Thursday marked four years since FC Cincinnati’s first-ever contest as a professional club: a preseason friendly against KR Reykjavík at IMG Academy.
On Friday, they’ll be FCC’s opponent once again, this time in the club’s final preseason match before the MLS regular season starts next week.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of kickoff…
Yoann Damet’s first match as interim head coach
Friday’s friendly will be Damet’s first match leading FCC as the interim head coach in the 2020 season. On Sunday against Nashville SC, Damet and Ivar van Dinteren co-led the club, while Ron Jans was away from the club during the MLS investigation. Jans resigned Monday night.
“We have to focus on the plan,” Damet said following Thursday’s practice. “We had a plan for the full preseason. Everything’s been going well in training and we have to keep implementing our playing style. So that’s the last test (Friday) for us before we enter the regular season.
“We have to see a lot on the field in terms of what we expect, but also that competitiveness that we’re going to have next week.”
This is the second time Damet has been the club’s interim head coach. He held the same role for three months last season before Jans was appointed head coach in August.
Players want to end preseason positively
Left back Greg Garza said he’s looking forward to the club’s final preseason game before the regular season begins.
“It’s been a long preseason with a lot of ups and downs,” Garza said. “That’s usually how these go. But now it’s our final test to really sharpen things up … to make sure we have things ready for the first game against Red Bulls. I think (Friday) is a good test of that.”
FCC’s latest signing, Siem de Jong, will be unavailable against KR. He and Jürgen Locadia are on their way back to the Netherlands to finalize their U.S. work visas ahead of the regular season.
In addition, Yuya Kubo and Adrien Regattin are also finalizing their visas. Kubo returned to his native Japan, while Regattin went to France.
Each player will return to FCC upon receipt of his visa, and General Manager Gerard Nijkamp noted during Thursday morning’s press conference that the current plan is to have Kubo, Regattin and Locadia available for the season opener at New York Red Bulls next week. De Jong is expected to take longer given he just officially signed this morning, and Nijkamp already ruled him out of the NYRB match.
Friday is a closed-door scrimmage
Similar to the past two preseason matches, this game will also be closed to the general public. However, there will be live updates on FCC’s Twitter account.
About KR Reykjavík
KR have 27 Úrvalsdeild karla (Icelandic top division) titles – more than any other team – and 14 Icelandic Cup trophies. KR also won the league in 2019
The European side lost, 3-1, at Orlando City SC this past Tuesday.
When they last played FC Cincinnati in 2016, the teams ended in a 2-2 draw. FCC, who were down 2-0, leveled the match with goals from Luke Spencer and Corben Bone.