CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The new United Soccer League franchise owned by the Lindner Family will play at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium starting next year.
A hype video was released by the club online on Tuesday. It revealed the club's name, logo, ownership group and even the coach.
FC Cincinnati will join the USL's East Division as the league's 26th club and play its season from March through September.
Rivals in the USL will include: Harrisburg City Islanders, Louisville City FC, Pittsburgh, New York Red Bulls II, Riverhounds and Saint Louis FC, among others.
John Harkes, a veteran of Major League Soccer and the U.S. National Team, will be the team's first head coach.
"Cincinnati has a great tradition of soccer from youth to our collegiate programs," said Carl Lindner III, the majority owner of FC Cincinnati. "Our goal is to provide the highest caliber of soccer in Cincinnati with an exciting and engaging fan experience at the newly renovated Nippert Stadium."
Other FC Cincinnati ownership includes George Joseph (Joseph Automotive Group), Stephen L. Hightower (Hightower Petroleum Co.), and Jack Wyant (Blue Chip Venture).
Longtime Cincinnati Bengals executive Jeff Berding will serve as President & General Manager, and former Procter & Gamble brand manager Gary De Jesus will be Sr. Vice President of Marketing and Communications.
Berding says the club will work with all local youth soccer clubs to develop relationships and and strengthen the game in the region with regular player clinics and community outreach.
"We want to share a new philosophy of soccer. FC Cincinnati will have the resources to develop the soccer fan experience and will deliver a high-level of professional soccer to engage Cincinnati's soccer fan base as well as the growing global employee base in the region," Berding said.
The club announced Tuesday a contest: "Be The One," where fans can register via the team's social media sites and website to be the #1 season ticket holder of FC Cincinnati.
To promote the new team, coach Harkes and assistant coach Ryan Martin will meet with soccer fans at local pubs through the weekend. Dates and locations include:
- 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., The Brass Tap, 251 Calhoun Street
- 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., The Pub at Rookwood, 2692 Madison Road
- 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., Rhinehaus, 119 East 12th Street
- 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Listermann Brewing Co., 1621 Dana Avenue
- 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., O’Bryon’s, 1998 Madison Road
- 9 p.m. to10 p.m., Hap’s Irish Pub, 3510 Erie Avenue
- 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Next Chapter, 940 Pavilion Street
- 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., 50 West Brewery, 7668 Wooster Pike
9:30 a.m. to noon, Molly Malone's, 112 East Fourth Street, Covington