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Greg Garza and Kendall Waston headlines FC Cincinnati Expansion Draft Day

Expansion Draft

A much anticipated day finally arrived for fans of the Orange and Blue as FC Cincinnati took part in the 2018 MLS Expansion Draft.

Expansion Draft
FC Cincinnati’s first season in MLS can’t begin without MLS-caliber players, and the Expansion Draft is one of their first chances to get players of that quality. FC Cincinnati selected five players in this year’s Expansion Draft and traded one of them to another team. They were also able to trade for two more players to round out the day.

Pick No. 1 – Darren Mattocks – Forward from DC United

Mattocks comes to FCC from DC United and has proven scoring ability, with a total of 34 goals in his MLS career in 161 matches played. He has also started 89 of those matches. This past season he appeared 25 times for DC United and scored a career-high 10 goals on the season. He also played over 1250 minutes for his previous team. Mattocks is also still reasonably young, at the age of 28. Mattocks started his career at Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2012 after his time at the University of Akron. Something interesting is both Mattocks and Alan Koch were in Vancouver at the same time, with Koch coaching the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 team, while Mattocks played on the first team.

Pick No. 2 – Kei Kamara forward from Vancouver Whitecaps (traded to the Colorado Rapids)

FC Cincinnati selected former Vancouver Whitecaps FC  and Columbus Crew forward Kei Kamara, and they traded him to the Colorado Rapids for an international spot. FC Cincinnati already used three of their international spots with Emmanuel Ledesma, Justin Hoyte and Emery Welshman, as well as two more spots taken up by players selected later in the Expansion Draft. There is a rumor that FC Cincinnati will be going after an international GK, and this international spot allows them to look there.

Pick No. 3 – Roland Lamah – Midfielder from FC Dallas

Roland Lamah was FC Cincinnati’s third pick in the 2018 Expansion Draft, and he comes from FC Dallas. Lamah is a speedy winger who played two seasons with FC Dallas. In those two seasons, Lamah has scored 19 goals and 9 assists, with 8 of those goals and 6 of those assists coming in the 2018 season. Before his time at FC Dallas, Lamah played in Europe, most notably at one point going on an 18-month loan with Swansea City in the English Premier League at the beginning of 2013. Lamah appeared 14 times for Swansea and scored two goals, helping them win the 2012-2013 League Cup title. Lamah, age 30, will also occupy an international spot for FC Cincinnati.

Pick No. 4 – Eric Alexander – Midfielder from Houston Dynamo

FC Cincinnati’s fourth pick in the draft was Eric Alexander, a 30-year-old central midfielder from the Houston Dynamo. Alexander appeared in 21 matches, starting 20 of those, in 2018 for the Dynamo and scored one goal and two assists in his 2018 campaign. Alexander tore a collateral ligament in his 2016-2017 season with the Dynamo, missing 16 games for the club, but he was able to bounce back and have a good season for the team in 2018. Alexander will look to play a key part in the midfield rotation for FC Cincinnati in their first season in MLS.

Pick No.5 – Hassan Ndam – Defender from New York Red Bulls

Hassan Ndam was the final pick of the Expansion Draft for the Orange and Blue. Ndam is a very young defender, only 20-years-old, and looks to be another part of the back line which FC Cincinnati will have in their 2019 campaign. Ndam comes from the New York Red Bulls, who were a deep squad this past season. FC Cincinnati fans may remember Ndam because he was the defender who marked forward Fanendo Adi in the 2018 playoff match which the Orange and Blue lost 2-0. Ndam will also occupy another international spot, which tallies the amount the club has to five players. Ndam looks to be an up-and-coming defender with a lot of upside, leaving this one of the better picks of their draft.

Post-Draft Trades

CONFIRMED: Greg Garza – Defender from Atlanta United (acquired for 200K GAM and 250K TAM)

Coming after the Expansion Draft, Head Coach Alan Koch announced they traded for MLS Cup winner Greg Garza. Garza was formerly a starter for Atlanta United, where he played left-back for the team. Garza is one of the better players at that position in MLS, and obtaining a player of his quality will definitely help the club in their first season in the league. Garza started at left-back in all five matches of the playoffs for Atlanta United, and in the regular season played in 11 matches, although he did sustain an injury during the season.

CONFIRMED: Kendall Waston – Defender from Vancouver Whitecaps (acquired for allocation money and an international spot)

Reported by Sam Stejskal, FC Cincinnati will be trading for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC center-back, who was also a captain for the Whitecaps squad. Waston has started at least 25 matches for Vancouver in the last four seasons, as well as finishing in third for Defender of the Year in 2017. Waston will be able to command the back line for FC Cincinnati now that this deal is done, helping the club start with a strong leader and a proven defender. Waston does not occupy an international spot, leaving the club with three international spots remaining.

Stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk as we break down what all this means for the team, as well as any other news that may break about new trades or player signings! We’re also LIVE tonight at 9 PM with a special edition of CST. Don’t miss it!

Story updated with confirmation with the official announcement from FC Cincinnati about Kendall Waston being traded to FC Cincinnati from Vancouver Whitecaps FC. 

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