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FC Cincinnati names Gerard Nijkamp general manager

Nijkamp will oversee all aspects of FCC’s sporting activities

FC Cincinnati hired Gerard Nijkamp as its new general manager. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

CINCINNATI — Dutch football executive Gerard Nijkamp is the new general manager of FC Cincinnati, the club announced Thursday morning.

Nijkamp will oversee all aspects of FCC’s sporting activities. That includes roster management, player acquisition, overseeing the first-team coaching staff, sports performance and medical staffs and the club’s newly-launched youth academy.

“We believe Gerard is a fantastic fit for FC Cincinnati, both with his on-field football expertise, but also his off-field demeanor and managerial style,” FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding said in a statement released by the club. “We have great ambitions for FC Cincinnati and Gerard is stepping into a very large role. We will give him all of the support he needs to make us a successful, winning and community-focused club – from the first team all the way down to our newly established Academy.”

Nijkamp will report directly to club president Jeff Berding, who will be relinquishing his duties in all soccer-related areas due to the hire. Existing technical director Luke Sassano, director of sports performance Gary Walker, director of player development Larry Sunderland and interim head coach Yoann Damet will all remain with the club and will report to Nijkamp.

The Dutchman will also be heavily involved with the club’s ongoing search for a new permanent head coach following the departure of Alan Koch last month.

“I am very happy and proud to be part of the FC Cincinnati family,” Nijkamp said in the statement. “I’m looking forward to working together with our staff here to create something special for the amazing fans in Cincinnati.”

Nijkamp arrives in Cincinnati after seven seasons at Holland’s PEC Zwolle, having re-joined the club in 2012 after its promotion back to the Eredivisie. During his time at Zwolle, Nijkamp helped guide the club to a KNVB Cup title during the 2013/14 season, the Dutch Super Cup in 2014/15 and a birth in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League. The club also achieved its highest-ever finish in the Eredivisie, sixth, during the 2014/15 season, while also advancing to the Dutch Cup final.

Prior to joining Zwolle, Nijkamp also spent time with Qatar’s Al Ahli (2007-09) and Al Rayan (2009-11) as the clubs’ academy directors. He currently holds UEFA A License and UEFA A Youth License, as well as KNVB A, B and C coaching certifications.

Nijkamp will likely need to rely heavily on all of those qualifications because he will be tasked with guiding an expansion club off to a rocky start in MLS. FC Cincinnati (3-2-9, 11 points) is last in the Eastern Conference and behind only the Colorado Rapids for the worst record in the league. 

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