Ahead of his first match leading FC Cincinnati, head coach Jaap Stam made six changes to the starting XI from the club’s last match over four months ago.
Saad Abdul-Salaam, Siem de Jong, Kekuta Manneh, Tom Pettersson, Adrien Regattin and Przemysław Tytoń are new additions to the starting lineup, replacing Allan Cruz, Mathieu Deplagne, Joseph-Claude Gyau, Jürgen Locadia, Spencer Richey and Maikel van der Werff.
About the lineup changes
Abdul-Salaam, de Jong and Pettersson will make their Orange and Blue debuts on Saturday night against Columbus Crew SC.
Abdul-Salaam joined the club in the offseason after hoisting the MLS Cup with Seattle Sounders FC in 2019.
De Jong can finally play for Cincinnati after visa paperwork prevented the Dutchman from playing in the team’s last match, March 7 at Atlanta United FC. De Jong was cleared to play in FCC’s home opener the following weekend, but the league suspended the season due to the global pandemic. His last competitive match was in January for AFC Ajax.
Pettersson was in FCC’s matchday squad in the two opening matches of the season but didn’t feature. His last competitive game was in November for Östersunds FK.
After appearing as a sub in the season opener, Manneh makes his first start since Sept. 18, 2019, against Atlanta at Nippert Stadium.
Regattin provided an assist to Yuya Kubo in Cincinnati’s last match at Atlanta. He started the 2020 season opener against the New York Red Bulls.
This will be Tytoń’s 2020 debut and first match since he earned a clean sheet in the 2019 season finale against D.C. United on Oct. 6. FCC played the entire second half with only nine men that match after two players received red cards.
Locadia is an expected absence after picking up a thigh injury. Earlier in the week, Stam said the forward could miss “a couple weeks.”
Other players were late scratches after sustaining injuries close to FCC’s MLS is Back Tournament opener. Van der Werff is in concussion protocol, while Gyau will miss this match after picking up a knock late this week in training.
Jimmy McLaughlin, who awaits his first FC Cincinnati appearance since October 2018, picked up an ankle injury this week in training and will miss the derby.
All FC Cincinnati players, coaches and staff have tested negative for coronavirus.
Saturday’s #HellisReal Derby is the first time in club history that 23 players will be available in a matchday squad for a competitive game.
Stam can use up to five substitutions – which is a new rule in this tournament. FCC haven’t used five subs in a match since August 2016, during the team’s inaugural season in the USL.
All FC Cincinnati players will wear an MLS Unites patch below their number on Saturday night. It’s a league-wide initiative for players to represent an individual or a movement in the midst of the global pandemic and nation-wide protests over racism and discrimination. You can find the full list of names and slogans represented here.