Down The Hatch

Down The Hatch: June 18

After three months without soccer, we’re less than three weeks away from the MLS is Back Tournament beginning in Orlando.

We don’t have the kickoff times for FC Cincinnati’s three group stage – and regular-season – matches, but we know they’re paired with Atlanta United FC, the New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew SC.

What we do know, however, is that head coach Jaap Stam and assistant Said Bakkati will be in Florida with FCC after they started leading practices on Tuesday.

There are plenty of questions between now and the tournament, and I hope this mailbag is a source of answers. As always, thank you for the questions. You can send your own through this link or by tweeting at me.

Chris: Jurgen Locadia has been noticeably missing from all promotional and news stories and FCC doesn’t answer direct emails. Do you have any update on his future?

I think there will be an announcement regarding Jürgen Locadia’s future soon.

It’s worth noting that he originally joined Cincinnati on loan through July 5 – which ends days before the MLS is Back Tournament begins in Orlando.

If there was no revision to the loan, technically the deal would expire and he would return to Brighton Hove & Albion – before FCC begin play in the mid-summer competition. My understanding is that why he was not used in the promotional graphics ... just in case.

Locadia has mentioned he wants to stay, and general manager Gerard Nijkamp has been in negotiations with Brighton. We’ll learn the final verdict soon.

Kevin: Has the club ended its broadcast partnership with FloFC?

Yes, FCC and Flo have ended their partnership, meaning supporters won’t need a subscription to Flo to watch future locally produced Orange and Blue games. All locally-produced FCC matches will be available to stream on fccincinnati.com.

Patrick_w19: Do you hope the hell is real rivalry happens at Disney for the tournament?

When the groups were being drawn, I wanted the two Ohio teams in separate groups. Keep the derby close to home.

That said, it’s growing on me. I think FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew SC would both rather play this match in a full stadium – even an away game means a hostile atmosphere. But having the game in Florida makes it completely neutral, and supporters are less than a month away from another #HellisReal Derby.

It doesn’t take much to get excited for the rematch after the last one.

Rob11nabb: Will there be games at Nippert this year?

There’s no confirmation of scheduled matches beyond the MLS is Back Tournament, but Commissioner Don Garber said he expects games to continue to finish the 2020 regular season. It’s uncertain if those matches would have fans, and if so, how much of the stadium would be filled.

In my opinion: FC Cincinnati will play at Nippert Stadium again.

Wchughes95: Will Orlando be a “homecoming” for any of our players?

At first glance, no. None of the current players on the roster have played for Orlando City, but a decent amount of them (Greg Garza, Joseph-Claude Gyau, Spencer Richey and Tommy McCabe) played at IMG Academy, roughly 115 miles away.

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