Updated: Apr 3
With a new season comes new enthusiasm. FC Cincinnati opened preseason today and manager Jaap Stam sat with media to discuss his promising squad. Stam discussed how Brenner and Jurgen Locadia can co exist in the roster. He also spoke about the status of Frankie Amaya and what additions he expects soon.
The club began with a 3 hour training session Monday at the Mercy Heath training center. Coach Stam got to assess his 2021 squad for the first time. Stam happily noted that there are no players out on injury and that only two active players were absent. Frankie Amaya, who is training in Mexico with the USMNT and new blockbuster signing Brenner who just arrived from Sao Paulo.
This will be Coach Stam’s first real preseason with his club and he was quick to say how excited he and his players are to be back together. “It’s good to be back on the pitch with the players.”
On Frankie Amaya:
As you know, Frankie had gone public with his desire to be traded. I’ve made my opinions known on the subject multiple times. Today was Coach Stam’s first opportunity to discuss Frankie with the media. Stam seemed to downplay any issues between the club and it’s young midfielder. The Man U legend spoke to the reports that other clubs had made offers for Frankie and how as a player you have to deal with those rumors. Stam seemed to downplay the validity of the rumors, and stated that he looked forward to Amaya’s return once his time with the USMNT finishes. “Frankie has been important for us last season and what he can bring.” said Stam. “From my perspective Frankie is also a player who still needs to develop.” Jaap Stam also spoke about Frankie’s status with the club. “Frankie is still on contract with us which I am very happy with.” “He’s a great guy to work with and a very good player, I’m looking forward to seeing him back with the club.”
On Brenner and Locadia co-existing:
The addition of Brenner, a striker from Sao Paulo FC, raises the question of how he and Locadia can play together. FCC fans will like Stam’s answer. “There’s always a possibly of playing certain players together“ he said. “Sometimes last season we played in a 5-3-2 system, Brenner and Locadia can play in that system. Even when we play in a 4-3-3 in which we played the majority of games, they also can play together because Jurgen can also play in the different position (winger) and has been doing well in that position.” Stam said. “In both systems, they can play together.” I’m sure the fans look forward to seeing that!
On New Additions:
Coach Stam was asked about the club’s new additions and where we can expect them. ”The group‘s not done yet. We’re still are looking to bring players in. After the season we assessed what we need to do. Bring in players with a certain ability, so we can play a bigger part this season.“ When asked specifically about Newcastle youth player Kyle Scott Stam stated that he’s known of him for years. “When I was in England at Reading, we had an interest in bringing him in at the time, but it didn’t work out” he said. “We didn’t stay in contact, but his name popped up again in our search for midfielders. We made the decision, and he was open for it as well, to invite him for a trial over here to see what he can do.” Kyle has duel citizenship and thus would not take an international spot.
Coach Stam was asked where we could expect additions moving forward. “In the backline, in the defense and in the midfield we need to have at least one more player, and hopefully up front we can add one more”. Rumor has it that a defender might be on the horizon. The club has been linked with signing 24 year old right back Armando Mendez from Uruguayan club Nacional. Mendez is a Jaap Stam type of player. Physically he looks more like a rugby player than a footballer. He uses that massive frame as well. He plays with reckless abandon. Yellow cards may be an issue. If the rumors are true, it’s no wonder Stam would be excited. “If we can bring in those players where we need, it’s looking very promising.”
Speaking of additions, Jaap was asked specifically about a midfielder in Mexico who’s deal is near done (Acosta). Coach Stam wouldn‘t take the bait, “I’m not going to talk names. There’s a lot of players that we‘re looking at. Gerard is working on that, so I can’t bring you any of that good news, I’m still waiting for that as well.”
No doubt FCC’s Manager is as anxious to see these much needed additions as the fans are. The overall theme of discussion was “Promise“. After two losing seasons, Stam is dealing with a lot of turnover to his roster, but he seems excited to get to work with his new pieces. “It’s good that we have these weeks to prepare the team for how we want to play.” he said. “After day one, it’s been very good. But it’s only the start.”