soccer reporter Steven Goff interviewed FC Cincinnati head coach John Harkes after the local team won its home opener April 9, recalling another Harkes debut 20 years earlier.
"In April 1996, John Harkes stood at midfield before an inaugural soccer match at San Jose's Spartan Stadium, the captain of a new team in a new nationwide league featuring U.S. World Cup players who could finally earn a proper paycheck at home," Goff writes. "Twenty years and three days later, Harkes was again part of something fresh in American soccer, pacing the sideline on a cold Saturday night in Cincinnati as coach of an expansion club making its home debut in the prosperous third flight. D.C. United and MLS then, FC Cincinnati and USL now."
Goff remarks on FC Cincinnati's amazing support from 14,658 fans on a cold night, saying the Nippert Stadium crowd "was larger than MLS matches in Washington and Dallas and considerably bigger than all five games in the second-division North American Soccer League."
FC Cincinnati plays its second home match April 16 against Louisville. Read Soapbox's February interview with FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding here
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