FC Cincinnati part ways with head coach Jaap Stam

Jaap Stam FC Cincinnati sideline

FC Cincinnati have relieved head coach Jaap Stam of his duties, effective immediately, the club announced Monday morning.

Tyrone Marshall, head coach of the club’s U-19 academy team and future U-23 side, has been tabbed as interim head coach. The search for a new head coach is already underway.

The move comes nearly two months after FC Cincinnati parted ways with general manager Gerard Nijkamp in early August. The Orange & Blue have lost six of their last seven games and are second-from-bottom in the Eastern Conference and overall MLS tables. They've gone 1W-8L-7D since early July.

“During our nearly two-month process to identify the next general manager for FC Cincinnati, it was apparent that a head coach change was necessary. Therefore, after a great deal of deliberation, the club has made the decision to now move to the future with Jaap no longer serving as head coach.” FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding said in a release.

“We believe a change in leadership is in the best interest of the club at this time, and a new general manager will lead the search for a new head coach. We are an ambitious club and we remain focused on achieving our goals, the first of which is making Cincinnati a championship city. We thank Jaap for everything he has done for FC Cincinnati during his time here, and we wish him the best as he can now head home to be with his family.”

In addition, the club parted ways with assistant coach Said Bakkati, who came with Stam in 2020, as well as Yoann Damet. On two previous occasions, Damet served as FCC's interim head coach.

Marshall, a distinguished defender during his MLS playing career, joined Cincy's academy coaching staff in February 2021 from Real Salt Lake, where he had been an assistant coach since 2015.

“Tyrone has been a valuable addition to our coaching staff since he arrived earlier this year with plans to be the future coach of our MLS2 team,” said Berding. “He has shown his coaching ability and leadership qualities, and he is the right person to inject new energy into the locker room and help our squad finish 2021 strong with an eye to the future.”

Since joining MLS in 2019 as an expansion team, FC Cincinnati have had three head coaches. They started with Alan Koch, followed up by hiring Ron Jans and then secured Stam last season. Stam previously led Eredivisie sides PEC Zwolle and Feyenoord, while his FCC tenure included an 8W-27L-12D run.

This is the sixth head coaching change of the 2021 MLS season. FC Dallas (Luchi Gonzalez), Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Marc Dos Santos), Atlanta United (Gabriel Heinze) and Toronto FC (Chris Armas) all made changes, while Freddy Juarez departed Real Salt Lake to become a Seattle Sounders assistant.

FC Cincinnati are in danger of missing the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the third year running. In May, they opened TQL Stadium as one of three soccer-specific venues that debuted this season.