Luke Sassano says he has joined “one of the rising soccer franchises in this country.” (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)

CINCINNATI — Former Cosmos assistant sporting director Luke Sassano has joined the FC Cincinnati as the club’s technical director, announced the club in a press conference Wednesday.

Sassano served under former Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese from 2013 until the North American Soccer League team went dormant for the 2018.

“We are looking forward to working with Luke and are excited to add an experienced Technical Director to the front office staff,” FCC president and general manager Jeff Berding said. “Luke is a great fit for our development as a professional franchise and he will spearhead our new youth academy efforts as well as work with the technical staff to identify and secure top talent in the years to come.”

Sassano, 32, who will be in charge of overseeing scouting, negotiations and player acquisition, will be the main point of contact for FCC with agents, club representatives, Major League Soccer, United Soccer League and the U.S. Soccer Federation for all player transactions.

He will help establish the club’s overall technical vision and will develop and execute both short and long-term strategies for player development. Sassano also will have oversight of the club’s youth initiatives as well as manage the technical budget.

“I would like to thank Carl H. Lindner III and the Lindner family, Jeff Berding, and the entire ownership group for the opportunity to work with one of the rising soccer franchises in this country,” Sassano said. “I look forward to being an integral part of the community in Cincinnati and experiencing first-hand the exciting energy of one of the country’s best fan base. I am eager to get started and to ensure that FC Cincinnati and its passionate supporters enjoy continued success and growth that aligns with the club’s immediate and long-term goals.”

Sassano said goodbye to the Cosmos and their supporters via a Twitter post:

“It has been a tremendous professional and personal experience working with the Cosmos over the last five years. From the first of three NASL championships in 2013, to our historical match in Havana, Cuba, to starting the youth Academy and Cosmos B, I have not only enjoyed being part of our continued success and growth but have gathered stories for a lifetime and made incredible friendships along the way.

“I want to thank Rocco B. Commisso for his trust in me and for his undying support of the club from the beginning. I have sincere gratitude for both Gio and Erik for bringing me onboard and being mentors throughout this journey. I am forever grateful to the Cosmos supporters, the blood and life of this club, for believing in our vision and project with unwavering support. Finally, to the entire Cosmos players and staff who have been a part of this venture throughout the years. It has been a humbling and surreal experience to have been part of this great organization, and I wish the Cosmos and its fans all the best in the future.”

Stover is the Cosmos’ Chief Operating Officer.

During his Cosmos tenure, the team secured three NASL championships.

Sassano played with the Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City before injuries forced him into early retirement as a player in 2012.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at