By: Andrew Utz ~Staff Writer~
Cincinnati will be home to a new sports team this year with the hastened growth of FC Cincinnati (FCC), a Division III soccer team.
The club was formed in August 2015 and has signed to play its home games in Nippert Stadium, home of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats’ football team. The team starts its inaugural season in the United Soccer League (USL) March 26 at the Charleston Battery.
To kick off its campaign, FCC has signed two Xavier soccer alums. The first is recent graduate and goalkeeper Dallas Jaye. Jaye transferred to Xavier this past season as a redshirt senior. He posted school-record goals against average of 0.63, giving up nine during his tenure between the sticks. In addition to playing for Xavier, Jaye plays for the Guam national team, posting four international caps since he joined the squad at 19 years old.
On the other end of the pitch, forward Luke Spencer has signed with FCC. Spencer graduated from Xavier in 2013 and was drafted 23rd overall by the New England Revolution. After an ACL injury sidelined Spencer for most of his first season with the Revolution he left the MLS. Spencer joined the Xavier front office for this past season as the director of operations until he signed with FC Cincinnati. The 25-year-old standout played as the lone forward for most of his collegiate career, posting 14 goals in his final season and leading the team to an A-10 Championship.
FCC has already played a friendly match during its spring training in Florida against Iceland’s KR Reykjavik on Feb. 20. Reykjavik opened the scoring in the second half with two goals, one being from the penalty spot. FCC responded as Spencer, coming on as a substitute, volleyed in a cross to cut the lead down. The tying goal came from a second volley as 27-year old Corben Bone bent in a 45-yard attempt over the Reykjavik goalkeeper in the 88th minute.
FC Cincinnati will be visiting Xavier on March 18 to face the Musketeers in a pre-season exhibition match before the spring session begins. This will be FCC’s final match before its season begins, while it is the Musketeer’s first of four exhibition matches in the spring. Xavier will also face off against Saint Louis, Cedarville and Michigan State at home.