Dutch legend Jaap Stam has been named the new head coach of FC Cincinnati in Major League Soccer, which was first reported by Pat Brennan of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The Ohio club unveiled Stam as their new boss and he said he’s “delighted to be part of the big family” at FC Cincinnati.
Stam, 47, and replaces former FCC coach Ron Jans who resigned amid an investigation into alleged racist behavior as Yoann Demet had been the interim head coach since Feb. 17.
FC Cincinnati’s GM, Gerard Nijkamp, worked with Stam at PEC Zwolle in the Netherlands during the 2018-19 season.
“I know it is a very big project and everybody is very excited to do very well and get the maximum out of everything we are doing,” Stam said. “That’s how I am as a person as well. We like to set records, win games and hopefully win trophies as well. Eventually, with all the steps the club has already been making, I think I can do my part to [help] with this as well. Hopefully together with all the fans we can make this a big and nice story.”
The 2020 MLS season is currently suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic and a plan has been put in place for all 26 clubs to play in Orlando, Florida from June.
Following on from Alan Koch and Jans, Jaap Stam would become the third head coach in FC Cincinnati’s MLS history as they joined the league for the 2019 season.
The former Man United, Lazio and AC Milan star has had a topsy-turvy coaching career but he has shown promise developing young players and most of his jobs so far have been at clubs with strict financial restrictions.
At Reading he turned a young group of players into an attacking, fluid side who lost to Huddersfield Town on penalty kicks in the Championship playoff final in 2016-17 and many believed they would have been better suited to playing in the Premier League had they prevailed in the final.
Stam then landed at PEC Zwolle and Feyenoord in his homeland but he lasted just five months at the latter as the Dutch giants had an awful start to the 2019-20 season with three wins from their opening 11 games.
It will be intriguing to see how he fares in MLS and there’s no doubt there’s a lot of work to do at FC Cincinnati on the pitch. With several coaches building their MLS roster and changes throughout the organization, FC Cincy finished rock bottom of the MLS standings in their inaugural season.
Off the pitch things are very healthy in Cincy as their new $200 million stadium in West End is taking shape and their fanbase remains one of the most dedicated and passion in the American soccer landscape.
Stam’s coaching philosophy means that anybody watching FC Cincinnati should expect plenty of play out from the back and a total-football approach. His former Dutch teammate Frank de Boer has proven that can work in MLS with Atalanta United but it will take time for that philosophy to prevail.
This is an ambitious hire by FC Cincinnati and they need to give Stam time to settle in MLS.