BRADENTON, Fla. — Eric Alexander made his FC Cincinnati debut Saturday morning in the 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids at IMG Academy.
Alexander started the second half and played 30 minutes before being replaced by rookie Tommy McCabe in the 75th minute.
“It was good,” he said. “I came into [preseason] with a little bit of an injury, so it was nice getting in with the guys and being able to participate fully.”
On the field, Alexander anchored the Cincinnati midfield, working in tandem between the backline and midfield. He said he was pleased with the group restricting Colorado from playing passes through FC Cincinnati’s side of the field.
“It was awesome seeing Eric,” Head Coach Alan Koch said. “Obviously we’ve waited awhile to get him going. We’ve been very, very conservative with his approach.”
Alexander’s debut coincides with Allan Cruz leaving the club to join the Costa Rica National Team for a friendly against the U.S. National Team. Cruz started that friendly.
But the Major League Soccer experience Alexander can provide Cincinnati is unparalleled as the expansion club approaches its first season in the first division. The midfielder leads the team in MLS appearances with 212 games across six clubs. He’s collected 13,769 minutes.
On Saturday, he had his first 30 with Cincinnati.
“These guys have been working hard for a few weeks now and I’ve been working on the sideline and in and out of drills,” Alexander said. “It was nice being able to experience what they’re experiencing and getting to play with them and feel more like part of the group.”