1. Jurgen Locadia
FC Cincinnati finally got their man, signing Dutch forward Jurgen Locadia to a Designated Player contract ahead of the 2020 MLS season. He arrives on loan from English Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion with an option to exercise a permanent transfer upon the expiration of the loan at the opening of the MLS Secondary Transfer Window.
The 26-year-old makes the move to MLS after appearing 11 times this Bundesliga season on loan Hoffenheim, making five starts and scoring four goals.
“We are excited to bring in a proven forward in Jürgen to strengthen our attacking abilities,” FC Cincinnati general manager Gerard Nijkamp said in a team statement. “He is a talented goalscorer in his prime and we feel adding an impact player of his caliber will be a great addition to our club. We look forward to welcoming Jürgen to our club and city.”
“I am looking forward to a new opportunity with FC Cincinnati,” Locadia said. “I want to try to help the team build new memories and be an important player for the team.”
The Dutchman is the second Designated Player signing to join Cincinnati's attack this offseason after the club completed a transfer to acquire Yuya Kubo from Gent in early January. Locadia projects to be the centerpiece of the attacking line with Kubo being versatile enough to play any of the front three positions.
Locadia's most productive club season came in 2013-2014, when he burst on the scene as a teenager for PSV Eindhoven, scoring 13 goals in their domestic campaign as the Dutch power finished fourth.
After struggling to recapture that form for a few seasons, he exploded for nine goals just 15 matches into his 2017-2018 Eredivisie campaign, earning him a transfer to Brighton. But he only scored four goals in two seasons in the English Premiership before his Bundesliga move. In total, Locadia has scored 72 goals and added 42 assists in 231 career appearances across nine professional seasons.
Locadia has appeared for the Netherlands at the Under-19 and Under-21 level, but is yet to make his senior debut. He did receive one call-up for the senior side during its recent UEFA European Championship qualifying campaign.
In Cincinnati, Locadia will be playing for two compatriots who will know him well: Nijmkamp and head coach Ron Jans and GM Gerard Nijkamp.