© Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Vazquez excited to join Cincinnati

In his first remarks as an FC Cincinnati player, Brandon Vazquez said he’s excited about a fresh start with his new club.

On Tuesday, Cincinnati acquired Vazquez from Nashville SC in exchange for $150,000 in 2020 TAM. That money can rise to an additional $50,000 in 2021 GAM if the forward reaches certain incentives.

“Everybody’s been showing me so much love and appreciation, so it’s been great,” he told reporters during a conference call. “I’m beyond excited to get started.”

Tuesday was a whirlwind for the 21-year-old.

Earlier in the day, he was still rostered with Atlanta United FC, where he spent the previous three seasons. But when Atlanta left him unprotected in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft, Nashville drafted Vazquez eighth overall. Immediately following the announcement, Nashville said he was being traded, and later that evening, the Orange and Blue announced his arrival.

“It’s part of the job and I’m always prepared for it,” Vazquez said of switching clubs. “Once the draft started, I was prepared for whatever was about to happen. I feel like I’m always ready for what’s next, and this is the next chapter.”

Vazquez arrives in Cincinnati as the club’s first offseason acquisition and the first forward GM Gerard Nijkamp has signed since his appointment in May. In acquiring Vazquez, FCC have a young forward who produced for one of the best teams MLS and has experience playing for U.S. youth national teams.

In 2019, he scored two goals and provided three assists in 11 MLS appearances (seven starts). He also scored four goals during Atlanta’s 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup run, which culminated in a championship

“I think I can be a good focal point for the team,” he said. “I can be a hold-up striker and be a big presence in the box up top and can really help the team get out of pressure.”

He’s been to Cincinnati previously.

When FC Cincinnati hosted Atlanta United back in September, Vazquez was an unused substitute for the Five Stripes. He indicated his first trip to Nippert Stadium made a great impression.

“When I came over a couple months ago, I was surprised a lot,” Vazquez said. “We played on a Wednesday night and the stadium was packed and rowdy and crazy.  It was awesome and really nice to see. It was a good experience and the vibe was great. I’d love to see the same thing going forward. I’m just trying to help to hopefully see the stadium even crazier and louder. Hopefully, I can help with that.”