CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati have acquired Dutch midfielder Siem de Jong (pronounced SEEM deh-YONG) on a free transfer. FCC will decide whether de Jong will be signed as a Designated Player or if his contract will be bought down using Allocation Money ahead of the 2020 MLS Roster Compliance date on Feb. 28, 2020.
De Jong, 31, will occupy an international roster spot and be added to FC Cincinnati’s 2020 roster upon the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 Visa. The midfielder made five appearances, including two starts, with AFC Ajax scoring three goals across all competitions in the club’s current season.
“We believe Siem will play an important role in adding to the final third and efficiency of our attack,” FC Cincinnati General Manager Gerard Nijkamp said. “Not only does he have an impressive intelligence and skillset, he has also played in some of the most prestigious competitions and has been a leader on and off the pitch throughout his career. We feel he will be a great addition to our club.”
The midfielder has made 347 career appearances, including 253 starts, scoring 102 goals and adding 59 assists in 13 professional seasons in the top divisions of the Netherlands, England and Australia. De Jong joins FC Cincinnati after playing for AFC Ajax (2007-14, 2017-20), Newcastle United (2014-17), PSV Eindhoven (2016-17) and Sydney FC (2018-19). De Jong has captured four Eredivisie titles, two Dutch Super Cups, one Dutch Cup and one A-League Championship during his career.
“For me, when FC Cincinnati presented their plan of how the club is growing and how they want to build the team here in the upcoming years, I felt this would be a good experience for me,” de Jong said. “Hopefully, I can help the club and the players to build something special here.”
De Jong’s professional career began in 2007 with traditional Dutch power AFC Ajax. The midfielder amassed 244 appearances, including 210 starts, scoring 78 goals and adding 48 assists during his first stint with the Amsterdam club. De Jong served as club captain during the 2012-13 and 203-14 Eredivisie campaigns. In addition, he made a combined 40 appearances, including 37 starts, scoring six goals and adding four assists in UEFA Champions League and Europa League matches.
De Jong earned his first trophy when Ajax defeated Feyenoord in the two-legged 2010 Dutch Cup final. Ajax claimed four consecutive Eredivisie titles from 2010-14. Ajax went on to win four consecutive Eredivisie titles from 2010-14 and claimed the Dutch Super Cup in 2013 with a victory over AZ Alkmaar.
Following the 2013-14 Eredivisie season, de Jong joined Premier League side Newcastle United. With Newcastle, de Jong totaled 26 appearances, including seven starts, scoring two goals and adding an assist across all competitions in two seasons. The Dutchman missed nearly the entire 2014-15 Premier League season after suffering a combination of injuries, however, scored his first Premier League goal at Swansea City on April 25, 2015.
After totaling 18 appearances with the Magpies during the club’s 2015-16 season, de Jong joined Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven on loan for the 2016-17 campaign, while Newcastle were relegated to the EFL Championship. De Jong regained form with PSV, scoring six goals and adding an assist in 23 appearances across all competitions in his lone season with the club.
Following the 2016-17 season, de Jong returned to Ajax on a permanent transfer. The midfielder made 33 appearances, including eight starts, scoring 10 goals and adding four assists across all competitions during the three-season stretch in his second stint with his first professional club.
After playing the first 11 seasons of his career in the Netherlands and England, de Jong joined A-League side Sydney FC for 2018-19 season. During the Sky Blues’ championship-winning campaign, de Jong made 21 appearances, including 16 starts, scoring six goals and adding five assists across all competitions.
At the international level, de Jong has earned six caps for the Netherlands national team. The midfielder made his senior international debut in an international friendly at Ukraine on Aug. 11, 2010. De Jong scored both of his international goals for the Oranje in an international friendly at Indonesia on June 7, 2013.
FC Cincinnati will return to the field for their second MLS season on Sunday, March 1, when the team opens the season in Harrison, N.J., against the New York Red Bulls. After a road game at Atlanta United FC on Saturday, March 7, FCC will open their 2020 home slate on Saturday, March 14, when the team hosts D.C. United at Nippert Stadium in a 5:30 p.m. game.
For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team’s official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati.
Transaction: FC Cincinnati acquired midfielder Siem de Jong on a free transfer on Feb. 20, 2020.
SIEM DE JONG
Pronunciation: SEEM deh-YONG
Birthdate: Jan. 28, 1989
Birthplace: Aigle, Switzerland
Hometown: Doetinchem, Netherlands
Last Club: AFC Ajax (NED)
MLS Roster Status: International
How Acquired: Via free transfer on Feb. 20, 2020.