FC Cincinnati's general manager cited a deteriorated team culture in pointed remarks regarding the club's head coach.

By Avi Creditor
May 07, 2019

It took MLS expansion team FC Cincinnati 11 games to make a change at the top.

Manager Alan Koch has been fired, with FC Cincinnati president and general manager Jeff Berding citing a deteriorated team culture as his reasoning for parting ways with the coach who enjoyed plenty of success at the USL level.

“After a series of recent issues and a team culture that had deteriorated, we determined that it’s time to make a change to return a club-centered focus to the team,” Berding said in a statement. “This decision is not driven by recent game results themselves, but rather the underpinnings that have led to those results. We have not come close to maximizing the talent we have in the dressing room this year, nor have we seen a foundation being built that will set us up for success this year and into next year. Our whole locker room is committed to our club goal of earning an MLS postseason bid, and we need to put them in the best position to do so.”

Assistant coach Yoann Damet will take charge in the interim, while FCC seeks a permanent replacement.

Koch, much like now-former Colorado Rapids coach Anthony Hudson, recently made remarks that criticized the quality of the players on his roster.

"[Technical director Luke Sassano] and his staff are trying to find additional players," Koch said following a midweek 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union, which preceded Saturday's 1-0 loss to San Jose that dropped FCC to 2-7-2. "We’ve only had one window as a club. We have another window coming up where we need to find additional players to improve the group. I think we’re very aware of it. It’s a project. You can’t play a group like Philly tonight and they’ve got quality players."

FC Cincinnati's attack has sputtered, with the club managing a meager eight goals all season–five of which came in the team's two wins. It has been shut out in five straight games and has been on the wrong side of a clean sheet in six of its seven losses this season.

For all of FCC's struggles, the club is just four points out of a playoff spot in a crowded Eastern Conference. It hosts Montreal–Damet's former employer–Saturday afternoon in its next match, looking to snap a five-game losing streak.

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