As Players Begin to Settle into Their New Home, the Simplicity of the Move Reflects the Growing Quality on the Pitch

FC Cincinnati Announce Roster for 2023 Preseason

April 3, 2024 – Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release

FC Cincinnati have overcome and continue to overcome the challenges of integrating five new starting XI members who speak three different languages and come from three countries. This challenge is unique to the sporting world in the United States but not unfamiliar to FCC and its staff.

For the players on the field, though, the moves can be very familiar or very foreign.

Defending midfielder Pavel Bucha’s move to the United States is the first outside of his home nation of Czech Republic in his young career; Argentine winger Luca Orellano is in a similar position, though he moved from Argentina to Brazil briefly before making the more significant move, in terms of distance, north to Cincinnati. DeAndre Yedlin’s soccer travels have taken him worldwide, from his native Seattle to England and Turkey before returning to Major League Soccer in the United States.

Yedlin’s familiarity with moving makes his experience more familiar but not easier. Moving a family cross-country, let alone internationally, has unavoidable challenges. For those doing it for the first time, the challenges can often come in accounting for things you could never have imagined you’d need to predict.

Some of those challenges can bleed over on the pitch, adding to the work needed to integrate players into the system.

Saturday night’s 1-1 result on the road against Charlotte FC, thanks to a late goal assisted by Yedlin, was a sneak peek into where FC Cincinnati are headed. It was the next in a line of performances in which Orellano, Bucha and Yedlin continued to look more and more aligned with their teammates, and their correlating performances have begun to stand out more in alignment with their potential.

The Yedlin assist, a play that saw youngsters Bret Halsey and Dado Valenzuela start a break forward, leading to a centering pass from Sergio Santos to the serging Yedlin, who took a professional touch to Aaron Boupendza, who scored the goal, stood out as a play that would be scene from a team that had been playing together for years would have the chemistry and familiarity to pull off.

“One of the first rules is that the first guy in the box needs to try to get to the front post,” Yedlin said. “I’m not usually in the box or in that position that much… but I was just trying to get to the front post to drag a defender with me if I could just in case there was a cutback and the ball came to me…I saw (Boupendza) coming in…

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