MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

Official: FC Cincinnati, Brandon Vazquez agree to long-term contract extension

Brandon Vazquez


UPDATE (Aug. 25) Brandon Vazquez has signed a new, long-term contract with FC Cincinnati that will keep him at the club through the 2025 season, with an option for 2026, the club announced Thursday.

The 23-year-old forward committed his future to Cincy in the midst of a breakout season that's attracted suitors from Europe, Mexico and within MLS — thanks to his 15-goal, four-assist tally in 25 games this year.

“We are delighted to keep Brandon with FC Cincinnati for years to come,” general manager Chris Albright said in an official statement. “Re-signing Brandon was a major priority for us this summer, as he has proven he can be one of the league's best forwards. He has been a vital part of our success this season thanks to his character and dedication to the game, and we are excited to have him as a foundational piece going forward.”

Vazquez’s fantastic form this season could potentially earn him a US men’s national team call-up for friendlies in September, giving him a chance to make the trip to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November.

“I’m extremely thankful to continue to be a part of FC Cincinnati,” said Vazquez in a release. “Over the past three years, I have made Cincinnati my home, and I’m excited to continue to work hard for this club. I want to thank the organization, my coaches, teammates and especially the fans who have supported me along the way.”

The Orange & Blue will return to the pitch Saturday when they host Columbus Crew (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+) as they look to earn their first Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearance since entering as an expansion team in 2019. They currently are just one point behind the playoff line, sitting ninth in the Eastern Conference with eight games remaining (8W-8L-10D, 34 points).

ORIGINAL (Aug. 22)FC Cincinnati and star forward Brandon Vazquez have agreed to a long-term contract extension, sources told The deal is through 2025 with a club option for 2026.

Vazquez’s previous deal had only a contract option for the 2023 MLS season.

Vazquez, 23, is enjoying a breakout year with 15 goals and four assists in 25 appearances this season, thriving in a two-forward system in Cincinnati. His run of form dates back to the end of last year, where he had four goals and three assists in 828 minutes.

World Cup chase, transfer links

The center forward could be in line to receive a US men's national team call-up for friendlies in September, the last camp before manager Gregg Berhalter and his staff name their 26-man World Cup roster in the fall, giving him a real chance to head to Qatar. Vazquez is also eligible for Mexico, but he told TUDN’s Michele Giannone he hasn’t been contacted by anyone at the Mexican federation.

Vazquez’s breakout has put him at the center of some transfer rumors, including from Liga MX club Chivas. Sources say Chivas did indeed have a bid rejected earlier this summer, though it’s untrue Cincy put a $5 million price on the forward. English Premier League side Leeds United are reported to have made him a long-term target as well. Numerous MLS teams attempted to trade for him in the winter, though their advances were rebuffed.

MLS rise

Prior to joining Cincy via a trade with Nashville SC in the 2020 Expansion Draft for $150,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, Vazquez spent the first three years of his professional career with Atlanta United (2017-19). The San Diego-area native spent time in Club Tijuana’s academy system as well, while being a regular for US youth national teams, scoring at the 2015 U-17 World Cup. That team included Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre, Auston Trusty and Haji Wright.

FC Cincinnati’s attacking trio of Vazquez, Luciano Acosta and Brenner has been the driving force in their strong season, ahead of schedule with general manager Chris Albright and head coach Pat Noonan in their first full year. Cincy sit ninth in the Eastern Conference table, though just two points below fifth place. They have eight games left to make the playoffs for the first time in the club’s brief MLS history, joining the league in 2019 and finishing bottom of the table three years running.

Vazquez will continue to be a core piece for the club moving forward, alongside fellow incumbents Acosta and Brenner. Key additions from the new regime this season are Obinna Nwobodo and Matt Miazga, to name a few.