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Koch Embraces New but Familiar Role with FCC

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 02/20/17, 9:01AM EST


Thrust into head coaching duties, former WFC2 leader excited after preseason debut

BRADENTON, Fla. – After a whirlwind weekend that saw him named as the new Head Coach of FC Cincinnati on Friday night, Alan Koch said he was happy to have the opportunity to lead the club into its second season, but was also somewhat disappointed over the circumstances that led to his new position.

“You certainly don’t hope that things have unfolded over the past few days,” Koch said. “Obviously certain circumstances have presented themselves, but I’m obviously where I am right now so I’m very happy to be the leader of this club and willing to embrace it and work with this group of players and prepare ourselves to have a great season.”

FCC arrived at IMG Academy this past weekend to continue its preseason preparations with a number of new faces on the field, in addition to the South African coach who arrived this offseason after leading Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 to the Western Conference Final of the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs. 

All of those new faces played in the club’s first preseason scrimmage on Sunday against OKC Energy FC, which saw the USL Western Conference side take a 3-2 victory in an entertaining contest between the two clubs. Despite the loss, Koch said he was pleased with what he saw, and that it gave the team something to build on over the rest of the week.

“We’ve got a great group of players. I think they showed a little bit of character in the game today,” Koch said. “Obviously the result didn’t go our way, but it’s our first game. We used it as an exercise. We played everybody in the game today. I would hope by the end of the week, by the time we’ve got three games under our belt, we’re a lot better than we are today.”

The potential competition for places in the starting lineup within the group was certainly evident, especially in attack where Seattle Sounders FC loanee Victor Mansaray and new signings Daryl Fordyce and Djiby Fall will all try to help fill the shoes of 2016 USL Most Valuable Player Sean Okoli, now with Major League Soccer’s New York City FC.

Having already had the chance to get to know the returning players and newcomers since his initial arrival at the club this past December, Koch believes the team will be set up for success when the regular season arrives.

“I think we’re going to have a very, very competitive group,” Koch said. “I love to coach an attacking style of soccer, and I think you can already see that in the game today. We’re encouraging the guys to get forward and get forward as quickly as you can.

“Obviously there are risks when you play that way, and we conceded a few goals today, but with a brand new group, they’re all coming together and trying to learn a new style. It’s going to take time for us to get comfortable and get on the same page, but I have a lot of confidence in this group already and I’m excited to work with them.”

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