FC Cincinnati sign 5 players from 2018 USL team on Monday

The day before their expansion draft, FC Cincinnati continued to make news and add to their inaugural MLS roster by signing five more players from their USL squad.

Here's a quick rundown of all five.

Blake Smith

A left back who enjoyed a stint in MLS with the Montreal Impact five years ago, Blake Smith was the first player of the day that FC Cincy announced. The 27-year-old made 30 appearances at left back in 2018 for FCC in USL play, including 28 starts, adding one goal and four assists. Between Montreal and Cincinnati, Smith spent a season in Switzerland with Yverdon-Sport before two years with Miami FC in NASL. 

Nazmi Albadawi

Nazmi Albadawi, a Palestinian international, spent 2018 with FC Cincy in USL and will join FCC in MLS play after a strong 2018 season. The midfielder registered 11 goals and four assists in 27 appearances.

Albadawi, 27, began his professional career in 2014, when he signed with the NASL’s North Carolina FC after a four-year career at NC State.

Emery Welshman

Emery Welshman is a 27-year-old attacker and Guyana international who scored four goals in 26 appearances (14 starts) for the Orange and Blue in 2018. Welshman had previously been on an MLS roster with Real Salt Lake in 2016, though didn't make his MLS debut. He was a first-round pick of Toronto FC in the 2013 SuperDraft. 

Justin Hoyte

A 34-year-old fullback, Justin Hoyte has spent the last two seasons with Cincinnati, making 47 appearances. The Englishman began his professional career in England with Arsenal in 2002. Prior to FCC, he spent his career in the English leagues, featuring for Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Millwall, and Dagenham & Redbridge. He was also a Trinidad & Tobago international, collecting 18 caps.

Jimmy McLaughlin

An original member of FC Cincinnati, Jimmy McLaughlin will stick around for the club's transition to MLS. The 25-year-old has made 103 appearances for Cincy over the last three years, contributing 12 goals and 11 assists from the midfield. He originally signed with the Philadelphia Union as a Homegrown Player, but made just three MLS appearances between 2012-15. 

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