FC Cincinnati introduced Gerard Nijkamp on Thursday as its second general manager, confirming reports earlier this month broken by The Athletic’s Jeff Rueter. Jeff Berding will step back from the position and focus on his duties as club president.
“We believe Gerard is a fantastic fit for FC Cincinnati, both with his on-field football expertise, but also his off-field demeanor and managerial style,” Berding said in a club media release issued Thursday. “He has seen tremendous success at PEC Zwolle, winning the Dutch Cup and Dutch Super Cup, qualifying for the UEFA Europa League and maintaining its place in the Eredivisie, all while using forward-thinking systems to source players and analyze the club’s performance.”
Nijkamp joins FC Cincinnati from Dutch side PEC Zwolle in the top-flight Eredivisie. In an agreement between the two clubs, Nijkamp will split his time between Cincinnati and the Netherlands in the next several weeks to help Zwolle find his replacement, according to the Enquirer.
“I am very happy and proud to be part of the FC Cincinnati family,” Nijkamp said in the club media release. “I would like to thank Carl H. Lindner III and Jeff Berding for their confidence in me and the vision I plan to bring to FCC. I will put all of my knowledge, experience and skills into building a successful club for this wonderful city. I’m looking forward to working together with our staff here to create something special for the amazing fans in Cincinnati.”
One of Nijkamp’s first tasks will almost certainly be deciding FC Cincinnati’s next head coach. According to Rueter’s story, one of his first moves at Zwolle was to bring on head coach Ron Jans, who led the club to the 2014 KNVB Cup, the Dutch version of the U.S. Open Cup. That trophy granted Zwolle its first berth in the Europa League for the 2014-2015 season.
Nijkamp also would work alongside technical director Luke Sassano to identify FC Cincinnati’s future on-pitch needs and the players to fill them.
The club also made roster moves, recalling midfielder Tommy McCabe from his loan to North Carolina FC and sending midfielder Nazmi Albadawi on loan, also to North Carolina FC, in a late announcement on Wednesday.
It appears Albadawi’s departure is permanent. He’s on loan for the rest of the season, and there’s a contract agreement for him to stay at North Carolina FC in 2020, according to a media report.
Albadawi was a call-up from last year’s USL squad but was in FC Cincinnati’s MLS 18-man roster only a handful of times this season. He made his MLS debut as a sub on Saturday against the New York Red Bulls, logging nine minutes.
North Carolina FC is a familiar club for Albadawi, who is also a Raleigh native. Before coming to Cincinnati last season, he played for the club from 2014-2017 with 18 goals and 19 assists and was a two-time NASL Best XI selection.
McCabe was picked 29th by FC Cincinnati in the MLS SuperDraft. He made nine appearances and eight starts while on loan with North Carolina FC. He had an 85.5% passing accuracy and scored two goals.