TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing

FC Cincinnati have signed Nigerian midfielder Obinna Nwobodo as a Designated Player from Göztepe S.K. of the Turkish Süper Lig, the club announced Wednesday.

The 25-year-old has signed a three-year deal with FC Cincinnati through the 2024 MLS season with an option for 2025. He will occupy an international roster spot.

“We’re excited to welcome Obinna to FC Cincinnati,” general manager Chris Albright said in a release. “His overall quality will complement our group, while his work rate and defensive presence in midfield are both exceptional. Obi is also a dedicated teammate with a character that fits what we’re trying to build. I’d like to thank our ownership group as they continue to demonstrate their commitment to this club.”

A former Nigerian U-20 international, he departs Göztepe ranking first in the Turkish Süper Lig in tackles (121), ball recoveries (432), and pressures (772) this season. His 93 interceptions also rank among the best in the league.

Prior to his time in the Süper Lig, Nwobodo featured extensively with Újpest FC in Hungary’s NB I, the country’s top flight. With Újpest, he scored 15 goals and added 22 assists in four seasons.

“Obinna is an elite ball-winning midfielder that adds a different dynamic to our team,” head coach Pat Noonan said in a release. “His ability to break up plays, combined with his forward-first mentality make him an excellent addition to our group.”

Nwobodo is the first major signing of the Albright/Noonan era from beyond MLS, giving them a midfield anchor alongside standouts like No. 10 Luciano Acosta and striker Brandon Vazquez.