Alan Koch directed FC Cincinnati to a 2-7-2 mark. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
CINCINNATI – Now, that was quick.
Only 11 games into its tenure in Major League Soccer, expansion team FC Cincinnati has given head coach Alan Koch the boot as he was fired Tuesday morning.
FC Cincy stumbled to a 2-7-2 mark out of the gate after a rather successful run in the United Soccer League.
“After a series of recent issues and a team culture that had deteriorated, we determined that it’s time to make a change to return a club-centered focus to the team,” FC Cincinnati president and general manager Jeff Berding said in a statement.
“This decision is not driven by recent game results themselves, but rather the underpinnings that have led to those results. We have not come close to maximizing the talent we have in the dressing room this year, nor have we seen a foundation being built that will set us up for success this year and into next year. Our whole locker room is committed to our club goal of earning an MLS postseason bid, and we need to put them in the best position to do so.”
While an international search has begun for the club’s next head coach, assistant coach Yoann Damet will serve in the role of interim head coach. Damet, 29, joined FC Cincinnati in March 2017 from the Montreal Impact organization, and has served as the team’s top assistant coach since.
“I am confident that Yoann will immediately infuse the locker room and soccer staff with a positive energy and team approach,” Berding said. “He is respected and trusted and will lead the hard work that gets the best out of our players.”
Koch became the second MLS coaching casualty in seven days as the Colorado Rapids fired Anthony Hudson May 1.
Koch went 2-7-2 as boss as the team has scored a league-low eight goals through 11 games. After joining the team in December 2016 as a director of scouting and analytics and assistant coach, he was promoted to head coach in February 2017. As the club’s second head coach in the USL franchise, Koch went 35-13-18 in USL regular-season games, advancing to the playoffs both seasons.
After winning the 2018 USL regular-season championship with a league-record 23-3-8 mark, FCC failed to advance past the conference semifinal. Koch also guided the side to the semifinals of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – including two wins over MLS franchises in the fourth round and the round of 16 – while finishing sixth in the USL’s Eastern Conference with a 12-10-10 regular-season mark.
“We appreciate Alan’s contributions to FC Cincinnati in the United Soccer League and wish him well,” Berding said.
The Orange and Blue will be back in action on Saturday, May 11, when the club returns to Nippert Stadium to host the Montreal Impact.