The 2018 FC Cincinnati roster is inching towards its final number as Coach Alan Koch announced the signing of goalkeeper Evan Newton of Sacramento Republic FC. This signing brings the goalkeeping corps to three with the previous signing of Mark Village and the loan of Spencer Richey from Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS).
“Evan is an experienced goalkeeper in the USL who has had a taste of the MLS,” said Koch. “He is an excellent shot stopper and commands his box very well. I firmly believe that he has not yet peaked and am excited to see what Jack Stern and our club can get out of him. He is a fantastic guy who will mesh very well with the group that we have assembled. Our goalkeeping unit is going to be incredibly competitive and will bring out the best in each other.”
Newton is no stranger to competition after beating out Republic FC platoon member Dominik Jakubek last season. The 29-year-old logged 2370 minutes for Republic FC in 2017 and saved nearly 69% of shots he faced (Top 5 in Western Conference).
According to Republic FC blog Indomitable City Soccer, Newton provided a certain calmness and leadership to the position that eventually won him the starting role. That could be key if Newton does end up between the sticks in Nippert Stadium for 2018.
Newton was expected to re-sign for Sacramento this season but recent news about their MLS bid and the likelihood of Cincinnati being extended an invitation may have influenced his move. The keeper would not be the first player drawn to the prospect of returning to the top division in US Soccer.
Gauging Coach Koch’s comments above, one would think that Newton was brought in to compete with Spencer Richey for the starting spot in 2018. Both keepers bring an upgraded resume if compared to the original signing of Mitch Hildebrandt. Richey’s 51 pro appearances and Newton’s 95 dwarf Hildebrandt’s 18 prior to joining FC Cincinnati. Let’s see how fast either Richey or Newton make us forget the FCC legend.
This signing brings the official roster total to 23 players and potentially 24 with the pending addition of Nazmi Albadawi.
VIDEO of Evan Newton Player Profile for Sac Republic
Richey v. Newton Comparison
Spencer Richey – Loaned from Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS)
Professional Appearances: 51 – (46 – USL, 1 – MLS, 2 – Canadian Championship, 2 – CONCACAF Champions League)
2017 USL Stats: 67.9 – Save %, 3 – Clean Sheets, 55 – Saves, 26 – Goals Conceded
Other: Richey made his MLS debut on March 18, 2017, vs. Toronto FC and won MLS Save of the Week. The 25-year-old started both legs of the 2017 Canadian Championship semifinal series vs. the Montreal Impact, recording five saves in the home win. Richey also started in two CONCACAF Champions League matches in 2016 winning both while conceding only one goal.
Evan Newton – Signed from Sacramento Republic FC (USL)
Professional Appearances: 95 – (93 – USL, 2 – NASL)
2017 USL Stats: 68.9 – Save %, 7 – Clean Sheets, 73 – Saves, 33 – Goals Conceded
Other: Had a 0.93 goals against average in 2016 for Sac Republic in 14 USL matches. Was drafted 7th overall in the 2011 MLS Super Draft by the Houston Dynamo but made 0 appearances. He moved to San Jose for the 2012 & 2013 seasons but only saw time on the bench as backup. US U-17 Residency Program Alum.