Following FC Cincinnati’s inaugural USL season in 2016, President and General Manager Jeff Berding visited 10 clubs around the country and Europe on a mission to learn, “borrow” and find inspiration that would help FCC moving forward. Some of those visited clubs included Manchester City, Ajax and Atlanta United FC.
Soon, he expects Cincinnati will be a destination for clubs looking to glean insight into running a top-flight professional soccer club.
“I’m going to be very proud because I know, in the future, clubs are going to come to Cincinnati, Ohio,” he said. “Articles will be written about the facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, and they’re going to say they’re best in class in the world. That’s how we feel about our city.”
The reference is the future Mercy Health Training Center, which is a step closer to completion after a special event on Tuesday morning, when the club held a beam signing ceremony in Milford. Players, staff and community members signed a white beam – one of the final beams to go into the structure – that will help build FC Cincinnati’s world-class training facility.
Seven months prior, FC Cincinnati held a press conference announcing the future campus with a training center, fields and youth academy set up. By Tuesday, Mercy Health Training Center is a step closer to its completion later this year. Steel beams shoot out of the earth and a concrete foundation has been poured.
Additionally, there are three full-size fields – including one the Orange and Blue trained on behind the beam signing – and a goalkeeper training area.
“Today we come together as we reach yet another important milestone and an important day as our club continues our extraordinary story,” FCC Majority Owner Carl H. Lindner III said. “We’re here to add our names to this great facility rising up.”
Milford Mayor Fred Albrecht also spoke at the ceremony and praised the club for making its home in the city and Clermont County.
“Once in a lifetime do we have an opportunity to host a brand-new, start-up MLS team that gives us the bragging rights of being one of the 24 cities in North American to host not just a training facility, but a world-class training facility,” Albrecht said.
FC Cincinnati currently train on the fields at the Mercy Health Training Center and have offices and locker rooms in a temporary building adjacent to the construction site. Once the new one building completed later this summer, the team will move into its new home.
“Soon, we’re going to finish this construction and start using this amazing training facility every day as we train to be one of the top clubs in Major League Soccer,” Berding said. “It will be a world-class facility for a world-class city and region.”