FC Cincinnati announced Monday the addition of Franko Kovačević on loan from Bundesliga side TSG Hoffenheim through June 30, 2021. FC Cincinnati reserves the right to extend the loan until the end of the 2021 MLS season. This move is the first between the two clubs since they announced their partnership in late September 2020.
Kovačević will occupy an international roster spot and will join the team after the completion receipt of his International Transfer Certificate, P1 Visa and the completion of any mandatory quarantine period under the MLS COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
“We are glad to be able to utilize our partnership with Hoffenheim in such a short period of time after the two clubs have partnered,” said FC Cincinnati general manager Gerard Nijkamp in a club media release. “Franko is a player that will provide competition for our forward position group. We look forward to getting him integrated within our team so that he is familiar with the organization, club philosophy and city prior to the start of the 2021 season.”
The 21-year-old forward has made 47 professional appearances across the Bundesliga and Croatian First Football League, including 23 starts. Over the span of four professional seasons, Kovačević has scored seven goals and added one assist. He joins FC Cincinnati in MLS after playing for HNK Hajduk Split (2017-19), NK Rudeš (2019) and TSG Hoffenheim II (2019-20).
From 2017-2019, Kovačević has made a combined 24 appearances, including eight starts, for Hajduk Split and Hajduk Split II from 2017-19. On loan during the second half of the 2018-2019 season with Croatian side NK Rudeš, Kovačević made 13 appearances and 10 starts. Since joining Hoffenheim prior to the 2019-2020 campaign, Kovačević has made 11 appearances, including six starts, and scored six goals with an assist with TSG Hoffenheim II.
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