FC Cincinnati Adds Midfielder Caleb Stanko to Roster

Photo Courtesy of SC Freiburg Twitter 

The 25-year-old American will debut for FC Cincinnati in the upcoming season. FC Cincinnati acquired the Michigan native from Bundesliga side SC Freiburg after he completed his loan to Swiss club Vaduz. Stanko will fill a domestic roster spot for the brand-new MLS side. In his time with the German club, Stanko had six appearances, netted three goals and made 10 assists. Stanko served as captain for the U.S. U-20 squad in both the 2013 CONCACAF championship and World Cup. He was capped once for the senior team in the match against Trinidad and Tobago during the World Cup Qualifier. 

“We look for versatility in our central midfielders and we feel he can fill a number of roles depending on the personnel we have on the pitch. We look forward to Caleb competing immediately within our group.” Head Coach Alan Koch said to the FC Cincinnati website. 

Stanko certainty has the credentials of a multifaceted player with appearances in both a midfielder and a center back. Being a player that is comfortable on both sides of the pitch, it will be interesting to see how Koch will utilize Stanko. 

With his defensive experience, Stanko may be able to offer the support that FC Cincinnati needed in their final USL season. Perhaps Stanko can play a similar role as Xabi Alonso did during his stint at Bayern Munich. Operating as a defensive stalwart while steering the attack with long passes. 

This off-season has been rather pensive for FC Cincinnati and its supporters. The transition from USL to MLS puts the staff in a challenging predicament. In order to remain competitive in the MLS, the club needs to bolster their roster with more experienced players.  However, with the arrival of new players comes the departure of older ones, even some fan favorites. And as the attendance records show, the fans are the keystone of the club, so the club would want to avoid disappointing them. 

FC Cincinnati sowed some doubt in commentators' minds with a quite begging to the off-season. Many feared that the club would go the way Minnesota United, a team that struggled with promotion because of a roster populated by players from their USL season. Though, as the off-season matured, FC Cincinnati has tacked on the talent of stars like Kendall Waston and Allan Cruz. The great deals the club has been able to broker shows that the team wants to compete in their maiden MLS season.