Coming off a week where one of their former players, Jake Stovall was taken in Major League Soccer’s SuperDraft, local USL PDL club Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC have announced and ownership change and organizational shake up.
Founded in 2013 and beginning play in 2014 in the PDL (4th tier of soccer in US), the Dutch Lions were owned & managed by the former owners of the Dayton Dutch Lions USL club and were an effort to grow their brand in the Cincinnati market.
It was announced this week that local businessmen Hans Philippo and Robert Rack have joined FC Cincinnati Minority Owner Mike Mossel and Dr. Suresh Gupta as owners of the Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC, LLC. Both men have ties into the Holland Roofing Company and will now assume large roles with the club. Mr. Philippo will be the new Majority owner while Rack will assume the role as club President.
“I grew up playing soccer when soccer wasn’t cool here in the States.”, said CDL’s new president Bob Rack on the clubs release. “The only way to get your fix at the time was to watch Soccer Made in Germany hosted by Toby Charles on PBS. My kids are growing up playing soccer now that it is considered cool by many. The game has evolved so much. In short, I care about the Tri-state area, soccer, and I want to see the “beautiful game” being played the right way here in the Cincinnati area.”
The new owners were quick to make additional changes in the club including the hiring of new Technical Director Sid Van Druenen. Van Druenen, a UEFA B licensed coach with a degree in Sports Management has previous USL and PDL managerial experience as the Head Coach and Technical Director of the Dayton Dutch Lions FC in Dayton, Ohio.
In an additional release, the Technical Director and ownership share a renewed commitment to bringing championship level soccer to the area. “The goal of the Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC is to win the PDL National Championship and be a pathway for players that are looking for the best possible environment to pursue their dream of signing a professional contract.”
In that release, the ownership group state that “one of the advantages of playing for the Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC is the proximity and relationship of the club and its staff with FC Cincinnati, providing players with a direct pathway from the PDL to professional soccer.” We have yet to see a statement from FCC confirming a new relationship with the USL PDL club. If so, linking a new development academy with a proven PDL side could be way to integrate local prospects into the FC Cincinnati senior squad in the future.
For the 2017 season the Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC will play its games at Northern Kentucky University. The PDL season kicks off in May and runs through the summer. League play consists of 14 regular season games for each team, seven home and seven away, followed by possible playoffs.
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