MLS Preseason Recap

Jonathan Foster updates us on what is going on while we wait for FC Cincinnati to kick off again. Preseason edition

Photo: Anders Saling

* This article was submitted by Jonathan Foster. Big thanks to him for reaching out and attempting a new format we have not run before.

Weekend Recap

With the closing of the European transfer window, and the promise of Brenner staying, we can now turn our eyes to the upcoming season! Punxsutawney Phil popped his head up and declared, “Three more weeks of Stiven Jimenez scoring preseason goals until MLS!”


With that being said, let’s take a peek at what the schedule has coming up and what we can expect to see.

Upcoming Schedule

I know metaphors are confusing, but since Cincinnati doesn’t have a professional baseball team anymore (Sell the Team Bob), I thought we could all get our baseball fix here with a three-match preview.

At Bat: February 10 – Philadelphia Union: 1st in the East in 2022

No surprise, with all of the connections between the two, that we will see them in the preseason. After a successful 2022 campaign, many people would have expected to see more of their players going out the door this offseason but Europe didn’t come calling and the core of the team has remained intact. With this being an unbroadcast preseason friendly, I don’t expect to be able to tell anything based on Twitter updates or clipped highlights. However, it will be interesting to see if there are any players moving into the starting rotation.

On Deck: February 14 – New England Revolution: 10th in the East in 2022

New England, still recovering from a sell-off of players prior to ‘22, has bolstered their squad and added quality veterans from the league. Dave Romney, Latif Blessing and Bobby Wood will all be new for FC Cincinnati. Internationally, they have added DP striker Giacomo Vrioni. I think they are a team that will still need to find who they are entering the season and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a departure from their 4-2-3-1 that they played almost exclusively last season.

In the Hole: February 17 – Nashville SC: 5th in the West in 2022

The last tune-up before the season starts, and most likely the signal for where the coaching staff sees their starting roster. I would expect both teams to roll out their starting 11 and give them the majority of the minutes. We won’t see anything about how they play on the field, but with Nashville moving to the East this year it may be the most important of the preseason games this offseason.


Checking in on the West 

A week ago, a user posted on MLS Reddit a breakdown of which team would be least likely to overlap with FCC matches. After they plugged everything into their very scientific method of downloading schedules, FCC’s sister club will be…. **drumroll please** ….. Portland Timbers for 2023! **Taa Daa** I am sure each person won’t want to dedicate every matchday evening to following every game in the league, but hopefully, this can help you have another team within the league to follow what is happening on the other side of the continent  And if you don’t want to tint your blurange heart, then I think tuning into the MLS whip-around show will give you more than enough MLS content for the weekend.

Things that Made us go oooOOOOooo!!!! (best highlight of the week)

I am an easily entertained person, so some weeks this may be me waking up and just rewatching old US Open Cup highlights, or it can be something interesting that happened over the weekend, as is the case this weekend.

Syracuse Men’s Soccer player Nathan Opoku has signed with Leicester City in the Premier League and I think this could be one of the most impactful transfers of the next decade. Even one player skipping MLS and signing directly with a team in Europe is a remarkable achievement, but it could spur colleges to view soccer as the next money-making frontier. 

College soccer has been a listless ship, ignoring the wants and desires of coaches and players to move to a modern game structure, being seen as a resource drain to make up scholarship numbers rather than something to be celebrated. However, with players becoming employees of the universities seeming to become more and more inevitable, and the insatiable need for more revenue driivng athletic department decision-making, it can lead to soccer being a viable growth opportunity.

The Zico Bailey Update of the Week

He is currently unsigned with any team. 🙁

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