The good, the bad, and the ugly from FC Cincinnati's press conference

FC Cincinnati is making major changes to their roster heading into the 2018 season. After a 3-0 loss in Florida to the Tampa Bay Rowdies just about a week ago, Jeff Berding and the club wasted no time preparing for the new season.

I'll only be highlighting and explaining a handful of key points talked about on Tuesday morning, but if interested, you can view the whole press conference on FC Cincinnati's Facebook page. That said, let's take a look at some of the good, bad, and ugly.

The good-- Key players have been re-signed

Fan-favorite Jimmy McLaughlin, Corben Bone, and Danni Konig were the three that FC Cincinnati re-signed; they expressed options for Matt Bahner, Garrett Halfhill, Kenney Walker, and Justin Hoyte. Both Jose and Sem de Wit were already under contract with the club for the upcoming season.  Each of these players saw time in at least 20 games besides Garrett Halfhill who only made an appearance in two games for the Orange & Blue in 2017. 

The importance of these players cannot be understated. Corben Bone and Kenney combined to be a lethal force in the midfield while Jimmy McLaughlin and Danni Konig along with Djiby Fall were responsible for the majority of FC Cincinnati's scoring. Each of these players has a purpose. Koch has a plan for them, and it will be incredible seeing them re-join the team in 2018.

Having these players back will be fantastic for the 2018 season.

Oh, and another huge point: Jeff Berding did mention the possibility that the club might hold money back for a top talent this upcoming season. A crazy idea is for Kaka, the Orlando City star, to make his final run with the USL's Cincinnati. Who wouldn't love to play in the Queen City?

The bad-- Major cornerstone pieces are still in negotiations 

The official FCC report said this regarding some of the players that are not going to be coming back:
"FCC will not exercise the options for Kadeem Dacres, Marco Dominguez, Dallas Jaye, Aodhan Quinn, Aaron Walker and Dan Williams. Contracts for Pat McMahon, Tyler Polak, Kevin Schindler and Mélé Temguia have expired and will not be renewed while the loan term for Kyle Greig from Vancouver Whitecaps has ended."
However, key cornerstone pieces such as Austin Berry, Mitch Hildebrandt, and Djiby Fall are still in negotiations with their contracts. Berding said that plans for Harrison Delbridge, Paul Nicholson, and Andrew Wiedeman will all be announced at a later date. Those are a some of the most well-known players and some of the players that helped create the amazing atmosphere that FCC is so use to.

It would be a shame to not see some of these players back at Nippert, but we wish them the best with their professional career.

The ugly-- Alan Koch is not impressed with Mitch Hildebrandt 

Mitch Hildebrandt led the USL in saves this season, but the last few games were enough to put him on the bubble. In FCC's final two games, Mitch gave up a total of six goals. Also, Mitch let up a combined nine goals in two USL games in back-to-back Saturday's during August. Mitch has shown times of brilliance, but the highly praised goalie often times was left on an island, and he might be paying for the consequence. Koch said that Mitch, while he could be the goalie going into 2018, might have to earn his position this time around.

Needless to say, FC Cincinnati will be expecting more from its defense in 2018, and giving Mitch Hildebrandt respectable competition might only help his game. That said, both Dallas Jaye and Dan Williams, FCC's other two goalies, did not have their contracts renewed. 

Side notes-- 

Jeff Berding said the USL regular season will start a week earlier in 2018. Berding also said that he would invite the "inaugurals" back if the club were to ever reach MLS status. Another interesting thing is that Berding said FCC has "arguably become the hottest soccer team in the US" and that Alan Koch is already seeking new skill as he left on a plane today to search for the next top talent.