down the hatch

Down The Hatch: Nov. 14

Hello and thanks for reading the latest edition of my mailbag. This one is all about roster movement: Expansion Draft, signing Designated Players and more.

Questions can be submitted on Twitter by tweeting to @charliehatch_ or by emailing me at

I won’t comment on a non-FCC player, but I think anyone who fits the Nijkamp/Jans model should be considered, especially if they have previous MLS experience that hints toward a productive 2020 and 2021. (Also, Quintero joined the Houston Dynamo as I wrote this.)


It’s unknown how Nijkamp will use his 12 protections in the Expansion Draft, but yes, a good way to offload any player would be making them available Tuesday in the draft. Does that mean Nijkamp will? We’ll see.

In my opinion, no, I wouldn’t protect a player if the contract isn’t done. If FCC think negotiations could end soon, maybe they think differently.


Until GM Gerard Nijkamp comments on why that decision was made, we won’t know the exact reason. But I can offer my take…

Lasso is a sturdy defender, but his player profile doesn’t fit FCC *IF* the club wants to play a possession-based style. Ndam has better passing ability than Lasso, and he’s also five years younger.

I think Lasso is a good player, but he doesn’t fit the current scheme. Maybe Ndam can. But Ndam spent most of the season training with Cincinnati in an MLS environment. He never played for FCC because he was technically on loan all season and thereby unavailable to the team’s roster. Plus, given the roster status this season, the club would have had to acquire another international slot in order to activate Ndam. 

But let’s be honest, FCC just allowed more goals than any club in MLS history. How would it look if EVERY center back from that team came back in 2020? I personally think center back is a place where Cincinnati look for more players to sign this offseason. Maybe more will come or go.


Hey Kevin,

I can’t comment on players who aren’t on FC Cincinnati, but I can tell you someone who’s currently playing for Barcelona probably isn’t the first name on FCC’s list of transfer targets. That said, imagine his reunion with Ron Jans in Cincinnati…


I’m still waiting for an update, too. The club is in negotiations with the players, and we’re all waiting for the final verdicts. 


I don’t know anything beyond the announced deal when Victor Ulloa joined Inter Miami CF on Monday. Only one player from each team can be picked, so if Nashville SC select someone from Cincinnati, that would eliminate any possibility of another Orange and Blue player heading to Florida without a separate trade. That said, I’ve definitely heard rumors of these gentlemen’s’ agreements around past Expansion Drafts ... including ones FCC may or may not have been involved in last year. 


Based on conversations I’ve had with folks around the organization, I’m convinced FC Cincinnati will sign a DP or two in the near future. After last season, there needs to be considerable improvement, and I see that happening – especially with Allan Cruz becoming a TAM player. And it seems the powers that be have bought into the financial commitment needed to make such significant improvements. 

Potential signing targets (DP or not) haven’t been publicly identified, but – in my opinion – I could see potential signees being another forward, winger, center midfielder and/or center back, if not another fullback.

An impact player doesn’t need to be expensive. They just need to be better than what fans saw last season.


Yes, FC Cincinnati can buy out a player’s contract, though that doesn’t mean the club wants to at this point. And yes, Adi is still an FCC player, so he’s on the roster until a move materializes. That goes for every player.