On Tuesday morning, FC Cincinnati announced the signing of central defender Mélé Temguia (muh-LAY tem-GHEE-ah) to the 2017 roster. Head Coach Alan Koch indicated on our March 1st show that the club would be signing a defender in the near future and it was widely speculated that it could be the trialist who participated in the third match at the IMG Academy.
Nicolas Martineau of TVA Sports had first reported that Temguia was on trial at FC Cincinnati, but that he had returned to Montreal after his stint in Florida. The big defender did impress in his match vs. Ottawa Fury FC and could be a welcome addition following the loss of team Captain, Austin Berry to injury.
The former Montreal Impact academy product was born in Darmstadt, Germany and immigrated to Montreal. After a four-year stint with the Montreal academy, Temguia made his professional debut for FC Montreal in April of 2015. Over two seasons Temguia made 22 appearances for the former USL franchise including receiving USL Team of the Week honors twice.
Temguia, like FC Cincinnati midfielder Marco Dominguez, found himself without a club after the Montreal side ceased operations this offseason. The defender was invited to the preseason camp of parent club Montreal Impact (MLS) and played 45′ in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Fire before joining the Orange & Blue in Florida.
“We are incredibly excited to add Mélé to our group,” said Head Coach Alan Koch in the FC Cincinnati press release. “For a younger player, he has an excellent understanding of the game. He is a big, strong defender who has the technical ability to allow us to build from the back. He is joining a quality group of defenders and his presence will add to the healthy competition that will drive our team forward.”
At 21 years old, Temguia is still young in his professional career and could be a quality backup behind starters, Harrison Delbridge and Austin Berry. With Berry out with an injury, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Coach Koch give Temguia an opportunity early on. FC Cincinnati needs the defensive cover of Temguia, as the only other player able to fill a CB role was Paul Nicholson.