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Former Impact Youth Coach Steps Up at Cincinnati

... and faces Impact in first match in charge ...

Yoann Damet former IMFC u18 coach, will face his old club in his first game as Interim Head Coach of FC Cincinnati, Saturday.

FC Cincinnati yesterday announced the dismissal of head coach, South African, Alan Koch.

And in an interesting development, they have appointed former Montreal Impact u18 coach Yoann Damet (29) to the interim role of head coach, while an international search takes place for the permanent replacement. Damet has been assistant coach at Cincinnati since leaving Montreal in 2017.

Of course as fate would have it, Cincinnati’s next game is on Saturday, against Montreal Impact.

MLS: FC Cincinnati at San Jose Earthquakes
Alan Koch yesterday, became the second MLS coaching casualty in 2019, after Anthony Hudson who was recently dismissed at Colorado Rapids.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

President and General Manager Jeff Berding is confident Damet’s appointment will generate a positive effect.

“I am confident that Yoann will immediately infuse the locker room and soccer staff with a positive energy and team approach. He is respected and trusted and will lead the hard work that gets the best out of our players.”

This type of move usually generates at least short-term gain, so a highly winnable fixture for the Impact, Saturday, now becomes a tad more difficult.

Despite starting out its inaugural MLS season with 2 wins and a draw in its first four games, Cincinnati has slumped, taking only one point from its next seven outings, in which they scored only once, a Darren Mattocks penalty which helped them to a draw at home to Sporting Kansas.

Currently, it’s 521 mins since they last found the net.

President & General Manager, Jeff Berding cited cultural issues and locker-room problems as the reason behind Koch’s dismissal. Koch was the 2018 USL coach of the year, and had remained to take the Orange & Blue into MLS this season.

Speaking at a press conference, FC Cincinnati President and General Manager Jeff Berding had this to say.

“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,”

“This decision is not driven by recent game results themselves, but rather the underpinnings that have led to those results. 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. 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.”

Koch’s dismissal represents the second shortest reign ever of any MLS coach - 11 matches. Eddie Firmani holds that dubious distinction, having lasted only 8 games with New York/New Jersey Metro Stars in 1998. Coincidentally, Firmani is also South African-born, but represented Italy in international football.