Cincinnati, Ohio (May 7, 2019) — Alan Koch didn’t last a full season in Major League Soccer. After joining FC Cincinnati in 2017, the South African head coach made waves in the USL.
Because of his success in the second-division league, Koch kept his position when FC Cincinnati joined MLS this year. However, after a poor 2-2-7 start to the season, which sees FC Cincinnati in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, Koch was fired on Tuesday afternoon.
FC Cincinnati fire head coach Alan Koch, name Yoann Damet as interim manager
“After a series of recent issues and a team culture that had deteriorated, we determined that it’s time to make a change to return a club-centered focus to the team,” Jeff Berding, FC Cincinnati president and general manager, said via a press release.
However, Berding went on to say that the decision didn’t occur because of the poor record. Instead, Berding said that it was “underpinnings” that led to the disastrous results that caused Koch’s firing.
“We have not come close to maximizing the talent we have in the dressing room this year, nor have we seen a foundation being built that will set us up for success this year and into next year,” Berding said. “Our whole locker room is committed to our club goal of earning an MLS postseason bid, and we need to put them in the best position to do so.”
FC Cincinnati players have only scored eight goals in 11 games. That’s a league-low number.
“We appreciate Alan’s contributions to FC Cincinnati in the United Soccer League and wish him well,” Berding said.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) May 5, 2019
Yoann Damet named interim head coach
The search for the club’s next head coach is on. It will be an international search, according to FC Cincinnati. However, for now, Yoann Damet will retain the position of interim head coach. He has been Koch’s assistant since 2017.
Damet is only 29-years-old, making him the current youngest coach in MLS. There is a difference of nine years between Damet and the former youngest coaches in MLS, Luchi Gonzalez of FC Dallas. Furthermore, Damet has never played professional or collegiate level soccer. He’s only the second MLS coach to not do so, but become a head coach.
Prior to his time in Cincinnati, Damet resided in Montreal and coached the Impact’s U-18 team.
“I am confident that Yoann will immediately infuse the locker room and soccer staff with a positive energy and team approach,” Berding said. “He is respected and trusted and will lead the hard work that gets the best out of our players.”
It’s never good to hear anyone out of an organization, thank to @Akoch for all he’s done for the organization,we look ahead and believe to turn things around for the better
— fanendoadiOfficial (@fanendo) May 7, 2019
FC Cincinnati will host the former club of Damet. The Montreal Impact make their way to the Queen City on Saturday for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff.
Meanwhile, the Impact currently reside in third place in the Eastern Conference.