CINCINNATI — Fanendo Adi had concerns at the start of preseason and the FC Cincinnati Designated Player has concerns now, just days before the club’s inaugural MLS regular season match against the Seattle Sounders Saturday (10 pm ET | FS1, MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada) at CenturyLink Field.
His job is to score goals. It’s what he did so well in Portland for four-and-a-half seasons and why the MLS expansion side splashed the cash to land him.
But at the club’s first Media Day as an MLS club Tuesday, Adi said he can’t do that job alone.
“I have a lot of concerns. I want to score goals, and I need every support I can get in order to do that,” Adi said. “When you’re a center forward and you don’t score goals, you get worried about the whole situation. But this is something that the coaches are working on. We still believe that the club can bring in a No. 10 for us, someone that is very experienced and can push us (forward).”
FC Cincy strengthened the attack, landing former Vancouver Whitecaps and Columbus Crew speedster Kekuta Manneh, who returns to MLS after short spells in Mexico and Switzerland. While Adi seems pleased with the addition of the winger, he explained that he still has concerns. “We have quality in the team. But is the quality enough?” he asked.
FC Cincinnati engaged in a drawn-out pursuit of seasoned Chilean playmaker Matias Fernandez over the winter months. A deal with Liga MX club Necaxa that looked certain to complete in mid-January fell through at the last minute.
Thus, FC Cincinnati starts their 2019 campaign without a bona fide central attacking midfielder. It remains to be seen whether FCC coach Alan Koch and company try to fill that void in the near term or wait until the secondary transfer window in the summer.
Despite his continued concern about the team’s balance, and the need for more playmaking talent, Adi remains confident ahead of the club’s first MLS match. He praised the Sounders, a club he knows well from his time in Portland, but is focused on embracing the underdog role and remaining positive despite the hostile CenturyLink environment.
“Seattle is one of the best teams in the league, if not the best,” Adi said. “They are the better team on paper and when you think about the club in general. Obviously, they are a step ahead of us. It’s going to be very loud and very difficult, but I think and I believe that we can go and get an upset in Seattle. If we are humble, we can come away with points from there.”