Updated: Apr 3
With the announcement of FC Cincinnati's signing of Luciano Acosta today, general manager Gerard Nijkamp sat down with media to discuss the DP addition.
"We are very excited to announce our new signing Luciano Acosta. We've added with Lucho a proven MLS talent. He's shown many times in our league that he can produce goals and assists. We are convinced that he will be a great added value."
Nijkamp also spoke about the importance of MLS experience.
"I think there is a strong benefit to adding a player that knows the demands of MLS." Last season showed how challenging adapting to MLS can be. Lucho has already been successful in MLS, so we will have great value there too."
No doubt Nijkamp is referencing the additions from last year that struggled in their first season with the club. We all hope that the transition is not an issue for the experienced Acosta.
Gerard was quick to announce that the club isn't done adding players.
"It's important that we continue to add the right players for our group. We are still looking for the missing peices in our roster. We still have a big NEED for central defense and also another winger that has a different profile than what we already have."
On how important was it for FC Cincinnati to get Acosta in to camp quickly
"It's not rocket science. It's very important to get time with the team before the start of the season. Sometimes with high profile players like this it's difficult to get it over the finish line. But we did, and we are happy to get him into camp to adjust and adapt to the way Jaap (Stam) wants to play, and to join the locker room."
During his conference with media earlier, manager Jaap Stam spoke to how anxious he is to bring in the needed signings. Reports are that FC Cincinnati sent their private jet to charter Acosta to Cincinnati, and that he actually arrived on Saturday. That allowed the required quarantine time to be shorter, and Lucho was able to practice fully with the club today.
Acosta enjoying his first practice session with FCC. (Image: FC Cincinnati)
On how long FCC had been looking at signing Acosta
To the fans, this seemed like a transfer that took over a month. The truth was, it was much longer than that.
"He was a long time on our Radar, because going into the offseason knowing that we had a need at the No. 10 position. You make at list of potential players that you like, Lucho was already on our list."
On dealing with all the moving parts with a transfer that involved the player, the current club and the former club
"It's a lot about building relationships. Getting the rights from D.C. United was a challenge, but if you build the relationships, at the end of the day it helps."
Nijkamp mentioned that the league supported them. Perhaps hinting that the league assisted in the player rights negotiation.
"Complement to the league, how they support us, there are colleagues in our league that want to see Lucho back in MLS."
On how Acosta can help Brenner this season on and off the pitch.
"Lucho with bring his expirience to the players coming into the league for the first time like Brenner, and also Jurgen (Locadia) in his second season as well as (Yuya) Kubo. We needed a creative player that will help produce goals himself, but also for these other players. This is why he was so high on our list. He can help these players on the pitch but also off the pitch."
On reports that the rights for Acosta may have been valued at 550k and not the 250k plus incentives that was agreed upon.
Nijkamp's response was short, but not uninteresting.
"We follow the MLS, if the MLS is saying 250k, then we will follow 250k."
Perhaps the deal for Acosta's rights was more involved than we thought.
To finish the call, Nijkamp again discussed the potential additions moving forward.
"The most important thing is to find the right player, and I think we found that player in Lucho. We are still looking for that central defender and the wing positions to help us go to that next stage. If he's not available, then we have to be patient and wait for the summer. We are of course in conversations with several prospects. I hope we can announce soon who we will add to our roster at those positions."
He also spoke about the potential of players leaving the club going forward.
"Nothing is happening there. Of course with the additions increasing, we need to decide what to do with young players who may need playing time. Other than that, we are not looking at anything specific.“
Finally, he was asked about the profile the club is looking for in the before mentioned Winger.
“We have wingers that can do exciting things with the ball, but to have a winger that can run off the ball and to use their pace... we have Calvin Harris that can do it, we need another winger with that speed and pace off the ball."
Everyone loves a pacey winger eh?
While FC Cincy fans celebrate the exciting additions on social media, Gerard stays focused. You could tell that Nijkamp is happy with the work that has been done this preseason, but he stated repeatedly that they‘re not done yet.
By: Rob Bukhardt