Hagglund on playing for hometown FC Cincinnati: A lifelong dream come true

Nick Hagglund - Toronto FC - side view

When Nick Hagglund was drafted out of Xavier University in 2014, FC Cincinnati didn't even exist.

The Cincinnati native went to Toronto FC, helping the Ontario club to a historic domestic treble in 2017. But even with his success away from home, he was watching FC Cincinnati as they began play in USL in 2016.

Now, with FCC kicking off their first season in MLS this year, Hagglund is the club's newest player. And the hometown boy is thrilled to be joining.

“Going away, there was nothing here,” Hagglund told FC Cincinnati's website, after being traded from TFC earlier this week. “To see it grow has been fun. …Cincinnati sports fans are the best. When I saw a team come, I knew something would happen eventually.”

Head coach Alan Koch says the team had targeted the central defender for some time.

"We've obviously identified a lot of players over the course of this last year and that group will grow and shrink and grow and shrink, and to be quite honest, Nick's always been on that list," Koch said to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It's a player we identified a long, long time ago that we'd like to have in our group, and I'm glad they're able to get it done and he's able to join our team." 

Even if FC Cincy's rise was rapid, Hagglund says coming home to play as a pro realizes a lifelong dream.

“To come home and to be with my family, play in front of my hometown, it’s a dream as a kid,” he said. “If someone told me 5-year-old Nick, who dreamed of playing in front of my hometown, would, you would’ve called me crazy. So, it’s awesome to see this come to fruition. I’m just so excited to get out there with these guys.”

Check out more reaction to Hagglund's move to FC Cincinnati on the club's website and the Cincinnati Enquirer.