Maybe the Dutch Just Didn't Know What They Were Doing

Well, it finally dropped.  The first Dutch article about the FC in the post-Stam/Nijkamp era.  Writing for the magazine Hard Gras, Thomas Heerma van Voss published an interview with former FC data analyst Alexander Schram, his childhood friend.

I encourage everyone to pay for a digital copy so you can read the entire article in full, but here's some of what we learned (quotes are verbatim from Google Translate):

Schram Knew Nijkamp from PEC Zwolle

"In the meantime Nijkamp had been appointed as general manager by FC Cincinnati.  He and Alexander telephoned each other for a long time, although the question Nijkamp asked was simple: did he want to provide the data analyzes for FCC?"

The Dutch Know who Sarah Jessica Parker Is, And Something About Toy Story

"It had to be googled, in the end Sarah Jessica Parker turned out to be from Cincinnati.  Alexander also mentioned something about the original Toy Story, which was situated quite close to his new home."

(I mean, I guess it's good that someone took the time to google what life in Cincinnati was really all about?)

The Dutch Influence Is Traced to Dutch Lions

"That enclave is no coincidence, it turns out.  Dutch ex football players Erik Tammer and Mike Mossel have invested in dozens of American semi-pro clubs over the past decade . . . [a]nd in 2015, American Jeff Berding for the business plan to set up a professional club in Cincinnati."

There Was Little Pressure to Deliver Results

"Because every club in the American league is regarded as a franchise . . . there is less pressure on sporting performance.  FC Cincinnati cannot be relegated."

Confirmed Interest from Gaston Pereiro and Mario Mandzukic

"Gaston Pereiro would be taken over from PSV (Alexander: 'He came on the lists through me, I knew he could leave.')  Mario Mandzukic appeared on the radar via Mino Raiola, although he apparently wanted an exorbitant salary[.]"

Locadia Wanted to Come to Support His Musical Career

"That Locadia especially wanted to come to American because of his career as a smooth singer supported by techno beats."

Schram Hated Skyline

"That the first question for new FC Cincinnati players is always: do you already have a SkyLine on?  That this means the SkyLine Chili, a local – and according to Alexander terrible – fast food product[.]"

(Well, good riddance buddy. Don't let the spoon hit you on the way out.)

Carl Lindner Doesn't Like Soccer

"'That man doesn't like football,' says Alexander to my surprise. 'Only he could have acquired a lot of shares from this club by chance and it is a useful investment.'"

The FC Is Bad at Soccer

"[T]he level was surprisingly low.  Passes did not arrive, players shot the ball over the sideline for no reason. . . .  Tyton kept shooting the ball very hard, to no one. . . .  We only bounced slightly when Siem De Jong came in.  He gave some deep balls that were misunderstood."

Nijkamp and Stam Basically Signed Their Friends

"Gerard did ask faithfully for my reports.  I think he read them too.  But after all, the choice was made for people he already knew.  Via its own network, via agents.  I sometimes wondered: why was I even appointed?  . . . But then, Jaap didn't like my work much either.  Then during a meeting players were mentioned that I had to judge.  Jaap disagreed with almost everything I said.  He drew on his own network.  He always went for players and collaborators he already knew."

(But why would Jeff Berding do this?)

Stam Built The Wall

"[Stam] was also the one who insisted on a wall within the club grounds, separating staff around the first team from the rest of the club (including Alexander).  To keep costs down, it became more of a bulkhead than an actual wall[.]"

(I can see why Carl originally seemed to like Stam so much.)

Former Soccer Players Are Jerks

Regarding the "All-Staff Game":

"The bottom line was that all the ex-pros always wanted to be in one team[.] . . .  Then, during the matches, the ex-pros were blood fanatics. . . .  Jaap also constantly handed out stares, especially when things weren't going well. . . .  Because the ex-pros were also the referees, we just kept playing."

The Dutch Word for Bench is Couch

"Vermeer and Mokotjo have been spending their match days on the couch for quite some time."
Anyway, I encourage you to seek it out.  It's a good read, even translated, and you get a fresh perspective on the team from a knowledgeable outsider.
Also, Ron Jans was one of the first people to meet Schram's baby, which seemed nice.