John Harkes has been dismissed as head coach of FC Cincinnati, according to Ives Galarcep via Goal.com. Harkes will be replaced by assistant coach Alan Koch, who joined the second year club in the offseason. Koch, a Durban, South Africa native most recently served as the head coach of Vancouver Whitecaps 2.
Reports: John Harkes Dismissed as FC Cincinnati Head Coach
Galarcep cites heightened tension and a “power struggle” between Harkes and the club’s President and General Manager Jeff Berding as the reason for his dismissal. There has not yet been any official comment from FC Cincinnati or Harkes on the situation.
Harkes, a U.S. Men’s National team legend, led FC Cincinnati to a 16 win season and a third place finish in the USL’s Eastern Conference last year. FC Cincinnati was upset in the first round of the USL playoffs by the Charleston Battery.
Cincinnati is one of 12 cities that recently submitted a bid to become one of four MLS expansion teams. Among the more impressive elements of their application is the attendance numbers for FC Cincy in their first year. The club averaged 17,296 fans for USL regular season games, by far the biggest number in the league.
FC Cincinnati is scheduled to play its first preseason match this Sunday against OKC Energy at the IMG Suncoast Classic in Bradenton, Florida. It appears that they will do so with a new man in charge.