Transfer Tracker

FC Cincinnati sign homegrown midfielder Gerardo Valenzuela

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FC Cincinnati have signed homegrown midfielder Gerardo ‘Dado’ Valenzuela through the 2026 MLS season with options for 2027-28, the club announced Thursday.

The 18-year-old is the seventh FC Cincinnati academy alum to sign a first-team deal and the fifth who’s currently on the club’s roster.

"Dado is an exciting young player who has worked incredibly hard for this opportunity," Chris Albright, FC Cincinnati’s general manager, said in a release. "He has an innate ability on the ball and continues to improve his defensive understanding of the game.

"His growth from our academy through MLS NEXT Pro has been a testament to all the work that’s been done in our player pathway and we look forward to his continued development with the first team."

Valenzuela joined the FC Cincinnati academy in August 2020, playing for the club’s U-17 and U-19 teams. He has two goals and three assists in 22 appearances (20 starts) for FCC 2 in MLS NEXT Pro.

"I'm excited to sign my first professional contract with FC Cincinnati," said Valenzuela. "It's been my dream to be a professional ever since I was little, and it feels even better to have achieved this with the support of this great team, my family, and my coaches."

Thus far, Cincinnati’s most impactful homegrown player is Guatemalan international Arquimides Ordoñez. Rookie midfielder Malik Pinto also spent time in the club’s academy.