Jaap Stam praises FC Cincinnati roster: "There’s a lot of quality"

Jaap Stam - close-up

As far as tactics go, FC Cincinnati's transition to new manager Jaap Stam should be pretty seamless.

Stam, appointed as Cincy's latest head coach on Thursday, prefers the typical Dutch 4-3-3 that's similar to what FCC predecessor Ron Jans played. It's also similar to what interim coach Yoann Damet utilized early in 2020 before play was suspended in mid-March. 

“A very important thing for myself to join FC Cincinnati and makes it a little bit easier as well, they already play the system I like to play, a 4-3-3," Stam told reporters on a video conference call Friday. "I like to play in a dominant way, pressing high up when you’ve got the opportunity, and being patient at times.”

Stam has gotten to know his new squad from a distance, though it's been a gradual process that's evolved as interest in the job transitioned to a legitimate hiring process. That process included discussions with both general manage Gerard Nijkamp and Damet, who will remain on the coaching staff.

“If you look at the roster this season, there’s a lot of quality," Stam said. "I analyzed FC Cincinnati’s last two games they played. ... I’ve seen all the players individually. I know in a certain way what they can bring, what they can do. Of course, being on the pitch working with them, I’ll know them better and have a complete picture, but I know the players. Their strengths, what they can work on.”

Stam wants to play a possession-based, attack-oriented system. He spoke specifically of forward Jurgen Locadia's quality and Kendall Waston, a big, physical center back who reminds Stam of his own playing days.

The squad will continue to change whenever the transfer window reopens, as Nijkamp further puts his signature on the roster he inherited last summer.

“We’re working every day to make the roster better," Nijkamp said. "We did evaluations of the first games we played before the pandemic, plus preseason. We want to improve the team. We shared that with Jaap and we’ll talk daily about where we can improve. That starts now.”