Harkes Out as FC Cincinnati Head Coach

After the initial report from Ives Galarcep of, it has been confirmed by the club that John Harkes is out as the Head Coach of FC Cincinnati. Galarcep also broke the news that Assistant Alan Koch will assume the role of Manager.

This comes as a shock as FC Cincinnati leaves for the IMG Academy to begin their 2017 preseason schedule on Sunday vs. OKC Energy FC. According to Galarcep’s story,  “sources says that a power struggle between Harkes and FC Cincinnati president and general manager Jeff Berding led to the abrupt coaching change, which caught players and staff by surprise, especially since Harkes was coaching the team as recently as Thursday.”

It is yet to be seen the immediate effects to the 2017 squad. At Monday’s Press Conference, both Victor Mansaray and Gjiby Fall both gave credit to Coach Koch for bringing them to FC Cincinnati. Koch was the Manager of Vancouver Whitecaps 2 over the past two seasons.

FC Cincinnati confirmed the story Friday evening by releasing the statement below. To hear more about the coaching change, listen to our INSTANT TAKE Podcast.

We have a season to decide the accuracy of the decision. If FC Cincinnati start winning in March or April, all the negatives could be forgotten. Wins or losses will decide how this story plays out. We trust in the leadership of President and General Manager Jeff Berding.

Cincinnati Soccer Talk would like to wish luck to Coach Harkes in his future endeavors.

For more information and analysis of this breaking story and FC Cincinnati, please check back with Cincinnati Soccer Talk.

FCC President and General Manager Jeff Berding provided the following statement:

“After careful consideration of what is in the best interest of the FC Cincinnati organization, I have decided to relieve John Harkes of his duties as FCC head coach, effective immediately.
We wish John all the best and thank him for his efforts in our inaugural year. We believe we have an exciting team and look forward to a special season with our fans at Nippert Stadium.
Alan Koch is a respected and experienced leader, who takes over head coaching duties and will continue preparing the team for the season that begins with tomorrow’s trip to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He led Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 to a Western Conference final with a very young team. Prior to that, he coached Simon Fraser University to four Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) championships, two Division II regional titles and to two NCAA Division II Final Four appearances.
Alan leads by example, is a strong communicator and has established very clear expectations for himself and the players. We feel his disciplined approach will be key for a successful season.
The ownership group continues to be committed to bringing top-level soccer to Cincinnati. The 2017 season presents a very unique opportunity for FCC to affect and, to a degree, determine our future and we feel this change gives us a technical staff that is in alignment with our vision for the franchise.
Coaching changes are not uncommon in the sporting world and many of them are difficult. Timing is also a consideration and we made this decision to give our new head coach time to prepare with the team for the upcoming season. I want to express my appreciation to our owners, players and staff for their support of this decision and handling a challenging situation with professionalism.”

This story will be updated. Please stay tuned to @CincySoccerTalk on Twitter for up to date information.

@Bryan Weigel for @CincySoccerTalk


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