FC Cincinnati Smashes Transfer Record, Signs Brenner
To steal a line from my friends over at the Cincy Slanging podcast, its a great day to be an FC Cincinnati fan.
Last night The Post was able to confirm that Brazilian striker Brenner will be joining the orange and blue for the 2021 season. Brenner is a young, talented player who has been on the cusp of a big money move to Europe for over a year now. Having previously been linked to clubs like Ajax and even Arsenal, this is a major signing for Cincinnati.
In fact, once all of the numbers are shaken out and bonuses paid, it looks as if FC Cincinnati have made one of the 5 most expensive transfers in MLS history.
And for good reason. Brenner has put up some incredible stats at just 21 years old. In four seasons with Brazilian club Sao Paulo he is averaging 0.46 goals a game. A 21 year old that is averaging nearly a goal every other game in Brazil, you take notice. And apparently sign him to a record transfer fee. FC Cincinnati's previous transfer record? Leonardo Bertone.
If you're looking for comparable production in MLS, that scoring rate is right around Christian Pavon and Diego Valeri last year.
After FC Cincinnati has a dismal scoring record last year, just 12 goals all season, any new reinforcements up front were going to be welcomed by fans. But few saw a move this big coming at the center forward position.
And for good reason, Jurgen Locadia is still on this roster. While there have been rumors of Locadia moving on, it's not exactly a done deal.
Locadia was moved out to the wing towards the end of last season and looked really good. Now with a new striker coming in, there's the potential of a front three of Locadia, Brenner, and Barreal. Lord help us if that lineup can't score.
So what does the rolling lineup look like right now for The FC?
Oh yeah, Martinez.
Capping off a wonderfully wild day on Cincinnati Twitter was Cincy Soccer Talk breaking news that Pity Martinez, the former Atlanta United player, as of September of last year, is expected to sign with FC Cincinnati pending some allocation order negotiations.
Pity Martinez won Rey del Futbol de America's award for best South American player of the year in 2018. And while he never looked quite like that player for Atlanta United, it was also asked to play out of position many, many times.
Bringing Martinez in to be Cincinnati's play maker would be one of the sneakiest signings in MLS history. It's not often you can bring in the one time MLS transfer fee record holder just months after they've left the league. And Martinez is the record transfer holder for most expensive signing in MLS history and the second most expensive export in league history. Should FC Cincinnati pull this off, they will have the two most expensive transfers in MLS history in the starting lineup. Not too bad for a front office half the fan base was ready to fire about 48 hours ago.
Looking at the lineup one position that stands out is centerback. While Pettersson and Hagglund looked fine last year, another defender would certainly be a confidence boost going into the season. And Joe Gyau at right back seems to be picking up steam in and around the team. So why not, as Max Ellerbe says he can be our Antonio Valencia.
So while we wait for official announcements today, update the transfer clock, and more signings in the coming days, enjoy this time. This is when you can let your optimism run wild.
For more on these signings and reactions to them, check out my conversation with Jonah Colina on KLR's live stream last night.