After the close of a Summer transfer window that saw FC Cincinnati bring in just two new players, the club and it’s general manager Gerard Nijkamp agreed to part ways Friday afternoon.
The club will begin the search for a permanent successor immediately.
“I would like to thank Gerard for his commitment and dedication to FC Cincinnati. Gerard has been a key leader in the development in our project – opening of TQL Stadium, improving the roster, player development from the Academy to the first team, and building a broader soccer infrastructure that positions us for success in the future,” said FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding in a press release.
“We sincerely appreciate Gerard’s efforts over the past two years and respect his decision to return to his family in Europe. We wish him and his family the best of luck moving forward. With a significant portion of the season remaining, our focus is on improving our play on the pitch and earning a playoff spot. Our search for Gerard’s successor will begin immediately and focus on identifying the leader that best aligns with our ambition to win a championship in Major League Soccer.”
Nijkamp was hired in May of 2019 to be the club’s general manager. His tenure will be noted for record breaking signings, the rapid development of the academy, but also many players that failed to live up to the expectations of the club and it’s fans.
“I’m proud of the foundation we have here and all the hard work everyone has put into it,” said Nijkamp. “I will always be thankful to ownership and leadership for the chance to serve this club. While this has been an exciting opportunity, I have decided to pursue positions closer to my family. I wish the team the best moving forward.”
While there were and continue to be positives from Nijkamp’s tenure, his regular season record of 7-20-10 fell well below expectations. Nijkamp while on the Cincinnati Soccer Talk podcast declared that he needed four to five transfer windows to form a winning squad. The close of the window at midnight marked the end of his fourth full window and fifth total at the helm of FCC.
Questions will be had if Nijkamp was out of his depth in the complicated MLS roster budget process while also underestimating the level of the league. Several signings including designated players Yuya Kubo and Jurgen Locadia along with TAM players Siem de Jong and Maikel van der Werff have not performed to expected levels.
The sights will now fall on FCC president Jeff Berding to see who will next chart the course for one of the best supported clubs in the country. Will the leadership of the Orange & Blue look again to an internationally known GM or will they focus on a known quantity in MLS circles? How does this move effect Man United legend and FCC head coach Jaap Stam? Cincinnati while a small market is an attractive job with great facilities, supporters and has ownership with deep pockets. There should be many interested in this position. Aim high.