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FC Cincinnati, Ohio South Join Forces in Youth Development

December 20, 2018 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - FC Cincinnati News Release

CINCINNATI - FC Cincinnati and Ohio South will enter the 2019 season as partners in youth development.

The holistic partnership will touch all facets of both organization's development programming. While Ohio South will assist FCC with youth talent identification via its ODP program and outreach to its membership, FC Cincinnati will provide additional systemic coaching and parent education throughout the Ohio South region.

"We're excited to begin our youth development process with this relationship with Ohio South," FC Cincinnati Technical Director Luke Sassano said. "We believe firmly that the youth soccer landscape is vital to the success not only the FCC Academy, but also soccer in America.

"Every one of us at FC Cincinnati has such respect for the youth clubs and organizations in our area. Over the years, they've done such an incredible job of growing both interest in our sport and the technical abilities of our area's young players. This partnership with Ohio South is the logical progression of their work," Sassano said.

"FC Cincinnati is a proud community-based organization, and we are thrilled to work hand in hand with them on projects serving under-represented communities, education of coaches and parents, and player identification - including our Olympic Development program (ODP)," Gordon Henderson, Ohio South Executive Director, said. "It's our goal that the relationship between FC Cincinnati and the Ohio South Youth Soccer Association will be a national model of cooperation between a State Association and MLS franchise"

"I think the key part in our discussions, was how FC Cincinnati is going to be engaged with the youth soccer community in a meaningful way that will assist Ohio South in servicing its membership needs and not competing with them," Henderson said. "The Vision Statement for Ohio South is to "Develop a Life Long Love of Soccer.' When our initial talks began, it became very clear to both entities that we had shared common values and philosophies. A genuine working relationship just makes sense."

"We haven't been shy about our goal of becoming the heart of soccer in the U.S., and we continue to stress that with that lofty goal comes the obligation to work diligently with our local organizations to support all of youth soccer in the Tri-State area," Sassano said.

"We're committed to the grassroots growth of our sport. As we begin to work with local clubs in the areas of coaching and tactical education, we believe that the entire region's level of play will increase and further entrench soccer as a preferred sport in younger generations. Down the line, that will not only benefit FC Cincinnati, but also U.S. Soccer and our various national teams," Sassano added.

"These are exciting times for the soccer community in all of Ohio," Henderson said. "The support FC Cincinnati will be providing Ohio South will allow us to impact all segments of our membership for years to come"

The next time Cincinnati takes the field, it will be as MLS' 24th team in 2019 when the club debuts in the top professional league in the U.S. and Canada. Season tickets for the 2019 season are now on sale at

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