Fuel Soccer Talk: Expansion team expanding front office: Q&A with Lletget; France’s home-field advantage

Grab the ball and let’s kick around a few things!

FC Cincinnati hire Gerard Nijkamp as new general manager

The first part of FC Cincinnati’s restructuring is complete.

The expansion club announced the appointment of veteran Dutch soccer executive Gerard Nijkamp as new general manager, overseeing all aspects of FCC’s sporting activities.

The 49-year-old Nijkamp spent the last seven years as the technical director at PEC Zwolle in the Eredivisie.

“I am very happy and proud to be part of the FC Cincinnati family,” Nijkamp said in a club statement. “I would like to thank Carl H. Lindner III and Jeff Berding for their confidence in me and the vision I plan to bring to FCC. I will put all of my knowledge, experience and skills into building a successful club for this wonderful city.”

Nijkamp will report to club president Jeff Berding, who formerly also held the GM role since the founding of the club in the summer of 2015. As general manager Nijkamp will oversee first-team roster management, player acquisition and scouting, sporting data analysis, youth development and management of all coaching, sports performance and medical staff members.

At the top of Nijkamp’s to-do list is the hiring of a full-time head coach. Yoann Damet has been the club’s interim coach after Alan Koch was relieved of his duties earlier this month.

FC Cincinnati have 11 points from 14 matches and are currently last in the Eastern Conference with one win in their last 10 games.

What will Nijkamp have to learn about the MLS?

MNT midfielder Sebastian Lletget talks soccer, selfies and style

During the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2019 camp in Houston, caught up with rising MNT midfielder Sebastian Lletget to discuss his fashion sense, the art of taking a selfie, his relationship with singer Becky G and the full-circle comeback from that horrific injury suffered during a 2017 World Cup Qualifying match in San Jose.


And check this out: “UNBROKEN” | The story of Sebastian Lletget is an all-access mini-documentary takes you into the life of the LA Galaxy & US Men’s National Team star as he relives some of the highest and lowest moments of his career. Devastated by a season-long injury, Sebi walks viewers through his tumultuous journey to rediscover his love for the game.

What makes Sebastian Lletget such a great player?

2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup: What to watch in France

Home pitch advantage?

If France were to win the World Cup on its home turf it would be only the second time the hosts have won in the eight-year history of the event. In fact, the host team has only reached the finals once – the U.S. defeated China on penalty kicks in the famous game at the Rose Bowl before 90,185 fans in 1999. In 2003, the U.S. hosted again but failed to reach the final with Germany defeating Sweden 2-1. France is currently ranked fourth in the world, behind only the U.S., Germany and England. Despite not having a team in the championship game, the last two World Cups have drawn well. The final in 2011 drew 48,817 in Frankfurt, Germany and the 2015 final in Vancouver drew 53,341. After not qualifying for the first three World Cups, France finished ninth in 2003. They didn’t qualify in 2007 but finished fourth in 2011 and fifth in 2015.


LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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