Alan Koch receives a multi-year contract extension to remain with FC Cincinnati
(Photo Courtesy of Jamie Smed/ Twitter)
Alan Koch hasn't even been a member of the FC Cincinnati coaching staff for one year, but now it appears that he is part of the long-term picture for the club. On Thursday, FCC announced multi-year extensions for head coach Alan Koch and assistant coach Yoann Damet, further solidifying the foundation that FC Cincinnati has worked so hard to build the past two years.
It's hard to believe that Koch has only been a member of FC Cincinnati since November 2016, when he was named an assistant coach and director of scouting and analytics. The original job that Koch took with FCC was seen as a downgrade by some, as he was previously the head coach of Vancouver Whitecaps 2 from 2015-2016. However, he would not remain an assistant for long, as he was quickly promoted to head coach on February 17, 2017, after FC Cincinnati dismissed John Harkes.
While Harkes was seen as an American soccer icon after his time with the U.S. national team, many experts agreed that Koch was better for FC Cincinnati in the long run. Koch was known for excelling at player development, something that FCC knew they had to improve upon if they wanted to reach the next level. As the season has progressed, the orange and blue have continued to show improvement after a slow start in USL play, proving that Koch is the right man for the job.
In addition to strong player development, Koch has been a masterful tactician in terms of player and formation management. Koch often changes the formation based on both their starting line-up and the opponents starting lineup, looking for any advantage that can put them over the top. Also, Koch has done a phenomenal job rotating players in and out of the starting XI, while still making a run to the U.S. Open Cup semifinals and battling for a home playoff game in USL play. This season has not only been a testament to the quality of talent that Koch has been able to bring in, but also shows how deep the FCC Cincinnati roster is.
Last, but in my opinion most important, Koch seems like a natural leader. You can be a masterful soccer technician, but if you are unable to communicate these tactics to your players, you will not make it very far as a head coach. Koch has done an amazing job guiding his players through the rigors and challenges that this season has presented, while not allowing his emotions to go too high or too low. It would have been easy to get caught in the moment when FCC beat Columbus or Chicago, but he made sure his team went right back to work the next day. It also would have been easy for Koch to lose his cool after the horrific officiating against Rochester last weekend, but instead focused on what he could control.
There is no doubt in my mind that Koch is the right man for the job moving forward, and it is only right that he received the multi-year extension that he deserved. As long as Alan Koch is the Head Coach of FC Cincinnati, I believe that this team can accomplish anything that they put their minds to.