CINCINNATI — FC Cincinnati‘s arduous search for its next attacking talent appears to have reached an end.
After reported failed bids for American striker Bobby Wood and Uruguayan attacking midfielder Gastón Ramírez, the club announced Monday the capture of Jürgen Locadia from England’s Brighton Hove & Albion. The Dutch striker, 26, will occupy an international roster spot and arrives on an initial five-month loan after seeing his loan spell to Germany’s Hoffenheim cut short. FCC can exercise a permanent transfer upon the expiration of the loan at the opening of Major League Soccer’s secondary transfer window.
He will join coach Ron Jans’ FCC side for preseason after his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate are received.
“We are excited to bring in a proven forward in Jürgen to strengthen our attacking abilities,” FC Cincinnati General Manager Gerard Nijkamp said in statement released by the club. “He is a talented goalscorer in his prime, and we feel adding an impact player of his caliber will be a great addition to our club. We look forward to welcoming Jürgen to our club and city.”
Locadia will fill the designated player spot formerly occupied by striker Fanendo Adi, who joined the rival Columbus Crew after having his contract bought out by Cincinnati. Along with Japanese international Yuya Kubo, Locadia is the second attacking-oriented DP to arrive in Cincinnati prior in 2020. Nijkamp indicated the club remains on the hunt for a third.
“I am looking forward to a new opportunity with FC Cincinnati,” Locadia said. “I want to try to help the team build new memories and be an important player for the team.”
Since signing with the Seagulls in January of 2018, Locadia made 43 appearances, scored six goals and registered three assists. He made a further 12 appearances, scored three goals and tallied one assist after joining the Bundesliga’s Hoffenheim in August of 2019. However, it was the Dutchman’s strike rate during a three-year run at Holland’s PSV Eindhoven that initially caught the eye of Premier League and Bundesliga scouts. There, Locadia scored an impressive 62 goals and assisted another 39 in 176 appearances.
With 3 1/2 years still to run on his contract with Brighton, it remains unclear what type of transfer fee Cincy would need to pay for the striker’s full rights.
Regardless, Locadia offers the type of scoring presence much needed at FCC. The Orange and Blue scored a league-worst 31 goals in 2019 on the way to finishing dead last in the Eastern Conference.
The enthusiasm surrounding Locadia’s arrival was on full display Sunday evening. A crowd of several dozen FC Cincinnati supporters crowded Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to greet the player when he landed.
FC Cincinnati resumes preparations for the 2020 season Wednesday when the club takes on the USL Championship’s El Paso Locomotive at the Kino Sports Complex in Tuscon, Arizona. FCC is 1-1-0 during preseason play following a 3-0 win over the USL’s Phoenix Rising and a 0-4 loss to Sporting Kansas City.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) February 2, 2020