When reports are stared to emerging linking FC Cincinnati to Brenner the unified
reaction was one of the scepticism.

Brenner, the 21-year-old Brazilian striker and a target of the world’s top clubs. He
scored 21 goals in his last manifestation for Sao paul, including during a stunning, one
month, 11-game Biltz through October and November. As an outcome, Sao Paulo was

reportedly demanding €50 million (£45m/$60m) for his services.
The club struggled for the last two years while scoring a league-worst 12 goals in last 23
games season.

What could probably convince one of the brazil’s brighter young talents that his career
would be best served by moving to a city best known for Skyline chili-not soccer

Well, the reports came true. As Brenner is bound for Cincinnati in what can clearly be
seen as the latest landmark signing from MLS club.
Cincinnati has landed a special one, a player that many believe could follow un the
footsteps of Miguel Almiron and Alphonso Davies in commanding a massive transfer fee
from Europe when the time is right.

So, how did FC Cincy pull off one of the most ambitious MLS signings in history?
For starters, they “put the money on the table”, as general manager Gerard Nijkamp
puts it, at a time when other clubs simply could not.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact finances, clubs are not interested to
pay big money for soon to be establishment talent, leaving players like Brenner priced
out of moves that would have been seen as normal in past years.
FC Cincy paid $13m for the Brazilian, with incentives meaning that total could jump even
higher. The third-largest transfer fee in MLS history, behind only two moves to bring

Gonzalo ‘pity, Martinez and Ezequiel Barco to Atlanta United.
“These are difficult times for clubs. They’re not so proactive in signing new players
because there is some uncertainty still in the world,” Nijkamp said.
“Maybe that gives us the opportunity to get a high-profile player that, in a normal
world, would be more difficult for a club like FC Cincinnati or any other club in MLS.”
He added: “Normally, these kinds of talents usually go directly to Europe. Now, he’s
come to our club. We put up the investment, we put the money on the table.”

But money could not convince that the club could be a stepping stone and provide him
with the big move before an even bigger move.

For this, FC Cincy pointed to players like Almiron and Davies, who have gone on to
command a massive transfer fee with their moves to Europe and pointed some more
players as the evidence that can grow up his league and then continue aboard.
But Brenner was also convinced by a former teammate: Auror Jr., currently of Toronto
FC. Auro the one who played with Brenner at Paulo and joined TFC in 2018 is in the 18
Brazilians that featured in MLS 2018.
“The United States gives a lot of shine in my eyes,” Brenner said. “When the offer came,
I couldn’t resist. As soon as I heard about the project from a call with [director of
scouting and player recruitment Hunter Freeman] and saw all the facilities, from that
day on, I started searching for videos of the club and the fans. That really surprised me
and I had no doubts.”
With this move, the club is betting on Brenner becoming the league’s next superstar,
and there’s reason to believe he could be. He shone in the Brazilian league and to put it
frankly, Juventus and Arsenal wouldn’t be interested in a player if he wasn’t good.
Brenner is also betting heavily on Cincinnati to be a club that can get him to where he
wants to be which is one of Europe’s top teams.
“We got the information about Brenner,” Nijkamp said, “and there was a possibility to
get him to our club. The screening process was there, in terms of convincing the
organization and ownership, but also going into conversations with Brenner and his
management to convince him that FC Cincinnati can be the next step in his career… We
can be the bridge for going to Europe.

“A player like Brenner is not going directly to Europe, but going to FC Cincinnati, taking
his next step, being successful, raising the upside for us as a club, upgrading our soccer
ecosystem inside the club, and then we can reinvest the revenues we, hopefully, get in
the future.”
Still, the Brenner move has now become along a line of ambitious pushes from the
Last season, the club hired former AC Milan and Manchester United defender Jaap Stam
as head coach. The club also signed Brighton’s Jurgen Locadia on an initial loan,
although his future with the club remains relatively uncertain.
And, throughout the winter, the club was linked heavily with former Atalanta star
Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez, one of the best-producing attacking midfielders in Europe. In
the end, Gomez opted to remain in Europe by joining Sevilla, but the message was clear:
FC Cincinnati won’t be messing around in 2021.
Despite missing out on Gomez and despite coughing up a massive fee to bring in
Brenner, the club is still in the market, with Nijkamp saying he’s still looking to bring in a
top-level number 10.
“There was another rumor a few weeks ago that we wanted to bring in a player with a
great track record in Europe,” Nijkamp said. “He decided to stay in Europe and play for
another big club, a Champions League club. He was a guy who was a senior player.
“If you go into my hat, we maybe want to see if we can find a number 10 of that
experience to balance the young and senior players in the team.”
Even if Cincy heads into the 2021 season with the roster as assembled, they’ll command
plenty of attention. Brenner’s signing will be one of the storylines of the MLS season as

many all over the world will look on to see if the young forward sinks or swims.
Brenner, after all, could be MLS’ next game changer, the next Almiron or Davies to use
the league as a launchpad. He could be a player that furthers the league’s reputation
worldwide, as MLS continues to mold itself into a league that wants to find, sign,
develop and sell young talent.

But that’s the macro view, the big picture, and Nijkamp isn’t too worried about all that.
The club has already completed one of the biggest signings in MLS history, and so he has
no interest in musing about what it means for everyone else.
“For everyone who loves the game, it must be a happy day that we are able to bring
these kinds of players into MLS and especially of course for our FC Cincinnati fans,” he

“Is it a statement or whatever it is? I have to say I don’t care. I want to have the best
players in our club to be successful and to win.”

If Brenner is successful and if FC Cincy does win, if this multimillion-dollar transfer pays
off for all involved, then this will go down as a landmark deal for the club, the league
and, perhaps Brenner himself.
And, if all goes to plan, perhaps those less familiar with Cincinnati will come to know the
city for more than Skyline Chili, but rather as the place where Brenner continued his
path towards the top.

Brazilian Wonderkid – Skills, Goals & Assists

Comments are closed.