After a rash of backline signings for FC Cincinnati, Head Coach Alan Koch welcomed his first midfield addition of the 2018 campaign. On Tuesday morning, the club announced the signing of former San Franciso Deltas defensive midfielder Tyler Gibson.
“Tyler has a fantastic winning mentality and showed it this season by helping San Francisco win the NASL title,” said Head Coach Alan Koch. “He is dynamic in the middle of the park and will give us a vitally important option in our midfield. He is technically and tactically excellent and we look forward to integrating him into the team in pre-season.”
Gibson played an enormous part on the 2017 NASL Soccer Bowl champions including scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 win over North Carolina FC in the NASL semi-finals. Team captain Nana Attakora offered high praise of Gibson in an interview with Midfield Press. “Tyler has been the MVP the 2nd half of the season for us, and I just can’t thank him enough,” expressed Attakora. “Tyler came up big for us. We’ve been making fun of him all season, his shots that sometimes just bounce to goalie, but that was world class and we needed it.”
The soon to be 27-year-old has evolved over his past several seasons with San Antonio, Rayo OKC and San Francisco.
“When he was in college, Gibson had a larger attacking dimension to him – played behind the striker and occasionally even on the wing. Scored quite a few goals,” said Nipun Chopra (@NipunChopra7) of SocTakes.com. “When he turned pro, started playing a bit deeper and stayed central. Was one of the league’s best central/defensive midfielders last season. My overall thought is that the tactical system Deltas and FCC play is based on strong defensive actions and counter-attacking via speedy fullbacks/wingers. So, in that sense, signing Gibson under an Alan Koch tactical system is a no-brainer.”
What Gibson lacks in size, he should be able to help FC Cincinnati link play from the backline going forward. The midfielder has been known for reading the game well and his short, quick passes. Gibson’s passing accuracy was at 85.2% in 2017, that is .5% lower than FCC team leader Corben Bone.
Gibson has never truly been a goal scorer, but his presence may allow midfield partner Kenney Walker to range forward more often in 2018. While not a “midfield destroyer”, Gibson can use his pace and press the opposing team into making mistakes.
This signing dwarfs the best midfield signing for the 2017 season and should be the first of several more moves ahead for Coach Alan Koch.
Video of Tyler Gibson