FC Cincinnati sign 2018 USL Defender of the Year Forrest Lasso

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing

FC Cincinnati announced on Monday that defender Forrest Lasso has become the the fifth player to be added to FCC's roster for the inaugural season in MLS.

The 25-year-old Lasso officially signs and MLS contract for 2019 on the heels of a 2018 campaign in which he was named USL Defender of the Year. He joins 2018 teammates Fanendo Adi, Fatai Alashe, Corben Bone and Emmanuel Ledesma in making the jump. Adi and Alashe were already signed to MLS deals for 2019 when they jumped from MLS to the USL during the 2018 season.

"Being able to play in MLS has been something I’ve been trying to achieve since I started playing soccer, so for me, it is very satisfying,” Lasso said in a statement. “There’s been a lot of hard work over the years, and I had faith in myself that I would eventually get the opportunity. I’m grateful to the FC Cincinnati organization for giving me this chance and I couldn’t be more excited to get ready for next year.”

Lasso made 29 appearances in his first season in Cincinnati in 2018, including 28 starts. Prior to his arrival in Cincy, Lasso spent three professional seasons with the Charleston Battery.

“Forrest was a massive part of our team this past year and we feel he’s earned a spot to play at the MLS level next season,” FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch said in a statement. “While his potential has always been evident, Forrest’s dedication to improvement each and every week played a key part in his fantastic season. We look forward to Forrest’s continued growth and are eager to see him embrace the challenge of playing in MLS next year.”

Lasso proved to be a key piece in FC Cincinnati’s 2018 regular-season championship campaign. The Raleigh, N.C. native finished third on the team in minutes played (2,574) and finished first in the league overall with 223 clearances, first among defenders in aerials won with 172 and second in blocked shots with 32. The 6-foot-6 center back also posted standout numbers elsewhere, winning 74.3 percent of duels over the regular season (214-of-288) and 82.7 percent of aerial duels (172-of-208) while recording 47 interceptions, 17 tackles and 88 possession recoveries. For a second consecutive year, Lasso was voted to the USL All-League First-Team for his outstanding season.

Series: 
Transfer Tracker Status: 

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join MLS to #KickChildhoodCancer by tuning into eMLS 24 Hours of FIFA 20 on September 24 at 6:00 PM ET and donate to Children’s Oncology Group Foundation. Our Goal is a Cure ... Make it your goal too!