Locadia has one goal in eight matches since coming to MLS, hardly a strike rate one might expect from the Designated Player. It hasn’t helped that FC Cincy recently went five-plus games without scoring a goal, but the on-loan Brighton & Hove Albion striker still holds himself to a high standard.
“I put pressure on myself every game and I'm there to provide goals, to score goals,” Locadia said on Thursday. “So I know [what] my job is and I'm pissed off when I don't score a goal, like for two days or one day after the game. So I put a lot of pressure on myself and when it doesn't go [how] I want it's hard for me to not be agitated.”
Locadia’s played in some of the world’s top leagues, bursting onto the scene at PSV Eindhoven as a teenager. He scored 62 goals and added 39 assists across all competitions for the Eredivisie club, then moved to Brighton in the Premier League and spent part of last season on loan at Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.
Those experiences have taught Locadia the importance of being patient, even if he’s landed just six shots on target for the Orange and Blue.
“I mean, I've been I've been playing this game for so long and I think back in the day,” Locadia began, “I would get like nervous if I didn't score for a certain amount of time and now I can like control the emotions and I think it’s just a matter to score that one go and then like I said it will help the team, it will help myself. It’s just waiting for that one moment.”
Locadia missed much of FC Cincy’s MLS is Back Tournament run with a thigh injury, though returned for their Round of 16 defeat against eventual champions Portland Timbers. That gives him seven matches across all competitions under head coach Jaap Stam who reaffirmed his confidence in the Dutchman.
“He knows what pressure is, and he knows and he understands as well that people are looking at him,” Stam said. “They want him to play well they want him to score the goals for the club for the team. And as a player you always feel that pressure. And I think that's normal.”
While Locadia certainly faces pressure, he’s not the only goal-dry attacker on Cincy’s roster. They also brought in Siem de Jong and fellow DP forward Yuya Kubo this past offseason, and the former Ajax attacking midfielder has zero goals or assists. Kubo has two goals through 11 matches, though he’s not exactly leaving MLS defenses in his dust.
Locadia didn’t mince words in saying it’s fair to expect more from players on that sort of budget charge.
“[General manager Gerard Nijkmap] is right to tell people or you guys that the Designated Players need to bring more I guess and that's why he brings us to Cincinnati,” Locadia said. “I do think it's a team sport. So we need all the players not only the Designated Players."