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FC Cincinnati aim high

FC Cincinnati's first season in MLS was always going to be tough and that's certainly been the case this year. While the big league rookies haven't found it easy to compete with their new rivals on the field of play, they will soon be able to hold their own in terms of stadia. The franchise are set to reveal their final design for their brand new West End stadium, which is due to open in 2021, and Cincinnati's new stadium is expected to be the catalyst that sees the franchise establish themselves as a real force in MLS.

Currently using Nippert Stadium as their temporary home, Cincinnati CEO Carl Lindner III, club president Jeff Berding and lead architect Jonathan Mai will soon let the club's fans see what their long-term home ground will look like. Located on Central Parkway at Wade Street in the Cincinnati's West End, the stadium will be able to seat 26,500 fans, which is around what the franchise have averaged during their debut season.

FC Cincinnati
"DSC_4916" (CC BY 2.0) by haydenschiff

Costing around $200 million, the stadium is tipped to be enclosed in ribbons that will glow orange, the team's colours. Initial designs featured a two-storey club shop with glass-walls, with later plans showing a canopy that would cover the seating area around the ground. Led by architectural firm Populous, who replaced Meis in March as reported by https://eu.cincinnati.com/story/sports/, the owners have selected an organisation that have a formidable CV having worked on a number of iconic stadiums around the world, not to mention other MLS franchises, such as LA Galaxy, Minnesota and Orlando.

The hope for FC Cincinnati will now be to ensure they have a team worthy of their new stadium by the time they move in 2021. While even the most optimistic fan knew this was going to be a difficult first year, you only have to look at the latest MLS tips over at https://betting.betfair.com/football/football-tips/ to see the difference between Cincinnati and the majority of the league. There may have been glimpses of some talent at times this year, but there does appear to be a lack of genuine top quality that other teams in the league have.

Give the franchise a couple of offseasons and drafts, though, and this may be a very different outfit. We've seen in this league before that it only takes one top player to turn a struggling team into one capable of challenging for the playoffs. With Fanendo Adi struggling to adapt to life in Cincinnati after a prolific four years in Portland, the franchise may look to twist their Designated Player card and attempt to bring in a top player. That said, if Adi can find his scoring boots, we all know what he is capable of in this league, and the club may feel he is worth sticking with; he did recently score his first goal for the club, according to https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2019/.

One thing is for certain, with their loyal fans, a new stadium, and time to get things right, in a couple of years FC Cincinnati could well be an example of how expansion teams should go about things.

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