FC Cincinnati’s Jaap Stam: Designated players Brenner and Jurgen Locadia could play together
It’s been a long offseason for FC Cincinnati, who reunited for their first preseason squad session on Monday after playing their final game of the 2020 season on November 8.
As is often the case with the new starts that accompany the preseason, the air is filled with optimism.
After two disappointing seasons to start life in MLS, things are looking up for 2021. Jaap Stam, named when the league was suspended from play due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, has his first pre -season with the team. They move into a new ultramodern stadium. The list he inherited is much improved, with more additions to come.
“It’s looking good, but we’re not there yet,” Stam told media at a virtual press conference. “We still have to work on the roster. It’s promising. What I saw today after the long offseason on training, where the players are physically, is very good. The first day was very good. good but this is just the beginning.
The title of their winter buys so far is the Brazilian striker Brenner, acquired from Sao Paulo in one of the most opulent transfers in MLS history. Expectations are high for the young Brazilian international. This is not the first time that Cincy has had an extremely talented prodigy who arrives with great fanfare.
Last year was Jürgen Locadia, widely hailed as a coup for the Ohio club at the time, although the former Netherlands youth international struggled in 2020. His future remains uncertain as he’s only on loan until the summer with an important purchase option. Some have speculated that Brenner’s arrival will mark the end of Locadia’s time in Cincy, but Stam is eager to see how the group develops.
“There is always the possibility of playing certain players together,” Stam said. “We assessed the team after last season, what kind of players we need to bring in. We need to find players to fit into the system, but Jurgen is one of them.… Brenner and Locadia can play together.
Stam traded between his favorite 4-3-3 and his secondary 5-3-2 formation. The latter, it is obvious that the two attackers could share the starting XI. The first, Locadia excelled earlier in his career playing on the left wing as a wide forward, giving Stam more options including Brandon Vazquez.
“The depth of the line-up is very important to us,” Stam said. “With all these games, we need to have players competing against each other within the team to keep the pressure on each other. The forwards that we have, with Brandon, Locadia and Brenner, there are a lot of quality there, it’s very interesting for me to make choices and for the opposition to see who will play.