Down The Hatch

Down The Hatch: April 9

Hello and welcome back to another week of my mailbag. While MLS play remains suspended, there’s still plenty of news surrounding FCC and the league. Of course, more news means more questions.

As a reminder, you can submit questions for the mailbag here, or by tweeting at me. Thanks for contributing!

Preston: What are your thoughts on Pro/Rel in regards to setting up MLS2? Holding MLS where it is for day 5 years mean time starting with MLS2, smaller franchise fee, min. Stadium size (no baseball stadiums) and after the 5 years is up begin Pro/Rel.

Nothing like a question about religion, politics and promotion/relegation!

It can’t happen here. There’s just not enough money – and stability – yet.

MLS clubs are a business, and no ownership group that’s poured nearly a billion dollars into their club will gladly accept hundreds of millions in lost revenue because they drew a match they should’ve won and now have to play at the Hartford Athletic and the Charleston Battery.

This isn’t a knock on those clubs, it’s just the reality.

Every year, some clubs join the USL Championship while others either drop to a lower league (Richmond Kickers) or they can’t handle the finances necessary for another season (Penn FC or the Rochester Rhinos).

When MLS teams start making the majority of their money from broadcast deals, maybe this changes, but a league that survives from gate receipts on matchdays can’t be financially secure with promotion and relegation. (Notice: neither MLS nor USL Championship teams are campaigning for their leagues to resume with empty stadia.)

Mike: Is the coaching search suspended due to the current league wide suspension and travel restrictions?

Wchughes95: Has FC Cincinnati been conducting virtual interviews for the coaching search?

I’ll group these questions together because they’re pretty similar. Yes, FCC have continued their coaching search during the league-wide suspension, but it’s also on hold currently.

GM Gerard Nijkamp told reporters on Wednesday that the club has three coaching candidates. One visited Cincinnati already and seen the club’s facilities, while the other two work abroad and can’t travel to the U.S.

There’s no rush to hire a coach when it’s unclear when the club can even practice again. For all we know, if European leagues continue ending their seasons early, could that lead to more candidates interested in the position?

While everyone wants to seal Cincinnati next head coach, the rush to do so isn’t as timely as it was a month ago.

Kevin: Who are the top five players from FCC’s USL days you’d like to see with the team in MLS?

In no order, my preferences would be: Harrison Delbridge, Russell Cicerone, Sean Okoli, Michael Lahoud and Danni König. That said, Ritchie Ryan just barely misses the cut.

Thevinnyd: Alright Charlie, your favorite XI to dawn the FC Cincy badge (not best but your fan favorite per say)

This is primed for fans to disagree with, but here’s what I’ll go with:

Mitch Hildebrandt, Justin Hoyte, Paddy Barrett, Harrison Delbridge, Greg Garza, Frankie Amaya, Kenney Walker, Corben Bone, Emmanuel Ledesma, Danni König and Jimmy McLaughlin.

I’d also be totally fine interchanging Ritchie Ryan with Walker, Austin Berry with Barrett and Djiby Fall with König. I also think Adrien Regattin joins this list when the season resumes.