TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS:Report
FC Cincinnati won't be joining MLS until next year, but it appears that they're about to make their first big splashes in building their MLS roster.
ESPN's Taylor Twellman reported on Sunday afternoon that two players whose names have been rumored to be on the trading block in recent weeks – Portland Timbers forward Fanendo Adi and San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Fatai Alashe – are both headed to the 2019 expansion team.
Adi, 27, was a mainstay for the Timbers from his signing in June 2014 until the departure of former head coach Caleb Porter at the end of 2017. Under new head coach Giovanni Savarese, the Nigerian has been limited to 823 minutes over 14 appearances in 2018.
The Oregonian's Jamie Goldberg reported on Saturday night that Adi would be on his way out of Portland, and Adi subsequently scored his final goal for the Timbers later that evening, an emotional game-winner in the Timbers' 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo. He would later post a farewell note to the club.
Adi is now set to finish his Timbers career with 54 goals and 14 assists in regular-season play, plus two goals and an assist in Portland's run to the 2015 MLS Cup title.
Alashe, 24, was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, and like Adi has found playing time harder to come by under a new coach. A defensive midfielder, Alashe was a regular in his first two years in the league but saw his minutes decrease after the departure of Dominic Kinnear from the Quakes bench in June 2017. The Michigan native was recently the center of a very public argument with manager Mikael Stahre following his substitution in a recent game.
FC Cincinnati are currently competing in USL and will become the 24th team in MLS when they begin play in 2019. Head coach Alan Koch currently has Cincinnati atop the USL Eastern Conference standings, with a 13-3-5 record.