also have a ranking too. We’ve ranked players from one to all the way down to who’s the best player available. We have some ideas at this time, but we don’t have to make any decisions until we’re put on the clock.”

On Friday, coaches and scouts watched players participate in different agility tests. They also interviewed players. On Saturday, they watched two matches at Orlando City Stadium, where players were split into four teams. The next set of games arrive Wednesday morning.

“You don’t get to see these players live all the time,” Koch said. “It was excellent standing there with Hunter (Freeman), Luke (Sassano), (Pa-Modou Kah) and Jack (Stern) and putting faces to names because for a lot of us, primarily myself, most of these guys have just been names. Now we get the opportunity to see the players live.”

Freeman is a team scout who’s overseen much of FCC’s draft scouting. Sassano is the club Technical Director, who will help Koch make draft selections, while Kah and Stern are on the coaching staff.

Koch said watching the players during the two scrimmages allows for him to better understand players, their playing style on and off the ball and helps give FCC a better idea of its approach heading toward the MLS SuperDraft.