Transfer Tracker

FC Cincinnati acquire forward Kevin Kelsy from Shakhtar Donetsk

Kevin Kelsy - FC Cincinnati - transfer


FC Cincinnati have acquired forward Kevin Kelsy on loan from Ukrainian top-flight side Shakhtar Donetsk, the club announced Tuesday.

The 19-year-old Venezuelan youth international's deal with the defending Supporters’ Shield winners lasts through 2024 with a purchase option. He occupies a U22 Initiative roster slot.

The move was completed before the Primary Transfer Window closed last week. Kelsy is now fully eligible to join the Orange & Blue.

"We’re thrilled to have Kevin join the group," FC Cincinnati general manager Chris Albright said in a release. "He’s a talented young player with incredible potential and we look forward to working with him. He’s a physically gifted forward with a strong mentality who will fit in well with our team, and we’d like to welcome him to FC Cincinnati."

Kelsy scored nine goals in 37 matches for Shakhtar, highlighted by two tallies across the Champions League and Europa League. That spell followed Kelsy’s rise to prominence at Venezuelan side Mineros, where he scored five times in 31 matches.

Kelsy shined for Venezuela’s U-23s this past winter, scoring two goals in five appearances at the Conmebol Pre-Olympic Tournament. He’s also starred for their U-20s.

"I’m happy to join FC Cincinnati," said Kelsy. "It's an exciting project at the club and I look forward to my first game. I can’t wait to meet the fans and play my first game at TQL Stadium."

Kelsy joins an attack led by reigning MVP Luciano Acosta and DP striker Aaron Boupendza. He is Cincy's second new forward after they signed Corey Baird this winter to help offset Brandon Vazquez’s outgoing transfer to Liga MX’s CF Monterrey.

Aside from Kelsy and Baird, Cincy acquired four other starters this winter: center back Miles Robinson, right wingback DeAndre Yedlin, left wingback Luca Orellano and midfielder Pavel Bucha.

Despite the roster changes, Cincy enter Matchday 12 second in the Eastern Conference table (5W-2L-3D; 18 points).