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FC Cincinnati adds goal-scoring depth with Dominique Badji

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FC Cincinnati added depth and experience to its attack with the signing of Dominique Badji to a one-year contract.

Weeks after Badji posted a photo to Instagram that suggested he might have been considering FC Cincinnati for his next move, FCC on Monday announced Badji’s acquisition was complete.

The contract is for the 2022 season and has club options that could keep Badji at FCC through 2024.

Badji, 29, of Senegal, brings eight years and nearly 10,000 minutes worth of MLS experience to FC Cincinnati. He spent time with three different organizations including five years with the Colorado Rapids over multiple stints.

Colorado Rapids' Dominique Badji (8) moves past Seattle Sounders defender Yeimar Gomez (28) during the first half of an MLS soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Commerce City, Colo. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

The signing follows a consistent offseason pattern for FC Cincinnati of bringing MLS experience and proven success in the league to TQL Stadium for 2022. It’s an approach that started with the hiring of Chris Albright as general manager and has continued with the introduction of Pat Noonan as head coach. 

The emphasis on MLS know-how is also permeating FC Cincinnati’s player signings so far this offseason. Badji offers experience in terms scoring – something Cincinnati’s always been in short supply of since joining MLS even as 2021 saw more reliable offensive output. 



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2022 MLS season: Fire standing behind struggling goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina

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Gabriel Slonina has made his decision. He’s going with the United States men’s national team.

Slonina, 18, announced Friday on social media he is committing to the US over Poland. A dual national, Slonina was recently named to Poland’s roster for its upcoming UEFA Nations League matches but has chosen to cast his lot with the United States program. Poland clearly wanted Slonina badly, as shown by coach Czesław Michniewicz traveling to Chicago to meet with him and present him a jersey.

Those overtures were rejected, and Slonina explained why. Though he discussed his pride in his heritage and what it means to be Polish, Slonina said “my heart is American.”

“This country has given me and my family all the opportunities I could ask for,” Slonina posted. “It’s pushed me and supported me through good and bad. I understand the privilege of wearing the badge, and the only time I’ll put my head down is to kiss it. America is home and that’s who I’m going to represent.”

Because of his age, FIFA rules allow Slonina to play in three matches for a national team before being bound to a country, so it’s possible he could change his mind in the future.

Slonina is part of a crowded US goalkeeping picture that includes Manchester City’s Zack Steffen, the Revolution’s Matt Turner (who will join English club Arsenal this summer) and former Fire standout Sean Johnson, currently the captain of reigning MLS Cup champion New York City FC. Poland is also strong in net, led by Wojciech Szczęsny, the starter for Italian powerhouse Juventus.

But just because Slonina, who’s represented the US at youth levels, has made this decsion doesn’t mean all his major choices are complete. Slonina’s been linked with major European clubs, and with their transfer windows opening soon, the young goalie might be forced to decide between famous teams in the near future.

Slonina’s recent play for the Fire has raised questions about whether those outside factors have taken a toll. Last Saturday, Slonina’s late giveaway led to the Fire’s 2-1 loss to FC Cincinnati. Then on Wednesday against the Red Bulls, Slonina whiffed on an easy save for New York’s second goal, overcommitted on their stoppage-time equalizer and could’ve easily given away a penalty after contacting an opposing attacker in the Fire box.

After the Red Bulls match, coach Ezra Hendrickson was asked whether the external noise was affecting Slonina’s concentration.

“Maybe outside of the game but in the game I don’t think he’s thinking about all that stuff. He just happened to make some mistakes,” Hendrickson said. “You know, we all make mistakes as soccer players and it just happened to be that in that position of his, your mistakes are more dangerous, are more costly than someone missing a goal or something like that. But he’ll get out of it and we’ll make sure that he stays positive and stays confident.”

Perhaps that will be easier for Slonina with one major decision out of the way.





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Monarchs Spotlight: Tyrone Mondi – rsl.com

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Monarchs Spotlight: Tyrone Mondi  rsl.com



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Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin on being first place in MLS – FOX Soccer

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Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin on being first place in MLS  FOX Soccer



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