Nick Hagglund’s Future Is in Cincinnati, Pat Noonan Ensures That

FC Cincinnati Announce Roster for 2023 Preseason

July 10, 2024 – Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Cincinnati News Release

Nick Hagglund’s injury was not necessarily a season-ending one on initial review. However, after the extent of the injury was explored in surgery, the rehabilitation process timeline became clear, and FC Cincinnati formally announced Hagglund would be placed on the season-ending injury list.

It’s not an uncommon practice. The reality of these procedures is that the best understanding of recovery comes after a surgeon is able to evaluate the damage and repair the malady in surgery. FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan, for example, explained that there was optimism in an earlier return for Hagglund, but once they realized there were extra pieces to clean up while in surgery, the situation became clear: a return in 2024 was ruled out.

The injury initially called to attention some interesting and perhaps uncomfortable questions. Hagglund, 31, a Cincinnati ambassador and icon (at this point), is out of a contract at the end of this season. So while return information and assessed timelines were available for Matt Miazga, who also suffered a season-ending injury but had a return-to-action timeline set out in the statement from the club, a formalized statement was not available for Hagglund.

But that confusion and concern was quickly cleared up.

“We’ll do everything that we need to do to make sure that Nick stays in Cincinnati,” Noonan said in a press conference leading into the match with Inter Miami CF. We can be sure, he can be sure, that his future is here.”

So that clears that up.

Noonan also highlighted how Hagglund will remain a daily presence with the squad and serve an important leadership role. That was made even clearer by a social media video the club put out recapping last Saturday’s Inter Miami CF victory, in which Hagglund spoke to the team prior to the game while in street clothes.

There is also reason for optimism in the shadows of the injury. While obviously a disappointment, Hagglund had to battle and work to get back on schedule with the team after his hamstring injury ended his 2023 season. He pushed through preseason and was never truly caught up to the level he wanted to be until extremely recently.

Now, Noonan feels Hagglund’s timeline is better positioned to return to full strength for the start of preseason 2025.

“The hope is that with this injury and knowing the timeline that has him returning around the beginning of preseason, now he can go through a preseason…

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