Will FC Cincinnati begin MLS play as early as 2019?

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - FC Cincinnati, Major League Soccer, and the University of Cincinnati have made initial contact about upgrades needed to bring pro soccer to the Queen City as early as 2019, sources tell FOX19.

The source says there are turf, lighting, and WiFi specifications that must be met and greet lit by the league.

MLS officials are planning to come to Cincinnati to make a major soccer announcement next Tuesday. It is expected that announcement will be MLS awarding FCC an expansion bid to join the league.

The source tells FOX19 that a planned soccer-specific stadium in the West End would not be ready until 2021 at the earliest. FC Cincinnati currently plays at UC's Nippert Stadium.

Sports Illustrated is reporting that MLS games will be played at Nippert in 2019.

In Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup draw, FCC was paired with Minnesota United. FOX19 learned Thursday evening the game will be played at Nippert Stadium during the first week of June.

FC Cincinnati beat MLS opponents Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire last year's U.S. Open Cup.

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