FC Cincinnati Head Coach Alan Koch Is Out
Updated 2:50 p.m.
FC Cincinnati is parting ways with Head Coach Alan Koch. Rumors began to circulate Tuesday morning and the team confirmed the announcement shortly thereafter.
"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," says FC Cincinnati President and General Manager Jeff Berding in a statement.
He goes on, stating, "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."
FC Cincinnati is currently 11th place in the Eastern Conference and has only two wins on the season and has lost the last five straight.
Assistant Coach Yoann Damet will take over coaching duties in the interim.
During an afternoon news conference, Berding doubled down on his assertion that Koch was not dismissed because of his record, but rather his locker room culture.
"We felt that the situation had deteriorated," he says. "We were confident it was not going to change."
Berding says the search for a new head coach will be worldwide. The team believes in Damet, he says, though Berding shies away from saying Damet would be considered for the position.
Of his own culpability, Berding says he takes full responsibility.
"I am convinced that the change of the head coach was necessary to build a strong culture and a foundation within that locker room to get the best out of our players and get results for this club and this city," he says. "That doesn't mean I won't be doing some things differently as well."
FC Cincinnati's next match is against the Montreal Impact on Saturday.
A native of Durban, South Africa, Koch first joined the FCC staff in December 2016 as assistant coach and director of scouting and analytics. He was promoted to head coach in February 2017, where he led the team to a 12-10-10 record and an appearance in the USL Cup Playoffs, where they ultimately lost to the New York Red Bulls in the semifinal round.
This story was updated to include comments from a 2 p.m. news conference on Tuesday.