Gerard Nijkamp

Jurgen Locadia
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Brighton, Cincinnati prepare to discuss Locadia’s future

Leave a comment

Jurgen Locadia’s big MLS transfer has not gone as planned, through no fault of his, FC Cincinnati’s, or parent club Brighton and Hove Albion.

Locadia’s loan to Cincinnati was sealed Feb. 3, giving him just under five months to decide whether he had interesting in staying in the U.S. for the next part of his career.

The 26-year-old got all of two matches to feel it out, scoring once before MLS shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

The extremely small sample size has been kind to Locadia, who says that his agent had spoken to Brighton and that he’s open to making the move permanent. That’s a loaded statement given the money it might take to acquire a player who was Brighton’s transfer record signing just over a year ago.

“I like it here so far in Cincinnati and the league also,” Locadia told The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati.com: “I talk with my agent also and he said at the end of the day it’s my decision, and I told him I’m happy here, so if we can figure something out with Brighton and Cincinnati, which I understand is going to be difficult, we can try and fix the situation.”

FCC general manager Gerard Nijkamp said he’ll be talking with Brighton in the next few days, but that the situation is a massive challenge. Imagine the questions: What does Brighton want? When can the player move? Has the end of the loan window changed at all? And what reinforcements will Brighton be able to buy given the wildly unusual conclusion to this season (and their possible relegation)?

Locadia was also asked what he likes about MLS.

“I think here in the States, the fans enjoy the game more and in Europe I get the feeling that people are more judge-y about the game,” Locadia said. “Here in the States, they come to enjoy the game and see the players and drink beer. And in Europe it’s more like, we need to win and they’re gonna judge you. They don’t like when you play the ball back to the goalkeeper.”

Well, maybe wait on that one. There might be a bit more patience in Cincinnati given it’s their second year in MLS, but other clubs have plenty of fans amped up for victory.

Ron Jans named new FC Cincinnati head coach

Getty Images
1 Comment

There’s a new boss in Cincinnati.

On Sunday, the club announced that Rons Jans has been appointed as head coach, becoming their third in their MLS history. The 60-year-old Dutchman joins from FC Groningen, where he most recently assumed the Technical Director role. Jans takes over for interim coach Yoann Damet, who replaced Alan Koch in May, and has signed a contract that runs through the 2020 season.

“I’m very appreciative of Gerard, Jeff Berding and the club’s ownership group for their confidence in bringing me to FC Cincinnati,” Jans said. “This club has drawn a lot of attention in Europe and football fans are very interested in the progress of the club, which is why this opportunity is so exciting. My challenge is realizing our immense potential and I am really looking forward of being part of that development and making the fans even prouder to support FC Cincinnati.”

Jans’ arrival sees him reuniting with GM Gerard Nijkamp, who he worked under at Dutch club PEC Zwolle.

“We are excited to get Ron involved with the team as soon as possible and leading us the rest of the season,” Nijkamp said. “He has a pedigree of success and guiding strong clubs, especially through difficult transitions to championships.

“With his experience and expertise in all aspects of being a head coach, I have full confidence that he will be successful at FC Cincinnati,” he added. “I believe Ron will be a critical part to establishing the foundation for our playing philosophy as well as our performance on the pitch.”

A Dutch Cup and Dutch Super Cup winner, Jans is set to make his MLS coaching debut on Saturday in Columbus. The Dutchman will feature a coaching staff composed of Damet, Jack Stern and Ivar van Dinteren, who replaces Pa Modou Kah.

FC Cincinnati adds to the list of teams Jans has coached in his lengthy, 20-year-plus coaching career, which include FC Groningen, SC Heerenveen, Standard Liege and PEC Zwolle.

During the height of his playing days, Jans was a staple striker in the Eredivisie, tallying goals for PEC Zwolle, FC Groningen and Roda JC over a 11-year period.

FC Cincinnati hires first general manager

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

One year into FC Cincinnati’s Major League Soccer voyage, it’s added another first to a long line of them: First general manager.

The name is Gerard Nijkamp, who was most notably the director of football at Eredivisie side PEC Zwolle before spending some time in Qatar.

[ U-20 WC: Weah leads U.S. win | Norwegian bags 9 ]

His resume with the Dutch side is solid, via FCCincinnati.com:

While in Zwolle, Nijkamp guided the club to a semifinal showing in the KNVB Cup (Dutch Cup) his first year, before winning it outright in his second season in 2013-14 and gaining a 2014-15 UEFA Europa League berth. That season they also won the 2014 Johan Cruyff Cup (Dutch Super Cup). While achieving PEC Zwolle’s best-ever Eredivisie finish (sixth) in 2014-15, the club also earned a berth in the Dutch Cup final. The club earned finishes in the top half of the Eredivisie table in 2015-16 (eighth) and 2017-18 (ninth).

Nijkamp’s priority will be finding the club’s next full-time manager, as Yoann Damet has been shepherding the club in an interim role since Alan Kock was fired early this season.

FCC started 2-2-2 but has won just one of its last 10 matches and sits seven points back of a playoff spot.